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Gelatin-Free Desserts: 5 Top Agar Agar Substitutes

We all love a good sweet treat, right?

Yet, finding gelatin-free options can sometimes turn into a bit of a quest.

Gelatin sneaks its way into so many desserts, throwing a wrench for those of us avoiding animal products or just trying to keep it plant-based.

Enter agar agar, our go-to gelatin substitute, saving the day one dessert at a time.

But hey, life’s too short to stick to just one alternative.

We’re here to spill the beans on five other amazing swaps that’ll keep your desserts on point and inclusive.

Get ready to whip up some magic in the kitchen without the gelatin guilt-trip.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Agar Agar

If you’re looking for a Vegan, Paleo, or gluten-free version of gelatin, agar agar is a great option.

But what if you can’t find it or don’t have any on hand? Here are five substitutes for agar agar that you can use in a pinch.

1 – Cornstarch


Cornstarch is a fine, powdery starch made from corn.

It’s used as a thickening agent in everything from sauces and gravies to pie fillings and puddings.

When combined with liquid, cornstarch becomes a gel-like substance that can help thicken, bind, and stabilize food.

Cornstarch can be used as a 1:1 replacement for agar agar in most recipes.

To substitute, simply mix cornstarch with an equal amount of cold water until smooth.

Then add it to your recipe in the same way you would add agar agar.

Keep in mind that cornstarch won’t be set as firm as agar agar, so you may need to use more of it to achieve the desired consistency.

You can also find pre-mixed cornstarch and water mixtures (called “slurry”) at some Asian markets.

2 – Cassava Flour

cassava flour

Cassava flour is a type of flour made from the root of the cassava plant.

It is a staple ingredient in many parts of South America, Africa, and Asia.

Cassava flour has a light, slightly sweet flavor and a dense, starchy texture.

It can be used in many recipes, including bread, cakes, cookies, and pies.

Cassava flour can also be used as a Thickener for soups and sauces.

Cassava flour can be substituted for agar agar in a 1:1 ratio.

When substituting cassava flour for agar agar, it is important to simmer the mixture for longer than you would with agar agar powder to ensure the cassava flour is fully cooked.

Cassava flour can also be used as a thickener for soups and sauces.

When using cassava flour as a thickener, it is important to add it slowly to the soup or sauce while constantly whisking to avoid lumps.

3 – Xanthan Gum

xanthan gum

Xanthan gum is a food additive that is used to thicken or stabilize foods.

It is made from a type of bacteria called Xanthomonas campestris, which is found in plants.

Xanthan gum has a variety of uses, including in baking, as a thickener for sauces and soups, and as an emulsifier for salad dressings and ice cream.

It can also be used to create gluten-free recipes.

In baking, xanthan gum helps bind ingredients together and structure doughs and batters.

When substituting xanthan gum for agar agar, use the same amount of xanthan gum as you would agar agar.

Xanthan gum can be purchased at most grocery stores or online.

4 – Tapioca Flour

tapioca flour

Tapioca flour is a gluten-free, grain-free flour made from cassava root.

It’s a starchy flour with a mild flavor and slightly sticky texture.

It’s often used as a thickener in the impersonation of cornstarch.

Tapioca flour can be used to thicken sauces, soups, and pudding.

It can also be used in baking to add moistness and texture to gluten-free baked goods.

Tapioca flour is also a good substitute for arrowroot powder.

When substituting tapioca flour for agar agar, use the same amount of tapioca flour as you would agar agar.

To use tapioca flour:

  • Combine tapioca flour with an equal amount of cold water or other liquid.
  • Stir until the tapioca flour is completely dissolved.
  • Add the liquid mixture to your recipe, and cook as directed.
  • Remember that the longer you cook tapioca flour, the more gelatinous it will become. If you’re looking for a less gelatinous consistency, cook for a shorter period.

5 – Arrowroot Powder

arrowroot powder

Arrowroot powder is a starch extracted from the root of the plant Maranta arundinacea.

Arrowroot powder can be used as a thickening agent in recipes such as sauces, puddings, and pie fillings.

It has a neutral flavor and will not alter the taste of your dish.

Arrowroot powder can also be used as a replacement for agar agar.

To use arrowroot powder as a thickening agent, mix it with cold water before adding it to your recipe.

This will help to prevent lumps from forming.

You can also substitute arrowroot powder for cornstarch in a 1:1 ratio.

You can find arrowroot powder in the baking aisle of most grocery stores.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Agar Agar

Looking to substitute agar agar in your recipes? Look no further! We've compiled a list of the 5 best substitutes for agar agar that will help you achieve similar results in your culinary creations. Whether you're vegan, looking for a gelatin alternative, or simply need a replacement ingredient, these substitutes will come in handy.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Cornstarch
  • Cassava Flour
  • Xanthan Gum
  • Tapioca Flour
  • Arrowroot Powder


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword substitutes for agar agar
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5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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