A quick and easy recipe for moist, homemade vegan gluten-free cornbread that pairs perfectly with your favourite chili, soups, and stews. This simple and delicious cornbread is slightly sweet and made with yellow cornmeal.
You can make it plain or customize it with your favourite add-ins like corn, vegan cheese, herbs, or jalapeño slices, and you can even make them as muffins! All the details are below.
Cornbread recipes can be a controversial topic. There are so many different types like those made with yellow cornmeal, white cornmeal, all cornmeal, no flour, sugar, no sugar, cakey, crumbly, Southern, Northern... it's the great debate over which type is best that will never be resolved.
I say make and eat the cornbread YOU like.
This from-scratch recipe is another one that's not exactly traditional. My version is vegan AND gluten-free, so no eggs, no wheat, and no dairy. AND I use yellow cornmeal, gluten-free flour, and I add a little sugar to give it a little sweetness.
This recipe is may not use a lot of the traditional ingredients, but it makes a wonderful batch of cornbread you'll love having alongside soups, chili (like my lentil chili or this quinoa chili) and stews.
So What Is Cornbread, Anyways?
If you haven't had cornbread before, you're in for a treat! Cornbread is a classic recipe that has many different variations, as mentioned above.
It's light, a little crumbly with a texture that's slightly grainy, thanks to the cornmeal, and it has a distinct but light corn flavour.
It also has a touch of sweetness, based on if the recipe you're making calls for sugar, or not (this one does!). Learn more about the evolution of cornbread here.
Ingredients You'll Need
All you need is nine ingredients (10 if you count the water needed to make the flax egg!) for this recipe:
Gluten-free flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, dairy-free milk, sugar, vegan butter, a flax egg, and vanilla.
Gluten-Free Flour Blend - I have only used Bob's Red Mill gluten-free 1 to 1 blend (the one in the blue bag) to make this recipe and have not tried any others. Stick with that same flour for the best results and be sure to measure your flour correctly.
Cornmeal - Cornmeal is simply dried and ground corn kernels, make sure you're using cornmeal and NOT corn flour, coarse cornmeal, masa, grits, or polenta. I use medium grind whole-grain stone-ground cornmeal for this recipe because I like the texture it gives the cornbread. Cornmeal is naturally vegan and gluten-free, but always read the package to ensure it is certified gluten-free.
Sugar - I have not tried this recipe with any other types of sugar other than organic cane sugar. White granulated sugar can also be used.
Vegan Butter - If you don't have any, you can use any neutral flavoured oil or you can also use melted coconut oil. Unrefined coconut oil may give your cornbread a slight coconut flavour, so use refined if that's something you think you won't like.
If you do use coconut oil, make sure all of your other ingredients are at room temperature before making so the coconut oil does not solidify.
Dairy-Free Milk - Any type can be used, just make sure that it's unsweetened. You can also use vegan buttermilk.
Optional Add-Ins - This recipe can be customized with add-ins like corn, vegan cheese shreds, fresh or dried herbs, or jalapeño slices. Details are included in the recipe card below.
Are you new to vegan gluten-free baking? If so, be sure to read all of my vegan gluten-free baking tips!
How to Make It
(Note: I’ve outlined the step-by-step on how to make this recipe here, but find the full recipe, ingredients, and directions at the end of this post.)
This is a quick and easy recipe that can be prepared and out of the oven in well under an hour, and that's thanks to the simplicity of the recipe.
1. Start by whisking all of your dry ingredients together.
2. Next, mix all the wet ingredients.
3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.
4. Mix until everything has been combined. Don't overmix.
The next step is to pour the batter into a greased baking dish and let the batter rest for 5 minutes.
This step is important because it allows the cornmeal to absorb some of the liquid from the batter which results in a fluffier cornbread.
After the resting time has ended, place the dish in your preheated oven and bake!
When done, remove from the oven and place the dish on a cooling rack for at least 30-minutes.
If you try to cut into it right away, it will be too crumbly and can fall apart (I made this mistake during one of my tests, I just couldn't wait to dig in!). So be patient.
Once the cooling time has passed, you can go ahead and slice it into squares. Ideally, you want to serve your cornbread warm.
How to Make Them as Muffins
Don't want squares? Then make yourself some vegan gluten-free cornbread muffins instead!
There's just a slight change in the baking time, but the result is the same soft, moist, and delicious cornbread. All the details are in the recipe notes below.
Place any leftovers in an airtight container and keep at room temperature for up to 2 days.
If you still have any after the 2 days have passed, place the container in the refrigerator where it will keep for another 4-5 days.
To freeze, wrap the squares or muffins tightly in freezer plastic wrap and place them in a freezer bag or an airtight container. They will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months.
When you're ready for them, allow them to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and warm them up in the microwave or in the oven.
What to Serve It With
When serving, you can top it with a little vegan butter or even maple syrup, if you'd like.
Tips for Success
When testing this recipe, I tried several different variations, different ratios of ingredients, even different ingredients, but this recipe came out as the winner.
Here are some things I learned along the way that will help you:
- Use the same flour I use. Baking vegan gluten-free can be tricky because different flours produce different results. I know this one in particular works perfectly, so to duplicate that perfection, use the Bob's 1 to 1 gf blend.
- If using coconut oil in place of the vegan butter, make sure that your other ingredients (mainly the dairy-free milk) are at room temperature to prevent the oil from hardening.
- Don't skip the batter resting time. This step is essential to getting fluffy cornbread.
- Follow the recipe exactly as it’s written for the very best results and read it thoroughly before starting.
Yes! Any dairy-free milk will work when making dairy-free cornbread.
I have not tried it yet, but I do think it will work just fine. I will try it this holiday season and report back to let you know how it goes!.
Yes! It's best when it's served warm. If you're using some that was previously made, you can reheat it
It's 100% possible to make eggless cornbread! This recipe, in particular, does not use any eggs, it uses a flax egg as a replacement.
While testing, I tried half unsweetened applesauce and half butter and I didn't like the texture as much as I liked the all butter version. BUT, it wasn't bad. I do think it will work but the texture will not be the same as the cornbread you see in the pictures here.
I have not tried it. My goal was to create a recipe that had a touch of sweetness since that is the type of cornbread I'm used to. I do think it would work fine if you're used to unsweetened cornbread, however, the texture may be slightly different.
Yes! You can make it the day before you need it and reheat when ready to serve.
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You may also like these:
- Slow Cooker Lentil Sweet Potato Chili
- Quinoa Chili
- Butternut Squash Sweet Potato Carrot Soup
- Cauliflower Soup
- Split Pea Soup
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Vegan Gluten-Free Cornbread
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 cup (148g) gluten free flour **see important note about flour below**
- ¾ cup (120g) medium grind yellow cornmeal
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (240ml) unsweetened non-dairy milk room temperature
- ¼ cup (57g) melted unsalted vegan butter cooled
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C)
- Grease an 8-inch x 8-inch baking dish and set it aside.
- Prepare your flax egg by whisking together ground flax seeds and water. Set aside to thicken.
- In a medium bowl, add the gluten-free flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine.
- In a small bowl, whisk the milk, melted butter, vanilla, and flax egg together.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until combined. If using add-ins, add them in now and stir. Don't overmix.
- Pour batter into the baking dish. Set aside and let the batter rest for 5 minutes.
- Bake for 25 minutes.
- Remove from oven and place baking dish on a cooling rack. Allow the cornbread to cool in the baking dish for at least 30-minutes. Serve while still warm.
See notes below for info on making this recipe as muffins.
- Please read all of the information and FAQ info above, as well as the notes below before making this recipe.
- This recipe makes 9 cornbread squares or muffins.
- It’s important to know that different gluten-free flour blends use different ingredients and ratios, so results may vary if you substitute. I have never used any other brand of gf flour to make this recipe other than Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour (Amazon link) in the blue package, NOT the red package, so please know that your results may not be the same as mine if you substitute with another gluten-free flour blend. The weight listed above is for this specific brand of flour.
- If the gluten-free flour blend brand you are using does not contain xanthan gum, add ½ teaspoon to the dry ingredients.
- Make sure you're using cornmeal and NOT corn flour, coarse cornmeal, masa, grits, or polenta. I use medium grind whole-grain stone-ground cornmeal for this recipe.
- Salted vegan butter can be used instead of unsalted, just use ¼ teaspoon of salt instead of ½ teaspoon.
- Oil can be used instead of vegan butter. If using melted coconut oil, make sure that your milk is at room temperature.
- This recipe will NOT work with coconut flour or any other single gluten-free flour, you must use a blend.
- Make sure to measure your flour correctly.
- Optional add-ins: 1-2 chopped jalapeño peppers, or ¾ cup corn kernels, or ¾ cup shredded vegan cheddar cheese, or ¾ cup fresh blueberries. Using fresh or dried herbs is also an option, use ½ teaspoon to 1 teaspoon, depending on the type of herb and whether it's fresh or dry.
- To Make as Muffins: Grease or line 9 spaces in a muffin pan and set aside. Do all steps above and bake the muffins for 18 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan for a few minutes before removing and placing them on a cooling rack.
- Storing Leftovers: Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days. After two days, place in the refrigerator for another 4-5 days. Warm-up when ready to serve.
- To Freeze: To freeze, wrap the squares or muffins tightly in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer bag or an airtight container. They will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months. When ready for them, allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then warm up in the microwave or in a 300°F (150°C) oven for 10-minutes.
- Nutrition info is based on 1 of 9 pieces of cornbread with the recipe made as written and is only to be used as a rough guide. Click to learn how nutrition info is calculated on this website.