Vanilla Pumpkin Skillet Cornbread

Vanilla pumpkin skillet cornbread will make you SO glad it’s after October 1st. The addition of Nielsen-Massey Madagascar bourbon pure vanilla bean paste makes this delicious side dish elegant too.

I have some basic rules in life…

-Never go to bed without washing my face (shockingly, I follow this one religiously even if I’m far too many drinks past the acceptable point)

-Always say “I love you” to Ulysses before he goes to work. As the wife of a police officer, I’m unwavering on this one too.

-Never do anything work related before having at least 1 cup of coffee.

-Do not, I repeat, do not give into the pumpkin craze before October 1 on any given year.

Vanilla pumpkin skillet cornbread
*I was compensated by Nielsen-Massey Vanillas for my time in developing this recipe and post. All opinions are my own.

You’d think the first few would be the hardest to follow given laziness and typical marital arguments but let me tell you, the internet makes the pumpkin rule the absolute hardest of them all.

With pumpkin spice lattes showing up in August, bloggers shouting “pumpkin everything!” from the rooftops and Pinterest feeds turning into a sea of orange, the struggle is real when it comes to setting seasonal pumpkin boundaries.

Skillet vanilla pumpkin cornbread

If nothing else though, I’m strong willed (stubborn?) and held my ground. Once October 1st came rolling around, however, this vanilla pumpkin skillet cornbread made its debut in my kitchen. I feel like the saying “good things come to those who wait” couldn’t be more applicable than this. I don’t want pumpkin in August, I’m way too busy with peaches and tomatoes then to fully enjoy pumpkin. I don’t even want it in September, that’s apple’s month.

But October…October’s got the market on pumpkin and it tastes all the more delicious when it’s eaten with leaves just starting to turn and fall, crisp breezes blowing through the house and mums in every garden bed as one last colorful hurrah, not in 90 degree, 85% humidity days with the A/C blasting.

Pumpkin vanilla skillet cornbread

This cornbread is somewhere right smack in the middle of sweet and savory. It could accompany your favorite chili easily (and deliciously) or it could be drizzled in maple syrup as part of your breakfast. I used Nielsen-Massey’s Madagascar bourbon pure vanilla paste for the perfect hint of vanilla undertone to this skillet cornbread.

Vanilla bean paste is actually my favorite type of vanilla product to use in baked goods because you can see the real vanilla bean seeds without having to deal with cutting a whole bean open and scraping the seeds out yourself. It blends right into the wet ingredients and has the same potency as extract.

The best part of this bread is the crispy bottom and sides. Skillet cornbread is my favorite because of this. A hot skillet and a pat of butter swirled around the pan before the batter gets poured in does wonders for the exterior. A crunchy bite that reveals a moist, textured pumpkin inside is pretty much everything I could ever want in a slice of vanilla pumpkin cornbread.

As long as it’s after October 1.

More pumpkin baked goods:
Pumpkin Corn Muffins
Toasted Pine Nut Herb Pumpkin Muffins
Pumpkin Popovers

I also shared this pumpkin vanilla skillet cornbread recipe on Food Fanatic’s site. Check it out there as well!


  1. Liz @ Floating Kitchen

    Girl! You and I are on the same page. I say a big fat “no” to pumpkin until at least October 1st. In fact, still haven’t posted a pumpkin recipe yet – maybe next week Which makes me a bad food blogger. But oh well. This cornbread looks amazing! I bet the vanilla in here is awesome!

  2. Amanda

    Hi, just found your great recipe! I’ve never eaten pumpkin before but have just grown some for the first time so I’ll definitely give this one a try :)

  3. Afsaneh Shamshiri

    This looks so delicious!!!! We don’t have buttermilk in Sweden, can I sub it with something else? Would Greek yogurt be a good substitute?

    1. Susan

      You can just add a teaspoon of vinegar to regular milk to replace buttermilk. Not as good but works when you can’t find the real deal!

  4. Dawn O

    Can you use wheat flour instead of the oat flour and real vanilla extract instead of the bean? I live in Costa Rica and those ingredients are not available here.

  5. Sasha

    This looks AMAZING! I’m not a fan of pumpkin or pumpkin spice. Anyway I can skip the pumpkin in here but still make this recipe???

    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      Sounds like you’re looking for a regular cornbread recipe, probably best to just search for one than adapt this as the pumpkin is kind of the main ingredient.

  6. Emily

    My big skillet is fully from camping. I won’t have time to clean and reseason it in time. I know I will lose some of the crunchy edge, but how do you think this will work in a glass baking pan? Or should I use metal? I can’t wait to make it in a skillet!!!


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