This gluten-free, vegan cornbread is rich, moist, and flavorful, yet simple to make and even better to eat! It’s perfect for serving alongside tons of sweet and savory dishes like chilies and stews. Plus, this recipe is dairy-free, egg-free, wheat-free, and can be made refined sugar free!
Flavorful Cornbread Without Eggs
We’re officially in the Fall season. Depending on where you live, soon the trees will turn beautiful shades of amber and red, people will bundle up in thick scarves and gloves, pumpkins will appear on doorsteps, and we’ll start to enjoy wholesome, comforting Fall recipes like this vegan cornbread.
Okay, technically, here in the tropics, our September/October admittedly looks a little bit different to the US, but that doesn’t mean I can’t get in the spirit of all things autumnal. And okay, cornbread is available year-round. However, with a pumpkin puree addition and plenty of comforting fall/winter dishes to serve it with – I’m officially counting this as my first Fall recipe of the season.
When I think of cornbread, I imagine it mopping up rich sauces in comforting dishes like chilies and soups. Not to mention a whole array of Southern-style meals and dishes.
This moist vegan cornbread is still fluffy and soft but without any dairy or eggs. And while traditional cornbread may be a little fluffier and slightly less crumbly, after experimentation, I’m super happy with the texture of this gluten-free cornbread. It’s not too dense, cakey, or dry and has a wonderful flavor.
What Is Cornbread?
While there is debate about the origins of this dish, it seems to come from Native American roots.
The recipe uses cornmeal (referred to as polenta in some countries) to create a fluffy, rich, and sweet and savory quick bread.
While there are several varieties of cornbread, including baked and fried, the traditional recipe contains eggs, gluten, and often buttermilk, and so isn’t something I was able to enjoy for years.
In comparison, this vegan corn bread recipe contains no eggs, dairy, or gluten and yet still have the soft texture and slightly sweet flavor I’m looking for.
This particular recipe is also oven-baked for simplicity and – if you actually have the patience to wait for it to cool down from the oven before topping with dairy-free butter and inhaling it – well, good on you because that’s something I fail at consistently!
So, let’s get right into the recipe then.
The Step-By-Step Instructions
Step One: First, grease a 6 x 9 inches (15 cm x 23 cm) or 8 x 8 inches (20 x 20 cm) pan (or line it with parchment paper) and preheat your oven to 375F/190C.
Step Two: In a large bowl, combine the gluten-free flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir with a spoon or whisk.
Step Three: Then, in a different bowl, combine the plant-based milk, vinegar, pumpkin puree, and oil and mix. Then, combine this with the dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined with a whisk or electric hand mixer.
Step Four: Taste the batter and add more sweetener if you prefer. Then pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Step Five: Bake for about 30 minutes. Then check to make sure it’s cooked through by inserting a toothpick into the center of the vegan cornbread. If it comes out clean (crumbly is fine, but not wet), then it’s ready.
All that’s left to do is allow it to cool (if you have the patience!), slice, and enjoy!
For the full ingredients list, ingredient measurements, and nutritional information, read the recipe card below.
How To Serve
One of the best things about cornbread is how versatile it is. While I can’t stop dreaming of using it to mop up sauce, this vegan, gluten-free cornbread can also be served with sweet toppings. Here are some of my favorite options:
- Serve simply with lashings of dairy-free butter
- Even better, serve with a little butter and maple syrup for a delicious sweet and savory blend
- jams, jellies, marmalades, preserves
- Pair your cornbread with some vanilla or pumpkin ice-cream and a drizzle of syrup
- Serve with maple roasted/glazed fruits and coconut whipped cream.
When it comes to savory options, I have long lists of dishes that I serve this vegan corn bread with, Including:
- Soups: like this Mexican Pinto Bean Soup, Vegan Tortilla Soup, Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Soup, or double up on corn with this Corn Chowder.
- Stews & Casseroles: Like this Easy Veggie Stew, Mushroom Bourguignon, Hungarian Goulash, Ratatouille or Cheesy Rice And Bean Casserole.
- And other classic dishes like Vegan Chili, Meatballs And Gravy, and a Vegan Pot Pie.
- Serve alongside sauteed greens and roasted veggies, too.
Not only is it great to serve alongside various dishes, but you can use it within them too. For example, crumble the cornbread to make a stuffing or top a baked casserole.
No matter how I serve it, I find myself inhaling it within practically seconds and going for more!
Keep any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Gluten-free goodies can, unfortunately, dry out very quickly if not sealed tight, so make sure to use an airtight container.
This dairy-free cornbread is also freezer friendly. To freeze, wrap it tightly in freezer-safe plastic wrap and place it in an airtight bag or container for up to two months.
I like to pre-slice it and place bits of parchment paper between each slice so I can pop however much I need out in one go, easy-peasy!
Useful Recipe Tips:
- Gluten-free all-purpose flour: I used 120 g white rice flour and 40 g cornstarch. Any gluten-free all-purpose flour blend (1:1) should be fine. You could use all-purpose flour or spelt flour if you aren’t gluten-free. You might need to adjust the amount of the plant-based milk depending on the flour you will use though.
- Sweetener: You can use organic cane sugar, coconut sugar, etc., or Erythritol for a sugar-free version. I wouldn’t recommend trying to sub this for a liquid sweetener as it will affect the flavor and texture negatively.
- Plant-based milk: I recommend using milk that’s higher in fat, such as canned coconut milk or homemade cashew/almond milk, since it will make the cornbread moister. If using boxed milk with a lower fat content, I recommend adding an extra two to three tablespoons of oil.
- Pumpkin puree: If you aren’t a fan of pumpkin, you could use 1/3 cup of applesauce (though this will be sweeter). Both will make the bread moist and also act as an egg replacer.
- You can experiment with other egg replacers too for when baking this eggless cornbread. Each alternative affects the dish differently; so, you can find your perfect moistness and texture. 6 tablespoons Aquafaba replaces 2 whole eggs and often works well for fluffy results. Otherwise, 2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons ground flax seeds mixed with 5 tablespoons water) or 2 chia eggs are also options.
- There are tons of additional ingredients you could add to this vegan cornbread to customize it to your liking. To the batter, you could add minced/chopped chili/jalapeno, herbs, garlic, scallions, green onions, whole corn kernels, chopped peppers, broccoli, collard greens, and more. You could also top it with thin slices of jalapeno, tomato, or vegan cheese before baking.
- You could experiment with using blue cornmeal in this recipe. I haven’t tried, so I can’t guarantee results, but the color will be amazing.
- This vegan gluten-free cornbread can be baked in a loaf tin (baking time will vary), sheet pan, or even a muffin tin to make vegan cornbread muffins. If making into muffins, check on them after 20 minutes in the oven, then bake for more, as needed.
Other Vegan Side Dishes
- GERMAN POTATO DUMPLINGS
- CRISPY PAN-ROASTED POTATOES
- VEGAN HASH BROWNS
- CRISPY OVEN BAKED POTATO WEDGES
- CRISPY POLENTA FRIES
- GLUTEN-FREE BUNS (BREAD ROLLS)
- BAKED VEGAN ONION RINGS
If you give this vegan cornbread recipe a try, I’d love a comment and recipe rating below. Also, don’t forget to tag me in re-creations on Instagram or Facebook with @elavegan and #elavegan – I love seeing your recreations.
- 1 cup (160 g) gluten-free flour (*see notes)
- 1 cup (140 g) cornmeal (fine, yellow)
- 1/3 cup (70 g) sugar of choice (*see notes)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 1/4 cup (300 ml) dairy-free milk (*see notes)
- 1/3 cup (80 g) pumpkin puree (*see notes)
- 1/2 tbsp white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp (30 g) oil (*see notes)
- Grease a 6 x 9 inches (15 cm x 23 cm) or 8 x 8 inches (20 x 20 cm) pan (or line it with parchment paper) and preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius).
- Combine the gluten-free flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl. Stir with a spoon or whisk.
- In a different bowl, combine plant-based, vinegar, oil, and pumpkin puree. Pour the mixture to the dry ingredients and stir with a whisk until combined. You can also use an electric hand mixer.
- Taste the batter and add more sweetener if you prefer it sweeter. Then pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for about 30 minutes. I recommend inserting a toothpick into the center of the cornbread. If it comes out clean (crumbly is fine, but not wet) it's ready.
- Let cool, slice, and enjoy!
- Gluten-free flour: I used 120 g white rice flour and 40 g cornstarch. Any gluten-free all-purpose flour blend (1:1) should be fine. Also, you can use all-purpose flour or spelt flour, if you aren't gluten-free. You might need to adjust the amount of the plant-based milk depending on the flour you will use.
- Sweetener: You can use organic cane sugar, coconut sugar, etc, or Erythritol for a sugar-free version.
- Plant-based milk: I recommend using milk that's higher in fat, such as canned coconut milk or homemade cashew/almond milk since it will make the cornbread moister. If using boxed milk with very low fat, I would recommend adding 2-3 tablespoons of oil in addition.
- Pumpkin puree: If you aren't a fan of pumpkin, simply use 1/3 cup of applesauce. Read the recipe tips in the blog post for other egg replacer recommendations.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. You can also freeze it for up to 2 months.
- Check out the step-by-step photos in the blog post.
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