The Major Difference Between Flour and Cornstarch

The Major Difference Between Flour and Cornstarch: Flour is made by grinding corn kernels into a fine powder while cornstarch has gone through more refining and addition of important nutrients. The powders are both thickeners made from corn. Flour is a hard substance that has lots of protein, fat, and even a bit of sugar, while cornstarch is made from pure starch. In this article, we will show you the major difference between flour and cornstarch.

Flour and Cornstarch

In baking and cooking, flour and cornstarch are two of the most important ingredients in cookery. Flour and cornstarch are starches, and both are used relatively as thickening agents in different types of sauces in various cuisines.

Cornstarch is a starch made from corn. It is a white powder flour that is processed from the white heart of the corn, also known as endosperm. Another name for cornstarch is corn flour. On the contrary, flour is made from wheat, and it is the traditional thickening agent.


Starch is also a pure starch compared to flour. The reason is because flour contains gluten. The lack of gluten in cornstarch makes it more logical in thickening. Cornstarch has twice the thickening power of starch. The presence of gluten in flour makes it less essential.

But since the cornstarch has twice the thickening power compared to flour, the amount of cornstarch used is typically half of that of flour in a given recipe. Another good advantage of cornstarch over flour is that cornstarch doesn’t create lumps, while lumps are clear when using flour.


The cornstarch mixture doesn’t need any flavor to be added to the base, and it doesn’t mask any flavor or taste. As a mixture, the cornstarch mix blends more comfortably compared to the flour combination. The mix also doesn’t engross liquid until it cooks.

Cornstarch is a thickening power that produces an obvious and light shine or gloss to the sauce, while the flour mixture will add a white, blurred, and cloudy appearance. The cornstarch mixture is also used for dairy-based sauces like gravies and custards, while the flour mixture is used in white or cream soups. The flour mixture can also be used as a roux where the fat and flour are combined.

Another major difference between the cornstarch mixture and the cornflour mixture is the temperature of the water. Starch is usually mixed with cold water because the starch will get lumpy if hot water is added. In dissimilarity, flour is blended with hot water.

The two mixtures can be added to the sauce base or soup after adding the dry and wet ingredients. It is also essential to note that the cornstarch mixture doesn’t mix well with any kind of acid in liquid form.

However, both mixtures can be subject to thinning so when this happens, a couple of factors come into play. These mixtures might have different amounts of liquid and the dry ingredient (whether it is cornstarch or flour).

Typically, the amount of the liquid is smaller compared to that of dry starch. This can be solved by adding more hot or cold water, depending on the type of thickening agent. Another factor might also be surplus of other ingredients like fat, sugar, and acid. Immoderate stirring and freezing the mixture can also contribute to its thinning.

The Major Difference Between Flour and Cornstarch

1. Cornstarch and corn-flour are thickening agents used for soups and sauces.

2. The starch mixture produces a gloss or shine, whereas, the flour blend leaves a blurred and cloudy look.

3. The starch mixture has the primary of having twice the thickening power compared to flour. The presence of gluten in flour makes it less essential.

4. Cornstarch is also added to cold water, while the flour is mixed with hot water.

5. Starch is usually made from corn, while corn flour is usually made from wheat.

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