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Vegan Cornbread (Gluten-Free)

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This easy vegan cornbread recipe is also gluten-free! It bakes up moist with the perfect textured cornbread bite and just a hint of sweetness so you can enjoy it with a bowl of chili or soup just as much as with a pat of butter by itself!

This easy vegan cornbread recipe is also gluten-free! It bakes up moist with the perfect textured cornbread bite and just a hint of sweetness so you can enjoy it with a bowl of chili or soup just as much as with a pat of butter by itself!

When I made this brisket chili recently I was craving a piece of cornbread to go with it really badly.

It’s been ages since I made some.

Funny side note – I used to make the Jiffy corn muffins weekly when we were first married! I cringe at the thought of that now.

And while I had old go-to recipes in my back pocket like this vanilla pumpkin cornbread (too sweet for what I was going for) and these pumpkin corn muffins, I realized neither really fit my current dietary needs.

That’s when I set out to make a vegan cornbread that was also gluten-free.

Thankfully, unlike most baked good recipes, cornbread recipes often don’t include eggs (the biggest roadblock in creating vegan recipes).

So, the testing for this vegan cornbread recipe was already way easier than others.

Vegan cornbread in the baking dish before slicing.

What I ended up having to play around with and tweak were the flour ratios, fat (vegan butter vs. oil) and sugar.

If you’re like me, you want cornbread to have a touch of sweetness but not too much, have a textured bite but not too much grit and lastly, a moist center but not to the point where it’s cake-like.

Cornbread is kinda the goldilocks of baking.

It’s a simple ingredient list but a very specific desired outcome.

I think after a few rounds of testing, this gluten-free and vegan cornbread nails all those things.

easy vegan cornbread recipe that's moist, tender and perfectly textured.

HOW TO MAKE VEGAN CORNBREAD

You’ll need the following ingredients for this cornbread recipe:

  • unsweetened plain almond milk
  • apple cider vinegar
  • yellow cornmeal
  • gluten-free flour blend
  • corn grits
  • Kosher salt
  • baking powder
  • vegan butter (I use Melt Organics brand)
  • granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 400°F and grease a baking dish. It should be 8×8 in size or something similar, like the rectangular shaped one I used in these pictures.

Combine the almond milk and apple cider vinegar in a small bowl or measuring cup to create the vegan buttermilk. Let it sit while the rest of the cornbread is prepped.

Combine the cornmeal, gluten-free flour, grits, salt and baking powder in a large bowl and whisk together.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted vegan butter and sugar until smooth. Add the the almond milk mixture and whisk again until incorporated.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir together with a spatula until just combined. Do not over mix the batter.

Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Bake for 25-28 minutes until the edges are pulling away from the dish and start to turn golden brown. A toothpick inserted in the middle of the cornbread should come out clean.

Let cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing.

gluten-free vegan cornbread recipe cut into pieces

GLUTEN-FREE VEGAN CORNBREAD INGREDIENTS

Gluten-Free Flour Blend – GF flour blends made to mimic baking with regular all-purpose wheat flour can vary from brand to brand. I tested and used the King Arthur measure for measure gluten-free flour in this recipe. For best results, use the same brand. While I’ve used Bob’s Red Mill and others in the past, they do bake differently and I can’t guarantee the same outcome with other gluten-free flours.

Corn Grits – I found adding a small amount of grits in place of cornmeal (which is a finer grind) was the perfect way to get the desired texture. The 1/4 cup of grits in the recipe brings juuuust enough grittiness (pun intended) to each bite without going overboard. Some people add actual corn kernels to their cornbread recipe to achieve this but I prefer mine without and this was the perfect compromise.

Vegan Butter – After testing this vegan cornbread with both a vegan butter and oil, I decided I liked the moisture outcome of the butter best. I used Melt Organics plant butter but also recommend Miyoko’s array of vegan butter options.

Sugar – It’s not often I choose regular old granulated sugar in my baking recipes! But, when it comes to cornbread, it’s what worked best. You can substitute coconut sugar if you prefer but it will change the color and flavor just a bit.

tender vegan and gluten-free cornbread recipe with a smear of soft butter

IS THIS A SWEET CORNBREAD RECIPE?

No.

I prefer my cornbread to be more unsweet than sweet. That said, I like it to have some sweetness. With just over 1/4 cup of sugar in the recipe I think the sugar level in this vegan cornbread recipe is just right!

It’s savory enough that it will go incredibly well on the side of soup or chili but it’s also just sweet enough that if you spread some butter and drizzled some honey (not vegan) or maple syrup on top, you’d be set too.

CAN I USE OTHER NON-DAIRY MILKS?

Yes, feel free to substitute another nut milk, soy milk or oat milk in this recipe.

Just make sure whatever milk you choose is unsweetened and unflavored.

This recipe will also work with regular dairy milk if you’re not concerned with keeping it vegan. Follow all other ingredients and steps in the recipe as stated.

easy gluten-free vegan cornbread cut into pieces and served with softened butter

WHAT TO SERVE WITH CORNBREAD

Some vegan options that would go really well with this cornbread are kabocha squash chili, winter vegetable curry, Instant Pot bean soup or creamy brussels sprouts soup.

Some chili recipes that pair well with any cornbread, this vegan recipe included are spicy hummus turkey chili, short rib chili and chicken apple cheddar chili.

And there’s always the cornbread + soup combination that’s deliciously comforting. Lentil vegetable soup, delicata squash soup and leek apple cheddar soup are some great options!

You can also serve this cornbread with Instant Pot brisket for a BBQ vibe or even Instant Pot bolognese! I mean, why not? Comfort is comfort, right? I think a southern vegan cornbread and classic Italian dish can go together just fine!

A simple and tender cornbread recipe that is vegan and gluten-free

HOW TO STORE VEGAN CORNBREAD

Cornbread is always best eaten fresh within a day or two to maintain its moistness. But, it can be stored in an air-tight container at room temperature for 3-4 days.

I think you’ll have no problem finishing this batch off before that though!

vegan cornbread recipe (gluten-free)

Vegan Cornbread (Gluten-Free)

Yield: 8 slices
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 28 minutes
Total Time: 38 minutes

This easy vegan cornbread recipe is also gluten-free! It bakes up moist with the perfect cornbread texture and just slightly sweet flavor.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free flour blend
  • 1/4 cup corn grits
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup vegan butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F and grease an 8x8 or similar sized baking dish.
  2. Combine the almond milk and vinegar in a cup or small bowl. Stir gently and set aside.
  3. Whisk together the cornmeal, gluten-free flour, grits, salt and baking powder in a large bowl until well combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter and sugar until smooth. Add the almond milk and whisk until incorporated.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and gently stir together with a spatula until just incorporated. Do not over mix.
  6. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking dish and smooth to the edges.
  7. Bake for 25-28 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and edges are just starting to turn golden brown.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool on a rack for at least 10-15 minutes before slicing.

Notes

*I used King Arthur gluten free flour measure for measure in this recipe. Not all gluten-free flour blends are the same so for best results use the same brand.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 166Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 319mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 2g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

Please leave a comment & rating below or share a photo on Instagram and tag @runningtothekitchen

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Denay DeGuzman

Friday 30th of October 2020

What a fantastic recipe for vegan cornbread! I'm adding it to my Thanksgiving recipe arsenal right now.

Shadi Hasanzadenemati

Friday 30th of October 2020

This is absolutely delicious! I love that it’s such a crowd pleaser for the whole family

Lauren Kleiman

Friday 30th of October 2020

I grew up eating Jiffy cornbread and I now can't even bring myself to buy a box now that I know what homemade taste like. This is a great recipe to have on hand with the weather getting cooler!

Lizet Bowen

Thursday 29th of October 2020

That crumb! we had it with our chili today and it was a hit! everybody loved it.

Beth

Thursday 29th of October 2020

Cornbread is one of my daughter's favorite for Thanksgiving! So excited to share this recipe with her!

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