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Briana’s Baking Mix is perfect for low carb or Trim Healthy Mama baking! It’s the perfect homemade alternative to THM Baking Blend. THM Fuel Pull (FP) and gluten free
Why I love using a baking mix
I’ve always used a blend of low carb flours to bake with because the end product turns out more “normal,” but until the advent of THM Baking Blend I didn’t fully comprehend how much easier it is to pull one bag out of the pantry instead of assorted containers of my favorite alternative flours. Making this homemade baking mix is as easy as dumping 5 ingredients into a plastic container with a sealable lid and shake-shake-shake.
I wholeheartedly endorse THM Baking Blend. It’s wonderful stuff. I love using it. I just wanted to offer an alternative for A) people with nut allergies (since THM Baking Blend currently contains almond flour) and B) people who prefer to mix up their own stuff.
How my baking mix compares to THM Baking Blend
I tried to formulate this recipe to be similar to THM Baking Blend, but it’s not a 1:1 substitute. When using small amounts I have had success substituting my baking mix 1:1 for THM Baking Blend, but when using anything beyond 3-4 tablespoons you’ll probably need a little less of my baking mix than the THM Baking Blend called for in the recipe. You could also try keeping the baking mix amount the same and just adding more liquid to compensate since my mix is “drier” and soaks up more liquid.
GENERAL RULE OF THUMB: start with 3/4 cup of my baking mix for every cup of THM Baking Blend called for in a recipe, then adjust from there with a few tablespoons of baking mix or liquid until the batter looks right.
I used the same amount of my baking mix as THM Baking Blend in this 5 Ingredient White Cake and it turned out great. (The recipe calls for 3 tablespoons). In these Powdered Sugar Mini Donuts, I had to add 6-8 more tablespoons of water when I used the same amount of my baking mix as the THM Baking Blend the recipe called for. The donuts turned out great!
Like THM Baking Blend and many low carb flours, my baking mix needs plenty of liquids and “conditioners” (water, eggs, sour cream/Greek yogurt, etc.) in order to turn out something fluffy and moist.
Ingredients you’ll need
- collagen or whey protein powder – these add structure to the baking mix, essentially helping make up for the lack of gluten protein.
- coconut flour – this is a fairly cheap flour that soaks up a lot of liquid. You can often find it locally, or you can purchase it online. I use storebought coconut flour in this recipe. It soaks up a lot more liquid than what you get if you grind unsweetened coconut flakes yourself, so you’ll need to use storebought coconut flour for all the measurements to work out correctly.
- golden flaxmeal – this is another cheap flour that you can purchase (locally or online) or grind yourself in a coffee grinder using whole golden flax seeds. I prefer to use golden flaxmeal because it’s lighter in taste, texture, and color than dark flaxmeal. Some flaxmeals don’t specify what kind of flaxseeds they’re made from. They’ll work, but get golden flaxmeal if you can.
- oat fiber – this is a really fine, dry flour that soaks up a lot of liquid and isn’t as gritty as coconut flour. I don’t know of any great substitutes. Some people use psyllium husk in its place, which I have not personally tried, but I’ve heard that can throw some recipes off. Not all brands of oat fiber are good. I really like LifeSource brand because it’s a light color with minimal taste. I’d stay away from NuNaturals brand oat fiber; it has a strong flavor. Trim Healthy Mama sells a gluten free oat fiber. Oat fiber can usually only be found online.
- xanthan gum – this adds structure and smoothness. You can usually find it locally, or you can order it online. Substitute glucomannan if you prefer.
Using coconut flour and oat fiber in this baking mix means that it soaks up a fair amount of liquid. (Both of those flours are really “thirsty” flours.) When you mix the baking mix into a recipe the batter might be runny at the beginning, but it will thicken up in seconds. Keep this in mind when you’re developing or tweaking recipes and start with a small amount of baking mix, adding as you go.
I have labeled this baking mix as nut free based on the fact that most people who are allergic to tree nuts can in fact eat coconut. “Coconut is not a botanical nut; it is classified as a fruit, even though the Food and Drug Administration recognizes coconut as a tree nut. While allergic reactions to coconut have been documented, most people who are allergic to tree nuts can safely eat coconut. If you are allergic to tree nuts, talk to your allergist before adding coconut to your diet.” (Information obtained from FoodAllergy.org)
How to make this baking mix without coconut flour
Alyse from @fuelingthechaos on Instagram gave me permission to share how she makes my baking mix without coconut flour! Alyse replaces the coconut flour with an equal mixture of sunflower seed flour, golden flaxmeal, and oat fiber. She says, “I sub this blend the same way it was recommended on your blog (3/4 cup per 1 cup of [THM] Baking Blend…sometimes I’ll add a little bit more if needed, but that’s my usual starting point) and it’s worked well in everything I’ve tried it in. It is also important to note that the sunflower seed flour can interact with baking soda and cause a green color if that chemical reaction takes place.” Thank you so much, Alyse!
“My baked goods aren’t fluffy. What am I doing wrong?”
You may not be doing anything wrong. Low carb baking is going to have different results from “normal” baking, no matter what you do. There’s no gluten in a low carb baking mix like mine, so you’re going to be missing that structure (and therefore fluffiness) of baked goods made with wheat flour. You can compensate in low carb baking by adding things like xanthan gum, extra eggs, and protein powder to mimic the structure found in gluten, but the result is still going to have a different texture.
If you’re not used to alternative baking, definitely use recipes formulated for the particular flour/baking mix that you’re using. Low carb flours soak up different amounts of liquid, so you can’t just substitute them for white/wheat flour, or even substitute say, almond flour for coconut flour. My baking mix contains a lot of coconut flour and oat fiber (which are both very thirsty flours that soak up a lot of liquid), so you would need less of my baking mix in a recipe than you would need of regular white flour or even almond flour.
Once you get used to alternative baking you can start experimenting with converting recipes yourself! Keep in mind that adding more eggs or other stabilizers/proteins and/or conditioners like liquid/Greek yogurt/sour cream can help produce something more moist and fluffy.
“Can I swap your baking mix for white or wheat flour in a recipe?”
Short answer – no. At least not in a 1:1 ratio. As I said above, my baking mix is more thirsty than white flour is, so you would need less of my mix than the amount of white flour that the original recipe calls for. You may also need to compensate by adding more eggs or other stabilizers/proteins and/or conditioners like liquid/Greek yogurt/sour cream. It will be an experiment!
To clarify – there’s nothing wrong with experimentation. 😉 That’s what I do all the time….
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Briana’s Baking Mix is perfect for low carb or Trim Healthy Mama baking! It’s similar to THM Baking Blend in application and nutrition. See the notes below for allergy and nutrition info as well as suggestions for how to convert from Briana’s Baking Mix to THM Baking Blend, and vice versa. THM Fuel Pull (FP)
Combine all ingredients in a plastic container with a tight lid and shake thoroughly to mix. I store this baking mix (usually a double batch) in a Tupperware container at room temperature and have not had it go rancid (even after many months), but the freezer is probably best for long term storage.
THM LIMITS: My baking mix has similar nutritional info to THM Baking Blend (see below for nutrition facts). You can use up to 1/2 cup (per serving) in a THM FP or E setting without going over the fat limits, and you can use up to 3/4 cup (per serving) in a THM S setting without going over the net carb limits.
CONVERTING FROM THM BAKING BLEND: This baking mix is slightly drier than THM Baking Blend. If using small amounts of flour you can probably do a 1:1 substitution, but if you’re using more than 3-4 tablespoons of flour you’ll probably want to use a little less of my baking mix than you would THM Baking Blend. Try 3/4 cup of my Baking Mix for every cup of THM Baking Blend called for, then adjust as needed with more baking mix or more liquid.
CONVERTING FROM OTHER FLOURS/TROUBLESHOOTING: This is an inexact science, but I’ve given some tips in the blog post above.
Ingredient availability and substitution: I typically buy coconut flour, oat fiber, collagen, and xanthan gum online. I buy flaxmeal from Walmart. You should be able to find coconut flour and xanthan gum locally too. Oat fiber and collagen are harder to find in stores, although collagen is becoming more prevalent. If you don’t have the flours listed, your resulting mix won’t act the same in recipes so I don’t have any great foolproof suggestions. Coconut flour and oat fiber in particular are hard to substitute for. (Some people use psyllium husk in place of oat fiber, but I haven’t personally tried that and I think results can vary depending on the recipe.) You can probably use almond flour in place of the flaxmeal, but your mix will not be nut free. You can use glucomannan in place of the xanthan gum if you prefer.
“I can’t eat __. Can I still make your mix?” If you can’t have one or several of the flours I mentioned due to allergies, don’t let that hold you back! Use this recipe as a springboard and make a mix of the flours that you CAN have. Do a little experimentation to see how your mix acts in recipes and how much you need to use.
Making this baking mix without coconut flour: Alyse from @fuelingthechaos on Instagram gave me permission to share how she makes my baking mix without coconut flour! Alyse replaces the coconut flour with an equal mixture of sunflower seed flour, golden flaxmeal, and oat fiber. She says, “I sub this blend the same way it was recommended on your blog (3/4 cup per 1 cup of [THM] Baking Blend…sometimes I’ll add a little bit more if needed, but that’s my usual starting point) and it’s worked well in everything I’ve tried it in. It is also important to note that the sunflower seed flour can interact with baking soda and cause a green color if that chemical reaction takes place.”
Plain whey protein powder: I recommend using this mix with collagen or plain whey protein powder in case you use it in savory recipes, but I have made it with (unsweetened) vanilla whey protein powder with success. The amount is small enough that the taste isn’t very noticeable. I wouldn’t recommend sweetened or chocolate protein powder though….
Allergy info: For a gluten free baking mix, use gluten free oat fiber. Egg free. For a dairy free baking mix, use collagen instead of whey protein powder. This recipe is nut free as written. (Most people with nut allergies can have coconut products, but check with your doctor first to make sure.)
- Category: Baking
- Method: Mixing
- Cuisine: Low Carb, THM FP
Keywords: trim healthy mama, thm, baking blend, homemade baking blend, gluten free flour
This post was first published on September 1, 2015. It was tidied up and the nutrition info was updated in March 2021.