Top 12 Substitutes for Spelt Flour [Gluten Free and Not Gluten Free Options]

Every baker has had an “OH NO” moment in the kitchen when they realize they either don’t have a necessary ingredient for a recipe or simply not enough. It can be incredibly frustrating experiencing this problem but do not fret!

There are substitutes that can easily be added in place of spelt flour. In today’s time, there are multitudes of flour varieties that cater to allergy, taste, preference, and nutritional benefit. Einkorn flour, Emmer flour, All-purpose flour, Whole-wheat flour, and Kamut flour are examples of such, along with being great substitutions for spelt flour! And for anyone that struggles with allergies, like intolerance to gluten for example, there are substitutes that can replace spelt flour in your recipes like—oat flour, rice flour, amaranth flour, buckwheat flour, and quinoa flour. 

Of course, you don’t want your recipe to be severely altered from the desired finished product. If you’ve ever used quinoa flour, for example, you know that it soaks up moisture like a sponge and can’t replace all-purpose flour cup for cup without resulting in a hard, crumbly, and incredibly dense baked good. I can tell you from experience, all flours are not equal.

We’ve listed below substitutes for spelt flour, and catered to allergies, as well as the recommendations for how to adjust to altering the portions in lieu of the spelt flour. 

Read further for more details on the benefits of these substitute flours.

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Spelt Flour Substitutes

There is a multitude of substitutes for spelt flour. Options such as Einkorn flour, Amaranth flour, and Kamut flour being the most popular. Thankfully, there are plenty of other options, each with its own handbook of nutritional benefits! 

Additional substitutes for spelt flour include barley flour, Emmer flour, rice flour, oat flour, quinoa flour, buckwheat flour, and whole-wheat flour. Some of these options are gluten-free whilst others are not. 

You may not have heard of some of these substitutions and some you may have! Continue reading to get the full rundown on these substitutions and how they can be substituted for spelt flour in any recipe. 

Popular Substitutes for Spelt Flour  – Not Gluten-Free

1. Einkorn Flour

What is Einkorn Flour

Einkorn Flour, an ancient grain, is a covered wheat that is more nutritious than traditional whole wheat while also containing less gluten. 

Nutritional Info

A great source of iron, thiamine, dietary fiber, protein, and various B vitamins, einkorn flour holds a great amount of lutein, a mighty antioxidant. 

Health Benefits

There is a wide range of health benefits included with consuming this flour. It reduces the risk of eye disease, limits allergy symptoms, helps you lose weight, may help delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes, and fights disease with phenolic acids.

Allergy Info

Contains less gluten (but is not recommended for anyone with Celiac disease) as it is NOT gluten-free.

How To Substitute

Einkorn flour can’t be substituted cup for cup as it absorbs less liquid than regular flour. Recipes will require somewhere around 20-50 percent less water. You can add about one tablespoon of coconut flour to aid in absorbing moisture in a recipe with Einkorn flour.

Costs

Einkorn flour is not only expensive it can also be difficult to find. As it is also not gluten-free, it can be a poor choice for those who are on a budget or those who are gluten-intolerant.

Recipes to Try

Try out this recipe for No-Knead Einkorn Sandwich Bread!

2. Kamut Flour

What is Kamut Flour

Fun fact! The word “Kamut” is the Egyptian word for “wheat”. Kamut flour is grown certified organic, never having been genetically modified. 

Nutritional Info

Kamut flour is high in antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and protein.

Health Benefits

There is a multitude of benefits that come from consuming this product. It supports bone health, aids the digestive system, detoxes the body, is a high source of protein, fights the common cold, supports brain health, balances hormones, and lowers cholesterol among some of them.

Allergy Info

Kamut flour contains gluten, so it may not be the best option for anyone gluten-free. As it is similar to Einkorn flour in that the structure of gluten is different, it might be more tolerable to people with gluten sensitivity rather than someone with Celiac disease. 

How To Substitute

When substituting for spelt flour in a recipe, it can go cup for cup but as it is not very absorbent you may need to add water.

Costs

Kamut flour runs a little lower compared to other flours that substitute for spelt flour. Prices range from $0.19 per ounce to $0.36 per ounce.

Recipes to Try

Try out this recipe for Kamut Coconut Chocolate Chip Muffins!

3. Emmer Flour

What is Emmer Flour

Emmer flour is hulled wheat that is cultivated in Italy. It is widely used for baking recipes as well as in the production of beer. 

Nutritional Info

With a higher fiber content than wheat flour, Emmer flour contains vitamin B, vitamin E, folic acid, copper, manganese, zinc, iron, and more nutrients!

Health Benefits

There is a vast amount of health benefits included in consuming Emmer flour. It lowers cholesterol, supports heart health, reduces inflammation, regulates blood sugar, supports brain health, relieves asthma, prevents the formation of gallstones, fights cancer, and prevents the occurrences of Alzheimer’s among some of the few! 

Allergy Info

It is not gluten-free so it is not recommended to be used by anyone allergic to gluten.

How To Substitute

Emmer flour can be replaced cup for cup when replacing spelt flour. 

Costs

Emmer flour runs on the more expensive side, ranging from $0.34 per ounce to $0.75 per ounce.

Recipes to Try

Try out this recipe for Whole Emmer Sourdough Bread!

4. Whole Wheat Flour 

What is Whole Wheat Flour

Whole wheat flour originates from a type of grass called Triticum. It is one of the most commonly used grain and used in foods like cereal, pasta, and other products. 

Nutritional Info

A rich source of minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin—copper, selenium, manganese, and phosphorus being a few of them. 

Health Benefits

Whole wheat has been linked to improvements in gut health and the prevention of colon cancer.

Allergy Info

A side note–the gluten content will increase with the change from spelt flour to whole wheat flour so if you are sensitive to gluten take caution!

How To Substitute

Don’t worry about replacing measurements, whole wheat flour can be substituted in the same quantities as spelt flour.

Costs

On the cheaper end of flours, whole wheat flour runs from $0.13 per ounce to $0.47 per ounce. 

Recipes to Try

Try this recipe for Simple Whole Wheat Bread!

5. All-Purpose Flour

What is All-Purpose Flour

Like its name suggests, all-purpose flour can be used for any version of baking whether it be pizza, brownies, or cake. It is commonly used by bakers due to its wide variety of uses. 

Nutritional Info

All-purpose flour contains niacin, thiamine, copper, selenium, and riboflavin along with other nutrients. 

Health Benefits

Unlike other options we’ve provided, all-purpose flour isn’t well-known for its health benefits. If anything, it is considered the “least” healthy out of all the flours due to its lack of nutritional benefits. 

Allergy Info

As it does contain gluten, all-purpose flour is not gluten-free. 

How To Substitute

As spelt flour is more water-soluble than all-purpose flour you will have to change up the recipe a bit. 

Increase the liquids by ¼ to obtain the best results. Water can be a great option if you are afraid to ruin the recipe by adding too much milk or other liquids.

Costs

Running the absolute cheapest out of all the flours provided in this article, all-purpose prices range from $0.06 per ounce to $0.27 per ounce. It is easily accessible at any local grocery store and online! 

Recipes to Try

Try this Banana Banana Bread recipe!

Should I use spelt flour if I am gluten intolerant?

Spelt does contain gluten so if you are gluten intolerant this may not be the best option for you. It has half the amount of glutenin that common wheat flour does. Interestingly enough, the components of gluten in spelt have some key differences that can make it more tolerable for those with gluten or wheat sensitivity.

If you are gluten intolerant, the consumption of spelt flour is not recommended.

Gluten-free Substitutes for Spelt Flour

Thankfully, there are substitutes for spelt flour that are gluten-free! In fact, we’ve included five! 

They include amaranth flour, rice flour, oat flour, quinoa flour, and buckwheat flour.

Some of these gluten-free flours need to be paired with another flour to make up for volume. Others are more absorbent which may require extra liquid to be added to a recipe if using as a substitute.

The gluten-free substitutions we’ve provided are our favorites and used commonly by gluten-free bakers. Give them a try! 

6. Amaranth flour 

What is Amaranth Flour

Amaranth flour is a gluten-free option that is similar in appearance to quinoa. It can be ground into flour to be used for baking. A popular ingredient for gluten-free bakers, Amaranth can be enjoyed in its multiple forms in recipes of sweet and savory variations. 

In baking, Amarnath flour is considered “heavy” which can make the baked goods rather dense as the finished product. That’s why the flour should be limited to about ¼ of the total flour in the recipe.

Nutritional Info

This flour contains more iron, protein, and fiber than other types of grains.

Health Benefits

Amaranth flour reduces inflammation, supports bone health, lowers cholesterol, and fights diabetes. 

Allergy Info

Amaranth flour is considered the best gluten-free substitute for spelt flour as it is popular with gluten-free bakers and therefore has plenty of options and success stories with baking. 

How To Substitute

If you are substituting amaranth flour in a spelt flour recipe, replace every 1 cup of spelt flour with ¼ cup amaranth flour (as it is very dense). To make up for the missing volume required for the recipe, amaranth flour normally needs to be paired with other flours (when substituting). 

Choices like rice flour, brown or white, are the most common pairings with amaranth flour.

Costs

Amaranth flour can be on the more expensive side as well. Prices range from $0.87 per ounce to $0.93 per ounce.

Recipes To Try

Try out this recipe here for delicious gluten-free cookies!

7. Rice Flour

What is Rice Flour

Commonly used for making cakes, cookies, and pancakes, rice flour is known to have a light nutty flavor that is found more in brown rice flour than white rice flour. 

Nutritional Info

Gluten-free, rice flour is also high in protein and fiber. 

Health Benefits

The consumption of rice flour promotes regular bowel movements, improves blood sugar levels, and helps lower cholesterol.

Allergy Info

Rice flour is gluten-free and often paired with amaranth flour (also gluten-free) in recipes. 

How To Substitute

It is often paired with amaranth flour in recipes to adjust to volume requirements in recipes.

Costs

Rice flour ranges from the cheaper end at $0.15 per ounce to $0.39 ounce at a middle range for costs.

Recipes To Try

Try this Rice Flour Pancakes recipe!

8. Oat Flour

What is Oat Flour

Great for making cookies, cakes, muffins, and pancakes, oat flour is finely ground from whole goats. This can easily be done at home using a blender or food processor! Naturally gluten-free, oat flour is a great substitution in recipes for anyone intolerant to gluten. 

Nutritional Info

It is rich in vitamins, minerals protein, and fiber, making it a highly nutritional substitute for spelt flour.

Health Benefits

Oat flour contains an important fiber called beta-glucan, known to lower cholesterol and that is notably great for heart health.

Allergy Info

Oat flour is gluten-free!

How To Substitute

It is noted that you might need to add more oat flour when replacing spelt flour in a recipe. Start by adding 1/3 cup and adjust from there. If the batter is too thick, add more water. 

Costs

For oat flour you can either buy it already ground up, which you’ll find can be a bit more expensive than the other option which is buying your local grocery store’s Old-fashioned rolled oats or any brand of your choice and using a high-speed blender to grind into a fine powder–oat flour. If you buy it already ground into flour, it can run from around $0.20 per ounce to $0.56 per ounce.

Recipes To Try

Try this recipe for Oat Wheat Bread for Bread Maker!

9. Quinoa Flour

What is Quinoa Flour

A well-known grain that is used for its edible seeds, quinoa flour comes in three different colors—red, white, and black. Often used in pies, bread, cookies, and muffins recipes, quinoa flour is another great gluten-free substitute. It has a slight nutty bitter flavor that can be decreased if toasted before using in a recipe.

Nutritional Info

High in protein, fiber, contains quercetin and kaempferol, contains all essential amino acids, and has a low glycemic index which is great for blood sugar control.

Health Benefits

Quinoa flour improves heart health, improves digestive system functions, and aids in detoxing the body while helping to manage diabetes. 

Allergy Info

Quinoa flour is gluten-free!

How To Substitute

Quinoa flour needs to be paired with a second flour as it does not bind the ingredients together, which can cause the baked goods to fall apart.

Costs

Quinoa flour is definitely on the more expensive end of flour substitutions. It runs from around $0.33 per ounce to $0.84 per ounce.

Recipes To Try

Try these Quinoa Flour Cookies!

10. Buckwheat Flour

What is Buckwheat Flour

Using the pyramid-shaped kernels from buckwheat and grinding them together, buckwheat flour is made. You will see that is it used often in recipes for bread making, cookies, and muffins. It has a unique earthy-nutty flavor with a soft texture. 

Nutritional Info

Buckwheat flour contains vitamins, protein, fiber, and a large amount of minerals making it a nutritional and healthy gluten-free substitution.

Health Benefits

With many health benefits, buckwheat flour is a nutritional and healthy substitution. It improves heart health, contains minerals, contain antioxidants, decreases blood sugar, boosts the immune system, and controls blood pressure. 

Allergy Info

Buckwheat flour is gluten-free!

How To Substitute

Buckwheat flour can be substituted cup for cup. It also can be used on its own or paired with another flour (like rice flour to keep it gluten-free or all-purpose flour if not gluten-free). 

Costs

Buckwheat flour runs more commonly in the middle ground of cost expenses. It can range from $0.13 ounces to $0.39 per ounce.

Recipes To Try

Try this recipe for Tasty Buckwheat Pancakes!

What is the best substitute for spelt flour in sourdough bread recipe?

All flours are not created equal. And in a recipe for sourdough bread, switching out spelt flour for just any flour can have a negative impact on the rise, texture, and browning.

For the best substitutions for spelt flour in a sourdough bread recipe, check out these two recommended flours. Both have pros and cons as the texture and consistency change with each, but if done right, can create a wonderful and delicious sourdough bread. 

Top Substitutes for Spelt Flour in a Sourdough Recipe

11. Einkorn flour 

Einkorn Flour will give the sourdough bread a more crumbly but light texture. It shouldn’t be kneaded too much or it will become a big runny mess!

Try out this Einkorn Sourdough Artisan Bread recipe!

12. Kamut flour

Like spelt, Kamut flour is extensible but not elastic. The sourdough bread will result in a soft, but slightly dense texture. The recipe will require more water as Kamut flour is more absorbent than modern wheat.

Check out this Kamut Sourdough recipe!

Which substitutions are the least expensive?

Costs change depending on ingredients, accessibility, and labor required to make items. All-purpose flour is always going to be cheaper than quinoa flour or amaranth flour due to the ease for which it is made. 

The top four least expensive flours are:

  1. Kamut flour
  2. Buckwheat flour 
  3. Oat flour
  4. All-Purpose Flour

Out of the substitutions provided, all-purpose flour and oat flour are going to be the most inexpensive. The oat flour will be especially cheaper if made at home which you can find directions on how to make your own oat flour here.

Which substitutions are more expensive? 

Costs change depending on ingredients, accessibility, and labor required to make items. 

The top four most expensive substitutions are:

  1. Einkorn flour
  2. Amaranth flour
  3. Quinoa Flour
  4. Emmer Flour

Out of these selections, Amaranth flour is going to run the most expensive, with Einkorn flour being the most difficult to find. 

What is spelt flour and why is it so popular?

Spelt, or spelt flour in this case, is more nutritious than wheat and higher in minerals such as potassium, iron, and zinc. An ancient grain, spelt is in the family along with barley, rye, and wheat. With a generally nutty flavor and light texture, spelt is commonly used because it does not crumble when used to cook.

There are some awesome health benefits included with consuming spelt. This includes improving immune system functions, lowering cholesterol levels, and strengthening bones.

As it does contain gluten, it’s not the best choice for anyone with Celiac, but may be tolerable for anyone with gluten sensitivity or even wheat allergies. 

Final Words

There are a variety of substitutions for spelt flour that range from texture, flavor, accessibility, cost, and usability. Our favorite substitutions are Kamut flour, oat flour, and Einkorn flour. Each bringing added flavor, texture, and quality to our recipes. 

Try these substitutions out today! 

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