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 diets love 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:
- Tropical Traditions
- Bob’s Red Mill
- Edward & Sons Trading Co (Let’s Do Organic)
- Honeyville Grain
- More Than Alive
- Wilderness Family Naturals
- Digestive Wellness
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 liquids in the batter. Then I blend or mix it once more before I go on to the next step. After I’ve mixed in all the batter ingredients I let the batter sit for a few minutes to allow the coconut flour to absorb the moisture and any liquids in the batter. You will notice the batter thicken a bit after some resting time.
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.
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!