Difference Wiki

Corn Flour vs. Arrowroot: What's the Difference?

By Janet White || Published on December 6, 2023
Corn flour is a fine powder made from ground corn, used in baking and thickening; arrowroot is a starch extracted from tropical tubers, used as a thickener with a neutral flavor and glossy finish.

Key Differences

Corn flour, derived from the milling of dried corn kernels, is a fine yellow or white powder used in cooking and baking. Arrowroot, sourced from the rhizomes of tropical plants, is a fine white powder primarily used as a thickening agent.
The texture of corn flour is similar to wheat flour, making it suitable for bread, cakes, and other baked goods. Arrowroot, having a finer texture, is mainly used to thicken sauces, soups, and puddings without altering their flavor.
Corn flour adds a distinct corn flavor and is often used in recipes like cornbread and tortillas. Arrowroot is flavor-neutral, making it a versatile thickener that doesn’t affect the taste of dishes.
When heated, corn flour mixtures can become heavy and may form lumps, requiring careful handling. Arrowroot, on the other hand, forms a clear gel, making it ideal for thickening acidic liquids and dairy-based sauces.
Nutritionally, corn flour is rich in carbohydrates and fiber, with a slight protein content. Arrowroot is primarily carbohydrate, with minimal protein or fiber, and is often preferred for its digestibility.

Comparison Chart


Ground corn kernels
Rhizomes of tropical plants


Baking and cooking
Thickening agent


Similar to wheat flour
Finer, silky texture


Adds a corn flavor

Suitability in Cooking

Can be heavy and form lumps when heated
Forms a clear gel, good for acidic and dairy-based sauces

Corn Flour and Arrowroot Definitions

Corn Flour

Rich in carbohydrates and fiber.
Corn flour is a staple in her high-fiber diet.


A starch extracted from tropical tubers, used as a thickener.
She used arrowroot to thicken the fruit sauce.

Corn Flour

An alternative to wheat flour in gluten-free recipes.
Corn flour is great for gluten-free cake recipes.


Has a neutral flavor, ideal for delicate sauces and desserts.
Arrowroot preserved the light flavor of the custard.

Corn Flour

A fine powder made from dried corn, used in cooking.
She used corn flour to make a batch of homemade tortillas.


Easily digestible and often used in gluten-free cooking.
Arrowroot is a great gluten-free alternative for thickening soups.

Corn Flour

Often used in baking for its distinct corn flavor.
The corn flour added a unique taste to the bread.


Forms a clear, glossy gel when heated.
The arrowroot gave the gravy a glossy finish.

Corn Flour

A thickening agent for sauces and gravies.
He thickened the chili with a tablespoon of corn flour.


Suitable for thickening acidic dishes and dairy-based sauces.
Arrowroot was the perfect thickener for her lemon pie filling.


A starch obtained from the rhizomes of a tropical American perennial herb (Maranta arundinacea). It is used especially in cooking as a thickener.


The rhizome of this plant, cooked and eaten as a vegetable or used for starch extraction.


Is arrowroot a good substitute for corn flour?

Yes, especially as a thickener in sauces and desserts.

Does corn flour add flavor to dishes?

Yes, it imparts a mild corn flavor.

How is corn flour different from cornmeal?

Corn flour is more finely ground than cornmeal.

What is corn flour?

A fine powder made from ground corn, used in baking and cooking.

What is arrowroot?

A starch extracted from tropical tubers, used as a thickening agent.

Does arrowroot expire?

It has a long shelf life if stored properly.

Can corn flour be used in gluten-free recipes?

Yes, it's naturally gluten-free.

Is arrowroot good for thickening acidic dishes?

Absolutely, it's ideal for acidic and dairy-based sauces.

Does arrowroot have nutritional benefits?

It's low in nutrients but easily digestible.

Can corn flour be used for frying?

Yes, it can be used as a coating for fried foods.

Is arrowroot flavor-neutral?

Yes, it doesn't affect the taste of dishes.

Can I use arrowroot in baking?

It's best used as a thickener, not as a primary flour in baking.

How should I store corn flour?

In a cool, dry place, away from moisture.

Can arrowroot be used in cold dishes?

Yes, it can thicken without the need for heating.

Are there any allergens in corn flour?

It's generally allergen-free, unless cross-contaminated.

Can corn flour be used to thicken sauces?

Yes, but it can sometimes form lumps.

Is arrowroot good for making jellies?

Yes, it's excellent for making clear jellies and glazes.

Is arrowroot suitable for a low-FODMAP diet?

Yes, it's considered low-FODMAP and suitable for sensitive diets.

Is corn flour the same as wheat flour?

No, they have different properties and flavors.

Is corn flour healthy?

It's high in carbs and fiber, but should be consumed in moderation.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons