If you are anything like us, then cooking and baking can be very therapeutic for you. You can try out new recipes, make delicious meals and snacks, and enjoy having friends and family over for dinner.

But, there’s nothing worse than spending hours preparing an exquisite dinner to find that you are out of one vital ingredient, that you really cannot go without. 

All-purpose flour is often one of those vital ingredients, and if you cannot find it in your cupboards, then you are in trouble. If you are half way through cooking food, then you have no time to go to the store!

You will have to substitute something else into the meal. So, what can you substitute for all-purpose flour? 

What Can I Substitute for All-Purpose Flour?

All-purpose flour is one of the most commonly used flours in most recipes, and so finding yourself without it can put you in a little bit of a tough spot. Luckily, you can use other ingredients or types of flours in its place. 

All-purpose flour is basically just a blend of soft and hard flour. This means that it is soft enough to use for baking cakes, but also sturdy enough for making bread and adding it into other recipes.

All-purpose flour is the favored type of flour because of its versatility…the clue is in the name! But, this does not mean that you cannot use other types of flour as a substitute.

As all-purpose flour is a mixture of soft and hard flour, you can simply substitute this with a mixture of soft and hard flours yourself. A soft flour would be the type used in cakes, and a hard flour would be the types used in bread. 

Therefore, if we imagine that you need 1 cup of all-purpose flour, this should weigh about 130 grams. To recreate your own as a substitute, you can use about 60 grams of cake flour:

Swans Down, Cake Flour, 32oz Box (Pack of 2)

,and 70 grams of bread flour:

100% Organic Artisan Bread Flour - 25 lbs - Old World

It really is that simple! 

That being said, depending on the recipe you are using, you may not need to substitute all-purpose flour for a homemade concoction at all. For instance, if you are making bread, pasta, pizza dough or any crusty, harder foods, then you can simply just substitute hard flour instead it.

On the other hand, if you are making pastries, pancakes, cakes or pies, then you can just substitute cake flour instead of all-purpose flour. 

When it comes to substituting all-purpose flour, you can easily just use cake flour:

King Arthur, Unbleached Cake Flour, 32 Ounce

or pastry flour:

Bobs Red Mill Flour, White Pastry Unbleached, 5Pound

However, if you are making something more savory, or need something for making doughs and biscuits, then you are better off using a type of bread flour in that case! 

If you want to try something a little different, then you could also substitute your all-purpose flour for some chickpea flour:

Chickpea Flour • Garbanzo Bean Flour • Family Farmed in Washington State • 100% Desiccant Free • 3 LBS • Non-GMO Project Verified • 100% Non-Irradiated • Certified Kosher Parve • Field Traced • Kraft Bag

or even almond flour:

Blue Diamond Almonds, Almond Flour, Gluten Free, Blanched, Finely Sifted, 1 Lb

Just keep in mind that almond flour will add that hint of nuttiness, so it is probably best left to sweet treats and cake recipes. 

Is Plain Flour and All-Purpose Flour the Same Thing?

Yes, plain flour and all-purpose flour are exactly the same thing, they are just different terms used for it! Plain flour is made with soft wheat, and is low in protein and gluten, which is what makes it perfect for making biscuits, cakes or pastries. 

Plain flour is very simple, and can go well in a myriad of different cooking and baking recipes. For example, if you need a crumbly texture, then you may want to use bread flour instead as a substitute. 

This type of flour is simply plain, white flour without any raising agents. It is for this reason that plain flour is highly versatile and used in many different recipes, but you may notice that some call for all-purpose flour, when the two are exactly the same. 

What Flour Is Most Similar to Plain Flour?

As mentioned above, plain flour is just all-purpose flour, and so all-purpose flour is the most similar, so don’t despair if a recipe asks for plain flour and all you have is all-purpose…they are the same!

However, if you do not have something exactly the same to use, then you will need a flour that is similar enough to substitute it into your recipes.

Luckily, there is a vast range of different flours now available on the market. You could try using almond flour, or quinoa flour:

Naturevibe Botanicals Organic Quinoa Flour, 2lbs | Non-GMO and Gluten Free | Protein Rich [packaging may vary]

oat flour:

Gluten-Free Prairie Toasted Oat Flour, Certified Gluten Free Purity Protocol, Non-GMO, Vegan, 1 Pound

coconut flour:

Healthworks Coconut Flour Unrefined Raw Organic (64 Ounces / 4 Pounds) | Certified Organic | Keto, Vegan & Non- GMO | Protein Based Whole Foods | Pancakes, Waffles, Bread & Other Baked Goods

or even spelt flour:

Nature's Legacy VitaSpelt Non-GMO White Unbleached Spelt Flour 5 lb bag

The main thing that you have to remember is that you cannot substitute plain flour for self raising flour and vice versa. If a recipe calls for plain flour instead of self raising, then you should not use self raising instead, and the same goes for if a recipe wants self raising flour, it is asking for it for a reason.

Plain flour does not have a rising agent, and so your recipe may not turn out as planned if you do not use a suitable substitute. 

What is the healthiest flour substitute?

Some of the healthiest flour substitutes are coconut flour, almond flour, whole wheat flour and quinoa flour.

This is largely due to the fact that most of these will be free of GMO, free of gluten and grains, and are typically a good source of fiber, proteins, fat and minerals.

In addition, whole grain and whole wheat flours are usually unprocessed and refined, which means that there are lots of natural, healthy nutrients to enjoy.