How do 3 Different Brands of Coconut Flour Differ? {REVIEW}

COCONUT FLOUR COMPARISON

Everybody’s got some brand loyalty in their lives, whether it’s driven by slick marketing or pure good taste.

For example:

  • My mother was a Jif peanut butter gal for much of my life (but news on trans fats eventually saw her switch to natural PB).
  • When I was in Junior High, I simply wasn’t cool, practically wasn’t fulfilled until I had an over-the-head B.U.M. jacket. (And then I apparently was late to the party because I still wasn’t cool. Go figure.)
  • Back in the day, you could forget about even tempting me to eat an off-brand M&M. Ewwwww. (Now, of course, M&Ms themselves are little bit “ew” for me, thank goodness.)
  • Bet you have an affinity for either Mac or PC.

When it comes to real food, you still might get a little bit of “brand loyalty” behavior, just in a different fashion.

For example:

  • You learn which farmer has the best, freshest peppers and ripest tomatoes.
  • One egg is most certainly not the same as the next – I know who raises the richest eggs in GR, and I get them whenever I can.
  • Almonds (use the code STEWARDSHIP for 10% off at that site!) direct from the grower top store brand, anytime.

And how about processed real food? There’s even more room for variation there:

  • What’s your favorite coconut oil brand? Is it based on flavor, price, sourcing, or all of the above?
  • How do you decide where to spend your discretionary dark chocolate fund?
  • Do you have a favorite company for buying fermented foods, salsa and tomato sauce, healthy snacks, or frozen vegetables?

Coconut flour is definitely a real food that has a lot of variation across brands, I learned. Here’s how it all compared:

Three Brands of Coconut Flourcoconut flour comparison

I’ll start by saying that there are certainly more than three major brands of coconut flour, but I felt this was a pretty good cross-section of the options out there. If you’ve never used coconut flour before, check out yesterday’s coverage of coconut flour for baking and the coconut flour muffin recipe, part of our grain-free elimination diet challenge this week.

The three brands I pitted against each other were:

You can actually see the difference:

comparing 3 brands of coconut flour
comparing 3 brands of coconut flour
comparing 3 brands of coconut flour

I’d describe Tropical Traditions as the finest, most powdery. Honeyville looks almost coarse visually, and Bob’s is somewhere in between. (2015 UPDATE: I now am quite pleased with the prices at Thrive Market. They carry the Bob’s Red Mill like in this post, but also Let’s Do Organic and Amazon has Coconut Secret. They deliver right to your door with 15% off your first order, so check it out!)

Testing Coconut Flour

I decided to make two recipes in which coconut flour shines using the various flours. The first and most well-documented was the grain-free coconut muffin recipe I posted yesterday.

I made the recipe exactly the same three times in a row on the same day with the three different brands of coconut flour. I took a quick video of the batter immediately after mixing in the coconut flour and then again after 5 minutes, at which time the coconut flour usually has absorbed some of the liquid in the recipe and thickened up the batter (except for the Honeyville brand, which was first and apparently I didn’t think of the “after 5 minutes” part yet).

Honeyville coconut flour video

If you can’t see the video on You Tube, click HERE.

Bob’s Red Mill Coconut flour videos

Immediately after mixing:

If you can’t see the video on You Tube, click HERE.

After 5 minutes:

If you can’t see the video on You Tube, click HERE.

Tropical Traditions coconut flour videos

Immediately after mixing:

If you can’t see the video on You Tube, click HERE.

After 5 minutes:

If you can’t see the video on You Tube, click HERE.

I also took still photos for those of you who hate watching videos, even if they’re only 15 seconds each! You can see how differently they thicken up:

Honeyville:

coconut flour muffin batter comparison

After 5 minutes:

coconut flour muffin batter comparison

You can see that the batter remains fairly loose, and also a bit of the graininess of Honeyville is evident.

Bob’s Red Mill:

coconut flour muffin batter comparison

After 5 minutes:

coconut flour muffin batter comparison

The batter starts out pretty thick and gets thicker. Bob’s demonstrates some clumping, but that doesn’t really affect the finished product.

Tropical Traditions:

coconut flour muffin batter comparison

After 5 minutes:

coconut flour muffin batter comparison

Although TT’s version does exhibit some clumping, it was more smooth in the long run than Bob’s, and the batter started out thinner and thickened up quite a bit.

Muffin Results

coconut flour comparison

The look and texture of the muffins was quite markedly different for being the same recipe:

Honeyville had the least lift overall (the shortest muffin). I did try very hard to choose muffins that demonstrated the average across that brand of coconut flour. Bob’s and Honeyville both have more air holes than TT, so TT was a bit more solid, not dense as in more tightly packed, but an almost creamier quality if that’s possible in a muffin.

coconut flour comparison

Here are some closeups so you can decide for yourself:

In a lot of ways, the results are kind of what I expected. TT’s flour is much more finely ground, so it integrates more thoroughly with the liquid ingredients and creates a smoother texture. Honeyville is coarse and heavier and behaves that way in the muffin, and Bob is somewhere in between, looking a lot more like Honeyville in the “crumb” but behaving more like the Tropical Traditions brand when mixing the batter.

All the muffins were plenty tasty, by the way, although I personally preferred the Trop Traditions texture the most.

I also made grain-free crepes with each of the flours, but the photos aren’t very informative. In that recipe, which is mostly eggs with just a few tablespoons of coconut flour and a pinch of salt, the Honeyville flour was less work to incorporate into the eggs because it doesn’t clump up at all. However, the crepes all turned out pretty comparably.

Which is the Best Brand of Coconut Flour?

coconut flour comparison

I always have to take cost into account, which currently on 3/30/2015 is:

  • Honeyville: $4/lb. (organic)
  • Tropical Traditions: $4.50-5.50/lb. (organic, difference between 2.2-4.4 pounds)
  • Bob’s Red Mill: $6.68-7.49/lb. (organic, up to $12.95 for a single pound package in some locations)
  • Thrive Market: $4.45-$5.65 (organic, depends on brand)

Since I prefer the Trop Traditions brand the most anyway based on how fine it seems (although sometimes the clumps drive me nuts) AND it seems to be the best deal of the three, I’m tipping my hat toward Tropical Traditions’ coconut flour (and it’s what I have in the basement storage, too). Watch for free shipping weekends on coconut flour at TT and grab a bag for your own kitchen.

What brand of coconut flour have you had success with?
COCONUT FLOUR COMPARISON

Are expensive gadgets and specialty foods really worth the cost? Read these super-thorough reviews to see if the item you have your eye on passed the KS tests and truly lives up to the hype.

Need a bit more help? This guide is a big help when deciding what to eat, what to avoid and how to compromise. Balancing God’s gifts is about just that – balance.

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…and you can always tell a real family has run these products through the gauntlet.

When I review a type of item, I try to review a LOT of different brands! From over a dozen reusable sandwich bags to over 120 natural mineral sunscreens, I’m your girl for straight-up info about natural, real foodie items you’re considering buying.

Click here to see more product reviews and you’ll also love my resources page, with REAL products that have passed my rigorous testing enough to be “regulars” in the Kimball household, plus some other comprehensive reviews. Updated at least once a year to boot the losers and add new gems!

30 thoughts on “How do 3 Different Brands of Coconut Flour Differ? {REVIEW}”

  1. Thanks for the review! I clicked on the link you provided for Tropical Traditions, but a different brand (Wildy Organic) pops up. I tried searching for TT online, but it appears only their website comes up and shows Sold Out. Have you started using Wildy Organic brand now, and if so, how similar are they? On a side note, even the Wildy Organic brand is difficult to find. On their website, all sizes accept for the 5 lb bag is sold out.

    1. Hi Carolyn, I know, the supply chain is messing up a lot of availability of foods. 🙁 I switched to Wildly Organic for a lot of links a few years ago because TT changed their program, but obviously this one shouldn’t have been changed, sorry about that! It was a mass “find and replace” on the site. I only used WO once and it was a few years ago now, so I don’t remember sadly. If you’re shopping elsewhere, I’d try to get a close-up photo and look for the finest powder you can. In my opinion, that coconut flour creates the nicest baked goods. Hope that helps! 🙂 Katie

  2. This is a great great great review!
    Thank you very much for your effort
    I’m new with coconut flour, making an experiments with small amounts, you really help me and save my time.
    Thank you again, keep going.

  3. Thanks for this as it’s proved that my cooking results differ between different brands of coconut flour. I’ve been doing a lot of baking with one brand, then had to switch to a local brand (I’m based in the Caribbean) when my usual store was out. The taste and texture is so very different. I understand now why some of my readers get different results too!

  4. I know it’s been a while since you posted this article and I was just wondering at this point which one you use since you did comment on Thrive Market. I am just starting out trying to gradually go gluten free do to Fibromyalgia. Thanks for

  5. I have a question I have only tried Bob’s coconut flour and a store brand that are available locally I was wondering if any of the coconut flours have a less pronounced coconut smell or flavor? Thanks for the post.
    Diana

    1. That’s a very good question, Diana – I’ve been using Tropical Traditions since this post and don’t remember Bob’s, but I can say that TT’s never strikes me as very coconutty at all. I would give that brand a shot if I were you (it’s often the best price, too). Good luck! 🙂 Katie

  6. I just made Oatmeal Cookies and used Coconut flour as a replacement. Now that I read your article I understand why the mix was so dry and crumbly. I instinctively added two additional eggs 3 total – but according to your calculations I needed 6. I will know next time. thank you for your detailed instructions and information.
    I should have gone to your site first.
    (I used Bobs Gluten Free Coconut Flour and Coaches Oats)

  7. This was a big help. I am working on a pancake recipe and am realizing, too, the differences among the brands 🙂 I will try Tropical Traditions with my recipe and see how it turns out. So crazy that a tablespoon of coconut flour can make a difference and then figure in the factor of brand differences, aggghh 🙂 Thank you for the great visuals here! xoLexie

  8. Has anyone ever made these without sweeteners? No sugar, honey, maple syrup, or anything… Just plain? If so, please let is know how they were.

  9. Thanks for the helpful review!

    There’s one other brand of coconut flour out there I’ve used that you might want to check out too:
    “Coconut Secret.” It’s supposedly raw. I like it pretty well, but it would be interesting to see exactly how well it stacks up to the TT brand.

  10. Heather @Gluten-Free Cat

    Wonderful review! Shirley of gfe sent me your way, because I want to learn more about coconut flour. Thank you!

  11. Awesome! Thanks so much for doing this! I haven’t had a ton of luck yet cooking with coconut flour (although we LOVE your coconut muffins). I am really enjoying your posts about cooking with it, and plan to try some of your tips/suggestions. Appreciate all your hard work!

  12. Thank you for posting your experiment. It’s hard to decide how to best spend/stretch the dollars. I’ve been wanting to try the TT flour, so now I know I need to go for it, especially since it’s also the most economical. As for coconut oil, I love Spectrum so much that every time I use it for baking/cooking I treat myself to a little spoonful. Yum! But, I haven’t tried any others. I would love to know some other opinions.

    1. I just started using Swanson’s brand coconut oil and it is VERY good. I like spectrum too but it can be more pricey. Tropical T is good but again costs more unless you get the free shipping.

  13. Hi, thanks for showing how the different brands compare. I know it takes up a lot of time and effort and I just looked at working with coconut flours myself, so thank you very much!

    Zeeee

  14. Bob’s for us as it is the only company on the list that guarantees they process GF flours on gluten free lines free from contamination and does batch testing to back it up.

  15. Shirley @ gfe & All Gluten-Free Desserts

    I use Tropical Traditions. I think it’s wonderful for the reasons you’ve shown. I’ve learned to always sift it and I don’t have a problem with doing that. I usually take advantage of their 2 for $x specials and it takes me a long time to go through two 2.2-lb bags. Great review, Katie! Will share on Facebook. 🙂

    Shirley

  16. If anyone lives in Oregon, there’s a Bob’s Red Mill store in the Milwaukee area that you can get the BRM products in bulk. If I remember right, the bulk coconut flour price is in the $3/lb range.

  17. I like TT. The clumps are pretty maddening sometimes– I hate sifting, but oh well, it is what it is. I’ve also used a brand called Peter Paul that I really liked. It’s a bit coarser than TT but no clumping.

  18. Thank you so much for this review and especially the videos. I learned a lot. I’ve been using coconut flour for a while, on and off. I get various results so this helps me. Are there times when you would want to use the courser flour over the finer one?

    Thanks!

    1. Tina,
      If sifting or clumps drive you mad, the coarser would be preferred. Ultimately, all the baked goods I made with all of them were very good, but different in certain ways. I like the thickening property of the finer brands myself. 🙂 Katie

    2. In Australia, we have a brand called Organic Times. I have been using their Coconut Flour and experimenting with adding proportions of their Baking Powder to add volume and Almond Meal for moisture, along with extra egg.

      I like Organic Times, as I know their products are certified organic, and I prefer to support independent producers. Their cocoa powder is the best I have EVER used.

      I’m just experimenting at the moment and will report back with some recipes to try…

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