Coconut Flour: Your Questions… Answered

Before I begin, I would like to take a moment to salute this brave ingredient.

It has gone where no flour has gone before. As a pioneer in low carb, low calorie, and delicious baking, coconut flour has come to be a dear friend of mine. Between bagels, cookie doughcookies, and oatmeal, we’ve had some time to get cozy.

Unfortunately, until now coconut flour has been eaten under the radar. Out of simply not knowing it existed, we have been baking with glutenous and therefore allergy inducing, carb laden, calorie dense, highly processed, and nutrient depleted all-purpose flour. I think it’s such a waste!

So once I discovered coconut flour, I took it upon myself to get it’s name out there. The possibilities are endless.

But when I heard that people weren’t having the success with coconut flour that I was, I was disappointed. Especially when similar problems kept coming up, I knew I had to address them.

I am so honored you try my recipes. I know how much effort and time goes in to that, and you have no idea how much it means to me. I am so grateful to you all for being so amazing. So if you take that effort and time to make one of my recipes, I want to do what I can to make sure you love it. (Here’s a post where I talk more about this.)

Some people have definitely been having the success with coconut flour that I have, but others have not. I’ve been brainstorming solutions, and here’s what I’ve come up with!

Q: I tried one of your recipes with coconut flour, and it tasted great, but the batter was really wet. The final product didn’t hold together or was much too moist. What’s wrong?

A: Thank you so much for trying this recipe, and I’m glad you liked the flavors of it. This problem comes up a lot, and I think it’s very bizarre. I sometimes joke that coconut flour is just a powdered sponge that tastes good because it is very absorbent. In my experiences, it soaks up pretty much any liquid I throw at it, with a little coaxing.

So here’s a few idea of what may be happening, and how to fix it.

  • Maybe the absorbency of coconut flour varies by brand? I use Bob’s Red Mill, so I can’t really vouch for other brands. I would think that it doesn’t matter, but maybe it does. If you tried one of my coconut flour recipes and it didn’t work, can you tell me what brand you used? Thank you!
  • I say in almost all of my coconut flour to add the liquid, usually almond milk, one tablespoon at a time. I find that this method helps the coconut flour absorb the liquid better, and if you see that the matter is getting too wet, you can stop adding liquid if need be.

Q: Where do I buy coconut flour?

A: Like I said, I buy Bob’s Red Mill, and I get it at Whole Foods. (Love that place! I could go bankrupt there, though…) You can also buy it online here through Bob’s Red Mill or here through Amazon. I bet other health stores and very well stocked super markets would have it, as well.

Q: I made your bagels,  and really liked them, but they stuck to the pan. What should I do?

I’m sorry to hear it! I would always line my baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Q: What does coconut flour look like?

Okay, so coconut flour looks a lot like wheat flour, except it’s a bit more textured. It’s also a lovely cream color, and isn’t as white as all-purpose flour, but isn’t nearly as brown as whole wheat. I think it’s beautiful…but that’s just me.

 

So I hope this helped! Again, if you’ve ever had a coconut flour recipe not work, can you tell me what brand you used? If you have any other questions, are particularly knowledgeable, or have something completely off topic that you just feel like saying, I’m all ears! Thank you so much!

Enjoy!

-Kelly M.

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. says

    Ohhh I definitely think it has to do with the brand/company as well! I’ve used coconut flour a lot, and every brand seems to be a BIT different…I don’t know if this makes a difference too, but storing it well seems to be very important too. If I just leave it in a vinyl bag instead of a good container, it seems to turn out and taste not as good as if I were to put it in an air tight container. I think? :P

    • says

      Thanks for the info, Ellie!

      That’s so intersting about the vinyl bag… I usually either just keep the flour in the bag it came in (but it all falls out!), or I put it in some plastic tupperware. By the way, how are you doing? I hope to see you soon! ;)

    • says

      I think you just made my day/week. You are so great! Thank you so much!

      I love the way you think. The idea of making your own coconut flour is BRILLIANT. The stuff really is just so expensive! I would love to do that as a blog project soon, but I haven’t tried it yet so I can’t vouch for how recipes with it will turn out (especially now that I know how finnicky coconut flour is!). But if you try it, please let me know how it goes! Thank you so much, and I hope you have a fantastic day! ;)

  2. says

    Why is my coconut flour not low calorie? The nutritionals say it has 347 kj per 20grams and 1735kj per 100grams (which is almost 100calories and around 400 calories).

  3. says

    They sell the Bob’s Red Mill at Sprouts too. I tried the cookies with coconut milk, and I don’t think they turned out quite right. I’ll have to give almond milk a shot. Thanks for the recipes!
    -karen

  4. says

    i finally bought coconut flour and i can’t wait to try it out! before I open it though….do you refrigerate yours after opening? I need to be sure I have room in my fridge haha

  5. Lisa says

    Hello. I am new to this whole substituting flours for wheat. I found out that I am intolerant to Gluten, so I am substituting different things for baked goods. However, I picked up a product called Coconut Powder. Is that the same thing as coconut flour, or do I need to purchase coconut flour? Also, can you substitute powder for flour and vise-versa? I am asking because this powder looks like finely chopped coconut, almost like an almond meal, it has texture.

    I would like to hear your opinions and and information that you may be able to provide.

    Thank you in advance for your assistance.

    • says

      Hi Lisa, and thank you so much for your excellent question! I have actually never heard of a product entitled “coconut powder,” and Google doesn’t seem to be much help. From what I can tell, it seems like coconut flour and coconut powder are the same thing, but it’s hard to tell for sure. What is the name of the brand? Thanks again, and I’m sorry I couldn’t be more help!

    • says

      Thank you for the question! Hmm. Does the coconut flour clump together after you bake it or while you’re mixing the batter? My suggestion would be just to make sure you stir the batter VERY thoroughly before baking. Thanks again, and I hope this helps!

  6. Sarah-Jane says

    This is so weird…I have the complete opposite problem of question 1!
    Whenever I try a reciep involving coconut flour, the final product turns out insanely dry!
    It absorbs any liquid at once and it just turns out so dry!
    I tried the choc chip skillet cookie (turned out more like a powdery mess!) and PB cookies (had to add so much more milk!) and they both turned out suuuuper moisture-absorbing, and the cookies were soft, not crunchy :(

    I use Nutiva coconut flour because it’s lowest in calories compared to all other brands…
    Could you tell me what I’m doing wrong? Everything’s so dry! I really want to try your CF pancakes and CF breakfast brownies, but I’m afraid they’ll just fail again…

  7. Talita says

    WOW I just found out what’s wrong with my coconut flour. IT IS NOT MADE OUT OF COCONUT. I thought there was something wrong when I opened it and it was brown – I know, brown! And it makes everything it touches look icky-brown too. I just had a look at the ingredients and it turns out it is actually a mix of almonds and coconut peel. What the heck? And extremely fatty too – 1 tbsp. has 5.2g of fat, and over 50 calories. Damn do I feel cheated. I guess that’s why my pancakes weren’t working then :/

    • says

      Hi Talita! I responded to your comment awhile ago but apparently it didn’t show up. Sorry about that! I’m glad we found out why your pancakes weren’t working, but I am so sorry about that non-coconut coconut flour! What? I use Bob’s Red Mill or Let’s Do… Organic and they (usually) turn out wonderfully. Hope this helps!

  8. CP says

    I bought Coconut Secret because I thought it would be easier to store in a canister. I use lots of Bob’s GF flours and the bags they come in require that I store them within outer plastic bags in the freezer. I have had the same experience with runny batter- I wonder if it is because the coconut flour needs time to absorb the liquid? In any case, I have wasted 10 eggs for two recipes and I am about to give up- vegetarian fed, free range eggs cost $5 a dozen where I live.
    http://www.vitacost.com/coconut-secret-raw-coconut-flour-gluten-free

  9. Sandra Claire says

    Hi Kelly.
    I have a great recipe for pancakes by Silvana Barron’s, that I would like to replace some of the flour mix with coconut flour for a little more nutritional value. What would you suggest? These are a gluten free corn bread pancake that I love. It has 1cup corn meal and 1 cup Silvana flour mix, 1/2 tsp salt, 2tsp applecider vinegar, 1 1/4 cup milk 2 lg eggs, 1/4 cup oil. I was thinking of replacing 1/2 a cup of the Silvana blend but unsure of which liquid to increase. Egg? I can see how coconut flour acts as a spounge. Help please!

    • says

      Hi Sandra! I don’t have a lot of experience with subbing coconut flour directly with other flours, but the instructions on the back of my bag of coconut flour says that you can sub in coconut flour for 25% of the flour in a recipe, but then you should increase the liquid in the recipe by the same amount of coconut flour you used. I haven’t tried this personally so I can’t vouch for it. I haven’t tried this personally so I can’t vouch for it

  10. Quinn Alexandra says

    Having the exact opposite problem, but relating to your comments on the issues. I’ve only used coconut flour twice, and the first turn was your mug banana bread, and I t turned out simply awful. I don’t know what went wrong, but I think I need to work with other substitutions for the egg replacer and other variables. I tried the coconut pancakes yesterday morning & they definitely had an interesting (but good) flavor, but were painfully dry. A tip would be to keep a lid on your pan while they’re frying or to add a tad bit applesauce into the mix, seemed to try to work for me. If you have any advice for recipes being too dry I am all ears and for reference I use bob’s red mill coconut flour.

  11. reds says

    Is it possible to use coconut flour for Doughnuts? Our main problem when we use coconut flour is its texture and the amount of fat absorbed after frying. Can you please help me?

  12. Lexi says

    Halp! I am as equally in love with you as your cooking and now i have finally found some coconut flour in my small town in Australia and have begun even MORE cooking adventures….

    However, disaster has struck! :( I make all the dough and follow the recipe and it looks fine! But i find the oven only warms the dough, rather than hardens it. I have done it on various recipes and i just…cant! Is this a failing on my behalf or? My coconut flour isnt any well-known brand but the ingredients are simply “organic coconut” and its all beautiful and creamy like you said and it all tastes nice! But it just doesnt harden up,

    Please help! I need my chocolatey and peanut buttery baked goodness AND my skinny jeans!

    • says

      Thank you so much Lexi! Hmm. To be honest, the cookies are pretty soft but not alarmingly so… perhaps it is the coconut flour. Maybe you’re not adding the right amount of liquid? Do you live at a high altitude?

      Let me know how I can help! I want you to have your baked goodness and skinny jeans too. ;)

      • Lexi says

        Yes see mine dont harden at all! Very sad. I recently tried a “brizza” and that hardened a little but still it more just changed colour!

        I live in Australia but i’m not sure about the altitude! I am a vegan so i cant add egg but do often use apple sauce (sometimes banana but mostly apple sauce) and then soy or almond milk. Usually i follow the rules more or less (i do get a bit lazy but i never think enough to make a difference!)

        P.S I am totally in love with you! If i lived in america i would be outside your house daily – you are literally my food idol! I may have fan girl-ed a little when you replied. Its amazing how much you’ve accomplished at 15 oh my gosh!

  13. says

    Hi Kelly, I’m delighted to have found your beautiful and delightful website! I was googling for some low-carb baking with coconut flour recipes and hit the mother-lode with your wonderful site. Can’t wait to try these recipes. THANKS SO MUCH!

  14. Lee says

    Hi – I bought some coconut flour yesterday as I am trying to eat low-carb, but it is not particularly low-carb? 60g per 100g of carb! i bought it for a particular recipe that only requires a small quantity, so am not too bothered. However, I am confused as to why there is so much literature saying it’s low carb? Thanks

  15. Mary says

    I agree with you that Bob’s Red Mill flours are the best quality and a good price, too. I get most of my Red Mill flour from Vitacost which has excellent prices and extremely fast delivery, usually within 3 days of my orders. That would be order Monday or Tuesday and get it by Friday. They have Swerve at regular price too. Free shipping for over $50! I love Whole Foods, too.

  16. Ana says

    Hello,

    Thank you for wanting to help. I do use Bob’s Red Mill, but haven’t had much success w/ the coconut flour. I’m guessing it does not fully replace white flour, does it?
    Second question, I tried making some coconut mahi mahi.. Fish in the flour, egg, and rolled in coconut flakes, brown in oven w/ some non-stick spray. They did not brown.
    I”ve had the same “issue” with Almond flour. What am I doing wrong?
    Thanks!

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