Substituting Gluten Free Flour For All-Purpose Flour Using Cups or Weight

There are so many gluten free all-purpose flour blends and mixes on the market that no one knows what to use or how much. Many of the manufacturers claim that you can use cup-for-cup, but that isn’t always true. So, if your baked goods are turning out heavy or gummy, read on to learn more. You’ll be able to start substituting gluten free flour for all-purpose flour like a pro!

Substituting By Cups

As I explained some time ago, on the Carla’s Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour Blend Recipe page, you can use 90% (89% to be exact) of that flour blend as a substitute for all-purpose flour when measuring in cups. Example: If a traditional recipe calls for 2-1/4 cups of all-purpose flour, you would use 90% of that, 2 cups of Carla’s Blend. You don’t have to adjust anything else in the recipe. There’s no need to add a bunch of butter, which weighs down baked goods anyway. But what about measuring by weight?

How Do I Figure Out 90% of 1 Cup?

Each cup contains 16 tablespoons (4 tablespoons per 1/4 cup). 16x.90 = 14.4 tablespoons. So, 3/4 cups = 12 tablespoons. You’ll need 3/4 cup plus almost another 2 1/2 tablespoons.

How Do You Measure Flour by Cups Correctly?

Measuring by weight is the only accurate measurement. All professional bakers and chefs weigh ingredients. When measuring by cups, you end up with several different weights of flour. One person online wrote an article stating that 1 cup of all-purpose flour weighs 144 grams. Cook’s Illustrated suggests that it is 142 grams (5 ounces). King Arthur states that 1 cup of all-purpose flour weighs 120 grams or 4.25 ounces.

You see, it all depends on how you measure the flour when using cups and how well you fluff up the flour prior to measuring it. If you sift flour, it is full of tiny air pockets and the same amount measured in a cup will now weigh a lot less. If you scoop flour out of a bin or jar, you’re compacting the flour in the measuring cup. causing it to weigh more. So, be sure to fluff up the flour you’re measuring and use a spoon to scoop it into dry measuring cups. Then level it off with a flat surface like a straight-edged spoon handle. When properly measured, my reference weight of 1 cup of all-purpose flour is 120 grams. The 142 and 144 grams above represent the baker scooping flour out of a container and leveling it off. The 120 grams represents the spoon-in method.

Substituting By Weight

One cup of Carla’s Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour Blend weighs about 134 grams. I wanted to know if you can use equal amounts in weight of gluten free all-purpose flours as you would with bleached wheat all-purpose flour, (which as discussed above is 120 grams) or if you also need to use 90% of the weight. So, I did the math. If you were to use 90% of 134 grams (1 cup of Carla’s Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour), you would use 120 grams. So, by weight, Carla’s Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour could be considered a “Weight-by-WeightTM” gluten free flour. So, if you want to convert a traditional recipe that calls for say 14 ounces (396 grams) of all-purpose flour, you use the same weight of Carla’s flour.

How Much of Cup4Cup Flour Should I Use?

I wanted to know whether the blend of Cup4Cup flour is actually a  weight-by-weightTM equivalent to all-purpose flour. (My experience with Cup4Cup flour blend has not been good compared to my own blend. In my opinion, Cup4Cup creates a chewy texture, where you can tell the baked goods are gluten free.) I had some in my pantry for a few years. So, I went ahead and weighed a cup. One cup weighs 136 grams. If you use 90% of it, you should use 122 grams. So, it’s about the same weight as mine. Therefore, I would go ahead and start weighing Cup4Cup flour when converting traditional recipes to gluten free. Substitute 120 grams of Cup4Cup to replace each cup of traditional all-purpose flour when converting traditional recipes to gluten free. You can also use equal amounts of Cup4Cup flour when the weight is provided in a traditional recipe. If you don’t have a kitchen scale, just use 90% of the flour in cups (2 cups of Cup4Cup if a recipe calls for 2-1/4 cups).

Learn more about the weight conversion of various gluten free flours and starches.

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