Baking Tips and Commonly Asked Questions

Corn Flour and Corn Starch

In general use, people say corn flour and corn starch are two different names for the same thing. The term, corn starch is commonly used in the USA and corn flour in United Kingdom. However, they are two different things and there are differences in their composition and functions.

Corn FlourCorn Starch
Corn flour is made from corn endosperm and corn gluten. It is made from corn meal and has a flavor of corn.Corn starch is made from the endosperm of corn kernels. It is flavorless. When rubbed between fingers, corn starch makes squeaky noise.
It contains corn protein, starch, and fiberCorn starch is pure starch and gluten free. The protein is milled out of corn flour to create corn starch.
When used as a thickening agent, corn flour should be used two times the quantity of corn starch.Corn starch is twice as powerful thickening agent than corn flour. 
When you add corn flour to water, the lumps are formed. Therefore, corn flour is usually mixed with hot water.When you add corn starch to water, the lumps are not formed. Therefore, corn starch is usually mixed with cold water.
When mixed with water, corn flour makes cloudy mixture.When mixed with water, corn starch makes clear, shiny, and glossy mixture.
Corn flour is used as a thickening agent in soups, sauces, etc. if corn starch is not available. It is also used as a binder. Corn starch is used as a thickening agent in soups, sauces, etc. It is especially used as thickening agent for dairy products. If over-cooked, corn starch will start thinning. 
Corn flour is also used in in baking. It is used in making breads, muffins, and cookies, etc.Corn starch is also used in baking products to add glaze and shine. It is also used in making icing sugar.