Almond flour and all-purpose flour are both popular baking ingredients, but the two aren’t exactly interchangeable. The main difference between the flour is in their gluten content. All-purpose flour has a high gluten content, and almond flour is gluten-free.
Almond flour adds more moisture to baked goods than all-purpose flour does because almond flour has a higher fat content. Goods baked with almond flour have a nutty flavor, while all-purpose flour doesn’t add flavor to the finished product. Almond flour also has a shorter shelf life.
Comparison Chart: Is Almond Flour the Same as All-Purpose Flour?
|Almond Flour||All-Purpose Flour|
|Ingredients||Ground blanched almonds||Wheat grain|
|How to cook with it||Use in baked goods||Use in baked goods|
|Background||Originated in the Middle East||First used in ancient Egypt|
|Health and nutrition||Low carb, high-fat||High carb, low-fat|
Almond Flour Explained
Almond flour is a gluten-free flour made from ground blanched almonds, and used in baking. Known as a healthy alternative to all-purpose flour, almond flour is popular with people who have food allergies such as gluten intolerance.
The only ingredient in almond flour is blanched almonds, ground to a fine powder.
How to Bake With Almond Flour
Almond flour can be used as a gluten-free, low-carb substitute for all-purpose flour in many breads, cakes, and pastry recipes, but the two flours aren’t always interchangeable. Almond flour has a higher fat content, giving baked goods a heavier, greasier texture.
When replacing all-purpose flour with almond flour, use less almond flour (¾:1) and add an extra egg or a binding agent like xanthan gum.
Follow this easy recipe for scrumptious low-carb, gluten-free chocolate chip cookies:
- 1 cup almond flour
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons water
- Preheat the oven to 350°F
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
- Place the almond flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and whisk lightly
- Add the water and mix with a spatula
- Drop dough onto the cookie sheet using a tablespoon, and leave room for spreading
- Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown
- Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes on the cookie sheet, then cool completely on a wire rack
- Store in an airtight container or munch away
Almond flour, made by grinding blanched almonds to a fine powder, was first made centuries ago in the Middle East, where it was used as a staple baking ingredient. Later introduced to Italy and then to the rest of Europe, almond flour became the key ingredient in the popular cookie known as the macaron.
Because of its low carbohydrate and zero gluten content, almond flour has become popular in recent years with people suffering from allergies and following special diets.
Price & Availability
Almond flour is available in most supermarkets and specialty health stores, and can also be bought online. Expect to pay from $8 to $10 for 1 pound of almond flour.
Almond flour is a protein-rich, low-carb alternative to other flour. One cup of almond flour contains 600 calories, consisting of 66% fat, 16% carbs, 16% protein, and 2% trace elements.
Because it’s gluten-free, almond flour is a healthy choice for celiac-disease sufferers and others with gluten allergies.
All-Purpose Flour Explained
All-purpose flour is made from finely ground wheat grain and is filled with carbohydrates and gluten. Low in protein and fat, all-purpose flour is used for baking breads, cakes, cookies, pastries, and muffins. This flour is also useful for thickening sauces and dredging fish or chicken before frying.
All-purpose flour, also known as white flour, is made from refined, ground, bleached wheat grain.
How to Bake With All-Purpose Flour
All-purpose flour is the main ingredient in many baked goods and is combined with eggs, sugar, butter, oil, and other ingredients to make cakes, breads, cookies, and pastries. Measure the exact quantity of flour in the recipe to get the perfect texture and density.
Because all-purpose flour has a low fat content, many recipes include a fat like oil or butter to add moisture. Eggs are usually included to act as a binding agent, and because all-purpose flour has no flavor, flavorings like vanilla extract are added to improve the taste.
All-purpose flour can be traced back to ancient Egypt, where the flour was hand-made using a stone mortar and pestle. With this ingredient’s popularity spreading to Europe, and then to the rest of the world, all-purpose flour soon became the key ingredient in many baked goods.
In 1845, Henry Jones patented all-purpose flour, which now has other nutrients, like riboflavin, added to it.
Price & Availability
You can find all-purpose flour in any supermarket or baking store, as well as on many online sites. This ingredient is cheap, costing between $2 and $3 for a 5-pound bag.
All-purpose flour is high in gluten and consists mainly of carbohydrates. One cup contains 455 calories, made up of 83% carbs, 11% protein, and 6% fat.
Choosing All-Purpose Flour vs Almond Flour
All-purpose flour and almond flour are both used in baked goods, and almond flour contains more nutrients and fewer carbohydrates than all-purpose flour. All-purpose flour gives a fluffier texture to baked goods but can be substituted with almond flour with a few minor adaptations to the recipe.
Almond flour contains more calories and has a higher fat and protein content than all-purpose flour, and anyone following a low-carb or gluten-free diet should use almond instead of all-purpose flour.
In many recipes, coconut flour, oat four, and flaxseed flour offer other healthy options similar to almond flour and can be used in place of all-purpose flour.