Let’s talk about oat flour! Oat flour is a nutritious whole grain flour that is easy to make out of—you guessed it—oats. Oat flour offers a mildly nutty flavor and a tender crumb. Plus, oat flour is gluten-free if you make it with certified gluten-free oats.
“Can I use oat flour?” is one of the most frequent questions I’m receiving on recipes for baked goods. This question tells me a few things:
- You’re having trouble finding traditional flours at stores.
- Oat flour is going mainstream.
- You’re curious about how oat flour works.
So today, I’m sharing how to make oat flour. Plus, I’ll provide guidance on how to substitute oat flour for best results. Oat flour is more suitable for some recipes than others.
You’ll also find recipes that are designed specifically for oat flour, including my all-time favorite waffles. I’ll be sharing more healthy recipes that use this wonderful flour soon!
How to Make Oat Flour
You won’t believe how easy oat flour is to make. Just pour oats into your blender or food processor (affiliate links). Blend until the oats have turned into a fine flour. You’ll find more details in the recipe below.
What kind of oats can be turned into oat flour?
You can use old-fashioned (rolled) oats, quick-cooking oats or even steel-cut oats. Since steel-cut oats are more dense, they require more blending time and yield twice as much flour per cup.
How to Substitute Oat Flour
In fluffy baked goods, you’ll have the best luck substituting oat flour for all-purpose or whole wheat flour if:
- The recipe contains eggs, which help bind the ingredients together. Gluten is a protein that provides structure to baked goods. Eggs also provide some structure and help make up for gluten’s absence. Even with eggs, baked goods made with oat flour will be a little more delicate than their glutenous counterparts. Substituting both oat flour and egg substitutes, such as flax eggs, is more risky but often still works.
- You replace the “regular” flour with an equal amount of oat flour by weight, not by volume. This is when a kitchen scale comes in really handy. Oat flour is significantly lighter than all-purpose and whole wheat flour. If you use one cup of oat flour for every cup of regular flour, you won’t be using enough and your baked goods won’t rise as high as they should.
Don’t have a scale? You can measure by volume (with measuring cups) if you increase the flour by 42 percent. In other words, multiply the original amount of flour by 1.42. For example, many of my muffin recipes call for 1.75 cups whole wheat flour. To use oat flour instead, multiply 1.75 by 1.42 to yield 2.485, which we’ll round up to 2.5 cups oat flour.
Here are some measurements for reference:
- 1 cup (scooped and leveled) old-fashioned oats or quick-cooking oats weighs 100 grams, and yields just over 1 cup oat flour (spooned into cups and leveled)
- 1 cup (scooped and leveled) steel-cut oats weighs 176 grams, and yields exactly 2 cups oat flour (spooned into cups and leveled)
- 1 cup (spooned into cups and leveled) oat flour weighs 88 grams, whereas all-purpose or whole wheat flour (spooned into cups and leveled) weighs 125 grams
One more tip: When making pancakes and waffles, let your batter rest for 10 minutes before using. This gives the oat flour time to hydrate, which produces a thicker and more evenly-mixed batter—and a better end result.
Is oat flour really gluten free?
If you make oat flour out of certified gluten-free oats (or buy certified gluten-free oat flour at the store), then yes—oat flour is gluten free. It’s important that your oats are certified gluten free because oats can be cross-contaminated by grains growing in nearby fields, or contaminated in the factories that process and package them. Certified gluten-free oats are tested and confirmed to be gluten free.
A small percentage of people with celiac disease (around 10 to 15 percent) or gluten intolerance are also sensitive to the protein found in oats, called avenin. Therefore, oat flour is not suitable for everyone following a gluten-free diet. As always, listen to your body and consult with your healthcare providers.
Homemade Oat Flour
- Prep Time: 3 minutes
- Total Time: 3 minutes
- Yield: 1 cup
- Category: Baking
- Method: Blended
- Diet: Gluten Free
Learn how to make oat flour! It’s so easy. You’ll need old-fashioned (rolled) oats, quick-cooking oats or steel-cut oats, plus a blender or food processor. One cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats yields about one cup flour, whereas one cup steel-cut oats yields about two cups flour.
- Old-fashioned oats, quick-cooking oats or steel-cut oats (certified gluten-free if necessary)
- You can make oat flour on an as-needed basis, or make a larger batch to save for later. Fill your blender or food processor up to half-way with oats. Keep in mind that one cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats yields about one cup flour, whereas one cup steel-cut oats yields about two cups flour.
- Blend until the oats have turned into a fine flour, about 20 seconds to 1 minute. (If you’re using a blender with a wide base and it’s not gaining enough traction to blend well, you’ll need to add more oats). The flour is done when it feels like powder with a very slight texture (it should not feel like sand). If you see any larger flecks of oats, blend longer.
- Store extra flour in a labeled air-tight container for up to 3 months. Since whole grain flours contain good-for-you natural oils, they do not last as long as refined flours.
Make it gluten free: Be sure to use certified gluten-free oats.