22 Ways to Bake with Almond Flour and Almond Meal

updated Mar 18, 2022
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

If you’ve wandered the baking aisle and noticed the intriguing bags of almond flour and almond meal on the shelves (they’re not the same thing – there’s a difference between almond flour and almond meal), here are all the answers to convince you to pick one up. Both are great tools for successful (and delicious) gluten-free baking, but you don’t strictly have to be following that diet to appreciate their use in the kitchen. Here’s everything you need to know about both almond flour and almond meal, from what they are and how they are different, to 22 tasty ways you can bake with them.

Baking with Almond Flour and Almond Meal: Start Here

Both almond flour and almond meal have long been pantry staples of avid gluten-free bakers, and right now it’s more popular than ever. From the surge of gluten-free baking recipes to our undying love for French macarons, almond flour is an ingredient you’ll want to keep on your radar.

We’re starting at the very beginning, introducing you to almond flour and almond meal, the similarities they share, and what sets them apart. We’ll walk you through all of the irresistibly delicious ways to use them, and exactly what you can expect from treats baked with these gluten-free products.

How Almond Flour and Almond Meal Are Different?

You may have seen almond flour and almond meal sitting side by side on the grocery store shelf. In fact, some bags are even labeled as almond flour/meal. Both look remarkably similar — because they are!

When it comes to flavor, both almond flour and almond meal retain much of their natural flavor, and lend a sweet, nutty aroma to baked goods. Overall, it’s their texture that sets them apart.

  • Almond flour is finely ground almonds typically made using blanched almonds with no skins. It’s commonly used in baked goods, like cookies, cakes, and quick breads, and perhaps most famously in macarons. It has a finer texture than almond meal.
  • Almond meal has a more coarse texture, and it typically (although not always) contains the skins.

Using Almond Flour and Almond Meal in Your Baking

Almond flour and almond meal can largely be used interchangeably, although there are some exceptions. Since the two have a different texture (almond flour is more fine, and almond meal is more coarse), it can have an impact on your recipe.

For example, if you’re making delicate macarons or a light, airy cake, you’ll want to reach for finer almond flour so your baked goods retain the light texture you’re looking for. However, if your recipe is more forgiving, like quick bread, tart crust, or cookies, either is acceptable.

Almond flour or meal isn’t a direct substitute for wheat or whole-grain flours, as almonds don’t contain the gluten found in flour.

Store almond flour in the refrigerator or freezer.

Like whole-grain flours, almond flour has a high level of oil, making it more prone to oxidizing and going rancid. Almond flour can be stored in the refrigerator for up to six months, or in the freezer for 12 months.

Not sure if your almond flour is still good? If it has an off smell or bitter taste, it’s gone bad. Fresh almond flour should have a sweet yet nutty aroma and taste.

1 / 22
Almond Flour Pancakes
These almond flour pancakes are nutty, tender, and oh-so-plush
Go to Recipe
2 / 22
Lace Cookies
These delicately thin and crispy cookies — made of almond flour, butter, and brown sugar — add elegance to the holiday cookie plate.
Go to Recipe
3 / 22
Gluten-Free Fresh Fig and Almond Cake
This light and tender cake is naturally gluten-free, thanks to almond flour. It's the perfect treat to celebrate sweet fresh figs when they're in season.
Go to Recipe
4 / 22
Gluten-Free Peach Crisp
The best peach crisp has not one, but two crusts!
Go to Recipe
5 / 22
Gluten-Free Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
Not only does almond flour make these lemon poppy seed muffins gluten-free, it keeps them moist and tender for days.
Go to Recipe
6 / 22
Cherry Frangipane Galette
Here almond flour is used to make the sweet frangipane filling for this show-stopping fruit tart.
Go to Recipe
7 / 22
Dorie Greenspan's Chocolate-Covered Chai-Tea Bars
The warm spices of chai tea — cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger — pair especially well with nutty almond flour.
Go to Recipe
8 / 22
Itty Bitty Brownie Bites
These bite-sized brownies just happen to be gluten-free, but they're so rich and fudgy, you won't even notice.
Go to Recipe
9 / 22
Flourless Lemon Almond Cake
Serve this cake simply — with a dusting of powdered sugar and fresh berries — and you won't be disappointed.
Go to Recipe
10 / 22
The Best, Easiest Gluten-Free Banana Bread
What makes this gluten-free banana bread the best? It doesn't rely on a laundry list of ingredients and yet it still totally wins.
Go to Recipe
11 / 22
Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies
If you're trying to keep these chewy cookies fit for a Paleo diet, just be sure to reach for dark chocolate that’s at least 70% cocoa (or higher) and dairy-free.
Go to Recipe
12 / 22
Italian Carrot Cake (Torta di Carote)
This isn't your usual carrot cake that's stuffed with nuts and topped with cream cheese frosting. Instead, this cake is just lightly sweetened and served with mascarpone cream.
Go to Recipe
13 / 22
Raspberry-Coconut French Macarons
Opt for almond flour to keep these pretty pink French macarons, that are filled with a sweet white chocolate-coconut ganache, as delicate and light as possible.
Go to Recipe
14 / 22
The World's Easiest Cookies
Yes, that's a bold statement, but it's true. The dough is nothing but a mix almond flour, baking powder, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. It comes together in one bowl and bakes into chewy cookies that are gluten-free and vegan.
Go to Recipe
15 / 22
Chewy Almond Spice Cookies
Either almond flour or almond meal can be used to make these fragrant cookies, spiced with cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and allspice. Almond meal will just give a little more texture to the cookies.
Go to Recipe
16 / 22
Easy Almond Croissants
There's no need to run out to your local bakery early in the morning to satisfy the craving for an almond croissant when it's easy to make them yourself using plain, day-old croissants. Almond meal, butter, and sugar make a sweet filling that transforms them into the bakery favorite.
Go to Recipe
17 / 22
Savory Muffins with Prosciutto & Chives
Whether you use almond meal or flour in this recipe, both give the muffins an extra protein boost that makes them a satisfying choice for an on-the-go breakfast or snack.
Go to Recipe
18 / 22
Heavenly Lemon Bars with Almond Shortbread Crust
The almond shortbread crust for these sweet and tart bars, made with a mix of all-purpose flour and almond meal, is so good that it's worth it to bake a separate batch that's left unadorned.
Go to Recipe
19 / 22
Almond Fig Breakfast Loaf
Just a little almond meal in this quick bread gives it a boost of nutty flavor that mimics the almond extract and chopped almonds in the batter.
Go to Recipe
20 / 22
Cranberry-Glazed Chewy Almond Cookies
The combination of almond and sugar is reminiscent of marzipan (in the best possible way), while the lemon and cranberry bring a tart, zingy balance to this sweet treat.
Go to Recipe
21 / 22
Sticky Gluten-Free Lemon Cake
Almond flour and polenta form the base of this gluten-free cake that gets a double dose of flavor from lemon zest and lemon syrup.
Go to Recipe
22 / 22
5-Ingredient Cream Cheese Pancakes
These low-carb, Keto-friendly pancakes are made in a blender with cream cheese, eggs, and the almond flour.
Go to Recipe