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16 Delicious Ways to Use All-Purpose Flour

That bag of unused flour hiding in your pantry can make bread, pasta, cookies, and so much more.
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No matter the size of your pantry, it's highly likely you have some all-purpose flour hiding on one of the shelves. Maybe you use it regularly for baking, or you keep it on hand for thickening soup or for breading chicken tenders. Or maybe you've picked up a giant bag of flour that one time you made cookies for Christmas, and it's now just sitting sadly in your kitchen, waiting to be put to work.

Fist things first: If you're unsure your flour is still usable, look at the expiration date. If your all-purpose flour is up to six months past its expiration date, it's likely still OK to use. But trust your senses here—if the smell or taste seems off in any way, you're probably better off tossing it. Worst case scenario, you may see bugs crawling in it, in which case, it's obviously time to toss it (and maybe clean out your pantry).

Flour may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you're brainstorming things you can make from pantry staples. That's where we come in! Use this article to jog your memory and come back to classics you've forgotten about, or get a few new ideas for ways to use up all-purpose flour.

Southern-Style Biscuits

Low-calorie flaky southern biscuits
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

When was the last time you made biscuits? This low-calorie recipe provides a new twist on Southern-style biscuits. To produce the same flaky deliciousness, we've cut out the shortening and used low-fat buttermilk. With this recipe you won't be able to tell the difference.

Get our recipe for Southern Style Biscuits.

Peanut Butter Blossoms

peanut butter blossoms after baking
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Cookies are a no-brainer when it comes to using up pantry staples in simple recipes. And you don't need much more than flour and sugar to dress them up to perfection. Grab that jar of peanut butter and the bag of Hershey's kisses from your snack drawer and make these holiday favorites that'll easily be year-round favorites after first bite.

Get our recipe for Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies.

Jelly Thumbprint Cookies

jelly thumbprint cookies on a cooling rack
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Have a zest for cookie baking, but don't have Hershey's kisses or chocolate chips? Use jam as the sweetening element, and make a batch of these festive-looking cookies. You'll quite literally make a dent on top with your thumb for a spoonful of jelly.

Get our recipe for Jelly Thumbprint Cookies.

Banana-Nutella Crepes

Banana nutella crepe
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Making crepe batter is hard to mess up, even for absolute crepe beginners. The tricky part is ladling just the right amount of batter on a perfectly hot pan—but you'll get the hang of it after a few tries. Slather them with Nutella and add bananas to the mix for a morning or afternoon sweet treat.

Get our recipe for Banana-Nutella Crepes

Banana Bread

Banana bread
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Maybe you've thought of making banana bread, but you're running low on butter? Worry not! This recipe calls for half the amount of butter of other recipes, and supplements the moist texture with Greek yogurt. This healthier alternative will make your breakfast even better.

Get our recipe for Banana Bread.

Homemade Donuts

homemade old fashioned donuts with sprinkles on a plate
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

And here's something you've probably never tried making at home: donuts. What, with all the frying and cutting, it seems like quite a task, right? But here's one very compelling argument for homemade donuts: you most likely already have all the ingredients you need. Glaze them or not, adorn them with sprinkles or not, you'll be thrilled you have some hot, freshly fried donuts when you're done.

Get our recipe for Homemade Donuts

Snickerdoodle Cookies

baked snickerdoodle cookies on a cooling rack
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Pillowy snickerdoodles are another great way to use up flour in your pantry and make yourself happy while doing it. Beyond the basics like butter, sugar, and an egg, you'll need a dash of spice—and that's it!

Get our recipe for Snickerdoodle Cookies

Rosemary Garlic Focaccia

Rosemary Garlic Focaccia Bread from Inspired Taste
Courtesy of Inspired Taste

There are few, very few things in life better than homemade focaccia. And lucky for us, there are also very few bread recipes that are easier to make. You'll feel like you've hit the jackpot when the aroma of rosemary, garlic, and olive oil fill your home, and even more so when you start making sandwiches with warm focaccia slices.

Get the recipe from Inspired Taste.

Fresh Pasta

Homemade pasta recipe from Gimme Some Oven.
Courtesy of Gimme Some Oven

This easy, homemade past recipe can be made with all-purpose flour, or a combination of several different flours (like all-purpose and semolina). But both options work just as well! Fresh pasta is considered quite a project, but one well worth the effort. Use it for dinner immediately, or freeze for up to two weeks. Two glorious weeks of homemade pasta.

Get this recipe from Gimme Some Oven.


Scones recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction
Courtesy of Sally's Baking Addiction

Make the basic dough with just a few ingredients, and you have a buttery, flaky canvas for sweet add-ins like blueberries, chocolate chips, caramel apples, and almonds. Eat them right away, or freeze the portioned-out dough for quick, home-baked breakfasts.

Get this recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction.

Grandma's Irish Soda Bread

Irish soda bread recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction
Courtesy of Sally's Baking Addiction

You want to make bread, but you don't have yeast? Well, if you have buttermilk (or the two ingredients you need to make some) you can make a loaf of rustic Irish soda bread. Raisins are a welcome addition, but it's OK to skip them if you're out.

Get this recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction.

Vegan Naan

Vegan Naan recipe from Minimalist Baker
Courtesy of Minimalist Baker

The classic Indian flatbread is not only tasty but also vegan. Many feel less intimidated by the idea of a flatbread, because it will almost certainly work out enough to be edible. Use it to scoop up some delicious sauce, or turn it into a breakfast wrap with eggs and bacon.

Get this recipe from Minimalist Baker.

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake

Cinnamon Sugar Apple cake recipe from Pinch of Yum
Courtesy of Pinch of Yum

This low-maintenance cake is the perfect foray into dessert-baking for beginners. It's made moist by folding apples into the batter, which yields a tender, juicy crumb.

Get this recipe from Pinch of Yum.

Chocolate-Dipped Biscotti

Chocolate almond and coffee biscotti recipe from Flour On My Face
Courtesy of Flour On My Face

Biscotti have the most satisfying crunch to them, which holds up well when they're immersed in a cup of hot coffee or cocoa. This chocolate-covered version feels even more indulgent and dessert-like, and can stick around your kitchen counter for a few days before it dries out.

Get the recipe from Flour On My Face.

Scalloped Potatoes

Scalloped potatoes recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything
Courtesy of The Girl Who Ate Everything

We're adding this delicious scalloped potatoes recipe here to remind you that all-purpose flour can be used in cooking, too. Think of all the thick, creamy sauces made creamier with a roux—a combo of butter and flour. And in this recipe, the roux makes the base for a cheesy sauce that will coat thinly sliced, baked-til-bubbling potatoes.

Get this recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything.

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Mura is ETNT's Executive Editor, leading the coverage of America's favorite restaurant chains, grocery stores, and viral food moments. Read more about Mura