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13+ Substitutes for Brown/White/Sweet/Glutinous Rice Flour

Rice flour is a typical ingredient in most recipes, but it can be difficult to find.

Fortunately, there are many alternative ingredients that will work just as well for your cooking!

In this post, I’ll show you the substitutes for brown rice flour, white rice flour, and sweet rice flour.

Substitutes for Brown Rice Flour

Try these alternatives when a recipe calls for brown rice flour.

All-Purpose Flour

regular flour

Perhaps the most straightforward rice flour substitute is all-purpose flour, which most people have in their kitchen cabinets all the time.

Regular flour can be an alternative to many types of flour, such as spelt flour.

You can use different types of all-purpose flour for different types of rice flour, such as whole wheat all-purpose flour for brown rice flour.

Chefs and home cooks alike use rice flour for different purposes, including baking, frying, and thickening. You can substitute all-purpose flour for any of these uses.

That being said, rice flour is gluten-free, which is why many people use it. All-purpose flour is not, so don’t mislabel your finished product.

Almond Flour

almond flour

Is there anything almonds can’t do? They already make milk, but when you blanch, crush, and grind them to a fine powder, you can also use it in baking and cooking.

It’s primarily a good substitute for brown rice flour because it has a very similar consistency.

Almond flour, like rice flour, is naturally gluten-free, which is another benefit of using this swap. No need for gluten-free friends to avoid your recipe!

Almond flour can be substituted for rice flour for just about anything but works best in baking.


corn starch

Cornstarch is an excellent substitute for rice flour, predominantly brown rice flour, when used in a recipe as a thickening agent.

There are other uses where cornstarch makes sense as a substitute, too. It can be used as a rice flour replacement for frying (meats, veggies, and so on), thickening soups, sauces, pies, gravies, and other foods.

Like rice flour, cornstarch is also gluten-free, so that it won’t change the gluten-free status of your recipe. It just isn’t appropriate as white rice flour or other rice flour substitute in baking.

Millet Flour

millet flour

Millet flour wouldn’t be the best option as a substitute for brown rice flour, but it’s just fine to use in a pinch.

It has a sort of corn-like flavor, so it’s best as a substitute for brown rice flour since it mimics the slightly nutty flavor.

Millet flour has a similar texture to all-purpose flour, so it’s suitable for baking. It is also naturally gluten-free.

Further reading: 12 Best Substitutes for Millet Flour in Gluten-free Baking

Oat Flour

oat flour

Oat flour is an excellent substitute for brown rice flour especially, although you can use it for every kind of rice flour.

It’s also a superfood and is available in most grocery stores, so it’s effortless if you’re swapping because you can’t find rice flour.

Be careful with it, though, as not all kinds are gluten-free. Check the label if that’s a dietary restriction you’re following.

Potato Starch

potato flour

Made from potatoes, potato starch is a good substitute for rice flour in frying.

Use half parts potato starch and half parts corn starch for frying (if you don’t have corn starch, no worries, just use all potato starch).

For everything else, it’s best as a stand-in for brown rice flour than the other types, but it will work.

Sorghum Flour

sorghum flour

Sorghum flour is best used as a substitute for brown rice flour but can be used for any of the rice flours.

It is also gluten-free and packed with vitamins and minerals, making it extra healthy. Because of that, people use it as a substitute for all kinds of flours, even all-purpose flour.

It is also a 1:1 ratio exchange in recipes, which makes it super easy.

Substitute for White Rice Flour

Here are some options when swapping out white rice flour for a different ingredient.

Cake Flour

cake flour

Cake flour is often used in baking because it yields that fluffy, light consistency you want in cakes and other baked goods (other than loaves of bread).

For that reason, it’s an excellent substitute for white rice flour in baked goods especially.

It has gluten in it, though, so keep that in mind before serving your finished product to your gluten-sensitive friends.

Chickpea Flour

chickpea flour

Made from ground dried chickpeas (or garbanzo beans), chickpea flour works as a substitute for all kinds of rice flours.

Although it isn’t sweet, so if you’re using it for sweetened rice flour, you may need to add a bit of sugar.

It isn’t super common (you may not find it in all grocery stores), but it is found in all-natural and specialty stores. It doesn’t fry well, but it’s suitable for everything else.

Further reading: Top 11 Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) Flour Substitutes

Tapioca Flour

tapioca flour

Tapioca is a type of starch extracted from the cassava root. It’s a good replacement for rice flour as a thickening agent or in cooking rather than baking, although it works well in pancakes and other similar pastries.

It has no taste or smell, so it’s perfect for thickening soups, stews, and similar foods.

Substitute for Sweet Rice Flour

If you need to replace sweet rice flour in a recipe, try one of the following items.

Coconut Flour

coconut milk powder

Would you be surprised to hear that coconut flour is made from coconuts? It is!

Coconut flour makes an excellent white rice flour substitute and is best for sweet rice flour because coconuts are naturally sweet.

You can use coconut flour in baking and thickening, but be careful when using it in frying as it tends to clump, and the conversion isn’t 1:1 (depending on the recipe).

If you’re using it as a substitute for sweet rice flour, taste the batter or other raw matter before finishing, as the sweetness might be a bit off. If it is, add just a bit of sugar or artificial sweetener.

Like rice flour, coconut water is gluten-free. It can also be a good substitute for malt powder.

Arrowroot Flour

arrowroot powder

Just as you can substitute sweet rice flour for arrowroot flour or arrowroot powder, it works the other way around, as well.

Arrowroot flour is gluten-free and good for people with corn allergies or sensitivities since cornstarch, the most common swap, isn’t.

It’s very versatile and can be used in baking, cooking, frying, and as a thickening agent as well.

Try blending it with other types of flour if you’re worried about your finished product being too dense or thick.

Another Type of Rice Flour

Last but certainly not least, you can use another type of rice flour for any other as a substitution.

For example, if your recipe calls for white rice flour and you only have brown, that’s okay. It’s a 1:1 ratio swap, and the other way around works too.

The only thing to be aware of is adding or subtracting sweetener or sugar for sweetened rice flour.

Glutinous Rice Flour Substitute

Have you ever had to avoid glutinous food for health reasons? Well, it’s not fun. Life without rice can get really tough!

However, there are some substitutes that will help alleviate your troubles. Here is a list of the best options out there:

  • Flour – A great option if you want something gluten-free and cheaper than other substitutes on this list;
  • Cornstarch – This one has little flavor so it’s perfect for baking or thickening sauces;
  • Tapioca flour/Arrowroot powder – These two are both starch products but they work well in different recipes. If you’re looking for a more affordable substitute then go with tapioca flour because arrowroot powder is quite expensive.

FAQs About Rice Flour

Where to buy rice flour?

Rice flour can be found at most grocery stores, but if you want to buy a large quantity, you may need to go somewhere that sells bulk items like Costco or Sams Club.

Can I substitute rice flour for all-purpose flour?

A lot of people are wondering if they can substitute rice flour for all-purpose flour (wheat flour). The answer is yes, you can! Rice flour is a great gluten-free alternative to regular white flour.

It’s also great for those who have nut allergies or celiac disease because it doesn’t contain any of the proteins that cause allergic reactions in some people.

When substituting rice flour for all-purpose flour, use a 1:1 ratio.

What’s a good substitute for rice flour in baking?

The most common substitutions for rice flour in baking include potato starch, cornstarch, or tapioca starch.

All three of these ingredients will provide the same thickness and binding properties as rice flour, so it won’t change the texture too much when baked into your recipes.

Other flours such as almond meal and oat bran may also work well as substitutes if you don’t want to use one of those three types mentioned above.

What’s a good substitute for rice flour in mochi?

Mochi is a Japanese rice cake that has been made for centuries. It’s traditionally wrapped in bamboo leaves and filled with sweetened red bean paste.

Here are 5 substitutes for rice flour in mochi:

  • coconut flour
  • almond meal/flour
  • tapioca starch/flour
  • potato starch
  • cornstarch

There might also be some other ingredient available at your local Asian market or health food store such as chestnut or chickpea flour which will work well too.

What’s a good substitute for rice flour in frying?

Rice flour is a great gluten-free alternative to all-purpose flour, but it can be expensive and difficult to find.

If you don’t have access to rice flour or just want an easy substitute for frying, cornstarch might be the perfect solution!

Cornstarch has similar properties as rice flour and will create crispy fried foods every time.

Can I use rice flour substitute for cornstarch?

Rice flour is a common substitute for cornstarch.

However, there are some differences between these two ingredients that may affect how they behave in certain dishes and baked goods.

Rice flour will produce a lighter, fluffier bread crust than cornstarch would. And it should only be substituted in recipes that call for high amounts of starch such as gravies and pie crusts.

Final Thoughts

Rice flour is a great ingredient for gluten-free baking, but it can be difficult to find.

If you don’t have any in your pantry or if the price of rice flour has gone up recently, try these substitutes for rice flour that are just as good!

I’m Jennifer Schlette, a Registered Dietitian and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. I love cooking, reading, and my kids! Here you’ll find the healthiest recipes & substitutions for your cooking. Enjoy, and be well, friends!

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