The Best Cornstarch Substitutes for Cooking & Baking

The Food52 Hotline has been around for nearly a decade, so it’s no surprise that some of the most common cooking questions have come up again and again. How to substitute cornstarch is one of them. Our community has been quick to share their favorite s…

The Food52 Hotline has been around for nearly a decade, so it’s no surprise that some of the most common cooking questions have come up again and again. How to substitute cornstarch is one of them. Our community has been quick to share their favorite substitutes for cornstarch). Tapioca flour and arrowroot powder are fan favorites, but user Ophelia notes that tapioca flour and powder are more expensive products and have a tendency to clump quite easily. Other users have pointed out that all-purpose flour can work as a thickening agent like cornstarch. For a gluten-free substitute for cornstarch, our savvy community members recommend potato or rice starch. With so many suggestions, we wanted to find out once and for all what is the best substitute for cornstarch.

It should come as no surprise that the particular cornstarch substitute you choose should depend on what you’re cooking or baking. The type of ingredient needed for a coating on something that you’ll be deep-frying may be different from what is best for thickening a sauce or soup

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23 Must-Make Cakes to Bake Before Summer Ends

You know how some people have a summer bucket list? Picnic on the beach, run the full loop around the park, eat at least one whole tomato per day (grape tomatoes excluded), read a book a week, catch a sunrise or two?

I have that, too…only my list co…

You know how some people have a summer bucket list? Picnic on the beach, run the full loop around the park, eat at least one whole tomato per day (grape tomatoes excluded), read a book a week, catch a sunrise or two?

I have that, too...only my list consists exclusively of the cakes I want to bake while the summer's sweetest fruits are still here. Squidgy, buttery, lemony-bright, and good for wrapping in parchment and toting on the bus, these are the cakes I'll miss most once apple season's in full swing and we're flinging cinnamon, nutmeg, and cocoa like confetti.

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31 Summery Fruit Desserts Bursting With Flavor

For some people (okay, for me), the July farmers’ market generates as much excitement as crippling anxiety. There’s just so much there—what to do with all of it? To help you narrow it down, we’ve gathered our best summer fruit desserts. You’ll find trifles layered with berries and cream, plus cupcakes inspired by every kid’s favorite summer beverage (strawberry lemonade). There are easy no-bake desserts for when you don’t want to turn on an oven…and let’s be honest, no one wants to turn on the oven when it is nearly triple-digit temperatures outside. But there’s also plenty of ice cream recipes for those same triple-digit-temperature days. And, if worse comes to worst, eating your summer fruit raw—or with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar or a drizzle of honey—is always a good option.

1. Mango-Raspberry Trifle With Toasted Coconut

Springy, spongy, and sweet as can be, this trifle begins with a homemade Madeira cake. Once baked and cooled, it’s cut into cubes and layered with a raspberry-mango jelly, rich custard, fresh raspberries, and chopped mangoes.

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For some people (okay, for me), the July farmers' market generates as much excitement as crippling anxiety. There's just so much there—what to do with all of it? To help you narrow it down, we've gathered our best summer fruit desserts. You’ll find trifles layered with berries and cream, plus cupcakes inspired by every kid's favorite summer beverage (strawberry lemonade). There are easy no-bake desserts for when you don't want to turn on an oven...and let's be honest, no one wants to turn on the oven when it is nearly triple-digit temperatures outside. But there's also plenty of ice cream recipes for those same triple-digit-temperature days. And, if worse comes to worst, eating your summer fruit raw—or with a dusting of confectioners' sugar or a drizzle of honey—is always a good option.

1. Mango-Raspberry Trifle With Toasted Coconut

Springy, spongy, and sweet as can be, this trifle begins with a homemade Madeira cake. Once baked and cooled, it's cut into cubes and layered with a raspberry-mango jelly, rich custard, fresh raspberries, and chopped mangoes.

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How to Make Donuts From Scratch (Like You Know What You’re Doing)

Doughnuts, for me, represent absolute perfection. Don’t get me wrong: Pie is my number one; cake is near the top of my list; and I’ve never met a cookie I didn’t like. But doughnuts…there isn’t much in this world that&rsq…

Doughnuts, for me, represent absolute perfection. Don’t get me wrong: Pie is my number one; cake is near the top of my list; and I’ve never met a cookie I didn’t like. But doughnuts…there isn’t much in this world that’s better than a good—no, a GREAT—doughnut. Sure, they can be doused in sugary glaze and topped generously with sprinkles, but the dough itself isn’t too sweet‚it’s just yeasty and light and fluffy and perfect. It’s the ideal canvas for endless variations to suit your whims. 

The real reason doughnuts are so wonderful to me is the connection they have to my past. My grandmother lived in a house built by my great-great-great grandparents: a real little house on the prairie in the middle of nowhere, Kansas. When my grandma was a kid, it was her grandma’s house; same for my dad; and luckily, for me too. Along with the wonderful history of the place itself, the house was home to a lot of our own food history. One day, my grandma pulled out a pretty little yellow tin recipe box. The paint was chipped, but it was lovely and chock-full of my great-great grandma’s recipes. This includes the tattered old card that contained the handwritten recipe for these doughnuts. When a recipe is good, it stands the test of time—and these doughnuts do just that. 

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Brown Rice Flour Is Baking Magic

In Mother Grains, Roxana Jullapat—baker and co-owner of Friends & Family in Los Angeles—shares “recipes for the grain revolution,” celebrating the flavors and textures and wonders of buckwheat, corn, oats, and then some. But the rice chapter caught…

In Mother Grains, Roxana Jullapat—baker and co-owner of Friends & Family in Los Angeles—shares “recipes for the grain revolution,” celebrating the flavors and textures and wonders of buckwheat, corn, oats, and then some. But the rice chapter caught my eye the most, with its gooey peach cobbler and sticky banoffee pie (both excerpted below, oh yes). Today, pour yourself a cup of tea and hang out with Roxana to learn what makes brown rice flour such an invaluable ingredient. Then get baking.


Q&A With Roxana

Emma Laperruque: What do you like about baking with brown rice flour?

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How to Use One Cake Pan For Any Baking Recipe

Award-winning cookbook author Alice Medrich is here to help you bake smarter, not harder, with game-changing recipes and aha-moment techniques. Today, we’re breaking down a question we’ve asked ourselves, oh, a million times: How do we adapt cake pan s…

Award-winning cookbook author Alice Medrich is here to help you bake smarter, not harder, with game-changing recipes and aha-moment techniques. Today, we're breaking down a question we've asked ourselves, oh, a million times: How do we adapt cake pan sizes in baking recipes? (Say, something calls for a 8x8-inch, but you only have an 9x9.) Alice will show you with just a little math. 

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Parmigiano Reggiano Cheesecake? Say No More.

We’ve teamed up with the Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium to share a brilliant (and sweet!) new way to use one of our all-time favorite staples: Parmigiano Reggiano. This cheese is made with only three ingredients, but the real magic comes after it’s bee…

We’ve teamed up with the Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium to share a brilliant (and sweet!) new way to use one of our all-time favorite staples: Parmigiano Reggiano. This cheese is made with only three ingredients, but the real magic comes after it's been aged for more than a year (in Italy, according to old-school methods). That aging gives it the singular taste, crumbly texture, and unique aroma we can't resist.


It’s true: A shower of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese can make any pasta dish taste even better (and, if you ask me, is an absolute must). But there are so many ways to use this umami-rich ingredient that go way beyond a garnish—or even savory dishes, for that matter.

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A No-Knead Skillet Focaccia to Bake All Spring & Summer Long

We’ve teamed up with our friends at All-Clad to bring you Pans With a Plan—a fresh new series sharing smart techniques, tasty recipe ideas, and all sorts of handy tips for cooking novices and seasoned pros alike. Here, food writer and recipe developer …

We’ve teamed up with our friends at All-Clad to bring you Pans With a Plan—a fresh new series sharing smart techniques, tasty recipe ideas, and all sorts of handy tips for cooking novices and seasoned pros alike. Here, food writer and recipe developer Asha Loupy shows us how to make fluffy, golden skillet focaccia (it’s so easy!) using All-Clad’s D3® Stainless 4-Quart Sauté Pan.


Fun fact: When I worked at a bakery in Sacramento as a teenager, my nickname was Asha Focaccia. So, needless to say, I really like focaccia. That pillowy, yet springy bite. Those willy-nilly bubbles from dimpling, leaving little nooks ‘n’ crannies for toppings to nestle into. The crunch of big, flaky salt crystals adorning the top. Be still my carb-loving heart.

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A Buttery Citrus Twist Bread Any Baker Can Pull Off

We’ve teamed up with Miele to share a delicious project for baking pros and newbies alike: a showstopping citrus twist bread ready for breakfast, brunch, and beyond.

People often ask me, “What is your absolute favorite treat to bake?” I’ve heard ple…

We’ve teamed up with Miele to share a delicious project for baking pros and newbies alike: a showstopping citrus twist bread ready for breakfast, brunch, and beyond.


People often ask me, “What is your absolute favorite treat to bake?” I’ve heard plenty of other bakers bat the question around: “Oh, that’s like trying to pick my favorite child!” But not me. I give the same answer every time: anything made from an enriched dough, all the way.

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Yeasted Puff Pastry Is the Long, Satisfying Baking Project You Need Now

This original article was written to detail the process of specifically making my croissant loaf and rolls from homemade yeasted puff pastry. For the March episode of Bake it Up a Notch, we took a deep dive into all things yeasted puff, and I wanted to…

This original article was written to detail the process of specifically making my croissant loaf and rolls from homemade yeasted puff pastry. For the March episode of Bake it Up a Notch, we took a deep dive into all things yeasted puff, and I wanted to update the article to discuss the broader scope of this process—one of my favorite pastry doughs.


Yeasted puff pastry is one of those items on your “to-bake” list that may seem especially nerve-wracking: after all, it’s a dough that combines both the difficulty of an enriched yeast-raised dough with the process of lamination, where the dough goes through a series of folds to evenly incorporate butter and achieve a beautifully layered, flaky result. But the result is truly epic: this dough produces pastries that are light as air on the inside, layered and crispy on the outside.

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