Our local stores do not sell cornflour so I need a substitute.

Online I'm finding people saying use normal flour, or you can use arrowroot or you can use cornstarch at half the quantity. But these substitutions are given for purposes like thickening agents.

Really I don't know if something like 'flour' would be a good substitute in a Pavlova. What is the right substitute for the purpose of a Pavlova?

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    Last I checked, cornflour (UK) is the same thing as cornstarch (US)...
    – Catija
    Commented Aug 21, 2016 at 17:35
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    If true that's excellent. However, I read online "Corn flour is finely ground cornmeal. Cornstarch, on the other hand, is derived only from the endosperm of a corn kernel." goo.gl/yxpiOF . Is it okay to substitute?
    – Kias
    Commented Aug 21, 2016 at 18:02
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    I don't think that a Pavlova would include corn flour, the finely-ground cornmeal (e.g., masa harina). @Catija is correct, cornflour and cornstarch are the same, a fine, powdery material made from the endosperm of the corn kernel and used as a thickening agent. If it's not available, you could substitute arrowroot, in the same amount as the recipe calls for the cornstarch.
    – Giorgio
    Commented Aug 21, 2016 at 18:54
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    HI Chaos. I added a link to something called Pavlova, just because I had never heard of it. If it's the wrong dessert, please take it out! Thanks! Commented Aug 21, 2016 at 20:44
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    Confirming that corn starch (us) =Cornflour (uk). Corn flour/meal (us) is normally called polenta or maize meal in the UK. The large bubbles issue sounds like it's caused by the eggs - using fresher eggs will give you smaller bubbles. Generally if you're using a UK recipe in the US you might find numerous small differences in the ingredients that can throw the recipe off.
    – Niall
    Commented Aug 22, 2016 at 6:12

3 Answers 3


Cornflour in that sense being just starch, you should be able to use many starches with decent results. So corn starch, wheat starch, potato starch, rice starch, etc. will work, no matter what name they are sold under (e.g. you are more likely to find "rice flour" than "rice starch"). Try to avoid starches that are high in amylopectin ("waxy" starches), for the pavlova you want fluffiness in the starch.

If you are willing to experiment and end up with results that are farther away from the original, consider trying random flours from gluten free plants. I don't mean the "gluten-free flour mixes" in the supermarket which are enriched with gums, I mean things like oat flour, chestnut flour, etc.


Apologies for the short answer, but yes, you can use cornstarch.

Cornstarch is interchangeable (as shown in this recipe here)


There is a Fielders "Wheaten Cornflour" that is made from wheat. I am allergic to cornstarch and use Wheaten Cornflour. My mum was a champion prize winning cook. Her secret ingredient is this product for Pavs, cakes, sponges, and for a beautiful textured gravy. I give my friends Wheaten Cornflour so that when they are cooking and intend to give me something, like melting moments, anything with icing, they use it. There are recipes for sponges and other baked goods on the Fielders box.

  • What a misleading naming! It seems that this product is simply wheat starch, and has nothing to do with corn.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Apr 9, 2020 at 7:31
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    Ah - but it has the texture and does the same. To me it is a nicer taste. Also mum used only the freshest eggs. From the chooks that morning ;-)
    – Cath Bowd
    Commented Apr 10, 2020 at 3:27

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