How much gluten-free flour equals regular flour?

Quick Answer

There is no universal conversion for substituting gluten-free flour for regular, wheat-based flour. The specific amounts will vary depending on the type of gluten-free flour used. However, as a general guideline:

  • For bread baking, use 120% as much gluten-free flour as the recipe calls for regular flour. So if the recipe calls for 3 cups of regular flour, use 3.6 cups gluten-free flour.
  • For cakes and cookies, use 110% as much gluten-free flour. So if the recipe calls for 2 cups regular flour, use 2.2 cups gluten-free flour.

Always begin by replacing the regular flour in a recipe with an equal amount of gluten-free flour. Then you can adjust the quantities as needed based on the results. Gluten-free flours lack the gluten found in regular wheat flour, so they may need a higher ratio to achieve the proper texture.

Gluten Content in Regular vs. Gluten-Free Flour

Regular, wheat-based flours contain gluten, a protein that provides structure and elasticity in baked goods. Gluten allows dough to stretch and rise properly for light and airy results.

In contrast, gluten-free flours are made from grains and starches that do not contain gluten, such as:

  • Rice
  • Corn
  • Potato
  • Tapioca
  • Sorghum
  • Arrowroot
  • Buckwheat
  • Coconut
  • Almond
  • Bean

While these alternatives are safe for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, the lack of gluten changes the texture and performance of gluten-free doughs and batters. More flour is often needed to provide structure without the gluten.

Factors That Affect Gluten-Free Flour Amounts

Several factors impact how much gluten-free flour equals regular flour in recipes:

Type of Gluten-Free Flour

There are many different types of gluten-free flour blends and grain flours, each with their own properties. The amount of flour needed can vary greatly depending on the specific blend or grain used.

Some examples:

  • All-purpose gluten-free flour blends – Tend to perform the most similarly to wheat flour in recipes. May only need slightly more than a 1:1 substitution.
  • Almond flour – Very heavy and dense. Use about half the amount called for of regular flour.
  • Coconut flour – Very absorbent. Use only about 1/4 to 1/3 the amount of regular flour.

Type of Recipe

How much gluten-free flour to substitute depends partly on whether you are making breads, cookies, cakes or other baked goods.

Breads often require the most flour for structure since they need to rise and develop an elastic crumb. Cookies can tolerate much more variance since they do not depend as much on gluten formation.

Moisture Content

Gluten-free flours absorb more moisture than regular wheat flours. Using the exact same flour amount can lead to dry, crumbly results.

Increasing the flour ratio compensates for the extra moisture absorption. Exactly how much more will depend on the specific recipe and other liquid ingredients used.

Binding Agents

Adding binding agents like xanthan gum, guar gum, eggs or gelatin can help improve the structure of gluten-free baked goods. With these binders, you may be able to use closer to a 1:1 flour ratio.

Presence of Other Gluten-Free Flours

Recipes using a blend of different gluten-free flours require different ratios. A blend of several gluten-free flours creates a better balance of proteins and starches for mimicking wheat flour.

Single grain flours like rice flour may need a higher quantity than a blended flour.

Guidelines for Substituting Gluten-Free Flour

Here are some general guidelines for how much gluten-free flour to use in place of regular flour:


Use 120% to 140% as much gluten-free flour. For example:

  • 1 cup regular flour = 1 1⁄4 to 1 1⁄3 cups gluten-free flour
  • 2 cups regular flour = 2 1⁄2 to 2 2⁄3 cups gluten-free flour
  • 3 cups regular flour = 3 3⁄4 to 4 1⁄4 cups gluten-free flour

This ratio provides enough structure and bulk to get breads and pizza crusts to rise properly. Xanthan or guar gum also helps boost elasticity.


Use 110% to 120% as much gluten-free flour. For example:

  • 1 cup regular flour = 1 1⁄10 to 1 1⁄5 cups gluten-free flour
  • 2 cups regular flour = 2 1⁄4 to 2 1⁄2 cups gluten-free flour
  • 3 cups regular flour = 3 1⁄3 to 3 3⁄4 cups gluten-free flour

The slightly higher gluten-free flour amount accounts for moisture absorption. Cookies are more forgiving than breads, so a lower ratio works.


Use 110% as much gluten-free flour. For example:

  • 1 cup regular flour = 1 1⁄10 cups gluten-free flour
  • 2 cups regular flour = 2 1⁄4 cups gluten-free flour
  • 3 cups regular flour = 3 1⁄3 cups gluten-free flour

The extra flour helps keep cakes tender and moist rather than gummy. But too much flour can make them dry. Xanthan gum also helps bind gluten-free cakes.

Pie Crusts and Pastries

Use 110% to 120% as much gluten-free flour. For example:

  • 1 cup regular flour = 1 1⁄10 to 1 1⁄5 cups gluten-free flour
  • 2 cups regular flour = 2 1⁄4 to 2 1⁄2 cups gluten-free flour
  • 3 cups regular flour = 3 1⁄3 to 3 3⁄4 cups gluten-free flour

Pastry dough needs extra flour for flakiness. Using a blend of both starch and protein flours mimics the texture of wheat flour.

Quick Breads and Muffins

Use equal amounts of gluten-free flour. A 1:1 substitution works well for quick breads like muffins that use baking powder or baking soda rather than yeast for rising. The mixing method helps develop structure, so extra flour is often not necessary.

All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour Blends

Use 110% to 120% as much all-purpose gluten-free flour blend. For example:

  • 1 cup regular flour = 1 1⁄10 to 1 1⁄5 cups gluten-free flour
  • 2 cups regular flour = 2 1⁄4 to 2 1⁄2 cups gluten-free flour
  • 3 cups regular flour = 3 1⁄3 to 3 3⁄4 cups gluten-free flour

All-purpose blends act the most like wheat flour, but still benefit from slightly higher ratios for binding and moisture absorption.

Sample Flour Substitution Amounts

To demonstrate, here is how much of some specific gluten-free flours equals 1 cup of regular, wheat flour:

Gluten-Free Flour Amount to Replace 1 Cup Wheat Flour
Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Flour 1 cup
King Arthur Measure for Measure Flour 1 cup
Betty Crocker All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour 1 1⁄4 cups
Namaste All Purpose Gluten Free Flour 1 1⁄4 cups
Better Batter All Purpose Flour 1 1⁄3 cups
Cup4Cup All Purpose Flour 1 1⁄3 cups
Krusteaz All Purpose Gluten Free Flour 1 1⁄3 cups
Rice Flour (superfine) 1 1⁄2 cups
Sorghum Flour 1 cup
Potato Starch 1⁄2 cup
Tapioca Flour/Starch 1⁄2 cup
Coconut Flour 1⁄4 cup + 2 Tablespoons
Almond Flour 1⁄2 cup

As shown, flour blends designed to substitute 1:1 for wheat flour require the same amount. Flours with more moisture absorption like rice flour need more. Absorbent coconut flour needs much less.

Adjusting Other Ingredients When Using Gluten-Free Flours

Substituting gluten-free flours often requires adjustments to other ingredients besides just increasing the flour amount:

  • Liquids – May need slight increases due to moisture absorption
  • Leaveners – May need extra baking powder or yeast to account for lack of gluten
  • Binders – Adding xanthan gum, guar gum or egg whites creates structure
  • Sugars or fats – Extra amounts can improve moisture and tenderness
  • Proteins – Extra eggs, milk or yogurt add binding proteins

Start by only switching out the flours, then tweak the other ingredients as needed. The exact amounts to adjust will depend on the specific recipe.

Tips for Converting Recipes to Gluten-Free

When substituting gluten-free flours in your recipes, keep these tips in mind:

  • Begin by replacing wheat flour at a 1:1 ratio, then increase amount if needed
  • Use flour blends or a mix of flours like rice and tapioca for better results
  • Add binding agents like xanthan gum to mimic gluten
  • Adjust leaveners and liquid to account for flour differences
  • Don’t overmix batters and doughs to prevent gummy textures
  • Expect differences in texture – gluten-free baked goods won’t be exactly the same
  • Work in stages when increasing flour amounts – add a little at a time
  • Take notes on any adjustments you make so you can replicate results

With some trial and error, you can successfully convert any wheat flour recipe to be gluten free. Be patient and make small tweaks until you achieve the desired consistency.

Is Weight or Volume Better for Measuring Gluten-Free Flour?

Many experts recommend weighing gluten-free flours rather than using cup measurements for more accuracy. Since gluten-free flours have different densities than wheat flour, a “cup” can vary significantly between brands.

Weighing the flours removes this source of variability. You can still use cup measurements, but be aware your results will depend on how densely that specific flour was packed into the cup.

When baking with gluten-free flours:

  • Weigh flours for a precise gluten-free flour to regular flour ratio
  • Use the same brand of flour to ensure your cup measurements are consistent
  • Spoon flour into cups and level off for uniformity – do not pack or compress
  • Make note of the brand and exact cup amount measured for each flour

Sample Gluten-Free Flour Weight Measurements

Here is the approximate weight of some gluten-free flours for 1 cup at various pack levels:

Gluten-Free Flour Weight per 1 Cup
All-purpose gluten free flour blend (loose) 4 oz / 120 g
All-purpose gluten free flour blend (packed) 5 1⁄2 oz / 160 g
Rice flour (loose) 3 1⁄2 oz / 100 g
6 oz / 170 g
Almond flour (loose) 3 oz / 90 g
Almond flour (packed) 4 1⁄2 oz / 130 g
Coconut flour (loose) 2 oz / 60 g
Coconut flour (packed) 3 1⁄2 oz / 100 g

Using a kitchen scale removes the variables of how tightly the flour is packed into cups. Just zero out the scale with the bowl on it, then add flour until desired weight is reached.

Key Takeaways

  • Gluten-free flours typically need to be used in higher quantities than wheat flours to achieve comparable results.
  • Exact gluten-free to wheat flour ratios depend on the specific recipe, flour types used and presence of binding agents.
  • General substitution guidelines are:
    • Breads: 120% – 140% gluten-free flour
    • Cookies: 110% – 120% gluten-free flour
    • Cakes: 110% gluten-free flour
    • Pastries: 110% – 120% gluten-free flour
    • Quick breads: 100% gluten-free flour
  • Adjusting other ingredients like liquids and leaveners is also often necessary when using gluten-free flours.
  • Weighing flours provides more accurate measurements than cups when converting recipes to gluten-free.
  • Expect differences in the texture of finished gluten-free baked goods compared to wheat-based recipes.

The Bottom Line

There is no perfect substitution ratio for replacing wheat flour with gluten-free flour. The appropriate amount of gluten-free flour to use depends on the specific flour blend or grain flour, recipe type, presence of binders, and other ingredients in the formula.

Use the provided flour ratio guidelines, adjust as needed based on results, and make a note of any successful alterations to the recipe. With practice, you can learn to re-create all your favorite baked goods gluten-free.

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