The Ultimate Guide to Sorghum Flour

Sorghum flour is a popular alternative flour which is naturally gluten-free and works well in many sweet and savoury recipes.

Sorghum Flour

As part of my on going series on Gluten-Free Flours we will be discovering what sorghum is, how sorghum flour is made, its nutritional benefits, the best way to use it in our baking and where to purchase it.

Sorghum Flour

What is Sorghum?

Sorghum is an ancient cereal grain common throughout Australasia and Africa. Its roots can be traced back 5000 years and is the fifth most important cereal crop in the world.

Sorghum can be used to make a breakfast porridge, to thicken stews or in the production of alchoholic drinks. The use of sweet sorghum syrup was a common ingredient in the southern states of America but its use has been swapped out in more recent recipes for the more economical, but less flavourful, corn syrup. Sorghum flour is also the key ingredient in the Indian flatbread, jowar roti.

close up of Sorghum Flour

What is Sorghum Flour?

Sorghum flour is finely ground from the whole grain kernel of Sorghum. It is light or beige in colour with a mild sweet flavour. Like most gluten-free flours it cannot be used solely as a wheat flour substitute but it is commonly used in several branded gluten-free flour blends such as Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-To-1 Baking Flour due to non-assertive flavour and soft texture.

If you are looking to purchase sorghum flour you may also find it under the name ‘Sweet White Sorghum Flour.’

Lemon and Ginger Pudding on a plate drizzle with lemon custard

Nutritional Benefits of Sorghum Flour

Sorghum flour is high in fibre and a good source of anti-oxidants which helps fight inflammation and heart disease. It is a low gi food so slow to digest and helps to balance out blood sugars. Sorghum flour is also high in protein so promotes a soft tender crumb in bakes.

A deliciously moist Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread, made with brown butter and alternative flours for an earthy nutty flavour and unbeatable chew.

How Do You Use Sorghum Flour in Baking?

As sorghum flour is a whole grain flour, for most recipes it cannot be used as a direct replacement for wheat flour. Whole grain flours are lovely to use in baked goods as they provide taste and texture but they are lacking in the necessary stickiness to keep a cake together. You need a binder to stop the bake from being dry and crumbly which is where starch flours come in. You can use a starch like sweet rice flour, tapioca flour or arrowroot to mimic the gluten properties of wheat flour.

Click here to subscribe

Sorghum Flour is especially versatile because it can be used in both sweet and savoury recipes. It works excellently in breads or in pastry like in the recipe for these Gluten-Free Mince Pies.

Gluten-Free Mince Pies

Or this Pecan Treacle Tart

Pecan Treacle Tart

What Flavours Pair Well with Sorghum Flour?

Think of sorghum flour as a slightly sweeter version of whole wheat flour and you’ll be heading in the right direction as far as flavour profiles go. It pairs well with warm spices, bananas, berries, stone fruits, nuts, butter, caramel, dates cheese or honey.

I especially like to use sorghum flour in my banana recipes like in this Banana Rum Caramel Cake

Close up of Banana Rum Caramel Cake

Or these vegan Banana Peanut Butter Streusel Muffins.

Banana Peanut Butter Streusel Muffins {vegan, gluten-free}

Where to buy Sorghum Flour

Sorghum flour is gaining in recognition due to its impressive nutritional benefits and because of the rise in popularity of the gluten-free diet. You can purchase sorghum flour at health food shops and some well-stocked supermarkets. I will either buy my sorghum flour from my local organic shop, Ocado or I use the subscribe and save option on Amazon which is the most economical way of purchasing it.

This post is not sponsored but the links above are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to use these links to make your purchases then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. I will only recommend products I use in my kitchen and love. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

PIN THIS POST TO READ LATER!

Sorghum Flour

MORE RECIPES WHICH MAKE THE MOST OF SORGHUM FLOUR

Honey Apple Spice Scones

Honey Apple Spice Scones {gluten-free}

Apple Thyme Cheddar Crumble Cake

Apple Cheddar Thyme Crumble Cake

OTHER POSTS IN THIS SERIES INCLUDE…

Click here to subscribe

If you like this post then you may like…

Image of banana bread with text overlay Xanthan Gum

Sticky Ginger and Whisky Cake with Lime Drizzle {gluten-free}

Sticky Ginger and Whisky Cake with Lime Drizzle is a fiery offering to your afternoon tea. Punchy with stem ginger, fresh ginger and ground ginger and infused with a spicy Scotch whisky this is a lovely warming cake.

Sticky Ginger and Whisky Cake with Lime Drizzle {gluten-free}

We haven’t really had proper snow in London for a few years now so had yet to experience a proper snow day together as a family. This morning we had our usual morning wake up call of 5am from Cole who is really throwing himself into the Christmas spirit and joined us in bed with his manic renditions of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Jingle Bells. After a brief glance out of the bedroom window to catch a glimpse of the snow predicted I was disappointed to see a dark morning with only sheets of rain illuminated by the streetlamps. So we went back to bed, trying to convince Cole that it was still sleepytime. He agreed that he was very tired but continued to enthral us with his Christmas playlist for the next forty minutes.

Sticky Ginger and Whisky Cake with Lime Drizzle {gluten-free}

During tea and toast in the kitchen the first snowflake started to fall and by the time we had pulled on boots, jumpers, hats and gloves the snow was thickly carpeting the urban landscape. Cole couldn’t get outside fast enough and immediately started rolling up snowballs to throw around the garden and decreed that snow was in fact his new snack of choice. The speed with which the snow arrived and settled was unbelievable. Just an hour before our street was a normal dank London morning, suddenly it looked like a scene from Frozen.

Sticky Ginger and Whisky Cake with Lime Drizzle {gluten-free}

Unfortunately our frolics in the snow didn’t last long as I had a market to do. My in-laws were now stuck up in Ely with the snow so we didn’t have a Cole-sitter. Trying to set up a cake stall and warding off a choco-crazy toddler from said cakes is a very special challenge I urge all parents to enjoy. At least the market was moved inside the school so set up was quick and then Luke whisked Cole away for snow angel antics in the playground.

Sticky Ginger and Whisky Cake with Lime Drizzle {gluten-free}

By the time I had finished at the market, the snow had turned to that slimy grey sludge which makes you remember why snow isn’t actually as cool as it promises as you slip and curse trying to carry glass cake stands, wooden signage and tables back to the car.

Sticky Ginger and Whisky Cake with Lime Drizzle {gluten-free}

Thank goodness then that we could come back to the house, light the fire and enjoy a slice of this Sticky Ginger and Whisky Cake with Lime Drizzle that I had saved for us to share. This cake could not be coming to you at a better time. The three types of ginger used spark a sweet warmth, perfect for cold snowy days, not to mention the soul soothing blanket of scotch whisky nestled within. This cake is one of Luke’s top three of all the cakes on my cake stall. It is ultra moist and the zingy lime icing freshens up the cake and gives the dark depths of the sponge a lovely contrast.

Sticky Ginger and Whisky Cake with Lime Drizzle {gluten-free}

I do love a good snow day and it was thrilling to be able to enjoy this one with Cole, may every wintry December day be punctuated at the end with this delightfully warming cake.

Snow Day

Print Recipe
Sticky Ginger and Whisky Cake with Lime Drizzle {gluten-free}
Gluten-Free Sticky Ginger and Whisky Cake with Lime Drizzle is a fiery offering with three types of ginger and infused with a spicy Scotch whisky.
Sticky Ginger and Whisky Cake with Lime Drizzle {gluten-free}
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
12 people
Ingredients
  • 100 g sweet rice flour
  • 100 g teff flour
  • 75 g oat flour
  • 25 g tapioca flour
  • teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • teaspoons ground mixed spice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 150 g unsalted butter
  • 150 g dark muscovado sugar
  • 150 g black treacle
  • 150 g golden syrup
  • 300 ml whole milk
  • 35 ml scotch whisky
  • 80 g stem ginger chopped finely 4 balls
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger peeled and finely grated
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
Lime Drizzle
  • 150 g icing sugar
  • 2 limes zested
  • juice of 1-2 limes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
12 people
Ingredients
  • 100 g sweet rice flour
  • 100 g teff flour
  • 75 g oat flour
  • 25 g tapioca flour
  • teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • teaspoons ground mixed spice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 150 g unsalted butter
  • 150 g dark muscovado sugar
  • 150 g black treacle
  • 150 g golden syrup
  • 300 ml whole milk
  • 35 ml scotch whisky
  • 80 g stem ginger chopped finely 4 balls
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger peeled and finely grated
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
Lime Drizzle
  • 150 g icing sugar
  • 2 limes zested
  • juice of 1-2 limes
Sticky Ginger and Whisky Cake with Lime Drizzle {gluten-free}
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 160°C and line and grease a deep 8 inch round cake tin.
  2. Sift together the flours, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and spices in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the butter and rub into the flour mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  4. Put the sugar, treacle, syrup and milk into a medium saucepan and heat, gently stirring until the sugar has dissolved but turn off the heat when the mixture reaches just below boiling point.
  5. Add stem ginger and fresh ginger to flour mixture and whisk in until evenly dispersed, then pour in the treacle mix, then the whisky and combine. Finally beat in the eggs.
  6. Pour into the cake tin and bake for 45-50 minutes.
Lime Drizzle
  1. Make the icing by beating together the zest and enough lime juice with the icing sugar until the icing is just pourable.

25 Tips for Baking Perfect Cakes

25 Tips for Baking Perfect Cakes from Start to Finish

25 Tips for Baking Perfect Cakes from Start to Finish

Before I get to my 25 Tips for Baking Perfect Cakes I want to give you a bit of an update on things. For 2017 I’m narrowing the focus of my blog just a smidge. Before I had Cole I could post regularly, maybe two or three times a week but these days, not so much. I am just about managing to post once a week. Having my energies focused on this one post has made me re-evaluate what I am really interested in and what I am good at so I can use this post wisely and productively. And it all comes back to cake. This makes sense, I bake cakes a living, it’s my great passion and I am inspired daily to bake, experiment with flour and create delicious and interesting gluten-free cakes, bakes and desserts..

Fig Almond and Salted Honey Cake

I have been avoiding this change on the blog as I didn’t want to snub long time readers who enjoy my savoury stuff but I have to go where my heart takes me which is why I began this blog in the first place. I’m sorry if a lot of my readers will be sad to see my savoury stuff relegated to the back burner for a while but there is still a tonne of dinner recipes here which I won’t be getting rid of and they are all just as delicious as ever if you wanted to check them out.

So with that in mind I want to kick off talking about cake, specifically a post I’ve been wanting to write for a while and that is these 25 Tips for Baking Perfect Cakes. Shall we?

25 Tips for Baking Perfect Cakes

1) READ THE RECIPE. Twice, nay three times, especially the ingredients list, well before you begin as sometimes ingredients have to be prepped or soaked. Then before you get started double check to make sure you have all ingredients to hand.

2) PREP YOUR BUTTER. If your recipe calls for room temperature butter take the butter out of the fridge and cut into cubes before you do anything else, preferably 1 hour before.

Butter

3) PRE-HEAT THE OVEN. Pre-heating your oven is a must to ensure it has time to get to the temperature your cake needs.

4) PRE-CUT BAKING PARCHMENT. I recommend pre-cutting a bulk load of the paper to fit all your most used cake tins on a boring rainy day as it’s a job I hate doing right before I bake.

5) CAKE RELEASE SPRAY. This makes greasing your cake tins so easy, it’s something I cannot do without.

6) DIGITAL SCALES. I am fortunate that I was taught to bake by always weighing all my ingredients. Digital scales mean you can get accurate measurements to avoid any discrepancies.

7) TEASPOONS. Buy a proper set of teaspoon measurements so you know you are adding in the right amount of baking powder or bicarbonate of soda. Just ¼ teaspoon difference can really affect the finished results.

Teaspoon Measurements

8) SILICON SPATULAS. Smooth silicon spatulas will change your baking experience. It is so easy to scrape the sides of the bowl and then make sure you can get all of your cake batter out of your mixer and into the cake tin. Plus, if they are totally smooth then you can avoid any cake batter getting into any nooks and crannies. Also these spatulas wash up a dream in the dishwasher.

Silicone Spatulas

9) SIFT. Do sift all dry ingredients including cocoa powder and brown sugar which have a tendency to clump.

10) SUGAR. If you want the recipe to turn out exactly as it was intended then use the right sugar, for example brown sugar has a lot more moisture so might be too heavy for your cake so means you may have to mess around with the quantities of other ingredients.

11) CREAMING. Most recipes start with the creaming of butter and sugar. Don’t cream at too high a speed. You want the butter and sugar to come together to be light and fluffy, but for best results beat together at a low-medium speed for about 6-8 minutes.

12) EGGS. They should be at room temperature so they can add the necessary volume we need from them. Break the eggs into a separate bowl before adding to the batter to avoid any errant shell falling in the mixer. Always add one at a time.

Eggs

13) VANILLA. Use extract not essence – but we all know this don’t we?

14) CHOCOLATE. Only use good quality chocolate and cocoa powder, this is what your cake will taste like so you want it to be as delicious as possible. Baking chocolate is just horrid.

15) FLOUR. Don’t dump it in all at once, add in thirds to ensure it mixes in evenly. If you are using wheat flour be careful not to overmix so you don’t toughen up the gluten. If you are using gluten-free flour then you don’t need to worry about this.

16) ADDITIONS. Are you using chocolate chips, glace cherries, blueberries? Roll your additions in a small amount of whatever flour you are using to ensure they are kept suspended during the bake rather than sinking to the bottom.

Blueberries

17) OVEN POSITION. Always bake your cake in the middle of the oven so that the heat is evenly distributed around the cake. If you have two cake tins try and fit them in side by side.

18) OVEN THERMOMETER. Buy an oven thermometer to ensure the accurate timings of your bake. If your oven runs a little hot you need to know to adjust accordingly to avoid a burnt or undercooked cake.

19) CHECKING. Never check your cake in the first 20 minutes, this is the most crucial time for your cake to rise. If it’s a long bake then resist until at least the 30 minute mark.

20) MY CAKE IS BURNT ON THE TOP. If the top of your cake is browning too much before the middle is cooked then put a very loose foil lid over it for the rest of the bake. This could be the result of an oven that runs a little hot.

21) HOW DO I KNOW WHEN MY CAKE IS READY? An inserted cocktail stick should come out smooth or the cake might be pulling away from the sides a little or you can press your little finger gently into the cake, a perfectly baked sponge should bounce straight back up.

22) REMOVE cupcakes from the tin immediately or too much moisture will be retained in the cake and the cases could start to pull away.

cupcakes

23) LEAVE whole cakes in their tins for 5 minutes to settle before turning out.

24) BE PATIENT. Always wait until the cake has cooled completely to room temperature before icing.

uniced cake

25) HOW TO STORE A CAKE. Keep cakes preferably in large cake tins in a cool dark place. Tupperware will cause the cake to release too much moisture. If you have to store your cake in Tupperware then place it on some paper towels which will help to absorb the moisture from the plastic. Try not to store cake in the fridge as this will cause the cake to dry out. If the cake is iced, eat within 2 days. If un-iced the cake may keep longer.

Cake tins

To download a PDF handy checklist of all the above please click below!

Download Checklist

SHOP THE RECIPE

The images above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you but do help me support my blog! If you click through then many thanks to you!!

PME Release A Cake Spray 600 ml | Smart Weigh PL11B Professional Digital Kitchen and Postal Scale with Tempered Glass Platform, Silver | OXO Good Grips Silicone Medium Spatula – White | Nielsen Massey Pure Vanilla Extract 118 ml | Sophie Allport Cake Tins – Chicken (Set of 3) | Master Class Rectangular Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons (Set of 6)