The difference between cornstarch and cornflour

The differences between Cornstarch and cornflour

The differences between cornstarch and cornflour

Ever came across a recipe telling you to add cornstarch or cornflour and being confused to which one is which and how it should be used? Then read below, I will share my findings with you. The differences between cornstarch and cornflour can be found at different levels.

While they both come from corn, they are processed differently and as result they will contain different nutrients, taste differently and serve different purposes in recipes. So while in some specific cases, they can be used interchangeably, most of the time using them wrong can lead to fail your recipe entirely.

Corn flour

How is it processed?

Corn flour is obtained by grinding entire corn kernels. It contains various minerals, vitamines such as vitamines B, magnesium, iron and potassium. We can find in the whole corn as well as starch, fiber and protein.

What does it look and taste like?

Corn flour is usually a yellow fine powder (it can also be white or blue), with fine and smooth texture. Its taste is similar to sweet cooked corn.

What can it be used for?

Cornflour can be added or used instead of wheat flour to waffles, pancakes and breads. Biscuits and pastries.

It can also be used  for grilling and frying

Tips: Add hot liquid to corn flour before adding it to your dish to prevent lumps formation


How is it processed?

The cornstarch is made from the starchy part of corn. It is made by removing the fiber and the protein of the corn level, keeping only the starchy part called the endosperm. They are cleaned and dried before going through the milling process to transform it into fine texture.

Cornstarch is mostly carbs and contains much less vitamins and nutrients comparing to corn flour.

What does it look and taste like?

Cornstarch holds much less flavor than cornflour, so it is more commonly used for its texture than its taste. Indeed it is flavorless, and white in appearance.

What can it be used for?

Cornstarch is used as a thickening agent for sauces, stews, gravies, soups, or pudding pie fillings. The reason why it serves this purpose well is because the starch becomes a sponge, absorbing the liquid and expands, making the preparation thicker. It will give a velvety appearance to creams and sauces without altering its taste. Compared to flour, cornstarch has twice its thickening power.

Cornstarch gets firm when it cools off, that is why it is perfect for recipes such as cream pie.

For your fruit pie fillings, it can help render a translucent, shiny appearance. Used for fried or breaded foods, Cornstarch will give you a crispy coating. It also cooks quicker than wheat flour.

However, as it doesn’t contain fiber, fat or protein, Cornstarch will not hold up well for baking.

Tips: mix cornstarch with cold liquid before adding it to a hot dish, it will help prevent lumps.

Cornstarch vs Cornflour: to keep in mind

Where in the world?

It is important to not that their name usage can be confusing depending on where you are. In many countries like in Israel, Ireland, and the UK, cornstarch means corn flour, while cornmeal would be used to refer to corn flour. Confusing, right? 

So my recommendation is to make sure you know these differences and check where your recipe originates from. In doing so, you will prevent  your culinary experiment to turn out badly.

Another way to check which option is best is to check how the corn product is meant to be used in the recipe. If it is used as wheat flour would, then pick corn flour instead of cornstarch.

Cornstarch is your best option if the goal is to thicken your preparation.

To check usage is important because they rarely can be interchanged in the recipe,  due to their differences in nutritional compositions, and processing methods.

Gluten-free friendly

Cornflour and Cornstarch are both gluten-free so they are both excellent alternative to wheat, barley or rye product



You may also like...

Popular Articles...