With a fluffy, crumbly texture and just the right amount of sweetness, this easy gluten free cornbread recipe is a meal time winner. It’s perfect when paired with your favourite chili, soup, or stew, but also tastes amazing when it’s eaten on its own. (Right out of the baking dish, which is what I do every time I make this!)
Eight ingredients is all it takes and there are options to make this completely dairy-free or vegan, all of which are equally delicious and even fool the dairy-loving folks out there!
Time to get out the cornmeal and make this!
Gluten free cornbread FAQ
Does corn contain gluten?
Corn does not contain gluten. It’s a great source of dietary fiber and has lots of key nutrients, but gluten isn’t part of that list. As a vegetable, it’s naturally gluten free.
Corn can cause allergies or sensitivities in some people, so if you eat corn (as in kernels or on the cob) and don’t feel great - it’s not gluten. Your body might just disagree with corn in general.
Does cornmeal contain gluten?
Cornbread recipes use cornmeal as one of the main ingredients. If you’re following the logic that corn is a naturally gluten free vegetable, so cornmeal should be naturally gluten free - you're technically correct. But the way the corn is processed into cornmeal is where things get sketchy...
Grain milling and processing can cause cross-contamination. Although cornmeal is naturally gluten free, it can be contaminated with gluten products during manufacturing (milling) and packaging. Be sure to purchase cornmeal labelled as gluten free in order to avoid any cross contamination.
Does cornbread contain gluten?
This cornbread recipe does not contain gluten since we’re using a gluten free cornmeal. Buy a cornmeal product from a brand you trust, and your Easy Gluten Free Cornbread will be safe for you to eat!
Why this is the best gluten free cornbread recipe
So I might be tootin’ my own horn a bit, but I think this cornbread is pretty dang special. Why? Because it's incredibly simple to make and you'll want to eat the whole thing as soon as it comes out of the oven.
Easy + delicious = best recipe ever.
It’s also adaptable, which is great if you have people in your household that have different dietary needs. The basic recipe contains dairy and eggs, but with a few ingredient switches, it can easily become dairy-free or vegan.
Easy + delicious + versatile = best recipe ever.
- Gluten free yellow cornmeal: is the star of the cornbread show! Be sure to purchase gluten free cornmeal, so you can avoid cross-contamination. White cornmeal can be used, but you won’t get that beautiful yellow look to your cornbread.
- Gluten free flour: If you’re using an all-purpose flour that has xanthan gum added, you’re all set. If your preferred mixture doesn’t have it, consider adding it separately to help your cornbread ingredients stick together.
- Baking powder: a leavener, which will help make your cornbread fluffy
- Salt: used to as a flavour enhancer
- Egg: or flax egg to make it vegan
- Milk: cow's milk, or non-dairy
- Maple syrup: gives the cornbread a slightly sweet taste
- Butter: substitute with avocado oil for dairy-free
This recipe is super versatile and can be made both dairy-free and vegan.
To make this recipe dairy-free, replace the 1 cup of milk with your favourite non-dairy milk such as cashew, almond, or rice and use ⅓ cup of avocado oil instead of melted butter.
To make your cornbread vegan, use the dairy-free substitutions above and also incorporate a flax egg instead of the 1 egg called for in the recipe. To make a flax egg, combine 1 tablespoon of ground flax with 2 tablespoons of water. Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes to allow it to thicken and mimic an egg-like consistency.
What gluten free flours to use
This cornbread is made with a pre-made gluten-free flour containing xanthan gum (Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Baking Flour), but there are lots of other options out there. If there's another brand of pre-made flour you enjoy and frequently use, try it in this recipe.
Another option is to make your own gluten free flour, using ingredients like rice, corn, buckwheat, or oats. Homemade flours often combine a few different gluten free grains and starches to get the right texture, like this Homemade Gluten Free Flour Blend from The Loopy Whisk.
Often times, gluten free flours will use xanthan gum as a thickener and binder. (This is normally gluten's job, but obviously it's missing!) If you don't want to use xanthan gum, other thickeners/binders like cornstarch, ground chia seeds, or psyllium husk can do the trick.
How to make this recipe
This recipe is incredibly easy to make.
Start by combining the dry ingredients (gluten free cornmeal, gluten free flour, salt, and baking powder) into a medium-sized bowl. Mix until they’re combined.
In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients: egg (or flax egg), milk (or non-dairy milk), maple syrup, and butter (or avocado oil). Mix until they’re combined.
Add the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly until everything is wet. Pour the cornbread mixture into a parchment-lined 8” x 8” baking dish and bake in the oven at 400℉ for about 20 minutes. The cornbread is done when it has a nice crust on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Serve with your favourite dish or eat it right out of the pan. (My favourite way to eat it.)
Which bakeware should you use
To make this recipe, an 8” x 8” baking dish is used. If you don’t have one that size, use whatever bakeware you have on hand. No need to buy anything special for this easy gluten free cornbread!
If you feel like making this into a loaf, you can use a loaf pan instead of a baking dish.
If you want to go the muffin route, it’s also an easy switch. Use muffin liners or grease a muffin tin to bake this recipe up in perfect individual portions. The recipe will make between 10 and 12 muffins.
Monitor baking times accordingly if you switch up the bakeware. Look for that nice crust on top and a clean toothpick when inserted in the middle.
What to serve with gluten free cornbread
Cornbread makes a great sidekick for a lot of meals. Pair it with your favourite chili or a nice thick soup on a cooler evening. If stews are your thing, use it to lap up the rich broth that inevitably ends up at the bottom of your bowl.
Eating cornbread as a snack on its own is always a great option, too. Opt for savoury, by adding a bit of butter or cheese, or lean more towards sweet by adding honey or jam to your slice. Either way, you can’t go wrong!
How to store gluten free cornbread
This recipe is best served the day it's made, but it can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days. The cornbread might become a bit dense when cool, so be sure to let it come to room temperature or warm in the microwave to get back to that fluffy, crumbly texture.
If you want to keep your gluten free cornbread for longer, you can freeze it, too! Make sure it’s wrapped tightly and stored in an airtight container prior to freezing. It’ll keep for a few months, but thaw it overnight in the fridge before you’re ready to eat it.
Easy Gluten Free Cornbread
- 1 cup gluten free yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup gluten free flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg beaten (or flax egg)
- 1 cup milk or non-dairy milk
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- ⅓ cup butter melted (or avocado oil)
- Preheat the oven to 400℉.
- In a medium-sized bowl, add gluten free cornmeal, gluten free flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix until combined.
- In a separate bowl, add the maple syrup, butter (or avocado oil), egg (or flax egg) and milk (dairy, or non-dairy). Mix until combined.
- Add the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly until combined and everything is wet.
- Pour the mixture into a parchment-lined 8" x 8" baking dish. Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes, until the cornbread has a nice crust on top and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Cool in the baking dish or on a cooling rack and serve. (If you can wait that long!)
- To make this recipe dairy-free: substitute 1 cup of milk for 1 cup of non-dairy milk (such as cashew, almond or rice) and substitute butter with ⅓ cup of avocado oil.
- To make this recipe vegan: substitute dairy-free alternatives above and also substitute egg for 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed + 2 tablespoons of water, let sit for 5-10 minutes to thicken)
- This recipe is best served the day it's made, but it can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days. Let it come to room temperature or warm in the microwave to get back to that fluffy, crumbly texture.
- You can freeze this recipe by wrapping it tightly and storing in an airtight container. It should keep for a few months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before eating.