This tasty vegan cornbread is the easiest thing to make. Plus while it’s naturally gluten-free and oil-free, you don’t need any special flours to make it. Snack on it plain or with vegan butter, have it along side soup or chili, or stuff it into a veggie roast.
Video Tutorial for Vegan Cornbread | Gluten-Free & Oil-Free
How to Use This Vegan Gluten-Free Cornbread
This cornbread is best served fresh. As this recipe was originally created to go straight into a stuffing recipe, the cornbread is a tad bit on the dry side. It’s delicious for snacking right after baking, but does not retain it’s moisture well after the first day. For a more moist cornbread, add 2 tablespoons of unsweetened apple sauce or 1 tablespoon of melted vegan butter (such as Earth Balance) to the wet ingredients.
I made up this recipe as I wanted to share a holiday dish with my gluten-free friends (ie. you guys, my internet friends). The Roasted Eggplant with Cornbread Stuffing with Mushroom Gravy recipe that I made for my first vegan Thanksgiving was almost gluten-free by accident, so I set out to nix the wheat in the recipe.
How this recipe came to be
I was asked for a gluten-free stuffing for my Thanksgiving Stuffed Roasted Eggplant and naturally, cornbread seemed to be the perfect fit. But my cornbread eating experience was somewhat limited. Once from a friend, a few times in restaurants and a few from some vegan bake sales. Some were sweet, others were savory and filled with mix-ins like vegan cheese and jalapeno. Some were soft and cake-like, others were crispy and crumbly. The only ones I really didn’t like seemed to had additional gluten-free flours that give the bread a strange texture and graininess.
The cornbread recipes I found online all contained wheat or special gluten-free flours. Or they included egg. I just felt that there had to be a way to use only corn. How was the first cornbread ever made? I didn’t know the answer but I assumed that it must have been purely corn.
I wanted to leave out any unnecessary oil as well. I already tend to (vegan) butter my cornbread; there doesn’t need to be added fats inside the cornbread itself. If I don’t eat it plain and buttered, I usually will have it with soup or chili. Today, I had it with a bowl of vegetable mushroom gravy. No regrets.
So I mixed a rough batter with cornmeal, salt, sugar, water and baking powder. That wasn’t great. The next try was with homemade cashew milk and apple cider vinegar instead of the water. Much better! The plant milk and vinegar combination stands in for buttermilk in many recipes and it thought it sounded like it belonged in a cornbread recipe.
I was so happy with how this cornbread turned out. It is crusty on top but soft in the middle when fresh out of the oven. It doesn’t stay moist long if left sitting out, which was ideal as it was made specifically to be turned into stuffing. But if we want to make it more moist, all it takes is an easy addition of apple sauce or Earth Balance buttery spread.
Printable Recipe for Easy Gluten-Free Vegan Cornbread
- 1 1/2 cups fine-medium ground cornmeal [225g]
- 1 tablespoon sugar (or your choice of sweetener) [10g]
- 1/2 tablespoon baking powder [6g]
- 1/2 teaspoon salt [4g]
- Wet Ingredients
- 1 cup plant milk, such as cashew, soy, or hemp [237ml]
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar [15ml]
- 3 tablespoons water, cool or room temperature [45ml]
- 2 tablespoons finely ground flax seed
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Stir the plant milk and apple cider vinegar together. Set aside for a minute. Meanwhile, stir the flax meal and 3 tablespoons of water. Set aside.
- Combine the corn meal, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together.
- Separately, stir all the wet ingredients together. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well.
- Line a baking pan with parchment paper. I used a 10.5" by 6.5" pan which was a little large. You can use any size that is similar or smaller, or use muffin tins.
- Pour the batter into the pan, smoothing it out with a wooden spoon or spatula. You may find that the batter sets up a bit after standing. This is totally normal.
- Bake in your preheated oven at 400°F or 205°C for 20 to 25 minutes.
- Let cool before slicing. The top will sound hollow when tapped. The top will be crisp, while the inside will be soft.
- Store in an airtight container to retain moisture
- As this recipe was originally created to go straight into a stuffing recipe, the cornbread is a bit on the dry side. It's fine for snacking right after baking but does not retain it's moisture well. For a more moist cornbread, add 2 tablespoons of unsweetened apple sauce or 1 tablespoon of melted vegan butter (such as Earth Balance) to the wet ingredients.