Cornflour vs Cornstarch – What Are The Differences

Cornflour vs Cornstarch - Differences
8 min reading time

If you’ve ever tried to make a recipe that called for “cornflour” but ended up in the baking aisle of your grocery store looking at both cornstarch and cornflour, you’re not alone! For many home cooks, it can be a bit confusing as to what each ingredient does and how similar – or different – they may actually be.

In this blog post we will cut through any confusion by taking an in-depth look at these two starches so that the next time you have either one on your list, you’ll know exactly which one you should reach for!

What is Cornflour?

Cornflour is a type of flour that is made from ground corn kernels. It is commonly used in baking and as a thickening agent for soups and sauces.

It has a slightly opaque texture and is used to thicken sauces, baked goods, and other dishes. Its neutral flavor means that it is ideal for adding texture and creaminess when used correctly.

The main difference between cornflour and other types of flour is the amount of starch it contains. Cornflour is mostly composed of starch, while wheat flour also contains gluten. This makes cornflour ideal for baking as it produces a lighter texture.

Cornflour has been used for centuries – archaeological records show that Native Americans were likely the first to try it out in cooking.

It gives dishes a delicious, wholesome feel that can’t be achieved with other types of flour. Cornflour can create a smooth, glossy finish when used as a thickener.

It is important to note that cornflour should not be used interchangeably with other types of flour, as it will not produce the same results.

Image with What is Cornflour.

What is Cornstarch?

Cornstarch is a pantry staple present in a lot of kitchens around the world. It is a readily available, affordable, finely ground powder made from corn kernels.

Commonly used as a thickening agent for sauces and gravies, it has many other versatile applications. Aside from its kitchen uses, cornstarch can be used for simple science experiments and even help remove troublesome stains from fabrics.

It also has natural beauty uses such as adding shine to hair or facilitating the application of face masks. Its use even expands beyond everyday scenarios, as it can be found in diverse products like candy coatings or diaper liners.

Cornstarch has rightfully earned its title as an indispensable item in households!

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Cornflour vs Cornstarch: Key Differences

Trying to differentiate between cornflour and cornstarch can be a confusing task! Although they are both derived from milled corn, the two products have different textures and uses.

Cornflour is made of the entire kernel, meaning it has a more coarse grind that contains some traces of fiber – whereas cornstarch is made from only the starchy parts of corn, making it much finer. This means that cornflour contains some of the hull and germ, while cornstarch is just the starchy centre. As a result, cornflour has a slightly different nutritional profile than cornstarch.

If you’re looking for a thickening agent in savory dishes such as sauces and gravies, you’ll need cornstarch; but for cakes or pies, using this refined powder will produce an overly-tough texture – cornflour works best in these applications.

So if you ever find yourself veering away from using either substance to its full potential, don’t worry – just double check what purpose your recipe needs it for!

Cornflour vs Cornstarch: Differences between cornflour and cornstarch in terms of various categories are as follows:


Corn is the primary ingredient for both cornflour and cornstarch. The grinding of whole corn kernels into a powdery consistency yields corn flour. As a result, it is rich in all of the nutrients that whole corn is, including protein, fibre, starch, vitamins, and minerals. Yellow is the typical colour for it.

Cornstarch, on the other hand, is produced by removing the protein and fibre from corn kernels, leaving only the kernel’s starchy core, which is known as the endosperm. This results in a more refined product. After that, it is ground into a powder that is white in colour.

Flavour differences

Cornflour has a flavour that is earthy and sweet, quite similar to corn. In order to provide a flavour that is reminiscent of corn, it can be added to bread, pancakes, waffles, and pastries in addition to or in substitution for wheat flour. Cornmeal, which in the United States refers to a more coarsely ground flour that is also formed from corn kernels, is commonly mistaken with corn flour, which is made from finely crushed corn kernels.

When compared to corn flour, cornmeal possesses a flavour that is more pronounced and authentically corn. Cornstarch, on the other hand, contributes more in the way of texture than flavour because it is essentially flavourless. It’s a flavourless powder that’s typically used to make meals more viscous.

Gluten-free baking

Baking with cornstarch and corn flour yields very different results when trying to avoid gluten. Cornstarch is a type of gluten-free flour that has a “starchy” texture. This implies that it is responsible for the lightness and fluffiness of gluten-free baked goods, despite the fact that it does not significantly contribute to the flavour or consistency of the baked goods. It is possible to use an equivalent quantity of starch derived from arrowroot, potatoes, or tapioca in place of it.

Cornflour is a gluten-free flour that is high in protein content. Despite the fact that the amount of structure it provides is pretty negligible in comparison to that which is achieved by “regular” wheat flour, it lends flavour and structure to gluten-free baked goods. It is possible to replace it with an equal weight of light buckwheat flour, sorghum flour, white teff flour, or oat flour; however, using oat flour is only recommended if you do not have an allergy to oats.

Incompatible with one another in cooking

It is impossible to use cornstarch and corn flour interchangeably in cooking due to the substantial differences that exist between the two products’ nutrient profiles. In place of or in addition to wheat flour, corn flour can be utilised in the production of a variety of baked goods, including but not limited to bread, pancakes, biscuits, waffles, and pastries. It imparts a flavour similar to corn and gives the dish a yellow tint.

Cornflour, on the other hand, does not include gluten, the primary protein found in wheat that lends elasticity and strength to bread and other baked goods. As a result, the product that is produced with corn flour may be more dense and crumbly.

Cornstarch’s primary purpose is to increase the viscosity of liquids such as soups, stews, sauces, and gravies. Before adding it to a hot dish, it ought to be combined with a cool liquid first so as to prevent the formation of lumps.

In baking, cornstarch cannot be utilised in the same manner as corn flour because it is composed almost entirely of starch and does not include any protein or fat. Cornstarch is sometimes added to foods that are fried or breaded because it can contribute to the creation of a crispy exterior. Finally, in order to avoid the confectioner’s sugar from clumping, cornstarch is frequently added to the mixture.

Can I use corn flour in place of cornstarch and vice versa?

Cooking with cornstarch or corn flour can be complicated, as the two are often used interchangeably but are not actually the same ingredient.

In general, corn flour is made from the whole kernel, whereas cornstarch is made solely from the starchy part of the kernel. As a result, their uses and functions in dishes will differ slightly.

For example, while you can use corn flour as a thickener like you would with cornstarch, it won’t be quite as effective because of its different consistency.

However, when you are looking for a nice crunchy texture – such as fried chicken – then using corn flour may add an interesting twist to your dish! To further complicate things though, in some recipes either one might work just fine! Do your research and test it out for best results.

Are there any good cornstarch substitutes?

Whether you’re just out of cornstarch or looking for an alternative, there are plenty of options to choose from. In this page, we’ll explore the various substitutes for cornstarch and which ones work best in specific dishes and recipes. Read on to find out more!

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