Your Food Allergy Substitution Guide: Flours, Milks, Eggs and More!

[Updated August 2, 2016]

Substituting ingredients for dairy products, nuts, or flour doesn't mean you have to miss out on favorite foods, flavors, and dishes. Each alternative baking flour has unique properties, strengths and weaknesses. The fact is that you have tons of options when a recipe calls for flour - you just have to know what's out there.

Use this chart as a guide to help select replacement gluten-free flour mixes for all your baking. Then scroll down for easy gluten-free flour recipes and a breakdown of flour substitutions by allergy!

Flour Substitutes
Neutral (light) Flours High-Protein Flours High-Fiber Flours Stabilizers (adds texture and moisture) Starches Gums
Brown Rice flour Amaranth flour Amaranth flour Almond flour Arrowroot powder Agar powder
Corn flour Buckwheat flour Buckwheat flour Coconut flour Cornstarch Carrageenan
Sorghum flour Chickpea flour Chickpea flour Flax Seed meal Kudzu Root starch or Kuzu Gelatin powder
Sweet Rice flour Millet flour Corn flour Ground Chia Seed Potato starch (not Potato flour) Guar gum
White Rice flour Oat flour Mesquite flour Oat Bran Sweet Potato flour Locust Bean gum
  Quinoa flour Oat flour Potato flour Tapioca starch or flour Psyllium Husk
  Sorghum flour Quinoa flour     Xanthan gum
  Teff flour Teff flour      

If you can't tolerate a certain flour or you've run out, find another flour in the same column (not row) and use it as a substitute. While not identical, the flours in each column have comparable baking characteristics and serve a similar function in building the structure in a particular recipe.

This chart was adapted from Gluten-Free Makeovers by Beth Hillson. Available from Da Capo Press, a member of The Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2011. Used with permission.

No matter what type of ingredient you're allergic to, there are plenty of tasty gluten- and casein-free recipes that hit the spot. You don't have to give up old favorites like cheese dishes; for example, Dairy-Free Super Macaroni and Cheese is always a crowd-pleaser. And you can still enjoy desserts, too. Craving a cold treat? Try the Dairy-Free Rocky Road Ice Cream recipe or Watermelon Fruit Pops. In fact, See our feature on 12 popular gluten-free, allergy friendly desserts—all of them reader favorites.


Gluten-Free Flour Mix Recipes & Ingredient Substitutions

To make a gluten-free flour mix, thoroughly combine all ingredients. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator until used. You can double or triple these recipes to make as much flour mix as you need.

Note: If you purchase a commercial flour blend, read the ingredient list carefully. Some blends contain salt and xanthan or guar gum. If so, there is no need to add more.

Nutritional analyses of recipes are based on data supplied by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and certain food companies. Nutrient amounts are approximate due to variances in product brands, manufacturing and actual preparation.

1. All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour Blend

Use this blend for all your gluten-free
baking.
1/2 cup rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch/flour
1/4 cup cornstarch or potato starch
Each cup contains 436 calories, 1g total fat,
0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol,
99g carbohydrate, 3mg sodium, 2g fiber, 5g protein

2. High-Fiber Gluten-Free Flour Blend

This high-fiber blend works for breads,
pancakes, snack bars and cookies that
contain chocolate, warm spices, raisins or
other fruits. It is not suited to delicately
flavored recipes, such as sugar cookies,
crepes, cream puffs, birthday cakes or
cupcakes.
1 cup brown rice flour or sorghum
flour
1/2 cup teff flour (preferably light)
1/2 cup millet flour or Montina® flour
2/3 cup tapioca starch/flour
1/3 cup cornstarch or potato starch
Each cup contains 428 calories, 2g total fat, 0g
saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 92g
carbohydrate, 19mg sodium, 5g fiber, 8g protein.

3. High-Protein Gluten-Free Flour Blend

This nutritious blend works best in baked
goods that require elasticity, such as wraps
and pie crusts.
1 1/4 cups bean flour (your choice),
chickpea flour or soy flour
1 cup arrowroot starch, cornstarch
or potato starch
1 cup tapioca starch/flour
1 cup white or brown rice flour
Each cup contains 588 calories, 3g total fat, 0g
saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 128g
carbohydrate, 24mg sodium, 6g fiber, 11g protein.

4. Self-Rising Gluten-Free Flour Blend

Use this blend for muffins, scones, cakes,
cupcakes or any recipe that uses baking
powder for leavening.
1 1/4 cups white sorghum flour
1 1/4 cups white rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch/flour
2 teaspoons xanthan or guar gum
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Each cup contains 514 calories, 3g total fat, 0g
saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 113g
carbohydrate, 1163mg sodium, 8g fiber, 10g protein.

General Guidelines for Using Xanthan or Guar Gum

Gum (xanthan or guar) is the key to successful gluten-free baking. It provides the binding needed to give the baked product proper elasticity, keeping it from crumbling.

  • Add 1/2 teaspoon xanthan or guar gum per cup of flour blend to make cakes, cookies, bars, muffins and other quick breads.
  • Add 1 teaspoon per cup of flour blend to make yeast bread, pizza dough or other baked items that call for yeast.

Note: If you purchase a commercial flour blend, read the ingredient list carefully. Some blends contain salt and xanthan or guar gum. If so, there is no need to add more.

Best Alternatives for Milk, Buttermilk, Yogurt, Butter, Eggs, and Nuts

1. Milk

Replace 1 cup cow's milk with one of the following:
1 cup soy milk (plain)
1 cup rice milk
1 cup fruit juice
1 cup water
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup goat's milk, if tolerated
1 cup hemp milk

2. Buttermilk

Replace 1 cup buttermilk with one of the following:
1 cup soy milk + 1 tablespoon lemon juice or 1 tablespoon white vinegar (Let stand until slightly thickened.)
1 cup coconut milk
7/8 cup rice milk
7/8 cup fruit juice
7/8 cup water 

3. Yogurt

Replace 1 cup yogurt with one of the following:
1 cup soy yogurt or coconut yogurt
1 cup soy sour cream
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup fruit puree

4. Butter

Replace 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter with one of the following:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) Fleischmann's unsalted margarine
8 tablespoons Earth Balance (Non-Dairy) Buttery Spread
8 tablespoons Spectrum Organic Shortening
8 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil

For reduced fat:
6 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce + 2 tablespoons fat of choice

5. Eggs

Replace 1 large egg with one of the following:

3 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce (or other fruit puree) + 1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon flax meal, chia seed or salba seed + 3 tablespoons hot water. (Let stand, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes or until thick. Use without straining.)
Egg Replacer, according to package directions
4 tablespoons pureed silken tofu + 1 teaspoon baking powder
Replacing more than two eggs will change the integrity of a recipe. For recipes that call for a lot of eggs, like a quiche, use pureed silken tofu. Because egg substitutions add moisture, you may have to increase baking times slightly.

Note: To replace one egg white, dissolve 1 tablespoon plain agar powder into 1 tablespoon water. Beat, chill for 15 minutes and beat again.

6. Nuts

Replace tree nuts or peanuts with an equal amount of the following:
Toasted coconut
Sunflower seeds
Toasted sesame seeds
(use only 2 to 3 tablespoons)
Crushed cornflakes
Crushed crispy rice cereal
Crushed potato chips
Pumpkin seeds