How Much Cornstarch to Thicken Pie Filling?

When it comes to certain pies, it’s all about the filling. That said, you don’t want to serve your guests a pie with an overly watery filling that makes a mess on their plate. Luckily, you can use a few tablespoons (or half a cup) of cornstarch to thicken your pie filling.

Hi! I’m Michelle, and I love pies. My favorites are coconut cream and apple pie! I make pies regularly in my kitchen, and sometimes, I have to use cornstarch to thicken them up. I’m here to share my thoughts on how much cornstarch is needed to thicken a pie filling.

Do you need to give your pie filling some bulk and heftiness? Then you need to check out this article. Below, you’ll find precisely how much cornstarch is necessary to thicken a pie filling – and why you should avoid overdoing it.

Let’s chat about cornstarch and pie fillings!

How Much Cornstarch Do You Need to Thicken Pie Fillings?

How much cornstarch is needed to thicken your pie filling really depends on the kind of pie you’re baking and how thick you want it to be. (Note: the following recommendations are for a basic, nine-inch pie.)

As a general rule of thumb, apple pies need the least amount of thickening as they’re not incredibly juicy and high in pectin. That said, you can get by with a tablespoon or two of cornstarch to thicken it.

Pies that are very juicy – such as the case for blackberry and raspberry pies – will require a generous amount of cornstarch for thickening. You’ll need to use about half of a cup to thicken it correctly.

For the remainder of fruit pies, including blueberry, peach, cherry, strawberry, etc., six or seven tablespoons should do the trick.

If your recipe calls to thicken with flour, but you want cornstarch instead, you’ll want to use half the amount. So, if your recipe says one cup of flour, you’ll use ½ cup of cornstarch.

Why Use Cornstarch to Thicken Pies?

When it comes to thickening pie fillings, you have many options, including flour and arrowroot powder. Why should you go with cornstarch?

Cornstarch is an excellent option for thickening pie fillings.

First and foremost, it’s fast-acting and effective. You won’t have to worry about your pie filling coming out too watery when using cornstarch. Cornstarch works its magic every time.

Secondly, cornstarch won’t change the flavor of your pie (unless used in excessive amounts). If you use my suggestions above, you won’t have to fear any flavor change, leaving you with a scrumptious piece of pie you can depend on.

Lastly, cornstarch won’t alter the look of your pie, either. While some pie filling thickeners can create a cloudy cast, cornstarch will leave your filling looking clear and delicious. 

What Happens if You Use Too Much Cornstarch?

Yes, cornstarch is a superb choice for thickening pie fillings – but that doesn’t mean you should be careless with the amount you’re using.

Too much cornstarch can have adverse effects on your pie. Not only will it give it a slimy and off-putting texture, but it will also cause your pie filling to taste chalky – two things you definitely want to avoid.

How to Use Cornstarch to Thicken Pie Filling

Ready to throw some cornstarch into your apple pie filling? There’s one very specific step you need to take: 

Always mix the cornstarch with sugar before incorporating it into your pie filling.

This will produce the best results while avoiding undesirable outcomes, like an odd flavor and disgusting texture.


Cornstarch is a fabulous pie-filling thickener – no doubt about that! And while you know everything you need to know about how much to use (and how to use it), I recommend checking out these interesting FAQs below. There’s nothing wrong with learning more about a topic, right?

Should I add cornstarch to my pie filling?

If you’re on the fence about whether or not to use cornstarch in your pie filling, my recommendation is to definitely use it. Cornstarch produces a delicious and beautiful pie filling that other thickener can’t match. Just make sure not to use too much!

What is the best thickener for apple pie filling?

While there are many wonderful thickeners for apple pie filling, cornstarch ranks number one. You don’t need to use too much cornstarch, as apple pie contains plenty of pectins and is not overly juicy. A tablespoon or two should be enough for a nine-inch pie.

Can I use cornstarch instead of flour in apple pie filling?

You can use cornstarch instead of flour in apple pie filling. In fact, it’s highly recommended. Cornstarch absorbs quickly and efficiently, leaving you with perfectly-textured apple pie filling. Cornstarch also won’t affect the flavor, which is good news for your yummy apple pie!

Cornstarch is an Excellent Pie Filling Thickener- But Don’t Overdo It

When it comes to pie filling thickeners, cornstarch is at the top of the list. When used in the correct amounts, it will cause pie fillings to look as delicious as they are to eat. Apple pie fillings don’t require much, while very juicy fillings will need a bit more. Generally, though, six tablespoons for a nine-inch pie should work “as good as pie.”

Do you use cornstarch to thicken your pie fillings? How much do you use? Do you agree with these measurements or not? Share your thoughts with us below!

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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