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Sweet Rice Flour – the Best Alternative Substitutes!

Sweet rice flour is a commonly used ingredient in cooking, especially when it comes to baking. It’s gluten-free and provides the end result with a great texture, so it is no wonder that so many people love to use it! 

However, there might come a time in which you don’t have any in the house, or maybe you simply want to switch it up and use an alternative. So…what can you use? 

Sweet Rice Flour - the Best Alternative Substitutes1

Well, not to worry. We’re going to tell you about the best substitute for sweet rice flour, and we’re also going to go through some basic information about sweet rice flour itself, just in case you want to know more about it. 

Let’s get right into it! 

What is Sweet Rice Flour?

Sweet rice flour is a type of flour, known mainly for it being starchy. It is ground from short-grain glutinous rice that is sticky, which is why this flour is often referred to as glutinous rice flour or sticky rice flour.

It is used in many forms of baking and cooking, but primarily, it is known for its use in making mochi (Japanese rice cakes that are seriously super delicious). 

The name, “sweet rice flour” can be a little deceiving, as it isn’t actually that sweet in flavor. Instead, it has a mild and delicate taste, complementing whichever ingredients you pair it with!

Oh, and the reason why this rice flour is so sticky is because of two components : Amylose (which is a form of resistant starch), and Amylopectin (which is what makes it properly sticky).

Compared to other types of regular rice, sweet rice flour has way higher levels of Amylopectin, hence it being stickier!

The Best Substitute for Sweet Rice Flour

You might think that you can simply substitute sweet rice flour for regular rice flour, as after all, they are both rice flour.

However, the whole point of using sweet rice flour is that you get a sticky rich texture, and with normal rice flour, you’re not going to get this at all, defeating the whole purpose.

So…what can you use as an alternative?

Well, the best possible substitute for sweet rice flour is to use either tapioca starch or just some regular potato starch. These will provide you with that necessary sticky and chewy consistency, and they can be used in the same way you would have used the sweet rice flour. 

Another reason why tapioca or potato starch are amazing substitutes is that you can use the exact same quantity as you would with sweet rice flour, making the whole process a lot easier. That is, both for cooking and baking, super simple!

And of course, both tapioca and potato starch are gluten-free, so there are literally no adjustments to the recipe needed!

What is Best – Sweet Rice Flour or White Rice Flour? 

When it comes to substituting regular wheat flour with a type of rice flour, most people will use common and regular white rice flour. However, since we are talking about sweet rice flour, we thought it was worth comparing the two, and deciding which one is best!

Or rather, we will let you decide which one is best, as it is completely up to each individual’s preference, all we can do is lay out the differences and compare them both!

To put it briefly, both types of rice flour are essentially opposite to each other. 

Sweet rice flour is known for being sticky, with a rich and chewy texture, mostly used in desserts. It has a very high amount of starch, and as it has a great thickening ability, it is common to use it as you would cornflour or other types of starch.

It is easy to find and usually comes in a fine powder. And it’s gluten-free, making it a great choice for those that can’t have gluten in their food! 

Meanwhile, white rice flour is the opposite. It has a harder, more solid texture, with crunch rather than stickiness or chewiness. It is used mainly in batters and fried goods, instead of desserts, and it doesn’t come as such a thin powder.

It is often more popular, mainly due to it being one of the most common substitutes for regular wheat flour. 

As for comparing them…well, you can’t really pit them against each other when they are so different. You would simply choose one or the other depending on what it is you are cooking or baking, and what kind of end result and texture you want in the food. 

Should You Use Sweet Rice Flour? 

Let’s talk a little more about sweet rice flour, and one of the main things that people wonder about is simply whether they should be using it or not. Why should you use sweet rice flour?

Or rather, what is good about it that makes it worth using? After all, with the vast amount of options that exist nowadays, you could easily settle for a different alternative!

Personally, we think that you should absolutely be using sweet rice flour rice, as it is good for many different things, and can completely improve upon your recipes for an even better end result. And we have plenty of objective facts to back us up! 

One of the main reasons to use sweet rice flour is that it has amazing binding properties and provides a great texture. It is also gluten-free, and therefore, essential in gluten-free baking.

In fact, in most gluten-free recipes the biggest flaw ends up being that nothing properly binds the ingredients together, making your desserts crumbly.

But with sweet rice flour, you end up with a chewy and sticky consistency that is great. Perfect for making your cake dense and moist, perfect for enjoyment. 

In fact, we can’t think of a better gluten-free option for baking, especially when it comes to desserts. And frankly, that is a good enough reason in itself!

Sweet Rice Flour - the Best Alternative Substitutes

How Much Sweet Rice Flour You Can Use?

Like with most ingredients within cooking, the key to a good end result is using the right quantities, so that everything is balanced and well blended. So…how much sweet rice flour are you supposed to use? 

The main thing you need to remember is that sweet flour rice is very sticky. That’s kind of its whole thing, so you have to be careful.

You can’t just use the same quantity of it as you would with regular flour, because it will be way too sticky. Instead, you should blend it in with some gluten-free flour options, to get a good balance. 

As a general rule, we would recommend doing 40% of sweet rice flour, and 60% of a blend of other gluten-free flour options. That way the cake will have a sticky enough texture to bind together, but it will still be fluffy. 

Basically, don’t use too much sweet rice flour. 

Sweet Rice Flour in Savory Dishes

We’re aware that, throughout this article, we have been constantly talking about desserts in regards to the usage of sweet rice flour.

So you might think that that’s the only thing it is good for. But the truth is that you can use sweet rice flour for both sweet and savory dishes, and not just for desserts alone. 

For example, sweet rice flour can be used in gravy, in order to make it thicker! And it can be added (in small quantities) to many different sauces in order to make them smoother, with an extra kick of flavor. 

In fact, sweet rice flour can be used to thicken almost anything, as its sticky texture helps prevent liquids from separating, and can therefore bind all sorts of ingredients together. You just have to be very careful with the amount that you’re adding, and keep in mind how it might affect the flavor of the food. 

You will find sweet rice flour in many different gluten-free savory dishes and meals, and if you browse online, you will find plenty of recipes that include it as a key ingredient!

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I use instead of sweet rice flour for Kimchi?

If you are preparing some Kimchi, and realize that you don’t have any sweet rice flour, there is no need to panic.

It is not an essential ingredient, so instead, you can simply add one tablespoon of sugar, to make up for the lack of sweetness that the sweet rice flour would have provided. 

Can I substitute cornstarch for sweet rice flour?

Cornstarch and sweet rice flour are great substitutes for one another and can be used almost interchangeably in the same quantities. They will have the same thickening and binding effect on foods. 

Can I use rice flour instead of sweet rice flour? 

The answer to this is no. Regular rice flour and sweet rice flour are completely different and have an almost opposite effect on the foods in which they are used.

Sweet Rice Flour – the Best Alternative Substitutes!

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The best substitute for sweet rice flour. A full guide to the best alternative, and basic information on sweet rice flour and how it is used


  • Tapioca Starch

  • Rregular Potato Starch

  • White Rice Flour


  • Choose your favorite substitute from the list given above
  • Follow the directions given in the recipe after having substituted the ingredient in the correct ratio

Recipe Video

Jess Smith