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Sep 19, 2008 04:44 PM

Arrowroot Powder Substitute in Cookie Recipe

I have a ginger cookie recipe I am literally in the midst of making.
The recipe calls for 2 tsp of arrowroot powder. I accidentally bought amaranth flour.

Is there anything can substitute for the arrowroot powder? I am not sure if it is more of a flour or a baking powder type ingredient.


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  1. I just found this:

    1 tsp Arrowroot powder = 1 T flour or 1 1/2 t. cornstarch

    arrowroot starch = arrowroot powder = arrowroot = arrowroot flour This starch thickener has several advantages over cornstarch. It has a more neutral flavor, so it's a good thickener for delicately flavored sauces. It also works at a lower temperature, and tolerates acidic ingredients and prolonged cooking better. And while sauces thickened with cornstarch turn into a spongy mess if they're frozen, those made with arrowroot can be frozen and thawed with impunity. The downside is that arrowroot is pricier than cornstarch, and it's not a good thickener for dairy-based sauces, since it turns them slimy.

    8 Replies
    1. re: alexa52

      I don't recall seeing arrowroot in a cookie recipe, but have occasionally seen cornstarch used. I believe cornstarch is used to make all purpose flour behave more like cake flour - that is to reduce the protein (gluten) content. The resulting cookies should be a bit softer and tender.

      It would be nice to see the rest of the recipe, but I'd be comfortable substituting 1T of cornstarch for the 2t of arrowroot.

      I just found an Italian recipe for Ladyfingers that uses 1/2 c flour, 1/4 c potato starch. It explains 'Potato starch is used to make the cookies crisp and light. ... you can substitute cornstarch.'

      1. re: paulj

        Arrowroot is also called tapioca starch. Commonly used in gluten-free cookies.

        1. re: lgss

          I am making cookies that call for arrowroot powder. Could I substitute tapioca flour?

          1. re: kanosis

   scroll down to the second graphic to see the entries for arrowroot powder and tapioca starch/flour (there appears to be a difference).

            1. re: lgss

              Thanks for the tip. I keep buying tapioca flour at the Asian markets not quite sure what to do with it. It is dirt cheap. Many years ago I received this gorgeous cake from a Vietnamese student of mine. I remember he said he used tapioca flour and agar. He had this lovely clear as glass topping underneath the gel was a scene of swans and palm trees cut from fruit. I never found a recipe but I remember he mentioned tapioca flour and agar. I stopped buying the agar too. Don't think I can duplicate his creation.

          2. re: lgss

            Actually, tapioca is a different starch altogether.
            "Arrowroot and tapioca are often confused, and some manufacturers even sell powdered tapioca under the name of arrowroot since the former is more easily processed, and thus less expensive...Authentic arrowroot comes from Maranta arundinacea, while tapioca is extracted from the rhizome of cassava or manioc" (

          3. re: paulj

            I remember "arrowroot biscuits" in the packaged cookie aisles, though I don't think I've ever had one. Some sort of plain-looking cookie, if memory serves. The Galloping Gourmet used to recommend arrowroot as a thickener.

            1. re: greygarious

              FYI, greygarious, as I remember Arrowroot Biscuits, yes, they were plain, and to me they tasted a little bit like Nabisco's Animal Crackers (the Barnum ones, not the pink and white frosted ones). Like a Lorna Doone, minus the buttery bling. Something I'd keep in my pocket to dunk in my fake coffee I rassled up out of the woods, for emergency calories, if my snowmobile broke down on the mountain and the storm clouds rolled in.

        2. 5 years later and still no reply??? I am in the midst of a recipe and also realized I didn't have arrowroot????

          1 Reply
          1. re: gltigger

            There are 9 replies - several mention cornstarch.