Easy Gluten-Free Cornbread

By: Cassy Joy Garcia

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This gluten-free cornbread is so moist, fluffy, and easy to make that you'll never find yourself reaching for a packaged mix again!

a wedge of gluten-free cornbread cut in half with a slice of butter in the middle on a marble surface

This recipe comes to you courtesy of Mama Garcia! She's been making this cornbread for years and years, and we were so happy to find that it could easily be converted to gluten-free. While you may be used to making your cornbread from a packaged mix, rest assured that this one comes together with minimal effort. This cornbread is fluffy, moist, and lightly sweetened. It's the perfect side for soup, chili, or for Thanksgiving stuffing!

Is cornbread gluten-free?

First things first, you may be wondering whether cornbread is naturally gluten-free. The answer is no because while cornbread has a cornmeal base, it typically also contains flour to give it a finer crumb and a more cake-like consistency.

What kind of cornmeal is best for cornbread?

While most cornmeal is gluten-free, if you have Celiac Disease or are super sensitive we recommend double-checking your cornmeal to make sure it isn't processed alongside wheat. The other thing you'll want to look for when making gluten-free cornbread is fine-ground cornmeal. If you go with coarse grind cornmeal, the cornbread will be more crumbly and not as fluffy.

Ingredients

This recipe calls for a relatively short list of staple ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Finely Ground Cornmeal – to start, you’ll need to grab 1 1/2 cups of finely ground cornmeal.
  • Gluten-Free Flour – in addition to the cornmeal, you’ll also need 1 cup of gluten-free flour. We like Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 GF flour and King Arthur’s Measure for Measure GF flour.
  • Baking Powder – 1 tablespoon of baking powder will do here.
  • Sea Salt – you’ll also need 1 teaspoon of fine sea salt.
  • Whole Milk – 1 1/2 cups of whole milk makes up the bulk of the liquid component of this recipe.
  • Butter – 1/3 cup of melted salted butter adds a beautifully rich flavor.
  • Honey – for a touch of sweetness, we’ll also add a 1/4 cup of honey. Know that this is optional, but recommended! 
  • Egg – you’ll use 1 large egg to bind everything together!

gluten free cornbread in a round cake pan lined with parchment paper on a marble surface

How do you make gluten-free cornbread from scratch?

Here's what you'll need to do to make this cornbread:

  1. Whisk the dry ingredients. First, you'll place the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and sea salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine.
  2. Mix in the wet ingredients. Next, you'll add the honey, milk, egg, and melted butter to the bowl and mix it until a smooth batter is formed. No need to use a mixer for this one!
  3. Pour the batter into a round pan. We used a round cake pan to make this gluten-free cornbread, but you can also use a cast-iron skillet if you'd like! If you decide to use a cast-iron, we recommend preheating it in the oven while you make your batter. The hot pan will help the cornbread get extra-crispy on the edges and allow for even heating.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes. Finally, you'll bake the cornbread for 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

What is the best egg substitute for cornbread?

We’re so glad you asked! We actually did some really extensive research on this (you can find our full egg substitute guide here), so we feel really confident in the ability to make *almost* any baked good egg-free! When it comes to cornbread, we recommend subbing in a flax egg. To do this, you’ll simply combine 1 tablespoon of flax meal with 3 tablespoons of water, mix it together, and let it sit for about 5 minutes (until it becomes slightly gelatinous), then you’ll use it just like you would a regular ole egg!

Can I make this cornbread dairy-free?

Yes! You can make this cornbread dairy-free by replacing the milk with full-fat coconut milk and the butter with coconut oil.

Can I reduce or leave out the honey?

Yes, this cornbread is slightly sweet (which is how we prefer it), but if you'd like a more savory cornbread, you can reduce or leave out the honey without issue.

a round loaf of gluten-free cornbread cut into 6 wedges on a marble countertop with a grey towel in the background

Gluten-Free Cornbread Variations

While we love this recipe for a standard cornbread, here are a few ideas to spice up your cornbread a bit!

  • Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread – Leave out the honey and add 1/4 cup diced jalapenos (about 2 de-seeded jalapenos) and 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese to the batter.
  • Bacon & Fresh Corn Cornbread – Reduce the honey to 2 tablespoons and add 1/2 cup of bacon and 3/4 cup of corn kernels to the batter.
  • Sweet Blueberry Cornbread – Use 3/4 cup of honey and add 1 cup of blueberries to the batter for this fun twist on traditional cornbread.

What to Serve with Cornbread

In the wintertime, cornbread is a go-to side for me for any kind of soup or stew. This cornbread also makes a great base for gluten-free stuffing! Here are our favorites:

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Easy Gluten-Free Cornbread

a wedge of gluten-free cornbread cut in half with a slice of butter in the middle on a marble surface

This gluten-free cornbread only requires one bowl for mixing and comes out moist and fluffy every time!

  • Author: Cassy Garcia
  • Prep Time: 00:10
  • Cook Time: 00:30
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 1/2 cups finely ground cornmeal
  • 1 cup gluten-free flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup salted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 large egg, beaten

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt to combine.
  3. Add the milk, melted butter, honey, and egg to the bowl and mix until a smooth batter forms.
  4. Pour into a greased 8×8 or round baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cornbread comes out clean.

Keywords: gluten-free, dairy-free, cornbread, homemade

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Recipe rating

  1. Deborah Langton says:

    Would love it if you would add in egg substitutions as well. I have a nephew who is allergic to dairy, gluten, nuts, eggs, and soy and maybe a few other things. I’m always on the lookout for great recipes for them. They have such a difficult time and at this point haven’t been able to fully control his allergies. They are a family of 6 and he is the youngest. He ends up eating most of the things he isn’t supposed to have because it seems so impossible to fit all of his needs.

  2. Hannah Wiesner says:

    This is, incredible. I’ve got a partner that wants every thing to taste like the real deal that his taste buds are used to. He’s been slowly over the years adjusting to my little tweaks in ingredients! When it comes to accompanying cornbread with chili for dinner, I’ve played around with many cornbread recipes and have had complete failures. Cassidy, you’ve hit it out of the ballpark with this one! Simple and sweet, but also tastes incredible. I love that you baked it in the cast iron and it’s consistency is, spot on! You are a special human.

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      So glad you guys enjoyed the cornbread, Hannah!!! Thank you so much for sharing!