Baking with Coconut Flour

Comfy Belly: Baking with Coconut Flour

From left to right: coconut flakes, shredded coconut, coconut flour (coconut in the background).

Coconut flour is high in fiber and protein, low in carbohydrates, and it’s gluten-free, so you can understand why many folks who follow gluten-free, grain-free lifestyles love coconut flour.

Comfy Belly: Baking with Coconut Flour

It also happens to be faintly sweet, nutritious, and filling. I use it for thickening soups, smoothies, and of course baking.

Occasionally I’m asked if the baked goods using coconut flour taste like coconut, and to my taste buds they don’t, but some do claim to taste it. I’ve found that it depends on the recipe, and raw recipes do carry the flavor more so than baked and cooked recipes using coconut flour. I do sometimes taste a bit of fiber, depending on how much coconut flour I’m adding to a recipe and the other ingredients, but to me that fiber is a good thing.

I don’t have an overriding preference for a brand, but lately I’ve been using Honeyville’s organic coconut flour because I also order their blanched almond flour in bulk. Some coconut flour is whiter than others, and Wilderness Family Naturals says that they have a gentler drying process that leaves their coconut flour whiter than most. I’ve used raw, white, and somewhat yellow coconut flour, and they all work well for me. Your coconut flour should not have any additives though – just pure coconut.

Here are some sources for coconut flour:

I’ve come to enjoy baking with coconut flour because, with enough moisture and eggs, it produces a light, airy muffin or cupcake, which is a nice change from the denser gluten-free flours (especially nut flours).

You won’t need a lot of flour to bake something, but it does require an ingredient to bind it together, which usually means several eggs. And it needs more moisture than usual, which happens to work well with a lot of my recipes because I prefer to use natural liquid sweeteners like honey and maple syrup.

One quick tip about mixing coconut flour in the batter: it usually starts out a bit clumpy, so mix it for a while longer than you normally would mix a batter. You can also sift it a bit before adding it to the mix, or stir it up a bit with a fork to break up the clumps and help the flour absorb the liquid a bit faster. I use a KitchenAid mixer, but any mixer will speed up the de-clumping of the batter; some readers use a food processor to blend the batter.

When a cake or muffin batter includes coconut flour, I try to let the batter sit for a few minutes so the coconut flour can absorb the moisture in the batter. You will notice the batter thicken a bit after some resting time. Then I blend or mix it once more before I go on to the next step.

When baking with coconut flour, there’s a general ratio rule I follow:

  • 1/2 cup of coconut flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of liquid sweetener

This ratio may vary a bit depending on the other ingredients in the recipe, but in general it works for me. Some variations may apply, such as this banana bread made with coconut flour, because the banana brings moisture to the batter as well. And if I’m adding cocoa powder to a recipe, I usually adjust the flour down a notch, or liquid up a notch because cocoa powder also absorbs moisture.

If you’re using dry sweeteners or those that don’t bring much moisture to the batter, the ratio will change. In general, if you’re replacing some flour in a recipe with coconut flour, you’ll want to add an equal amount of a liquid (water, juice, nut milk, or other liquid) for the amount of flour that you replace. For example, if you’re replacing 1/4 cup of almond flour with coconut flour, you’ll want to add another 1/4 cup of liquid to the recipe and possibly an egg or two.

While I usually use cups to measure coconut flour, measuring by weight is technically more accurate. If you prefer measuring ingredients by weight, for my recipes I use this weight for coconut flour:

1/4 cup coconut flour = 26 g

If you have other great sources of coconut flour, or great recipes or tips, please feel free to share them in the comments. Happy baking!

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Posted in Gluten-Free, Paleo, SCD, Tips, Vegetarian, Wheat-free  |  47 Comments

47 Responses to Baking with Coconut Flour

  1. cmh says:

    Have you had any success using a binder other than eggs? Just about all my attempts have failed. As one who is on GAPS but is allergic to eggs (also to most nuts making nut flours not an option for me) I would love to be able to bake with coconut flour but have not found an adequate binder to use, any advice you have would be very much appreciated!

  2. Sherry says:

    Thanks for this! I have only used coconut flour a few times, and I’m trying to get more practice with it.

  3. Bev Wilson says:

    A suitable alternative to eggs is chia seeds moistened in water for about 10 minutes They become really gel like and I believe the ratio per egg is 1 Tablespoon dry seed, but you may want to check that on the internet. I have not used this myself but read this through other sites and on facebook. And you know what they say, If it’s on facebook it has to be true, lol.

  4. I love coconut flour! It is such a great grain-free flour to use, and has a lot of nutrients. But…it is rather tricky to use

  5. I have tried to use the chia gel as a replacement for 2 out of the 4 eggs in your lemon poppyseed coconut muffin recipe and they came out rather dry and not as good as when I used the four eggs. Keep in mind that chia seeds also absorb ALOT of water. Oh I also meant to ask: do you have a banana bread/muffin recipe that uses just coconut flour? I don’t have access to good almond flour where I live.

    • Erica says:

      Maria, not yet, but it’s inevitable :). I think banana and coconut flour would make a great banana bread/muffin. Stay tuned.

    • Anne says:

      You can order blanched almond flour on line at JK Gourmet, check them out. It comes in 5 lb bags,, well worth it even with shipping costs. Good luck!

      • Erica says:

        thanks for reminding me. I love their books. I added their links to the almond flour baking page and the links page. Best wishes, Erica

  6. Thank you for this comprehensive yet concise posting about coconut flour. I printed it out and will file it in my SCD Diet notebook. This is the kind of info that isn’t readily available.

  7. Pingback: Banana bread with dark chocolate, coconut & almonds is how I learned I no longer like butter. | the happiest plate

  8. Karista says:

    Erica, so great meeting you at PCC the other day. Love, love this post on coconut flour! Can’t wait to try the recipes, especially now that Fall is on the horizon and baking season will commence soon. What a treat for my little gal. She will also love your site. I will share your site with the PCC Cooks staff. I know they will love your recipes. :). Delicious Wishes!

  9. Hannah says:

    Made this yesterday. I had “freezer-bananas” to use up and I wanted to try a new flour. This was my first time using both almond and coconut flours and I love everything about them! Their texture, their smell, their flavor. This banana bread was light and delicious. It didn’t seem to rise at all and I don’t know if it was supposed to, but I might put a bit of xanthan gum in it next time to help it out a bit. Some friends of mine tasted the bread and said they never would’ve thought it was anything other than normal banana bread! It got high marks from everyone. I look forward to using my coconut flour and almond flour recipes in the future!

  10. I had a question about coconut flour. I just recently bought some from WFN and I feel like it is more fluffy. Have you noticed a difference between bobs coconut flour (very dense) and WFN. thanks :)

  11. Chef Rachel says:

    I have found through testing many recipes that the brand of coconut flour makes a big difference. I weighed 1/2 cup portions of four different brands and they all had different weights. The same recipe made with different brands turned out very different. I have gotten the best results with Tropical Traditions Coconut Flour. Recipes that turned out well w/that brand did not come out as well with the other brands I tried. I am guessing that others have had the same frustration that I and my cooking assistant experienced.

    • Erica says:

      I agree, Rachel. And I’ve been using TT the most lately. It’s what I started with, and what I came back to. I don’t find the recipes varying that much, just the consistency of baked goods.

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  13. Mari says:

    Hi Erica. Have you tried frying with coconut flour? I have been thinking about deep-frying some banannas and coating them with coconut flour. But, I am not sure if coconut flour will fry well.

    • Erica says:

      I haven’t. It should work though, but if you’re not using granulated sugar, you’ll need to coat the bananas with honey or some other sweetener to get something resembling a crunchy outer shell. I think it’s the fried sugar that helps to make it crispy.

  14. Pingback: Banana Bread – Paleo | A LIttle of Everything

  15. Nicole says:

    I’m just beginning the journey have a grain free diet for myself. For my family it’ll be gluten free with grains sparingly. I have a couple recipes my family loves and would love help on converting them to grain and sugar free. Could you help me with that?

    • Erica says:

      Nicole, I’d love to hear about them. I can’t promise I’ll be able to get around to it right away, but I love being inspired and knowing about readers’ favorite recipes. It’s a learning process for me as well.

  16. Jacob Carstens says:

    Hi,
    I have accuired 4 kg of organic coconut flour and wondering what to do with it I hope you can answer this:

    - How is it made ? Is it possible to blend it into coconut butter – like you can do with dessicated coconut ?
    Love from Copenhagen :-)

    • Erica says:

      sorry, I missed this post! Dessicated coconut is a bit stripped of moisture and fat so you probably won’t get good results using it to make butter. Love from Seattle!

  17. Angela McBroom says:

    How do you replace the honey with truvia, stevia or dry sugars? Add more water? Use less sugar? What is the ratio for those verses honey?

    • Erica says:

      Sorry I missed this post earlier. This is a tough one to answer because it will depend on the brand of stevia you use. I would check with the packaging on the brand of stevia. Dry and wet sweeteners may change a recipe so sometimes you can replace it with a 1:1 ratio, but not always.

  18. Erica says:

    Sarah, vile is a very strong word. What’s normal? just curious. Which recipe did you use?

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  20. Sarah says:

    Hi Erica, I’m from Europe where we usually weigh our ingredients for baking and I find it hard to be precise with cup measurements, especially when using coconut flour, which varies so much in volume depending on the brand. I was wondering if you would be able to tell me what a cup of coconut flour weighs in your recipes? Just want to be as accurate as possible to ensure my best chance of success! Love your webite, by the way! Many thanks, Sarah

    • Erica says:

      Hi Sarah! I’ve been wanting to do this for a while—post on the differences in measurements in different countries. I’m trying to add weights on all or most ingredients going forward. To help you for now, 1/4 cup coconut flour = 26 g; 1/4 cup of almond flour = 24 g

      • Sarah says:

        Thanks Erica, greatly appreciate you getting back to me about this. I will use those weight calculations from now on in your recipes, I had been using larger weight conversions so this will be a big help! Thanks again, Sarah

  21. Naomi says:

    Hi there, thanks for all the effort you put into your blog! How do you factor the butter/coconut oil ratio into the above? I have just made a cake to the ratio of 8 eggs, 2/3 cup honey (reduced fom one as we dont need it that sweet), 1/2 cup cacao and 500g butter – beautifully light and airy however too buttery, left grease on fingers – plan to reduce by 50 then 100g next time

  22. Naomi says:

    Oops and 1 cup coconut flour – is a choc mud cake. I see your cupcake recipe doesnt have any butter!

  23. Pingback: Banana Bread (Using Coconut & Almond Flour) | Miss Foodie

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