What Function Does Cornstarch Serve in Cookies? (With Easy Substitutes for When You’re in a Hurry)

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The majority of individuals who bake like making cookies. Baking fresh cookies and sharing them with your family may be a lot of fun.

You may need to utilize certain components depending on the recipe. If you’ve come across a cookie recipe that calls for cornstarch, you’re probably wondering what it does in cookies.

You’ve undoubtedly heard of cornstarch as a thickening in items like sauces. Is that what cornstarch is supposed to do in cookies?

Continue reading to discover more about cornstarch and its function in cookie making. This should help you understand why certain recipes need this item.

Understanding Cornstarch

To further grasp what cornstarch accomplishes, it is necessary to first study about this substance. This component is derived from maize.

It is extracted specifically from maize endosperm. What they end up with looks like white powder with no discernible taste.

Its lack of a strong or obvious taste makes it ideal for thickening a variety of foods. Cornstarch is often used to thicken sauces, and it is also used to create gravy on occasion.

This component is also often used in baking. In several cases, it has been used to thicken pudding and pie fillings.

How Is Cornstarch Used in Cookies?

Cornstarch isn’t utilized as a thickening agent in cookies, but it serves a vital function. When cornstarch is called for in a recipe, it is there to assist build structure.

You may add cornstarch to guarantee that your baked cookies have the essential structure to be relished. It holds the cookies together and may be used to give baked items the proper consistency.

Cornstarch is sometimes used with certain kinds of flour by bakers. When cornstarch is combined with various kinds of flour, it may aid in the creation of a light and chewy dessert.

This implies that cornstarch is an excellent component for making chewy cookies. Cornstarch is a typical component in some kinds of cookies that are designed to be highly chewy.

Cornstarch also contributes to the smooth, pleasant texture of cookies. Cornstarch is required for many cookie recipes in order for them to come out properly.

You’ll also note that cornstarch makes cookies thicker than they would be otherwise. When cornstarch is the major ingredient, the cookies will have a wonderful thickness to them while being soft and pleasant.

Of course, cornstarch is not used in all cookie recipes. Cornstarch is used as an ingredient in just a few varieties of cookies.

It is always advisable to utilize the indicated ingredients while making cookies for the best results. Having said that, you may experiment with your own cornstarch-based cookie recipes.

Employing it correctly might assist to add a particular touch to your cookies. There’s a reason why cornstarch-based cookies are so popular.

What If You Don’t Have Cornstarch?

Not everyone keeps cornstarch on hand in their kitchens. Cornstarch might be handy in your kitchen for a variety of reasons, but you may not have any right now.

What can you do if you want to create cookies that ask for cornstarch as an ingredient? Is there a method for you to proceed without having to travel to the shop to get what you require?

Continue reading to discover about some substances that may be used as cornstarch alternatives. It’s probably ideal to use the exact product called for in the recipe, but these replacements will work just well.

It should be simple to choose which replacement concept would work best in your case after you’ve learned about your possibilities. You almost certainly have at least one of these replacements in your kitchen.


Flour is most likely the most often used replacement. But, you will need to use more flour in a recipe than you would if you used cornstarch.

Three tablespoons of flour will be required for every tablespoon of cornstarch. Since you’re likely to have all-purpose flour on hand to create your cookies, this is a really practical option.

You’ll be able to create your cookies just fine as long as you have flour on hand. Yet, the cookies will not be the same as if cornstarch had been used.

When cornstarch is utilized as an ingredient, it is known to leave a bit of a glossy sheen, but when flour is added, the cookies seem matte. The consistency may also change somewhat, and you may not obtain the same amount of softness.

It’s also vital to bake the cookies for a few minutes longer to remove the flour taste. Flour is not as flavorless as cornstarch.

Potato Starch

If you dislike making conversions, you will like using potato starch as an alternative. Potato starch may be used in lieu of cornstarch in baked items without issue.

In a recipe, use the same quantity of potato starch as you would cornstarch. As an example, if a recipe asks for three tablespoons of cornstarch, you may use three teaspoons of potato starch.

The only thing to keep in mind is that potato starch is not the same as cornstarch. When you work with potato starch as an ingredient, it feels different.

Potato starch, for example, is notorious for clumping. You’ll need to keep an eye out for this so you don’t end up with lumpy cookies.


Another component that may be used in place of cornstarch is arrowroot. Like potato starch, you may use the same quantity of this product in place of the cornstarch that was specified.

If you want something that performs similarly to cornstarch, this might be your best choice. It even has the same shiny appearance that consumers like.

The only problem is that not everyone has arrowroot on hand in their kitchens. This is an excellent alternative for cornstarch, but it may be one of the components you don’t have on hand.

Still, it’s comforting to know that arrowroot works so well as a cornstarch alternative. If you have trouble obtaining cornstarch at the grocery, check for arrowroot instead.

Rice Flour

Rice flour should also be explored as an alternative. It thickens things up similarly to all-purpose flour.

You may use this flour in the same way that you would regular flour. When replacing cornstarch for rice flour, three tablespoons rice flour must be used for every one tablespoon cornstarch called for in the recipe.

Individuals have had excellent success while utilizing rice flour. But, this isn’t necessarily better or worse than using all-purpose flour.

While all-purpose flour is more widespread, knowing that rice flour may be used as a replacement may not be as useful. Nonetheless, having additional alternatives is usually a good thing.

Tapioca Flour

Tapioca flour is a little easier to work with than rice flour. If you have tapioca flour on hand, you may replace two teaspoons of it for one tablespoon of cornstarch.

You don’t need as much tapioca flour as you would rice flour or all-purpose flour. Overall, this may be a little simpler for you.

Tapioca flour is also known as tapioca starch in certain circles. If you have tapioca starch in your cupboard, that’s the same thing, and you may use it here.

In comparison to all-purpose flour, this is another unusual component. If you have any of this, it will work nicely to assist you in baking delicious cookies.

Ground Flaxseeds

When individuals need to thicken things up, ground flaxseeds are occasionally used for cornstarch. It works great for thickening sauces and gravies.

Some individuals prefer this choice since ground flaxseeds significantly increase the quantity of fiber. If you want to bake something with a lot of fiber, this can be a good option.

The issue is that it may not produce the greatest cookies in the world. You could use ground flaxseeds instead of cornstarch, but the consistency would be quite different.

Ground flaxseeds will make your cookies grittier than you’d want. Nevertheless, you won’t know if you don’t like it unless you try it.

To substitute ground flaxseeds for cornstarch, blend the ground flaxseeds with water. To substitute two teaspoons of cornstarch, use one tablespoon ground flaxseeds with four tablespoons water.

Xanthan Gum

You may also experiment with xanthan gum as a cornstarch substitute. This is a popular component for individuals following the low-carb keto diet.

It’s a form of vegetable gum made by fermenting sugar with a certain bacterium. What it can accomplish is more important than how it was created.

Xanthan gum is more often used as a thickening agent than as a cookie component. It’s also worth mentioning that eating too much xanthan gum might cause stomach issues in some individuals.

This implies that if you use it in cookies, you should avoid eating too many at once. Fortunately, you should be able to use the same quantity of xanthan gum in a recipe as cornstarch.

Guar Gum

Another form of vegetable gum that may be used as a thickening agent is guar gum. It may be used in lieu of cornstarch in certain recipes.

It may not be the best option for all sorts of cookies, but there are those that employ guar gum expressly. The ingredient has acquired some appeal since it might be useful for preparing gluten-free cookies.

This may be used similarly to xanthan gum. It’s simpler to use than xanthan gum since it’s less expensive.

It, like xanthan gum, should be able to be utilized as a direct alternative for cornstarch. If you’re searching for a cornstarch substitute in your cookies, consider guar gum if you happen to have any on hand.


In certain contexts, glucomannan has become a popular cornstarch alternative. This is a powdered soluble fiber that, when mixed with hot water, forms a thick gel.

One of the nicest things about glucomannan is that it has no calories or carbs. As a result, it is a popular replacement for persons on low-carb diets.

It may also be beneficial since it includes beneficial bacteria that can aid with digestive health. This might be a delicious element to use in your cookies.

You also don’t need much of this item to get the job done. You may use a quarter teaspoon of glucomannan for every two tablespoons of cornstarch.

Final Thoughts

Cornstarch is a common ingredient in a variety of cookie recipes. It contributes to the thickness and chewiness of the cookies.

Cornstarch cookies have a pleasant softness that makes them highly attractive. The cookies have a terrific consistency.

If you don’t have cornstarch to create cookies with, you might try substituting other ingredients. There are several ingredients to choose from, including flour, rice flour, tapioca flour, xanthan gum, glucomannan, and many more.

Evaluate all of your possibilities before making a decision that works for you. Soon, you’ll be able to taste delicious cookies.


What does adding cornstarch to cookies do?

Cornstarch adds a crumbly and delicate dessert-like texture to cake, cookie, pie filling, and shortbread recipes. Cornstarch is often used as an anti-caking agent in the food industry.

Can I substitute cornstarch in a cookie recipe?

Flour for All Purposes

Some pointers: For every tablespoon of cornstarch, use two teaspoons of flour.

Why do you put cornstarch in shortbread cookies?

The cornstarch adds a crunchy, melt-in-your-mouth feel to these buttery sweets. It also keeps the cookies from being too crumbly and crumbling. After you’ve tried cornstarch (cornflour) in these cookies, you’ll want to use it in other cookie recipes to obtain the same amazing texture!

What happens if I leave out cornstarch in cookies?

What exactly is this? As long as you have flour on hand, you’ll be able to create delicious cookies. But, the cookies will not be the same as they would have been if cornstarch had been used.

What is the secret to soft chewy cookies?

Let the Dough to Rest Resting your cookie dough in the fridge is a hidden baker’s tip. Resting it for at least an hour will assist to evaporate part of the water and boost the sugar content, keeping your cooked cookies chewy.

What makes cookies chewy vs crunchy?

The ingredients you choose, as well as how you shape your cookies, influence whether they are crispy or chewy. The kind of flour and sugar you use, the presence of eggs in your cookie dough, and whether you use melted or softened butter all play a role in the crispy-chewy equation.

What makes crunchy cookies?

Combining lower-moisture sugar (granulated) and fat (vegetable shortening), together with a longer, slower bake, results in light, crispy cookies. Nevertheless, using a mix of butter and vegetable shortening (as in the original recipe), or even all butter, will result in a crispy chocolate chip cookie.

What makes cookies fluffy?

When creamed with sugar, room temperature butter has precisely the proper consistency to incorporate air. Because of the trapped air pockets, the cookies rise and become fluffy. If the butter is too heated, it will not incorporate enough air, causing your cookies to rise less.

Is cornstarch or baking powder better for cookies?

Since cornstarch absorbs more moisture than baking powder, it will need more liquid to get the required results. Also, cornstarch may make baked products heavier and denser than those cooked just with baking powder. Hence, if you want a fluffy cake or cookie, stick to baking powder!

What makes a shortbread cookie extra short?

“The significant quantity of butter is what makes shortbread short: when used to biscuits and pastry, the adjective short denotes crumbly, as shortcrust pastry should be. It is for this reason that the fat used in biscuits and pastries is known as shortening.”

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