How to Substitute Coconut Flour for Almond Flour

almond flourI can’t eat almonds, which means I can’t have almond flour. You may have the same dilemma.

Does that mean you and I are screwed out of any delicious Paleo baked goods – sweet or savory – forever?

Absolutely not.

This girl (I’m pointing at myself here) has indulged many times over the last 3 years without almond meal or its often misunderstood cousin, almond meal.

It’s taken some experimentation, of course. But with the help of my brother-in-law’s perfectionistic culinary skills, masterpieces have been made.

Here are just a few almond-less baked goods you can try for yourself.

and my new favorite from

But what if you find a recipe that you REALLY want to try and it’s made with almond flour or wheat flour? I find this a lot, which leads to me making giant leaps of faith in the kitchen with usually delicious results.

So what’s the magic trick?

How can you make delicious, moist, smooth Paleo baked goods without using a single almond or speck of grain?

Substitute coconut flour and tapioca flour for the other flour.

The trick is to use a combination of the two or to use enough liquid with JUST coconut flour. You don’t want that grainy, dry consistency that coconut flour so often creates. It’s very dense, so it requires a lot more liquid than you’d think.

The tapioca flour sort of evens things out. It’s made from the cassava root – it’s just a root and many native cultures have used it throughout time (still do). It’s stretchy like gluten. It hardly has any nutrients in it, but it’s a great binding agent, and it provides me with much-needed carbs for my active pursuits.


Here’s what you do.

Substitute other flours with a combination of tapioca flour and coconut flour. I use half tapioca flour and half coconut flour (going a little heavy on the tapioca flour). So for instance, if the recipe calls for 2 cups of almond flour or wheat flour, use 1 heaping cup of tapioca flour and one slightly scant cup of coconut flour. That is the magic recipe.

Coconut flour absorbs a LOT of liquid, so you have to either combine it with other flours or use 6 eggs for every 1/2 cup of flour. Yes, I said 6 eggs with every ONE HALF cup of coconut flour. I said that.

If you’re going to do 1/2 coconut and 1/2 tapioca, add an egg or two to the batter, or some other kind of liquid (apple sauce, mushed up banana, coconut milk, fruit juice, etc.). How much, you may be asking? I’m inordinately comfortable with eyeballing things in the kitchen, but maybe you’re not so keen on that idea, so here’s some guidance.

Basically, you want the batter to be moist enough that it looks like batter and not hardened cement. Your eyeballs will let you know when that happens ;) Taste testing throughout the process is HIGHLY encouraged. But only if you’re using organic or (preferably) pastured eggs. Those conventional things will kill you.

Seriously, I’ve gotten sick THREE TIMES from sampling raw batter that was made with conventional eggs. I mean really, really sick – up all night sick. You’d think I’d learn my lesson, right? But in all the time I’ve been baking with pastured eggs I’ve been totally fine.

Trust yourself.

Anyway, trust your taste instincts here. If it tastes good before it goes in the oven, I can personally guarantee that it will taste good coming out of the oven.

There are a lot of different flours out there now that you can experiment with, beyond just tapioca and coconut. Sarah Ballantyne of wrote a really great blog post describing all of the Paleo flours here.

Alright, get your butt in the kitchen and start experimenting! And please let me know in the comments what you use in place of almond flour.


  1. The coconut flour and the almond flour is so beneficial for the human body because it contains good fats and calories which are good for human body and mind.

  2. I’ve been using: eggs + gelatin = 1/2 to 1/3 the egg count. I’m an eyeball-it cook, but it’s about 4 cups coconut flour, 3 eggs & 1/4 – 1/3 cup gelatin

  3. So I didn’t research before trying it and just substituted 1 1/2 cups coconut flour for 1 1/2 cups almond flour… Is there any way to salvage my tasty muffins???

  4. I am trying to recreate my mother’s applesauce spice cake which calls for 2 cps of flour. I don’t want the cake to be dry and grainy. 1/2 c butter, 3/4 c sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 slightly beaten egg – flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves – 1 cp hot applesauce, dates & walnuts…what is the secret to replacing the all purpose flour and have your cake come out light and moist?

    1. Lynne S. – It’s important to realize that there isn’t a Paleo friendly all purpose flour replacement that will bake up exactly like the original. Each Paleo flour replacement has its own set of pros and cons, and each will need to be experimented with to get the exact proportion of flour substitute with liquid, fat and egg in the recipe. That’s the trick of Paleo baking–there isn’t a simple formula! I’d suggest trying a blend of tapioca flour with almond meal, and decreasing the amount of butter slightly. The bake time will also need to be adjusted. With the sugar and butter in this recipe, it isn’t truly Paleo, but let us know if you find a flour ratio that works out.

  5. I read that making your own flour from sunflower seeds and using that to replace almond flour works well. Has anyone tried it?

  6. Hey Rhodina H. – I have subbed sunflower meal (ground seeds) in place of almond meal many times and has always been delicious!! It seems to have the same dense consistency and a nice neutral taste! Go for it! :)

    1. Ruth – I haven’t tried that before, but I’m sure it would be delicious. I might also try shredded, unsweetened coconut instead of coconut flour.

  7. Hey thanks for this article this will be very helpful to me. I tried using almond flour when i went gluten free but if i have too much of it by itself it hurts my throat and im having to learn about other ways and using it decreasingly but i cant do corn or potato or heavy starch. Plus there is a cost factor and what is available here as we dont ‘shop’ online. I know this will help me soo much. But i find your comment about eggs really bizarre. I am in my forties and have eaten/tested batter w reg eggs all my life and have NEVER been sick from it once. Ive even put them raw in shakes/smoothies for protein w no ill effect at all…doesnt happen very often but still that is the weirdest thing ive ever heard.

    1. Hi Kim,

      So glad that you’re able to enjoy some Paleo baked goods with coconut flour instead of almond flour, and it’s really great that you understand what your body needs! I too have tasted raw batter for my entire life, much of it before I went Paleo, so before I used pastured eggs, and I never got sick. It comes down to individuality, so Neely (who wrote the post) must just be more sensitive in the stomach than we are. Best wishes on your Paleo journey!

      Aimee McNew, MNT, Certified Nutritionist

  8. Thanks for your tips! I used the coconut/tapioca flour concoction for my pumpkin brownies and the consistency came out pretty good!

  9. I started paleo diet which I really enjoy . I have a lot weight to lose provable 4 stones . I have always struggled with breakfast choices in my diet , but paleo diet says that I can have banana pancake for breakfast . I make with coconut flour , 2 eggs and 2 or 3 bananas . Can I have it everyday ?

    1. Hi Regina,

      Yes, banana pancakes in one form or another are a favorite Paleo breakfast. However, if you are trying to lose weight, it’s probably not a good idea to eat them everyday. Are you eating 2 or 3 bananas at once? That’s too much. Bananas are a dense source of sugar and in addition to the carbs and calories, eating something so sweet early in the day may wake up your “sweet tooth” and make it more difficult for you to resist sweet foods later in the day. Furthermore, it is always a good idea to rotate foods you eat to prevent sensitivities from forming and to make sure your eating a good balance of nutrients. Try eating protein and veggies for breakfast, such as an omelet or leftovers from the day before and incorporate the pancakes occasionally. Here’s a popular recipe from our website for banana pancakes. Note, the recipes makes 2 servings,


    1. Hi Wendy, Coconut flour can be found at your local Whole Foods, or Trader Joes, or health food store. I have seen it in my local grocery store as well. But I have found the cheapest and easiest way to get it is online. Amazon and Thrive Market are frequent stops in my online shopping.

  10. I found this information to be very helpful. I am allergic to tree nuts but I can have seeds. Wendy Earnest I found Coconut flour at Win Co. in their bulk food section. Also Tropical Traditions is an excellent source for coconut flour and coconut oil. I have an issue with anemia and am being tested for celiac disease as a possible cause for my anemia so a gluten free diet may be in my future….

    1. Ingrid,

      So glad to hear that you found this information helpful. Following a gluten free and Paleo diet can certainly be beneficial for a number of reasons, even if celiac isn’t a factor. It certainly turned my life around (and I do have celiac disease, thyroid disease, and rheumatoid arthritis).

      Thanks for commenting!

      Aimee McNew, MNT, Certified Nutritionist

  11. Thank you for sharing this. I have a child who is severely allergic to nuts AND has to be on the paleo diet for health reasons. He also has a sweet tooth and has been missing out on so many treats. I am going to the store this minute to get tapioca and coconut flour. I am deeply grateful to you for sharing this!

  12. Thank you! I can’t have gluten or Tree nuts including chocolate but I can have coconut. Its really hard trying to find gluten free products without tree nuts or chocolate.

  13. For me the reason not to use almonds (or any nuts) in baking is that I think that the temperature would degrade the delicate oils in almonds making them unhealthy/rancid. Am I right to think so?
    Thank you.

  14. I am trying to make cheese straws with coconut flour only–no other flours.
    I have scoured the internet, and none of the recipes or ideas suit me.
    Can you help?

    1. Hi Susan,

      I found a few recipes for cheese straws that used almond flour. I would choose one of these recipes and start experimenting with coconut flour as a substitute using the tips in this post as a guide. It might take you a few tries to get it right but the recipe will be the way you want it :)


Leave a Reply