Guide to Keto Flour Substitutions

A complete guide to keto baking with alternative flours. Learn how to use almond and coconut flour to create delicious baked goods that are gluten-free, sugar-free, low-carb and perfect for the keto diet. 

Flour Alternatives For The Ketogenic Diet

On this blog, you’ll find plenty of low carb baked goods that you can enjoy on the keto diet. I like to create keto dessert recipes that are made with gluten-free, low-carb alternatives to wheat flour.

One of the biggest challenges when it comes to keto baking is finding low-carb flour substitutes that still taste good. Traditional flours — like wheat or rice flour —  are a no-go on this low-carb way of eating. So, in this post, I’m sharing the best keto flours that I keep stocked in my panty and use to recreate my favorite baking recipes.

If you want to try some keto baking recipes, my advice is to start with published recipes that have already been converted to use keto flours.  As a general rule, keto flours cannot be substituted 1:1 in your standard recipes. Usually, keto baking recipes contain a mix of low-carb flours and call for a higher proportion of eggs or liquid.

Here are some alternative flours you can use to create delicious baked goods that are gluten-free, sugar-free, low-carb and perfect for the keto diet. 

General Guidelines for Substituting Keto Flours

  1. Any flour substitutions will potentially alter the final outcome of a recipe — both the texture and the taste. If you feel like experimenting with a recipe, just keep that in mind.
  2. 2. If you want to keep the carb count of a recipe low, only substitute products with the same or similar carb count. For example, you could use something like corn starch to thicken a recipe, but the carbohydrate total will be MUCH higher than a version with xanthan gum.
  3.  Be careful with coconut flour! If you are making substitutions, remember that you only need about 25% coconut flour as you would other flours.  Coconut flour also requires much more moisture (especially eggs) in order to bake correctly. If you don’t add enough moisture to hydrate the coconut flour, your baked goods might be too dry.
  4. Most recipes can be improved with a mix of keto flours.

Almond Flour

Almond flour is one of the best keto alternatives to regular flour. It’s grain-free, low-carb, and widely available. 

Almond flour nutrition: Almond Flour is higher in fat, low in carbs, and moderate in protein. A 1/4 serving (28 grams) of almond flour has around 160 calories, 6 grams of carbs and 3 grams of fiber. This means that almond flour has 3 net carbs per serving.

You can find almond flour in natural “almond meal” and blanched varieties.  Blanched almond meal has the skin removed before grinding. For keto baking, you’ll want to look for a blanched almond flour with a super-fine grind.

Almond flour is available in grocery stores and online. If you buy a lot of almond flour, you might find a better deal buying in bulk online.  As far as brands go, I like Bob’s Red Mill or Anthony’s brand. 

You can also make almond flour at home. All you need to make homemade almond flour is blanched almonds (almonds with the skins removed) and a blender or food processor. Simply pulse almonds in a food processor until finely ground.  If you need super-fine almond flour for a recipe, you may want to pass the flour through a seive to remove the larger pieces.

Almond flour is richer and denser than other keto flours (like coconut flour or psyllium husk powder). As such, it works really well in keto cookie recipes.  It can sometimes be substituted in a 1:1 ratio for regular flour — but it’s usually combined with another keto flour like coconut flour.

Recipes with almond flour:

Keto Chocolate Mug Cake (2 Minute Recipe!)

Keto Zucchini Bread with Walnuts

Keto Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Coconut Flour

Coconut flour is made from dehydrated coconut meat.  It has a low fat content and a high fiber content.  (Side note: If you are looking for an easy way to increase your fiber, try baking with coconut flour!)

Coconut flour nutrition: A 2 Tbsp (18 grams) serving of coconut flour has about 60 calories per serving, 2 grams of fat, 8 grams of total carbs, 6 grams of fiber, and 2 grams of protein. This means that coconut flour has only 2 net carbs per serving.

In keto baking recipes, coconut flour soaks up liquid like a sponge. A little coconut flour goes a long way. Since it is so high in fiber, a recipe only needs about 1/4 the amount of coconut flour as it would need normal flour or almond flour. Recipes with coconut flour also call for a higher proportion of eggs and other liquid to hydrate the coconut flour.

Another baking tip:  Coconut flour absorbs liquid like crazy — so let your keto pancake batter sit awhile before cooking to give the coconut flour a chance to absorb the liquid. You’ll find that the batter will get a lot thicker if you let it sit for 2-3 minutes before cooking.

So, if you want to substitute coconut flour in a recipe, make sure to use less coconut flour and more liquid.   Remember, coconut flour cannot be substituted cup-for-cup for regular wheat flour. 

Recipes with coconut flour:

Keto Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Keto Pumpkin Bread

Fluffy Keto Pancakes made with Coconut Flour

Ground Flax Meal

Flax meal is also known as ground flax, ground flaxseeds, or linseed.  Flax meal is high in fiber and Omega 3, and has a subtle nutty taste.  Ground flax meal will gel when mixed with water or other liquid ingredients.

Flax meal nutrition:

One serving of flaxseed meal  (about 2 tablespoons) contains 6 grams of carbohydrates and 6 grams of fiber. This means that flaxseed meal has a net carb count of zero.

Flax meal is not typically used as the main flour replacement, but rather as a supplementary recipe ingredient.  As a side note: flax meal can also be mixed with water to be used as an egg replacement.

Recipes with flax meal:

Vanilla Keto Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

Cinnamon Crumb Cake Keto Donuts

Psyllium Husk Powder

You might know psyllium husk powder as a fiber supplement, but it can also be used in keto baking.  In keto recipes, it is used as a thickener and a binder.  You’ll also find psyllium husk powder as an ingredient in a lot of keto bread recipes.

In low-carb baking recipes, psyllium husk powder absorbs liquid, acting as a binder and a filler.  It also gives a recipe structure and makes the finished bread or cake less crumbly.

Recipes with psyllium husk powder:

Fluffy Keto Pancakes made with Coconut Flour

Keto Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

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