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The Best Gluten-Free Flour for Baking: Tested, Vetted (& Devoured)

Here’s what’s truly worth the dough

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best gluten-free flour blends we tested
Target/Pillsbury/Bob's Red Mill/King Arthur Baking/Dasha Burobina for PureWow

You’re craving cookies, but you also have a gluten allergy. While it may have been a challenge to find wheat-free flour at the supermarket once upon a time, the hard part now is choosing which one to buy. There are a ton of different options to peruse these days, but only some will give you the results you’re looking for. That’s why we spoke to a dietitian—and gluten-free baker—to uncover what makes a solid substitute, then put several brands to the test to uncover our top picks.

25 Easy Gluten-Free Desserts That Taste Like the Real Thing


The Top Gluten-Free Flour Blends, At a Glance

1

Most Foolproof Gluten-Free Flour

Pillsbury Best Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Blend

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2

Best Xanthan Gum-Free Option

King Arthur Baking Company Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour

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3

Best Organic One-to-One Gluten-Free Flour Blend

Arrowhead Mills 1-to-1 Organic Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour

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4

Most Reliable Gluten-Free Flour for Baking

Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour

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5

Best Value

Good & Gather Gluten-Free Flour Blend

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Meet the Expert

Laura Buckley is a registered and licensed dietitian who received her bachelor’s degree in nutrition management from RIT. Nowadays, she spends most of her time helping leaders integrate their work and their wellbeing. But, she’s been gluten-free for 14 years and loves helping people find their way on a GF diet. We turned to her for guidance on what to shop for—and what to avoid.

What Is Gluten-Free Flour?

Gluten-free flour can be made from various grains, starches and nuts. It’s free of wheat, which is what gives standard flour its gluten. The one downside to that is that gluten provides structure, chewiness and texture to baked goods.

So, how do alternative flours achieve those things without gluten? Some are blends, which “are designed to bring together different types of flour to mimic the various properties of wheat flour,” explains registered dietician Laura Buckley. And many include xanthan gum, which helps give batters and doughs their elasticity while mimicking the chewiness you’d get from gluten. (Otherwise, the baked good can be pretty crumbly.) That said…

What Should You Look for When Buying Gluten-Free Flour?

“I look to see if the flour is a blend that's designed to replace wheat flour 1:1 or if it's a specific type of flour, such as almond flour, rice flour, etc.,” Buckley says, adding that blends tend to be the best for substitutions in traditional recipes.

She also recommends checking to see if the flour contains xanthan gum, or if you’ll need to add it in yourself. “Small amounts can make a big difference, so some blends leave it out so people can use the amount they like,” Buckley says. “If you use flour without xanthan gum and don't add it yourself, the baked goods will come out flat and dense.”

best gluten-free flour, showing how the cookies are baked
Candace Davison

How We Vetted the Best Gluten-Free Flour:

With these insights in mind, we tested as many gluten-free flour blends as we could get our hands on. Then, we followed a classic Toll House chocolate chip cookie recipe, keeping the rest of the ingredients, cook time and tools the same (down to a one-ounce cookie scoop for each dough ball) and compared the results. And, just to double-check our work, we baked a second round one week later, to see if the results were consistent. We also baked quick breads and other treats, comparing the final product on the basis of:

  • Flavor — Do you still get the buttery, caramel-y notes? Are any flavors enhanced or diminished, compared to the control cookie?
  • Texture — Is the resulting cookie dry or crumbly? Crisp, chewy or pillowy?
  • Aftertaste — Is there a lingering chalkiness, as is the case with some gluten-free treats?
  • Spread — Did the cookies burn at the edges? Thin out? Stay puffy?
  • Closeness to the original (or control) recipe

We’ll share our results for the blends first, then offer a few editor-backed and top-reviewed recommendations for single-flour gluten-free options at the bottom, along with the best ways to use them.

The Best Gluten-Free Flour Blends, According to Our Tests

Most Foolproof Gluten-Free Flour

1. Pillsbury Best Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Blend

What We Love:

  • resealable zip-top bag for easy storage
  • affordable
  • gives desserts great lift

What We Don’t Love:

  • slightly sandy aftertaste

Pillsbury

If you’re new to gluten-free baking—or you’re just baking for a friend with celiac disease—Pillsbury is a great option. The cup-for-cup conversion makes it easy to substitute in recipes, and in our tests, the amount of xanthan gum included resulted in the puffiest, fluffiest treats. To that end, our chocolate chip cookies were almost cakey in texture, with a slightly gritty aftertaste, but they stayed soft when stored in an airtight container for days.

Fast Facts

  • Types of Flour Used: rice flour (gussied up with pea fiber, tapioca starch and potato starch)
  • Includes Xanthan Gum? Yes

Best Xanthan Gum-Free Option

2. King Arthur Baking Company Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour

What We Love:

  • quality of ingredients
  • availability
  • great for baking and thickening sauces/cooking

What We Don’t Love:

  • can be pricey from third-party sellers (like Amazon)

King Arthur Baking

For more advanced bakers who like to control their own destiny (AKA how elastic a dough is), King Arthur Baking Company’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour is the way to go. You’ll have to add your own stabilizer, such as xanthan gum, but it results in delightfully chewy, moist desserts. It’s ideal for using in gluten-free recipes that call for xanthan gum as an ingredient; if you’re trying to substitute it in an existing recipe, like our Toll House cookie experiment, you’ll have to play around to get the right amount (we recommend about two teaspoons, though King Arthur Baking suggests taking it easy on yourself and opting for its Measure for Measure flour instead).

Fast Facts

  • Types of Flour Used: organic rice flour, organic brown rice flour, organic tapioca flour, organic millet flour
  • Includes Xanthan Gum? No

Best Organic One-to-One Gluten-Free Flour Blend

3. Arrowhead Mills 1-to-1 Organic Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour

What We Love:

  • resealable zip-top bag for easy storage
  • reliable results
  • organic

What We Don't Love:

  • Seems to bake faster than all-purpose flour and other gluten-free blends

Arrowhead Mills

One thing we learned, even with one-to-one gluten-free flour blends: You’ll need to keep a close eye on the timer, erring on the lower end of any timing instructions in the recipe, as many blends brown faster than others. That was the case with Arrowhead Mills Organic Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour, but we’ll be honest: The results were worth the added mindfulness. Our test cookies had the best chewy, gooey factor, with strong vanilla flavor and solid caramel notes. These treats disappeared fastest in our first test run.

Fast Facts

  • Types of Flour Used: organic rice flour, organic brown rice flour, organic tapioca flour, organic millet flour
  • Includes Xanthan Gum? Yes

Most Reliable Gluten-Free Flour for Baking

4. Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour

What We Love:

  • each batch tested to ensure it's wheat-free
  • reliable results across a variety of recipes

What We Don’t Love:

  • zip-top closure pops open easily

Bob's Red Mill

If your favorite recipe calls for all-purpose flour and you’d like to make it gluten-free, look no further than Bob’s 1-to-1. It’s designed to substitute wheat flour in any recipe, from brownies to muffins to cookies. It’s a blend of sweet white rice flour, whole-grain brown rice flour, whole-grain sorghum flour, tapioca flour and potato starch, plus xanthan gum. So, you won’t need to make any tweaks or add any extra ingredients to bake your favorite goodies. Even better, the flour is made in a totally gluten-free facility and each batch is tested to ensure that it’s wheat free.

In the cookie test, these spread a bit more, but they were chewy with crisp edges, just like the original recipe.

Fast Facts

  • Types of Flour Used: sweet rice flour, whole grain brown rice flour, whole grain sorghum flour, tapioca flour
  • Includes Xanthan Gum? Yes

Best Value

5. Good & Gather Gluten-Free Flour Blend

What We Love:

  • resealable zip-top bag for easy storage
  • affordable
  • solid flavor

What We Don’t Love:

  • cookies seem to brown faster

Good & Gather

At less than $3 a pound, this one-to-one substitute for all-purpose flour is a steal. Add that it’s available at Target, and well, we found just the excuse to drop $100 while ‘grocery shopping.’ Price and convenience aside, the flour blend is legit. In our tests, it offered a pretty close match to a classic Toll House cookie—but it involved some tinkering (dropping the temp to 350 degrees instead of 375), as the cookie can burn and dry out a bit faster than ones made with other blends we tested. Still, it was soft, chewy and didn’t leave a chalky aftertaste, as some g-free treats do.

Fast Facts

  • Types of Flour Used: millet flour, rice flour, sorghum flour
  • Includes Xanthan Gum? Yes
Original Sunshine 2lb
Original Sunshine

Most Innovative

6. Original Sunshine Gluten-Free Flour

What We Love:

  • incredible flavor
  • great texture for yeasted and non-yeasted recipes
  • reliable results

What We Don't Love:

  • not as widely available

Original Sunshine

When we heard Original Sunshine was the secret to the Last Crumb’s ultra-luxe gluten-free treats (which cost $13 a pop), we had to try it firsthand. And when tested in everything from cookies to banana bread, we were stunned: It somehow elevated the flavors of the star ingredients in each dish. The caramelization in cookies was more pronounced; multiple people were stunned by the sweetness and banana flavor in our quick bread.

So, what makes it so unique? Well, Original Sunshine has its own production process that removes gluten proteins from wheat, so you still have the bready texture you’d expect from traditional AP flour, yet Original Sunshine meets the FDA recommendations for a diet containing a max of 20 parts per million of gluten. (Still, if you’re celiac, you should talk to your doctor before trying it.)

Fast Facts

  • Types of Flour Used: buckwheat flour, gluten-free wheat starch
  • Includes Xanthan Gum? No

Other Gluten-Free Flour Options to Consider:

Best for brownies and cakes

7. Otto’s Naturals Cassava Flour

What We Love:

  • mild
  • almost neutral flavor
  • non-GMO

What We Don't Love:

  • not ideal for yeasted recipes

Otto's Naturals

Made from yucca root, cassava flour is a smooth, powdery substance that’s similar to tapioca flour. It has a mild earthy flavor on its own but tastes more neutral when baked. Otto’s Natural doesn’t add any other flours to the mix either—it’s just pure non-GMO yucca root. Because cassava flour absorbs more liquid than wheat flour, it’s great for baking dense treats like cookies, cakes and brownies rather than yeasted ones like bread or doughnuts. You can also use it for pizza crust, breading or pasta, since those don’t require much lift.

8. Blue Diamond Almond Flour

What We Love:

  • neutral taste
  • affordable
  • finely ground

What We Don't Love:

  • zip-top closure pops open easily

Blue Diamond

If you don’t have a nut allergy, almond flour is definitely worth a try. It offers a boost of protein and fiber to any recipe, plus has a pretty neutral taste that makes it super versatile. (You might get a slight nuttiness, but that’s it.) Blue Diamond is ground so finely that it doesn’t have the grittiness of some almond flours, and it’s keto-friendly and kosher. Price-wise, it’s one of the more affordable options out there too, beating out even Whole Foods’s in-house brand, 365 by Whole Foods Market.

While you won’t be able to substitute it one for one for wheat flour, adding more flour than what’s called for in a recipe can help you get a stiffer batter or dough. You can also use xanthan gum, egg whites or psyllium husk powder to achieve a sturdier texture. Use almond flour to make cookies, pancakesquick breads and other baked goods. (Oh, and if you’re looking for an organic option, our editors recommend trying Terrasoul.)

Top-Rated Coconut Flour

9. Viva Naturals Organic Coconut Flour

What We Love:

  • keto/paleo-friendly
  • non-GMO
  • lasts longer than other gluten-free flours
  • organic

What We Don't Love:

  • can be a bit dry
  • flour not so finely ground

Viva Naturals

Coconut flour has a distinct taste that will come through in whatever you make with it. So, use it in recipes that already call for coconut or recipes that would benefit from its flavor, like macarons or chocolate chip cookies. Coconut flour is also great for tortillas, pancakes and chips. Viva Naturals recommends substituting a ¼ cup of coconut flour and one egg per cup of wheat flour (the protein from the egg will help in the structure department). Coconut flour also has the longest lifespan of just about all gluten-free flours. It will keep in the fridge for up to a year—just don’t store it in the pantry because it’s not shelf-stable.

Best Buckwheat Flour

10. Arrowhead Mills Organic Buckwheat Flour

What We Love:

  • organic, solid source of protein and fiber
  • great for pancakes and savory baked goods

What We Don't Love:

  • Earthy flavor can compete with other flavors in desserts

Arrowhead Mills

Not only is buckwheat a great source of protein and fiber, but it also has a wonderful nutty, earthy flavor that can enhance recipes for crackerssoba noodles, pancakes, flatbread and even cake and muffins (baked goods could benefit from mixing it with another flour, like oat or rice). This particular buckwheat flour boasts 30 grams of whole grains in every ¼ cup. Pair it with ingredients that will complement its flavor, like dark chocolate, toasted nuts or mushrooms. (P.S. Arrowhead Mills’s millet flour has even more whole grains at 35 grams per serving.)

Most Nutritious Gluten-Free Flour

11. Namaste Foods Organic Sorghum Flour

What We Love:

  • organic
  • great for savory dishes
  • solid source of protein, fiber and iron
  • non-GMO
  • kosher

What We Don’t Love:

  • pricier than other sorghum flours

Namaste Foods

It’s made from sorghum, an ancient grain that’s higher in both protein and fiber than wheat. There’s 4 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber in every ¼ cup of Namaste Foods’s sorghum flour, versus regular AP flour’s 3 grams of protein and ½ gram of fiber. Sorghum is also rich in iron, boasting 8 percent of your daily recommended amount in per serving. It’s great for pizza crust and flatbreads that will benefit from its earthy flavor. Like amaranth and oat flours, sorghum flour can be stored in the fridge or pantry. At room temperature, it’ll keep for about two months—freeze it to double its shelf life.

Best for Cooking

12. Anthony’s Brown Rice Flour

What We Love:

  • organic
  • non-GMO
  • mild taste

What We Don't Love:

  • not great for baking

Anthony's

Brown rice flour is a popular choice because it’s minimally gritty and super light. Its taste is mild, unlike some other alternatives (ahem, coconut flour). Anthony’s is also non-GMO and made from stone-ground, medium-grain brown rice. Rice flour’s low protein content means that it doesn’t produce the best results in baked goods, as it won’t hold the dough together as well as other options. If you want to use rice flour to bake, pair it with other gluten-free flours that can help the structure. On its own, rice flour is best as a thickener for soups, sauces and stews and as a way to dredge meat for frying or for making noodles, though Anthony’s reviewers also say it’s wonderful for pancakes. Be sure to store it in the fridge for up to five months or in your freezer for up to a year.


candace davison bio

VP of editorial, recipe developer, cookbook author

Candace Davison oversees PureWow's food and home content, as well as its franchises, like the PureWow100 review series and the Happy Kid Awards. She’s covered all things lifestyle...

taryn pire

Food Editor

Taryn Pire is PureWow’s food editor and has been writing about all things delicious since 2016. She’s developed recipes, reviewed restaurants and investigated food trends at...

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