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How To Bake with Coconut Flour – 12 Great Tips

by Jeanette on March 27, 2013 · 18 Comments
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Marbled Coconut Flour Cupcakes © Jeanette's Healthy Living

Today, I hosted a Google+ Hangout on How To Bake With Coconut Flour. My guests were Bob’s Red Mill‘s recipe specialist, Sarah House, and a group of talented food bloggers, Carolyn from All Day I Dream About Food, Cara from Cara’s Cravings , Jane from The Heritage Cook, Lexie from Lexie’s Kitchen, and Kelly from The Spunky Coconut.

We asked and answered lots of questions, and I wanted to summarize some of the tips we shared and learned from the session.

For all the details, watch the video of our hangout.


  • Coconut flour is a gluten-free/grain-free flour and has lots of fiber, protein and iron (coconut flour has 60% fiber; 56% of that is insoluble fiber; 40% protein).
  • Coconut flour attracts a lot of water and fat which will keep your gluten-free baked goods moist for a lot longer (gluten-free baked goods have a tendency to dry out very quickly).
  • Coconut flour recipes typically call for a lot of eggs; however, if you’re egg-free, try the following egg substitutes: ground flaxseed or chia seed + water;  or arrowroot and tapioca starch. You’re looking to replace the structure that eggs provide.
  • For fewer calories and less fat, leave out some of the egg yolks and use the egg whites – they will provide the structure.
  • If you are adding coconut flour to a gluten-free flour blend or substituting it for flour in a regular recipe, Sarah suggests using coconut flour for up to 20% of that blend. You will need to increase the liquid and/or fat combination by about 20% (fat preserves the long term moisture of the final baked product).
  • You can use either liquid or solid fats (e.g., coconut oil) with coconut flour; if you use liquid fat in place of solid fat in a recipe, you’ll need to reduce the liquid in the recipe by 1/4.
  • Recipes that work best with coconut flour include pancakes and tender pastries (cupcakes, muffins, cakes, quick breads).
  • Using 100% coconut flour doesn’t work well if you’re trying to achieve crispy cookies (they are on the soft chewy side) nor does it work in yeast raised bread (at least we haven’t figured out how to make it work yet); however, combining coconut flour with almond flour or other flours helps to achieve a crispier texture.
  • Try using coconut flour as a thickener in soups and stews (Cara’s done this), as well as in frosting (gives it structure so it pipes nicely).
  • When using a liquid sweetener (e.g., honey, agave), use it in the same proportion as you would use in a regular recipe, but it will affect the liquid content of the recipe (so you may need to reduce some of the liquid in your recipe, e.g., water, milk); for a low-carb sweetener, Carolyn uses granulated erythritol which adds bulk (doesn’t attract moisture) unlike Splenda or powdered stevia. Kelly uses coconut sugar and stevia, as well as honey and applesauce for sweeteners.
  • To give baked goods more rise and structure when using coconut flour, try adding whey protein powder or psyllium husk powder; vinegar and baking soda can also help add more rise.
  • When storing coconut flour, it’s best to keep it airtight and freeze it since coconut flour absorbs moisture.

We certainly learned a lot from our session today!

Here are some fun things on our list to try following today’s session: using coconut flour in coconut whipped cream to give it more structure; developing a crispy cookie or oatmeal style cookie using coconut flour, and successfully making yeasted bread using 100% coconut flour (perhaps try using whey protein powder or psyllium husk powder).

As promised, here are some coconut flour recipes to get everyone started on their coconut flour baking journey:

Cookie Dough Stuffed Pancakes
Chocolate Chocolate Chip Pancakes
Totally Coconut Doughnuts
5 Minute Mug Brownie
Chocolate Marbled Cupcakes
Chocolate Glazed Banana Cupcakes
Chocolate Coconut Flour Cupcakes
Sweet Potato Pie Truffles
Monster Cookies
Low Carb Panini Recipe
Coconut Milk Bread
Onion Poppy Seed and Cinnamon Raisin Bagels
Bob’s Red Mill Coconut Flour Recipes

Other resources:
Cooking with Coconut Flour by Bruce Fife
The Spunky Coconut Grain-Free Baked Goods and Desserts: Gluten-Free, Casein-Free, and Often Egg-Free
The Spunky Coconut Cookbook, 2nd Edition: Gluten-free, Casein-free, Sugar-free
The Paleo Chocolate Lover’s Cookbook (available for pre-order now for 34% off)

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  1. Sorry I missed the hangout, but lots of great tips here! I’m intrigued by using the coconut flour as a thickener…Thanks for sharing!!

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Sorry we missed you EA – I’ve never used coconut flour as a thickener before either – going to have to give that a try.

  2. Thanks you for this great post! I was sorry to have missed the hangout, but will be watching the video above. I’ve wanted to play with coconut flour for awhile, and this makes me want to leap right in.

  3. I couldn’t attend the hangout but these are AMAZING tips! Bookmarked for future coconut flour baking use!

  4. Thanks so much! I’ve used coconut flour in pancakes and muffins with good results, and now with these tips I’m looking forward to trying some cookies!

  5. Jeanette – I missed this yesterday but just watched it now. Thanks for hosting – I learned a lot and have just bookmarked some of the recipes you posted! :)

  6. Great tips and thanks for sharing it. I’ve been baking with coconut flour but still learning the best method to incorporate it better in baked goods. I’m sure a lot of the tips here would help me experiment further :)

  7. Jessica says:

    I saw the March 26 article about the use of coconut flour. I am making the switch from just gluten-free/dairy-free to getting rid of sugar and most gf flours. I only want to use coconut, quinoa, sorghum, and bean flours, etc. (no rice or corn). I am also very allergic to tree nuts, especially almonds! I also seem to have an allergic reaction to yeast. I have been experimenting with apple cider vinegar as a yeast alternative for breads. For sweeteners. I’m switching to xylitol, stevia, agave, and honey. The problem I encounter is finding recipes with the above flours without nut flour. Do you have any recommendations on what of the above flours combine well with coconut flour in baking (breads, muffins, cakes, cookies)? In a nut-shell (pardon the pun:) ) I am trying to eat closer to the Paleo diet.
    Thanks for any suggestions!

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Jessica, coconut flour is one of the trickiest flours to work with. From my experience, it’s best to mix it with other flours if you’re trying to achieve a lighter cakier consistency (Bob’s Red Mill test kitchen suggests using 20% coconut flour, 80% other flours in recipes; increasing liquid by 20%) . Cookies tend not to crisp up when made with just 100% coconut flour, that’s why most recipes you see will include starches or rice flour. Elana’s Pantry (http://www.elanaspantry.com/tag/coconut-flour/) The Spunky Coconut (http://www.thespunkycoconut.com) have recipes using coconut flour (some that use just coconut flour) that you might want to check out.

  8. Thanks so much for this fantastic talk. I’m awaiting my first batch of coconut flour and I can’t wait to start baking with it, but I was also apprehensive as I know it’s a totally different ball game from other flours.
    Really brilliant and informative!
    Thanks again,

  9. Lisa Pfefferle says:

    I baked chic chip cookies with pecan flour, coconut flour and a small bit of regular flour.
    While the taste is great the texture the next day was soft and mushy. What can I add to
    get a crispy cookie?

    • Lisa, coconut flour tends to make cookies soft. I’ve found rice flour makes crispier cookies, so perhaps use just a little coconut flour.

    • Lisa, why the flour blend? I just only coconut flour while blending in a half cup of Hemp Protein Powder for added punch. Then, coconut sugar, real french butter, eggs, baking soda, anything organic as an extra taste (Vanilla, banana etc.) and organic dark chocolate chips. A day+ in the fridge and 16 minutes at 350 makes me a hero to anyone who wants to swing by. If I add a little flax I actually lose weight from them haha

      • Leslie BUCHER and family says:

        I see this post was from quite awhile ago. I was wanting to ask Nik if I could get her ‘recipe’ for crisp cookies with just coconut flour. Same proportions of flour to fat as traditional cookies? Or scaled way back as per usual with coconut flour? Thanks for any help finding Nik!:-)

  10. You can absolutely make crispy cookies with coconut flour. Just let the dough sit in the fridge for four days and then bake it a minute or two longer than usual (keeping a watchful eye). I usually make enough dough to last through several days of cookie bliss and each day the cookies become increasingly firm after baking.

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