I have to admit, I can be kind of a tornado in the kitchen. There are bowls all over the counters, no less than three cracked eggs in the sink, and flour. Flour everywhere.

Flour is a huge component to any and all baked goods, but have you ever wondered about the difference between whole wheat vs white flour? Turns out, it's not as complicated as you'd think, and there's plenty of uses for each kind.

So, what's the difference?

tapioca, milk, rice, cereal, flour
Jocelyn Hsu

It's all about the berries, my friends—wheatberries, that is! Whole wheat flour grinds down entire wheatberries during processing, so you get the bran, germ, and endosperm of each lil' kernel. White flour, or "refined flour," has the germ and the bran removed from it before being ground into a powder.

This removal of the germ and bran is usually done with a bleaching or maturing agent. But don't worry! Before you swear off white flour for good, remember that these bleaching agents only affect carotenoids (aka color). White flour is still safe to ingest.

Are there health differences?

corn, wheat, cereal
Christin Urso

Even though both varieties come from the same plant, there are definite differences in vitamins and nutrients when it comes to the whole wheat vs white flour debate.

According to SFGate, if you pick whole wheat flour, you're getting 6.4 grams of fiber, 3 mg of niacin (Vitamin B-3), and tons of Vitamins B-1 and B-5 per half cup serving. By contrast, with white flour, you only get 1.3 grams of fiber, 0.8 mg of niacin, and a lot less vitamins for the same serving size.

On the whole, whole wheat flour is "healthier," but there are still plenty of great recipes that use white flour instead. Besides, treating yo'self is a part of life, am I right?

Which is better for baking?

cereal, cake, sweet, pastry, wheat, bread, dough, flour
Spoon Csu

Who says you have to choose? The way I see it, you can stress yourself out over "whole wheat vs white flour," or you can find different recipes that use each kind!

A fellow Spoonie used wheat and white flour to make two separate batches of blondies. Both tasted delicious, so a different flour won't impact your sweet tooth, it's really just a difference in texture. 

Baked goods with whole wheat flour tend to be a little crumblier and drier, but you can def fix that by letting the batter rest and hydrate before baking. Conversely, white flour will make moister desserts with no resting time, albeit with a little less nutritional value.

What should I bake?

crumble, caramel
Vernell Dunams

Use whole wheat flour for desserts with a lil' added texture. With whole wheat flour, you could make killer crumble on some whole wheat apple crisp (I don't care if this is a "fall dessert," if you make me apple crisp, I will eat it whenever). Or, if you're feeling a little fancier, channel your inner Martha Stewart and make these whole wheat shortbread cookies. No Girl Scouts required. 

And, as always, with white flour, the baking world is your oyster. Make some springtime lemon bars, a perfect chocolate chip cookie, or even a scrambled pancake! The possibilities are truly endless.

Obviously, there isn't a hard and fast rule when it comes to which kind of flour to use in what baked good. It's your kitchen, so feel free to make all the swaps and substitutions your heart desires. The world is full of tough choices, but "whole wheat vs white flour" doesn't have to be one of them.