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What Is Sweet Rice Flour? {Food Facts}

Have you ever wondered what sweet rice flour is? Or what the difference is between regular rice flour and sweet rice flour?

Sweet rice flour, also known as glutinous rice flour, is a staple in my gluten free kitchen.

Sweet rice flour is flour ground from sweet rice. And although it is also known as glutinous rice, it does not contain gluten and is safe for the gluten free kitchen.

Sweet rice is a sticky and higher starch rice and that sticky, high starch quality, works great in gluten free baking because it helps bind things together. That sticky starchy quality of sweet rice flour makes all the difference in some gluten free baked goods.

It is also a bit finer than regular rice flour, so it works well in cakes and cookies and will give you a less gritty taste.

In most recipes you cannot substitute sweet rice flour for all the rice flour, but you can usually replace some of the rice flour with sweet rice flour.

Sweet rice flour can be hard to find. Bob’s Red Mill sells Sweet White Flour and I think there are a few other brands out there. You can also find it at Asian type stores and markets because they often use it in their cooking.

I love to use sweet rice flour in my my cakes and cookies and also occasionally in muffins.

If you have not tried sweet rice flour in your gluten free baking, I encourage you to give it a try. I think you will really enjoy using it, especially in your gluten free desserts.

What are your thoughts on sweet rice flour? 

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures
Lynn's (Gluten Free) Kitchen Adventures

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  1. Since sweet rice flour is a binding agent, have you wondered whether it can be used in place of Xanthum gum in cake recipes? Isn’t Xanthum gum just a binding agent too?

    • Yes, xanthan gum is a binding agent and sweet rice helps things bind together also, but they work a little differently. I have found that in some things like muffins, I don’t always need xanthan gum and in pancakes I only use a little of it. For things like yeast doughs it is still necessary. I have a post planned on xanthan gum, but I still need to do some research on it, before I do it, but look for it soon in this series.

  2. How do you substitute it in a flour mix?. I found some in the Asian section of grocery store and bought a few bags. They were very cheap and have read how it helps lighten goods. I use the bette hagman gf flour mix -2 cups rice flour,2/3 cup potato starch, 1/3 cup tapioca starch but, I usually substitue 2/3 of a cup of white rice flour with brown rice four. I am new to gluten free baking and have not had much success with yeast breads only cakes and cookies. Would you use sweet rice flour in yeast breads or only in cakes and cookies? How much would you sub sweet rice for white rice flour or for the starch since it’s a starchy flour?

    • I don’t use a lot of mixes, so I am not sure how exactly you would add it in. Experimenting is probably just what you would need to do. As far as what I add it to, I like it in my pizza crust and have tried it in a few other yeast bread type products and have had mixed results. Really, for me it is just a lot of trying it to see if it works. Sometimes it does and sometimes it does not. I am not sure that helps answer your question or not though. 🙂

    • I use sweet rice flour when making a flour mix I got from gluten free girl ( This mix has worked WONDERFULLY for me, in cookies, yeast rolls, pizza crust, muffins, pancakes… everything I’ve tried it with so far. 🙂 It calls for:

      200 grams superfine brown rice flour
      150 grams sorghum flour
      50 grams potato flour ( use coconut flour)
      250 grams sweet rice flour
      150 grams potato starch
      100 grams arrowroot powder
      100 grams cornstarch

      I usually sub it cup-for-cup in regular recipes, and generally haven’t added xanthan gum, unless I was following a gf recipe that called for it. I also tend to use 1 T ground flaxseeds + 3 T water in place of an egg.
      Hope this helps!

  3. When I am adapting recipes to “what I have on hand” I consider sweet rice flour in the “starch” category rather than in the “flour” category. For instance, if I am out of or don’t have enough tapioca starch, I may use sweet rice flour to make up the rest and note how much, especially if it’s a sweet good like a muffin or cookie.

    • I am super new to this and having a hard time because my son was also told he cannot have potatoes so that leaves out potato starch and he can’t have that leaves out cornstarch. I see that most recipes call for both potato starch and tapioca starch. Would sweet right flour be a good replacement for the potato starch? I keep reading about xanthum gum too..but a package of Bob mills that comes in half the size of his regular flours is 18 bucks are our store here on Maui 🙁 I’ve also heard mention arrowroot…is that same powder you thicken with or the flour or a starch?

      • Sweet rice flour is not a starch, so it might work in some things, but in other things it is not. I have heard that arrow root also works in some things, but I have not tried using it much. Here is some info on xanthan gum and guar gum you might find helpful.

        Also, I live Oklahoma and have a hard time finding some gluten free items so I order them online. Would Amazon be a cheaper option for you or is shipping too expensive through amazon to Hawaii?

        I would be glad to share your question for an ask the readers question on my site if that is ok with you. I think some of my readers may be able to help. Just let me know and I will use it for a readers question.

      • Please send us more recipes using this!

  4. Lynn,
    Thanks for the information. I am trying to follow paleo and have looked for flour to bind

  5. Great info Lynn.
    Quick question: If a recipe calls for “sweet rice flour” and doesn’t specify between white or brown rice, which one should you choose or does it even matter?

    • I believe sweet rice flour only comes in a white version. I have never seen a brown sweet rice. So I guess the answer to the question would be in my recipes it would be regular sweet rice flour which is white.

      • Namaste makes a Sweet Brown Rice Flour, small bag, rather pricey. I’ve hesitated buying it but if I were to do so, would not use in place of regular brown flour. I have a few gf flour blend recipes that call for sweet rice flour, and I always use the white. Tip: I have a Ninja with several attachments, and I “process” my rice flours in it, for 20 seconds (I do a whole bag, a portion at a time, then store in a tight-lidded container). This way my rice flours are never “gritty” and I save money by not purchasing the ones labeled SUPER FINE GRIND. Those are pricey.
        Namaste Sweet Brown Rice Flour is presently available on, if you are interested. I buy my GF products on this site, especially during their sales (up to 20%), and they now offer ShopRunner (to which I belong) so you can get items even when not on sale and save on shipping (free ship) on $25 purchase. Check them out, you might just become a customer.😊

        • Thanks for letting me know that Vitacost has the sweet brown rice flour. I have ordered from Vitacost before but it has been awhile. I will have to give the sweet brown rice flour a try. Thanks for the tips!

  6. Have you any experience using Sweet Rice Flour in a roux for gravy. I read that it can be frozen and thawed without thinning like a lot of other gf flours.

    • I have not tried that. I usually make my gravy with potato starch. It separates a little when freezing, but usually whisks back together fine.

  7. I tried to use sweet rice flour in my pancake mix. They turned out gummy and took forever to cook. Stick with white rice flour, which works great in my recipe. Lesson learned

    • maureen says

      I used sweet white rice as a sub for brown rice in a bread machine recipe the bread came out gummy .

      • Usually you can only sub part of the brown or white rice flour with sweet rice flour. You can’t replace all of it. If that is what you did it is probably why it turned out gummy. I would try substituting only about 1/4 to 1/3 of it and see if it is better.

  8. Thank you very much, for both answering the question so fast and for the information!

  9. Ellen Richardson says

    I read that I need to use rice flour to flour my brotform basket (used for shaping artisan bread loaves). I have some sweet rice flour and was wondering if I could use it for this purpose?

  10. Deepa Prakash says

    I made tortillas with 1 cup of tapioca starch and 1 cup of sweet rice flour and it was yummy

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