This easy Gluten Free Cornbread recipe is a take on the classic quick bread that pairs beautifully with soups, stews, and chili. It uses only cornmeal as flour which offers both an appealing texture and a slightly sweet taste. A dairy-free option is included as well.
Cornbread is a complex food, but people can agree that it is a staple of United States cuisine. It particularly features in the cuisines of the Southern and Southwestern U.S., but nowadays it is enjoyed by people all over. Cornbread can actually take many forms from baked versions like this one or steamed cornbread that tends to be softer.
My mother-in-law introduced me to Sopa Paraguaya a cornbread version from her home country Paraguay with cottage cheese and onions. It doesn't use any flour aside from cornmeal, which made me realize I could make gluten free cornbread in a similar way without any other gluten-free flour blend.
Ingredients & Substitutions
This cornbread recipe is fast to make and uses few ingredients. In fact, you may have most of them on hand already.
- cornmeal - white or yellow. Medium or fine grind. For a softer crumb texture 1 cup can be replaced with corn flour, or masa harina; or grind 1 cup cornmeal in spice grinder/food processor/blender.
- baking powder
- baking soda
- egg - beaten to incorporate more easily
- butter - melted and cooled; or coconut oil, vegetable oil, lard (bacon drippings) or beef tallow for dairy free option
- Greek yogurt - plain yogurt, sour cream or buttermilk work as well. For a dairy free version use coconut or almond milk yogurt
- honey - maple syrup or granulated sugar. Can be omitted if you don't want lightly sweet cornbread.
See recipe box for details.
How to Make Gluten Free Cornbread
In a large bowl whisk the cornmeal with the baking powder and soda, and salt in a large bowl until combined.
In a separate bowl whisk the egg with the melted butter, Greek yogurt, and honey until thoroughly combined
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients before adding the wet ingredients and whisking until the batter is smooth
Pour the batter into greased baking pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 400°F.
Hint: To test for doneness, inserting a skewer into the center is an excellent option. If it comes out clean or with a few dry crumbs, your bread has baked through sufficiently. On the other hand, if you see some wet, gummy crumbs, your bread will still need a few minutes.
Cornbread is best enjoyed fresh and warm still from the oven. However, leftovers can be stored packed up airtight at room temperature for 2-3 days. It will dry out somewhat though. Dry older cornbread is great to use for stuffing or toasted and ground up as gluten free breading or croutons.
Homemade cornbread is perfect on its own with just some butter, but there are other ways to enjoy it too. In fact, some in the United States like to eat it smeared with molasses, while others enjoy a combination of butter and honey. You could even consider mixing some softened butter with some spices or finely chopped jalapenos for a savoury spread with some kick. Alternatively, you could whip the butter with some honey for a honey butter or honey and sriracha for another unique spread.
Corn doesn't contain any gluten. Thereby cornmeal also should be naturally gluten free. However, there is a possibility of gluten contamination if corn is processed in the same facility as wheat products. So celiacs or those very sensitive to gluten should look out for a label on the packaging that may indicate possible traces of gluten.
Most traditional cornbread recipes call for all-purpose flour as well as cornmeal. While this makes softer cornbread with a finer crumb texture, this recipe shows you that you can make cornbread gluten free while using only cornmeal.
Here are more gluten free bread recipes you'll love:
Gluten Free Cornbread
- 2 cups cornmeal * yellow or white, medium or fine (I like PAN cornmeal)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg beaten
- ¼ cup butter melted and cooled; or coconut oil
- 1 ½ cups Greek yogurt plain yogurt, sour cream or buttermilk work as well. For a dairy free version use coconut or almond milk yogurt
- ¼ cup honey
- Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C. Grease an 8-inch/20cm square pan or large cast iron skillet.
- In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients (cornmeal, salt, baking soda and powder). In a second bowl combine the wet ingredients (egg, butter, yogurt and honey).
- Make a well in the dry mixture and pour in the wet ingredients. Whisk until just combined.
- Pour into prepared pan and bake for 20-30 minutes until lightly browned on top (edges will be darker) and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Slice and serve with chili, stews, or for breakfast.