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Difference between Flour and Cornstarch

Difference between Flour and Cornstarch

Both flour and cornstarch are used for thickening, but they have different properties. Cornstarch is more soluble in cold water and forms a smoother sauce than flour. Flour also makes a thicker sauce, but it has a rougher texture. Cornstarch also takes on a slightly sweet flavor when cooked. For this reason, cornstarch is often used in desserts. The main difference between the two thickeners is that flour needs to be cooked for a longer time to achieve the desired thickness, while cornstarch can be added directly to hot liquid without affecting the taste.

What is Flour?

Flour is a powder made by grinding wheat, rye, oats, or another grain. It is the main ingredient in bread, pastry, and pasta. Flour is also used to make sauces, soups, and baby food. Flour is made up of carbohydrates and protein. The carbohydrates in flour are called starch. Flour also contains vitamins and minerals. The type of flour you use depends on the recipe you are making. For example, bread flour has more protein and makes chewy bread. Cake flour has less protein and makes light, fluffy cakes. All-purpose flour can be used for many different things because it has a medium amount of protein.

What is Cornstarch?

Cornstarch is a type of starch that is derived from corn. It is a white powder that is used to thicken sauces and as a binder in many baked goods. Cornstarch is made by milling the starchy endosperm of the corn kernel. The resulting powder is then sifted to remove any remaining bran or germ. Cornstarch is cooked in water to form a paste, which can then be used to thicken or bind ingredients together. It can also be used as a coating for fried foods. Cornstarch is a gluten-free ingredient and is often used as an alternative to flour in gluten-free recipes. When stored in an airtight container, cornstarch can last for up to two years.

Difference between Flour and Cornstarch

Flour and cornstarch are both key ingredients in many recipes.

  • They are both powders made from grinding-up plants, but the plants they are made from are different.
  • Flour is made from grinding up wheat, while cornstarch is made from the endosperm of the corn kernel.
  • This difference in plant source gives flour and cornstarch different properties.
  • Flour is higher in protein than cornstarch, which gives it more structure and makes it better for baked goods like bread and cookies.
  • Cornstarch is lower in protein and has a higher starch content, which makes it more thickening power and makes it better for sauces and gravies.

Knowing when to use flour and when to use cornstarch will help you create delicious dishes that turn out just the way you want them to.


Cornstarch is a great thickener for sauces, soups, and gravies. It can also be used as a coating for chicken or fish. Flour, on the other hand, is better for batters and doughs because it contains gluten which helps to create structure. Gluten-free flours like rice flour or almond flour are good choices for baking.

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