What does cornstarch taste like?

Do you ever wonder what does cornstarch taste like? Well, let me tell you, it’s not just a bland powder.

When you take a bite, you’ll experience a subtle sweetness and starchiness that adds depth to your dishes. Its mild flavor and neutral taste allow it to seamlessly blend with other ingredients, while its smooth texture creates a velvety consistency.

In this article, we’ll explore the versatility of cornstarch in recipes and uncover its hidden corn undertones. Get ready to discover how cornstarch enhances the flavors and textures of your favorite dishes.

Key Takeaways – What does cornstarch taste like

  • Cornstarch has a neutral taste profile and does not add sweetness to dishes.
  • It enhances the natural sweetness of other ingredients and blends seamlessly into a variety of dishes without overpowering other flavors.
  • Cornstarch is commonly used as a thickening agent in sauces, soups, and desserts.
  • It creates a smooth and velvety texture in dishes, enhancing the overall mouthfeel and making them luscious.


Cornstarch doesn’t taste sweet, but it does have a subtle flavor that is often described as bland or starchy. Unlike sugar or other sweeteners, cornstarch does not add any sweetness to dishes. However, its lack of flavor is what makes it so versatile in cooking and baking.

When used as a thickening agent, cornstarch enhances the texture of sauces, gravies, and soups without altering their taste. It absorbs liquid and forms a smooth, glossy consistency, making it perfect for creating silky-smooth custards and puddings. Its neutral taste allows the flavors of other ingredients to shine through, making it an excellent choice for thickening fruit pies and fillings.

In addition to its thickening properties, cornstarch can also be used as a coating for fried foods, providing a crisp and crunchy texture. Its ability to absorb moisture helps to lock in flavors, making your fried dishes more flavorful and delicious.

While cornstarch doesn’t contribute sweetness on its own, it plays a crucial role in creating a balanced and well-rounded taste in many dishes. Its versatility allows it to be combined with other ingredients to achieve the desired level of sweetness or flavor, making it a valuable tool in the kitchen.


You might notice a distinct starchy flavor when you try cornstarch. This is because cornstarch is primarily made up of starch, which is a complex carbohydrate found in many plants. The starch content in cornstarch gives it a unique taste that can be described as slightly sweet and slightly nutty.

When it comes to cooking with cornstarch, its starchy flavor can be both a benefit and a challenge. On one hand, the starchiness can enhance the texture and thickness of sauces, gravies, and soups. It creates a smooth and glossy finish that is desirable in many dishes. On the other hand, if not cooked properly, the starchiness can leave an unpleasant raw taste in the final product.

To maximize the benefits of cornstarch and minimize its starchy taste, it is important to follow proper cooking techniques. For example, when using cornstarch as a thickening agent, it is crucial to cook it for a sufficient amount of time to remove the raw starch flavor. This can be done by whisking the cornstarch with a cold liquid before adding it to the hot mixture and then simmering it until it reaches the desired consistency.

Mild Flavor

When cooked properly, cornstarch has a mild flavor that can complement a variety of dishes. Its taste is subtle, allowing the other flavors in the dish to shine. Cornstarch is primarily used as a thickening agent, but it also adds a touch of sweetness to the recipes it is used in. Its mild flavor makes it versatile and suitable for both sweet and savory dishes.

Cornstarch is derived from the endosperm of corn kernels. It is processed into a fine, white powder that is easily dissolved in water. When added to hot liquids and cooked, cornstarch undergoes a process called gelatinization, which thickens the mixture. This property makes it an excellent choice for thickening sauces, soups, and gravies.

The mild flavor of cornstarch allows it to blend seamlessly into dishes without overpowering the other ingredients. It enhances the natural sweetness of desserts like puddings and custards, giving them a smooth and velvety texture. In savory dishes, cornstarch thickens sauces and coatings, creating a glossy finish and enhancing the overall mouthfeel of the dish.

Neutral Taste

If properly cooked, cornstarch has a mild flavor that can seamlessly blend into a variety of dishes. Its neutral taste makes it a versatile ingredient that can be used in both savory and sweet recipes. Cornstarch is derived from the endosperm of corn kernels and is primarily composed of starch molecules. It is commonly used as a thickening agent in sauces, soups, and desserts due to its ability to absorb and hold water, creating a smooth and silky texture.

When cooked, cornstarch releases its starch molecules, which contribute to its unique characteristics. While it does not have a distinct flavor on its own, it enhances the taste of other ingredients in a dish. In savory recipes, cornstarch helps to bind the flavors together without overpowering them. In sweet dishes, it adds a subtle sweetness and helps to create a luscious mouthfeel.

To better understand the taste profile of cornstarch, refer to the table below:

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As you can see, cornstarch falls in the middle ground when it comes to sweetness and starchiness, allowing it to complement a wide range of flavors.

Smooth Texture

To achieve a smooth texture in your dishes, cornstarch can be used as a thickening agent without altering the taste. Cornstarch is a versatile ingredient that can be found in many kitchens. When added to liquids, it absorbs moisture and creates a smooth, thick consistency. This can be particularly useful when making sauces, soups, or gravies.

Using cornstarch as a thickener not only adds smoothness to your dishes but also enhances the overall mouthfeel. The texture becomes velvety and luscious, providing a satisfying eating experience.

Here are four key benefits of using cornstarch as a thickening agent:

  • Neutral Flavor: Cornstarch doesn’t have a distinct taste, so it won’t overpower the flavors of your dish.
  • Versatility: Cornstarch can be used in a wide range of recipes, from savory to sweet.
  • Easy to Use: Cornstarch dissolves quickly in liquid and thickens rapidly, making it convenient for last-minute adjustments.
  • Gluten-Free Option: Cornstarch is a suitable alternative for individuals with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.

Incorporating cornstarch into your cooking will not only help you achieve a smooth and appealing texture but also elevate the overall dining experience. So next time you want to add a touch of smoothness to your dishes, reach for the trusty cornstarch in your pantry.

Thickening Properties

Using cornstarch as a thickening agent creates a velvety texture in your dishes. Cornstarch is a versatile ingredient that has excellent thickening properties and can be used in various recipes. When added to liquids and heated, cornstarch forms a gel-like consistency, providing a smooth and silky texture to sauces, soups, and gravies. Its thickening properties make it an essential ingredient in both sweet and savory dishes.

Cornstarch’s versatility in recipes is impressive. It can be used to thicken fruit fillings for pies, giving a glossy and luscious texture. In custards and puddings, cornstarch helps to create a creamy and smooth consistency. It can even be used as a coating for fried foods, giving them a crispy and golden exterior.

To use cornstarch as a thickening agent, simply dissolve it in cold water to form a slurry before adding it to your dish. It is important to mix it well to avoid lumps. Then, heat the mixture until it reaches its desired thickness. Keep in mind that cornstarch thickens quickly, so it is important to monitor the consistency and adjust accordingly.

Lack of Distinct Flavor

When it comes to cornstarch, you’ll be glad to know that it has a neutral taste profile, which means it won’t overpower the flavors of your dishes. This makes it a versatile ingredient that blends well in recipes, allowing other flavors to shine.

Not only does cornstarch contribute to the taste of your food, but it also enhances the texture, giving your dishes a smooth and silky consistency.

Neutral Taste Profile

Cornstarch doesn’t have a strong flavor because it’s made from the starchy part of corn kernels. This gives it a neutral taste profile, making it versatile for use in various recipes.

Here’s what you need to know about the sweetness and starchiness of cornstarch:

  • Sweetness: Cornstarch is not inherently sweet. It doesn’t add any sugary taste to your dishes but helps to enhance the natural sweetness of other ingredients. It’s often used as a thickening agent in desserts like puddings and fruit fillings, allowing the sweetness of the fruits or sugars to shine through.
  • Starchiness: As cornstarch is primarily composed of starch, it imparts a slight starchy flavor to dishes when used in larger quantities. However, this flavor is mild and easily masked by other ingredients. It’s commonly used in sauces, gravies, and soups to thicken and add a smooth texture without altering the overall taste.

Blends Well in Recipes

You’ll find that cornstarch blends seamlessly into your recipes, enhancing their texture and thickness without altering the taste. This versatile ingredient can be used in a variety of blending techniques to achieve the desired consistency in your dishes. Whether you’re making a creamy soup, a velvety sauce, or a silky custard, cornstarch is your go-to thickening agent.

To give you an idea of how cornstarch can elevate your recipes, here are some flavor pairings that work well with this ingredient:


Enhances Texture in Dishes

Incorporating cornstarch into your recipes can instantly elevate the texture of your dishes. Cornstarch is a versatile ingredient that adds a unique touch to both sweet and savory dishes. When mixed with liquid and cooked, cornstarch transforms into a smooth, glossy, and slightly sweet sauce or filling. Its starchiness helps thicken sauces, gravies, and soups, giving them a velvety consistency.

When used in baking, cornstarch can make your cakes, cookies, and pastries lighter and fluffier. It absorbs excess moisture, preventing a dense and heavy texture.

To summarize, here are the key benefits of incorporating cornstarch into your recipes:

  • Enhances the texture of sauces, gravies, and soups
  • Adds a glossy finish to sauces and fillings
  • Makes baked goods lighter and fluffier
  • Absorbs excess moisture for a better texture

Absence of Aroma

If you’re wondering about the absence of aroma, it’s because cornstarch itself doesn’t have a strong smell. When you open a container of cornstarch, you may notice a faint, somewhat sweet scent, but it is not overpowering. The lack of aroma is due to the nature of cornstarch, which is derived from the endosperm of corn kernels. It is a fine, white powder that is primarily composed of starch molecules. These molecules do not possess any volatile compounds that would give off a distinct smell.

Similarly, cornstarch also has an absence of taste. When consumed on its own, it is virtually flavorless. This is advantageous in culinary applications, as it allows cornstarch to be used as a thickening agent without altering the taste of the dish. It has a neutral profile, making it a versatile ingredient that can be added to both sweet and savory recipes.

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However, despite its lack of aroma and taste, cornstarch plays a crucial role in enhancing the texture of various dishes. When mixed with liquid and heated, the starch molecules in cornstarch gelatinize, creating a smooth and thick consistency. This property makes it a popular choice for thickening sauces, soups, and gravies. Additionally, cornstarch is often used in baking to give cakes and cookies a lighter and more tender crumb.

Versatility in Recipes

Now that you know cornstarch doesn’t have a distinct aroma, let’s explore its versatility in recipes. Cornstarch is a staple in baking and cooking due to its unique thickening properties. Here’s why it’s a must-have ingredient in your kitchen:

  • Thickening Agent: Cornstarch has the ability to thicken sauces, soups, and gravies, giving them a smooth and velvety texture. It’s especially useful in thickening fruit fillings for pies and desserts.
  • Gluten-Free Alternative: For those following a gluten-free diet, cornstarch is a great substitute for wheat flour. It can be used to make gluten-free bread, cakes, and cookies without compromising on the texture or taste.
  • Crispy Coating: When used in batters or dredging mixtures, cornstarch creates a light and crispy coating on fried foods like chicken, fish, or vegetables. It helps retain moisture and adds a delightful crunch.
  • Egg Replacer: Cornstarch can also be used as an egg replacer in vegan or egg-free recipes. It helps bind ingredients together and provides structure, making it an excellent substitute in cakes, cookies, and pancakes.

With its versatility and unique thickening properties, cornstarch is a valuable ingredient that can elevate your dishes and expand your culinary possibilities.

Subtle Corn Undertones

When it comes to unexpected corn flavor, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the subtle undertones that can enhance your savory dishes.

Cornstarch, with its unique taste, adds a hint of sweetness and a delicate earthiness to your recipes, creating a depth of flavor that will leave your taste buds wanting more.

Whether you’re thickening a sauce or coating your meat for a crispy crust, incorporating cornstarch into your cooking repertoire will elevate your dishes to a whole new level.

Unexpected Corn Flavor

You might be surprised by the unexpected corn flavor that cornstarch adds to dishes. When used in desserts, cornstarch can create unique and delicious flavor combinations that will leave your taste buds wanting more.

Here are some ways cornstarch enhances the taste of desserts:

  • Thickening Power: Cornstarch is commonly used as a thickening agent in desserts like puddings, custards, and pie fillings. Its ability to create a smooth and creamy texture adds richness to these treats.
  • Neutral Base: Cornstarch has a neutral taste, allowing it to blend seamlessly with other ingredients. This makes it a versatile ingredient for creating desserts with complex flavors.
  • Enhanced Sweetness: When used in baked goods, cornstarch can intensify the sweetness of sugar, resulting in a more satisfying and indulgent treat.
  • Subtle Corn Undertones: While cornstarch is flavorless on its own, it does impart a subtle corn undertone to desserts, adding a unique twist to traditional recipes.

Enhances Savory Dishes

Cornstarch can enhance the flavor of savory dishes by adding a subtle richness and thickening power. When used in cooking, cornstarch has the ability to enhance the umami taste in your dishes. Umami, often referred to as the ‘fifth taste,’ is a savory, meaty flavor that adds depth and complexity to the overall taste experience. By incorporating cornstarch into your recipes, you can amplify this umami enhancement and create a more satisfying and flavorful meal.

To make the most of cornstarch’s flavor-enhancing properties, it is important to consider complementary pairings. For example, using cornstarch in combination with soy sauce or mushrooms can intensify the umami taste and create a deliciously savory dish. Additionally, cornstarch can be used to thicken sauces, soups, and gravies, further enhancing their flavor and mouthfeel.

Absorption of Other Flavors

If you’re cooking with cornstarch, it absorbs the flavors of other ingredients you use. This means that when you add cornstarch to your recipes, it doesn’t just thicken the sauce or soup, but it also enhances the taste of the dish.

Here’s how cornstarch achieves this flavor absorption and taste enhancement:

  • Amplifies the natural flavors: Cornstarch has the ability to intensify the natural flavors of the ingredients in your dish. It acts as a carrier, allowing the flavors to develop and become more pronounced.
  • Balances the taste: Cornstarch has a neutral taste of its own, which makes it an ideal ingredient for absorbing and balancing the flavors of other ingredients. It helps to harmonize the different tastes and create a well-rounded dish.
  • Improves texture: By thickening the sauce or broth, cornstarch creates a smooth and velvety texture, which in turn enhances the overall eating experience. It adds a pleasant mouthfeel to your dishes.
  • Preserves the integrity of flavors: When you cook with cornstarch, it helps to preserve the original flavors of the ingredients. It prevents the flavors from being diluted or lost during the cooking process.

Enhancing Texture in Dishes

Thickening the sauce with cornstarch creates a smooth and velvety texture, enhancing the overall eating experience. Cornstarch is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes to improve their texture. One of its main uses is in sweetening desserts, where it helps create a thick and creamy consistency.

When added to desserts like puddings, custards, or fruit fillings, cornstarch absorbs moisture and thickens the mixture, resulting in a luscious and indulgent mouthfeel. It also helps prevent the dessert from becoming too runny or watery.

In addition to sweet treats, cornstarch can also be used to improve the mouthfeel of savory dishes. It can be added to soups, sauces, and gravies to give them a silky smooth texture. The cornstarch forms a gel-like network that traps liquid, creating a thicker and more substantial sauce.

To give you a better understanding of how cornstarch can enhance the texture of dishes, here is a table showcasing some of its uses:

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DishTexture Improvement
PuddingCreamy and smooth
Fruit Pie FillingThick and gooey
Stir-fry SauceGlossy and velvety
GravyThick and rich
SoupSilky and velvety
CustardCreamy and luscious

What Does Cornstarch Do? 

Cornstarch is a type of starch that comes from corn. It is sometimes called corn flour, depending on where you are from.

However, it is important to keep in mind that these are actually two different things. Whereas cornstarch is made from the corn kernel, corn flour is made by grinding down corn until it creates a pale yellow powder.  

Back to what cornstarch does. This is a carbohydrate which is an important nutrient in the human diet, so adding it into food, in the right quantities, could be beneficial for you.

The ingredient is most commonly used with things like sauces and soups and can be added as a way of thickening the liquid and making it less watery.  

While cornstarch is used all over the world, the product is most widely used in parts of Asia and across North America. If you suffer from a gluten intolerance, cornstarch is an excellent alternative to flour-based thickeners as, since it is not made from wheat, it contains no gluten at all.  

What does cornstarch taste like?

Does cornstarch change the flavor of food? 

Instead of changing the flavor of food, the aim of adding cornstarch is to alter the texture and make any liquid a little thicker. This is why it is commonly used in sauces such as sweet and sour sauce or gravy.

However, by adding too much cornstarch, this could alter the taste of the food leaving it filled with nasty clumps that become gelatinous on the outside and powdery on the inside. It is possible to fix too much cornstarch and we will look at this a little later on.  

What does cornstarch look like? 

Cornstarch is a fine white powder with a very light texture. Unlike corn flour, which has a yellow tinge, you can tell cornstarch apart owing to its much lighter tone.  

What Does Cornstarch Taste Like? 

You could be forgiven for thinking that cornstarch tastes similar to corn, owing to the fact that it derives from this vegetable. However, it doesn’t resemble anything like the taste of corn, in fact, it barely resembles anything at all because cornstarch doesn’t typically have a flavor.  

However, if you did want to try and compare it to anything, you would be better comparing it to the taste of flour. If you have ever eaten flour on its own, you will know that there is a very bland taste.

Some might say that there is a starchy taste to it but this is likely more to do with how the texture interacts with the receptors on your tongue.  

Does cornstarch taste like baby powder? 

People have compared cornstarch to many different things, including baby powder which is usually a highly perfumed product. Of course, cornstarch doesn’t have any perfume added into it and so it does not taste like baby powder.

That being said, there has been some suggestion that cornstarch might be used in place of baby powder as a more natural alternative.  

Are cornstarch and corn flour the same thing?

Cornstarch and corn flour are both made from corn. However, they are different types of food. Cornstarch is used for thickening sauces, gravies, soups, and stews. Corn flour is used for making breads, pancakes, waffles, muffins, biscuits, and other baked goods.

How Do You Remove The Taste Of Cornstarch? 

If you were unfortunate enough to have added a little too much cornstarch to your favorite recipe, you may now find yourself with what resembles a globby mess and you could be forgiven for thinking that this is the point of no return.  

The good news is that cornstarch can be reduced, or at least its effects can be reduced relatively easily. One of the best ways to remove excess cornstarch or encourage it to dissolve is to heat the food intensely.

This will remove much of the taste but the sauce or soup will still continue to thicken. Of course, you could go on to add more water but this might dilute the flavor of the dish.  

If you find that you cannot bring your dish back to life, it may be a case of throwing it out and starting again. But to avoid problems in the first place, you should only add a little bit of cornstarch at a time. This is a very potent ingredient and the term ‘ a little goes a long way’ could not be more fitting.  

When you discover that your sauce or soup is a little thin and decide to add cornstarch, begin by adding just a teaspoon at a time. It might not seem like much, but believe us, if you try to add a large portion of the box at once, you will end up regretting that decision.  

Once you have mixed the first spoonful in, you will get a good idea of how far each spoon will go and will be able to adjust the amount accordingly.

Keep adding it spoon by spoon and stirring each one in completely before moving on to the next until you are happy with the consistency of the dish.  

Is cornstarch gluten free?

Cornstarch is a starch made from corn. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and oats. If you want to be sure that cornstarch is gluten free, look for the word “gluten” on the label.

Is cornstarch bad for you?

Cornstarch isn’t bad for you. It’s fine to eat corn if you don’t have an allergy or intolerance to it.

What Is a Healthy Alternative to Cornstarch?

Some people don’t like cornstarch, so you may want to use a different thickening ingredient for your sauces. There are plenty of healthy and vegan options available.

Whole wheat flour can be used in place or cornstarch as it thicken liquids when cooked, but it may impart a “wheaty” flavor if used too much.

Arrowroot starch, which comes from the arrowroot plant and works like cornstarch, is also a good option for thick­ening fruit sauces and pies, and it has a mild flavor. Tapioca starch works especially well for pies and any other dish that you want to remain light and clear rather than slightly opaque and sticky.


So there you have it, cornstarch is a true chameleon in the world of cooking. Its mild flavor and neutral taste make it a versatile ingredient that can enhance the texture of your dishes without overpowering other flavors.

With its smooth texture and subtle corn undertones, it adds a touch of sweetness and starchiness to your recipes. And let’s not forget its amazing ability to absorb other flavors, making it a secret weapon in the kitchen.

So next time you’re cooking up a storm, don’t forget to reach for that trusty box of cornstarch to take your dishes to the next level.