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April 27, 2018

How To Use Coconut Flour

Post by Cinde Little

How To Use Coconut Flour is #10 in my monthly blog post series on gluten free flour. You can see the full list of posts at the bottom of this page. The idea is to learn to use the flours you like, to make foods you enjoy. As you notice what kind of recipes you like to make in your own kitchen you can focus on them and improve your results.

This series of blog posts started when I wanted to create a resource for my subscribers, a downloadable chart with tips for using different flours. When I began to write I never thought beyond six different flours but as I learned and shared I was inspired to keep going. Everyone has different preferences and dietary needs so despite the cons I heard about coconut flour I set out to learn about its’ benefits.

How to Use Coconut Flour
How to Use Coconut Flour -photo credit Jim Little

Coconut Flour – A Difficult Flour

Coconut flour is difficult to work with. Both gluten free and non-gluten free bakers will tell you this right up front. So do we really need coconut flour? The answer is of course not, but I encourage you to have a look at the health benefits to see if it might fit into your diet somewhere. And if not that’s fine too.

I bought coconut flour when I had no idea what gluten free flours I wanted to use. It kept showing up in recipes I looked at, I started to see coconut products everywhere and finally I thought I should buy some. However, after using it in a few forgettable recipes my coconut flour got left at the back of the cupboard. I read about the challenges of working with it so wasn’t inspired to try it again.

Now, after writing nine posts about many different gluten free flours, starches and binders I took another look at coconut flour. To be honest I will probably not do a lot of baking with coconut flour. I’m not personally trying to eat more baking (because when I bake it I eat it). My goal is to help you find your go-to recipes for everyday life. To me that may include some special occasion desserts along with everyday recipes like muffins, cookies, brownies and more.

The Benefits of Coconut Flour

There are health benefits to using coconut. This is not my area of expertise but I know many people with celiac disease and gluten related disorders work with specialists to improve their health. It takes effort but when I talk to people who have succeeded I can hear it in their voices that it was worth the effort. After all, we are what we eat.

The most obvious benefit is the high amount of fiber. More than double most other flours there is 10 grams of fiber per ¼ cup of coconut flour. If you are trying to get more fiber into your diet this may be something to consider. Using a few tablespoons in some of your regular recipes might be easy enough to do.

If this topic interests you Gretchen at All the Love, Without the Wheat created this helpful chart. It compares carbs, fiber and protein in several gluten free flours.

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How To Use Coconut Flour


  • Grain free and nut free
  • High in fiber
  • Faint taste of coconut that can be highlighted in recipes with coconut or masked in recipes using cocoa and chocolate
  • May be helpful for a diabetic diet


  • Absorbs lots of liquid in baking so does not substitute well in recipes that were not written for coconut flour
  • Should be stored in an air tight container as it tends to absorb moisture. Ideally stored in the fridge or freezer
  • Expensive compared to other gluten free flours
  • Does not behave like a typical flour and presents unique challenges in baking
  • Many recipes rely on extra egg to create structure which may be unwanted for some people

Best Uses

  • Pancakes, muffins, brownies and cupcakes but specifically in recipes written for coconut flour
  • Use up to 20% coconut flour in a gluten free flour blend
  • Works well with mild flours like millet, white rice and almond flour

How To Use Coconut Flour – The Recipes

I’m just experimenting with coconut flour. During the process of writing this series I have become more adventurous. I am trying all kinds of flours, two to four tablespoons at a time, in many of my tried and true recipes. You might want to try this approach with any neglected flour in the back of your cupboard.

If you are inspired to bake with coconut flour there are bloggers out there who have loads of experience incorporating it into their diets. For best success they generally recommend trying recipes that were created for the unique properties of coconut flour…and there are lots of them.

Happy Baking!

This is the tenth in a series of blog posts on gluten free flours. My intention is to provide a basic overview of several gluten free flours for the everyday home cook, both new and experienced. Let me know in the comments below if you have a specific problem with your baking or a tip you’d like to share.

How To Use Gluten Free Flour series:

  1. How To Use Rice Flour in Gluten Free Baking
  2. How To Use Starch in Gluten Free Baking
  3. How To Use Millet Flour and Sorghum Flour
  4. How To Use Corn Flour, Cornmeal and Masa Harina
  5. How To Use Almond Flour and Quinoa Flour
  6. How To Use Binders in Gluten Free Baking
  7. How To Use Chickpea Flour
  8. How To Use Teff Flour
  9. How To Use Buckwheat Flour
  10. How To Use Coconut Flour
  11. How To Use Oat Flour
  12. How To Use A Gluten Free Flour Mix


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