Vanilla pumpkin skillet cornbread will make you SO glad it’s after October 1st. The addition of 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
*This post is sponsored by Nielsen-Massey Vanillas for my time in developing this recipe content. 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
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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.

It’d be perfectly acceptable to make this sweet potato cornbread come October as well. I might even allow that one in September since sweet potatoes are a bit more lenient in their seasonality but not August.

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. Just make sure you know how to properly clean your cast iron skillet afterwards if baking in it.

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

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Vanilla Pumpkin Skillet Cornbread

Servings: 8 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Vanilla pumpkin cornbread in a skillet with butter and maple syrup on top.
Vanilla pumpkin skillet cornbread has a beautiful crunch and delicious flavor. A must have for your Thanksgiving table or any seasonal meal that calls for a bread side dish.


  • 1 cup Yellow Cornmeal
  • 1 cup Oat Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon Ground Cloves
  • 1 cup Buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 1/3 cup Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tablespoon Melted Coconut Oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste
  • 1 tablespoon Butter


  • Preheat oven to 400°F and place a 10 inch skillet inside to heat up.
  • Combine cornmeal, oat flour, baking powder, salt and spices in a large bowl and mix together.
  • Whisk the buttermilk, pumpkin, maple syrup, egg, coconut oil and vanilla bean paste together in a small bowl.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix together until just incorporated.
  • Remove the skillet from the oven. Place the butter in the skillet and swirl around so that it coats the entire pan and sides.
  • Add the cornbread batter to the skillet and bake for about 25 minutes until starting to turn golden brown on top.
  • Remove from oven, let cool 10-15 minutes before slicing. Serve with additional butter and/or maple syrup.


Serving: 1SERVINGCalories: 237kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 6gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 235mgPotassium: 233mgFiber: 3gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 2507IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 128mgIron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Baked Goods
Cuisine: American
Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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  1. 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!!!

  2. 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. 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.

  3. I have celiac disease and don’t tolerate oat flour well — even GF oat flour. What can I substitute for the oat flour and still keep it gluten-free?

  4. 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. Okay, this seriously looks amazing! Oh and absolutely agree on the face washing before bed. It’s a MUST.