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Almond Meal vs Almond Flour in Baking

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Almond flour
Ground almonds – also known as almond meal or almond flour – are a fairly common ingredient in many different types of recipes, from cookies, tarts and cakes to a wide variety of gluten free baked goods. It is also a popular choice for breading meats in place of, or in addition to, bread crumbs. Almond meal and almond flour both appear in ingredient lists – is there a difference between them?

Almond meal and almond flour are both finely ground almonds and there is no official difference between the two products. The terms can be used interchangeably. In practice, however, almond flour is often much more finely ground than almond meal is and has a more uniform consistency. Almond meal can be blanched (skins removed) or unblanched, while most products labeled almond flour are blanched. For most recipes, you can use almond meal or almond flour, regardless of which is specifically called for in a recipe and get good results. There are a few recipes out there, however, where you should take into account the consistency of the product you’re working with. French macarons are a good example, because most bakers will want the finest almond flour that they can find (usually blanched, as well) to get the smoothest looking finished macarons. People who use almond meal for breading often prefer a coarser consistency for a little more texture.

You can make your own almond meal by whizzing whole almonds in the food processor until finely ground. If you prefer a finer consistency to your ground almonds, you can sift your homemade almond meal a few times to remove any larger pieces of almond that you might not want in your finished product.

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11 Comments
  • Jill
    June 30, 2012

    Found a black & white torte recipe in a 10 year old Chocolate recipe book, calling for ground almonds – I only had almond meal. Checked this site on google and went ahead with almond meal. Torte was absolutely delicious. Thank you.

  • Christine Bell
    December 3, 2012

    I want to make a French Macaron recipe that calls for “powdered almonds” and am trying to determine if I need to make my own according to a method I found online where they process whole blanched unsalted almonds and whiz them with powdered sugar until as fine as can be.
    OR not knowing if that is in fact what the recipe is really calling for, I’m searching and searching for a product actually called “Powdered Almonds” instead of concocting something.
    ANY CLUES?

  • Natalie the Cookware Advisor
    January 29, 2013

    Thanks for clarifying, your website came up first when I typed in almond meal vs almond flour.
    Just wondering if unblanched almonds are a better choice nutritionally? I can find plenty of blanched almond meal/flours available in the store but nothing with whole almonds so would have to make that at home.

  • Tara @ KitchenSanity
    May 23, 2016

    Thanks for the clarifying about the difference between ground almonds. Do you know if there are brands remove the skins first? I’m thinking it might help to end up with a sweeter result without the addition of sugar.

  • Nicole
    May 23, 2016

    Hi Tara,

    In my experience, it doesn’t make that much of a flavor difference if you remove the skins. The brands will really vary by area, so I’m afraid that I can’t help there. There are quite a few almond growers in California that will sell ground almonds without skins in bulk, though, and that might be something worth checking out depending on how much you want to use!

  • Cherie Hobday
    February 6, 2017

    I have a banana vegan, gluten free muffin recipe calling for 1/2.almond Meal and 1/2 almond Flour . Here in Australia I haven’t seen in years what you refer to as almond meal ( our ground almonds) . But plenty of what we call almond meal which you call flour a very fine, soft mix….
    Anyway could Iuse just the almond meal (your flour) for mufffins I use our almond meal ( flour)! For lots of cakes but have never tried muffins
    ManynTahnks

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