What is Corn Flour?

We independently research our recommended products. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our links.

Made from corn that’s ground into a fine powder, corn flour is a finer version of cornmeal, yet not quite as much as cornstarch.

It has a wide variety of uses, from frying food to baking to even being added to soups as a thickener.

is corn flour gluten free

This article will cover the many uses corn flour, and how you can incorporate it into your next meal!

Corn Flour vs. Cornmeal vs. Corn Starch

There are two differences in these three varieties of ground corn: what part of the corn they’re made from, and how fine a texture they are.

Cornmeal is the most course variety, often used for cornbread and tortillas, meant to create denser confectioneries.

Meanwhile, there’s corn flour and cornstarch. These are essentially the same thing, the only difference being where you’re from.

Whichever you prefer to call it, it is a fine powder used primarily as a thickener for sauces, soups, and even certain desserts.

Uses for Corn Flour

Corn flour has a wide variety of uses. For instance, if you’ve knotted a string or rope, sprinkling a portion on will help to loosen it.

Additionally, if you’ve scorched a piece of clothing, covering it with corn flour will actually assist in removing the mark and leave the material looking good as new.

As for recipes in cooking, corn flour is not meant to be used as the equivalent of flour, but instead as a binding agent or thickener for puddings, custards, and other such recipes.

cornmeal vs corn flour

Recipes that Require Corn Flour


Starting with a fan favorite, custard is a delicious, creamy dessert that anyone can make.


  • ¼ cup of sugar.
  • 1 tablespoon of corn flour.
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt.
  • 2 cups of milk.
  • 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten.
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract.


Now that you have these together, it is time to begin cooking!

  1. Start by combining the sugar, corn flour, and salt in a medium saucepan.
  2. Slowly stir the milk into the dry ingredients until it is completely smooth. Then add in the egg yolks.
  3. Bring the mixture to medium heat and boil for one minute, making sure to stir quickly and constantly as it begins to thicken, so as to prevent the mixture from curdling. As you do this, begin stirring in the vanilla extract until it’s fully incorporated. Any large drops will end up tasting very bitter and very strong, so make sure it’s fully mixed in.
  4. Place the mixture in the fridge for up to an hour, and serve chilled.

This is a very versatile recipe that can be slightly altered. Some may choose to add a teaspoon of cinnamon or even cocoa powder. It’s entirely up to the chef!

Corn-Flour Patties (Sopes)

Going from simple to gourmet, this recipe will be much more complex but results in a delicious dinner for anyone.

corn flour


  • 2 cups of instant corn flour.
  • 4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour.
  • ½ teaspoon of baking powder.
  • ½ teaspoon of salt.
  • 1 ½ cups of warm water.
  • Canola oil for frying.

Filling Ingredients

  • Four baking potatoes, peeled and diced.
  • 1 pound of Spanish chorizo, diced.
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced.
  • 1 Spanish onion, diced.
  • 1 of each red, green, and yellow bell pepper, diced.
  • 1 poblano pepper.
  • 1 cup of chicken stock.
  • ½ cup of cilantro, chopped.
  • 1 scallion, chopped.

Once you have all of these together, it is time to begin cooking.

Patty Instructions

This first part of the recipe will be for the dough.

  1. Start by mixing the flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add warm water until the dough begins forming a smooth ball.
  2. The quick method, while breaking tradition, is much faster and easier. On a lightly floured surface, begin rolling the dough out to a quarter-inch thick, and then use a cookie cutter to make the patties.
  3. Heat up a cast iron skillet and add enough oil to just coat the bottom of the pan. While it’s hot, fry the patties until they are light golden brown and crispy (about one minute on each side).
  4. Drain on paper towels, and make a cut on the side to fill with the potatoes and chorizo filling.

Chorizo and Potato Filling Instructions

  1. Start by boiling the potatoes until tender, then set aside.
  2. Add a small amount of oil to a large sauté pan and begin cooking the chorizo, shaking constantly to prevent it from sticking.
  3. When the chorizo is crispy, add the garlic, onion, and peppers, and begin cooking for eight minutes.
  4. Add the chicken stock and proceed to cook for three more minutes, before adding the potatoes, cilantro, and scallions.
  5. Cook for three more minutes, before seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Stuff your patties and enjoy!

Note: These must be eaten immediately, as they do not keep well in the refrigerator.

Here’s an arepas recipe that also uses corn flour.

Do you have any tips for cooking with corn flour?

Leave a Comment