The blog of

The super powers of cornstarch

 The super powers of cornstarch
I start this new year by evoking an old product, that you most probably have in your cupboards, a white powder, often in a small cardboard package with a slightly outdated look, only the "gluten free" is relatively recent, it is simply cornstarch, hence its name of maïzena.

It's used for a lot of things, mainly as a thickener in pastry, but it can also, sometimes, work small miracles in the kitchen.
Grade this page:

Last modified on: January 14th 2022

Keywords for this post:FlourCornCornstarchThickenerStarchSaucePastry
The super powers of cornstarch

How does it work?

See what happens when you make a béchamel sauce? It's pretty liquid because of all the added milk, but it heats up slowly while you stir regularly, and suddenly bim! The whole thing thickens and your béchamel is there, thick and creamy.


A simple physical thing happened, the grains of starch in the flour, contained in the roux, finally exploded under the effect of the heat, around 60°C, and immediately absorbed a big part of the milk to form a starch, that's the béchamel.

The link with cornstarch is that it can do the same thing, but as it contains only starch (from corn), its binding power is stronger.
Add to that the fact that it doesn't add any taste, and you have a binder that can be used in many recipes, sweet or savoury, and situations of which here are a few.

Soups and veloutés

When you make a soup (a blended soup) of pumpkin for example, there is sometimes a little problem of texture: it settles, vegetable pulp at the bottom of the pan and water on top.
It doesn't change the taste, but it's not a very pretty or pleasant texture, especially if it's been waiting a while.

potage potimarron

Solution : Mix 2 tablespoons of cold water with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, and incorporate this mixture with a blender or a whisk at the end of the cooking time, you will be amazed by the creamy effect obtained.

Dishes in sauce

When you make a dish in sauce like beef bourguignon, coq au vin, or blanquette de veau, you often need to add flour and cook for a very long time uncovered to obtain a thick sauce. Sometimes, frustratingly, it doesn't even thicken (well).

bœuf bourguignon

Solution: Same treatment as for the soup, a tablespoon is enough, added by mixing briskly (whisk, spatula), the neutral taste of cornstarch ensures a thick sauce with an unchanged taste.

You want to prepare a sauce with a deglazing (you pour a liquid, wine for example) of the cooking pan, but without using cream?
No problem, deglaze, bring to a boil and whisk in the cornstarch + water mixture, a large teaspoon is enough. Velvety sauce guaranteed.

Catching up with disasters

You have made a custard, for example, and it has dissociated? All is not lost, add 1 teaspoon of cornstarch + water to the mixer.

Replacing the flour

In some preparations, pastries, creams etc. traditionally made with flour, you can very often replace the flour with cornstarch, because flour, in this context of cooking at low temperature, has a tendency to soften the preparation. That's why pastry cream, almond cream, and even some cookies, will be better and easier to make with cornstarch than with flour.

As you can see, cornstarch is your friend, it's always good to have a pack of it in your cupboards, and it can be used in many ways, mainly as a thickener.

The power of cornstarch again: Make this delicious chocolate cornstarch cream with your kids (less than 5 minutes), you'll have a huge success!

crème maïzena au chocolat

To sum up: Cornstarch is an excellent binder in cooking and baking, it can be used in many recipes, but also to make up for small disasters.

Back to top of page

Lasts posts
Celeriac soups and the 3rd ingredient
Celeriac soups and the 3rd ingredient
Do you like celeriac, a vegetable that is not always a big hit? If your answer is "no" or "not so much", it is perhaps that you have in mind the celery remoulade, the emblematic starter, with the eggs mimosa, of the bistrot kitchen. It's very good, well if you like it of course, but it's a bit...
7304.6 May 21th 2022
The delicious complexity of Jura wines
The delicious complexity of Jura wines
Do you know the wines of the Jura? Maybe not, it's a small appellation, 2000 hectares, with a production of wines that are both very atypical and very typical, even unique for some of them. Let me tell you a few words about it.
8724.7 May 14th 2022
Shall I take the tops off?
Shall I take the tops off?
If you buy your vegetables at the market, at a farmer's stand, once you have chosen a bunch of carrots or beets for example, you must have already heard this proposal from the salesman: "Shall I pull the tops? This sentence is his proposal to remove for you all the tops, which he puts aside, to...
1,1764.7 May 7th 2022
The color of the bread crumb
The color of the bread crumb
When you go to buy bread, at your baker's, at the time of the choice, if you hesitate of course, you will undoubtedly be very sensitive to the color of the crust, and you will be right. The color of the crust, from golden, to sometimes very dark, deep brown almost black, depending on the maturity...
1,3224.5 April 30th 2022
The salad spinner is not only for salad
The salad spinner is not only for salad
Where we see that the salad spinner can be used for many other purposes.
3,2014.3 March 25th 2022
Other pages you may also like
What can I use for blind baking a pastry case?
What can I use for blind baking a pastry case?
When it comes to home-made desserts, tarts are always popular. They can be divided into two basic types: those cooked with their filling, such as an apricot and almond cream tart, and those where the filling is added after baking the pastry case, such as a strawberry tart or chocolate tart. For...
82K4.1 May 2nd 2017
Egg whites management
Egg whites management
Quite often, in cooking or pastry-making, we have recipes that use only egg yolks: gâteau breton (brittany butter cake), confectioner's custard, spaghetti carbonara, etc. And so, inevitably, we end up with unused egg whites that will have to be used elsewhere, in another recipe, and certainly...
3,4194.5 June 12th 2021
A few tips for effective kneading at home
A few tips for effective kneading at home
When you have to knead dough for bread or some other recipe, you may well use a food processor or the type of machine known as a stand mixer. The best-known brands are Kenwood and KitchenAid. They are useful tools, but here are a few tips to help you get the best out of them.
224K 23.4 June 23th 2021

7,0953.3 January 5th 2021 Sponsored article.
The baker always gild twice
The baker always gild twice
I've already told you about gilding, the beaten whole egg that is spread with a brush on anything that needs to brown in the oven: puff pastry, pastries, etc. and that professionals use a lot, I'm going to come back to this to clarify a bit how to do it, and give you a professional tip.
15K3.9 June 9th 2019
Post your comment or question
Posted by:
I am not a leaving thing
Follow this page
If you are interested in this page, you can "follow" it, by entering your email address here. You will then receive a notification immediately each time the page is modified or a new comment is added. Please note that you will need to confirm this following.
I am not a leaving thing
Note: We'll never share your e-mail address with anyone else.
Alternatively: you can subscribe to the mailing list of , you will receive a e-mail for each new recipe published on the site.

Back to top of page