How To Make Corn Flour From Cornmeal

How to Make Corn Flour from Cornmeal: A Simple DIY Guide

Last Updated on June 22, 2024 by Lori Walker

Transforming cornmeal into corn flour is a cool kitchen trick that can really level up your cooking game. I gave it a shot and was thrilled at how easy it turned out to be!

Cornmeal consists of tiny grains, but corn flour is finer and can be used in various recipes. Now, I’ll share how to make corn flour from cornmeal. 

So, let’s roll up our sleeves and get started on this cooking adventure.

Easy Tips To Make Corn Flour From Cornmeal

Corn flour on a Glass Bowl

Tip #1: Try To Use Grain Mill

  • Adjust the Settings: Set your grain mill to the best grind setting. This will ensure you get the desired texture for your corn flour.
  • Load the Hopper: Fill the hopper of your grain mill with the cornmeal you want to transform into corn flour.
  • Grind Away: Start the grain mill and let it do the work. The machine will grind the cornmeal into fine corn flour as it passes through the mill.

Tip #2: Use A Food Processor or Blender

  • Prepare the Cornmeal: Initiate the process by placing your cornmeal into the container of your food processor or blender. Ensure it fills only half of the container, but it should at least cover the blades by 1-2 inches.
  • Pulse in Bursts: Begin by pulsing your machine in 20-second bursts. Give the container a gentle shake between pulses to ensure even grinding.
  • Check the Consistency: Continue pulsing until you achieve the desired consistency for your corn flour. A longer blending period leads to a finer quality of flour.

What Are Other Methods Of Producing Corn Flour?

There are alternative methods to produce corn flour. You can still make corn flour if you find yourself without cornmeal but have grits, whole corn kernels [1], or popcorn on hand.

“Peace goes into the making of a poem as flour goes into the making of bread.”

Pablo Neruda, Former Senator of the Republic of Chile

Grind these alternatives using a food processor, blender, or grain mill following cornmeal principles. 

This way, you can create your corn flour from different corn-based ingredients, ensuring you always have this essential ingredient for your culinary endeavors.

But how can you make cornmeal dumplings?

What Alternatives Can I Use In Place Of Corn Flour?

1. Cornstarch

Cornstarch may not be identical to corn flour, but it can serve as a worthy substitute, particularly as a thickening agent. It shares a similar texture and is gluten-free. 

To use it effectively, replace half the amount of corn flour called for in your recipe when thickening. 

Using cornstarch can still provide a satisfying crispiness for frying recipes that call for cornflour. But how will you cook cornmeal pudding?

2. Brown Rice Flour

Produced from finely milled rice, brown rice flour provides a gluten-free option to corn flour, making it a fine choice for those with dietary restrictions. 

Generally, you can exchange brown rice flour for cornflour in a 1:1 ratio, although adjustments may be needed for increased thickening power.

3. Arrowroot Powder

Another gluten-free option, arrowroot powder, excels as a thickening agent. Use it in the same quantity as cornflour when thickening recipes. 

However, avoid exposing it to high heat, as arrowroot can break down under such conditions.

4. Masa Harina

Masa harina, derived from dried corn kernels treated with an alkali, imparts a distinctive, earthy corn flavor not found in corn flour. 

It’s an excellent choice for recipes with a stronger corn taste, like cornbread or tortillas. 

Substituting cornflour with an equivalent quantity of masa harina is recommended for these recipes.

5. Rising Flour

Rising flour, or self-rising flour, contains a blend of all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt, providing leavening properties. 

It’s not the ideal thickener, but rising flour can be a substitute in baking recipes. 

Swap cornflour with rising flour in a 1:1 ratio, and remember to make adjustments to any extra leavening agents in the recipe due to the presence of baking powder in rising flour.

Is Cornmeal Or Flour Better For Baking?

Bowl of Cornflour

Cornmeal and flour each have their strengths in baking. Cornmeal is an excellent recipe for cornbread, muffins, and pancakes.

The flour’s coarse texture and distinct corn flavor can enhance the final product. And it adds a delightful crunch and a unique taste that many find appealing.

On the other hand, if your baking goal is to achieve a lighter, fluffier texture, regular flour is the way to go. 

Flour’s fine consistency and neutral taste make it ideal for cakes, pastries, and bread, where a soft and airy result is desired.

Find out how you can make cornbread without cornmeal here.

What Makes Corn Flour More Expensive?

Corn flour’s increasing cost can be attributed to the scarcity of corn itself. 

When there’s a limited supply of corn, its price tends to rise, leading to higher production costs for corn starch, a key ingredient in corn flour. 

“The kitchen is your laboratory, and making corn flour from cornmeal is your tasty experiment in texture and taste.”

Leonelli Bakery

This scarcity can stem from various factors, such as weather conditions affecting crop yields, market demand, or disruptions in the supply chain. 

Additionally, economic factors and fluctuations in the agricultural industry can contribute to corn flour’s overall expense. 

Does Cornmeal Flour Ever Go Bad?

Cornmeal flour doesn’t have a strict expiration date but typically comes with a “best if used by” date [2]. 

When stored under proper conditions, like in a cool, dry place and an airtight container, cornmeal can maintain its quality for approximately one year. 

However, cornmeal may lose its freshness and flavor over time, making it less desirable for your recipes. 

Signs that cornmeal has gone bad include a rancid smell or a bitter taste.

Related Post: How Long Will Cornmeal Good For?


How can I substitute cornmeal for regular flour?

To substitute cornmeal for regular flour, use a 1:1 ratio. You should use the same cornmeal in your recipe as regular flour. 

This swap can work well in certain dishes, adding a unique texture and corny flavor to your culinary creations.

Why does corn flour thicken?

Corn flour thickens because its cornstarch molecules act like tiny sponges. When heated with liquid, they soak up water and expand, creating a thicker consistency. 

This process resembles how other starches like rice, oatmeal, or polenta thicken when simmered.

Final Words

The process of making corn flour from cornmeal is a straightforward kitchen transformation that can elevate your culinary creations. 

I’ve shared two primary methods: using a food processor or blender and employing a grain mill. These tips allow you to achieve the desired consistency for your corn flour.

When deciding whether to use cornmeal or flour for baking, it’s crucial to consider the texture and flavor you aim to achieve. 

Cornmeal adds a unique texture and corny taste to dishes like cornbread and pancakes, while regular flour is ideal for recipes requiring a lighter, fluffier outcome.

So, armed with the knowledge of how to make corn flour and when to choose between cornmeal and flour, you can confidently create delicious dishes with the right ingredients and techniques.



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