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What are the differences between almond meal vs almond flour? Can you use them interchangeably? Here’s what you need to know before shopping.

Almond flour
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Almond meal vs almond flour: what’s the difference? Can you substitute one for the other? These two almond-based products look very similar. In fact, they’re easy to mistake for one another when you’re shopping! What’s the difference? Here’s a breakdown in definition, flavor, and recipes.

Almond meal vs almond flour: an overview

First up, let’s discuss the definition of each. Almond meal and almond flour are both made of ground almonds. The difference is in both the raw material and the production method:

  • Almond flour is made from blanched almonds, or almonds with their skins removed. It’s ground very finely, resulting in a fluffy texture in baked goods.
  • Almond meal contains the skins, making it darker brown in color instead of off-white like almond flour. It has a coarser grind than almond flour and results in denser, chewy texture in baked goods.

We’ve experienced these differences in real life: a recipe tester made our Almond Flour Skillet Cookie and complained it was too dense and dry. After some research, she realized she made it with almond meal instead of almond flour! When she made it the correct way using almond flour, and the cookie turned out beautifully. Problem solved! We’ll never forget that lesson.

Can you substitute one for the other?

Well, yes and no. Here’s what to know:

  • As a rule, don’t substitute almond meal for almond flour. Almond flour has a fluffy texture that’s essential in many baked goods, like cookies, pancakes, quick breads, and muffins. Use almond meal and your recipe will come out much too dense.
  • Are there times you can substitute almond meal? Yes, if you’re making something where there’s a little more flexibility in the final texture. You can use almond meal in fruit crisps and crumbles, or as a breading for fish.
  • Can you substitute almond flour for almond meal? Honestly, there aren’t many recipes that call for almond meal. But you can definitely substitute flour for meal: your recipe may come out fluffier (which is almost never a bad thing).
Almond flour pancakes

Recipes with almond meal and almond flour

Most of the recipes on this website that use these products use almond flour, because it’s lighter and fluffier! Almond meal is less of a versatile product, but we have a few uses. Here are some favorite almond meal and almond flour recipes to try:

Almond flour recipes

Almond meal recipes

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Almond Flour Pancakes

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 pancakes 1x


Try these almond flour pancakes: light, fluffy and so full of flavor they’ll become your go-to recipe. Everyone will ask for seconds!


  • 1 ½ cups almond flour (not almond meal!)
  • 2 ½ tablespoons sugar
  • ½ tablespoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil
  • ½ tablespoon vanilla extract


  1. In a medium bowl, mix the almond flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. 
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, neutral oil, and vanilla extract. Add the dries and stir to combine. 
  3. Lightly grease a skillet with butter and wipe off extra grease with a paper towel. Heat the skillet over low heat. Pour ¼ cup of the batter into small circles. Cook the pancakes until the bubbles pop on the top and the bottoms are golden: low and slow is the key! Then gently flip them and cook until golden on the other side: take care as they are a bit more fragile than a standard pancake. 
  4. Cook the remaining batter, adjusting the heat as necessary (the skillet can get very hot on the second batch). Place the cooked pancakes under an inverted bowl to keep them warm. Serve immediately with maple syrup.
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Breakfast
  • Diet: Gluten Free

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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