How to Make Vegan and Gluten Free Cornbread

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How to make vegan and gluten free cornbread. I tried cornbread about twenty years ago, from a Jiffy packet mix. You mix it all up with milk and an egg and bake it a muffin pan, or just a square cake tin. Back then one of the ingredients was lard, although they have since produced a vegetarian packet mix too. Unfortunately, it’s not gluten free, and furthermore, not available over here in the UK anyway (well, it is, but at some cost for shipping etc). So, I decided to take matters into my own hands and to learn how to make cornbread from scratch. And furthermore, can you make vegan cornbread?

I remember trying Cornbread for the first time, dripping with butter, and stirring it into Gumbo. It was so good. Quite unlike anything I’d even had, a deliciously grainy texture, delicately flavoured with corn.

Traditionally it was made in a blackened or seasoned skillet, years of cooking flavouring it indelibly, yet not imperceptibly. It seems like it has been around in the Americas for thousands of years, perhaps 6000, and its roots are traced back to the Tehuacan Valley of Mexico. Roasted corn was ground up into a coarse meal and then mixed with, assumedly water or lard, and formed into a patty that was baked over open fire. Of course, without the benefit of the leavening of eggs or flour, the corn cakes would stay flat, but nutritious.

Over time, and with the benefit of adding flour and egg and baking powder, the cornbread become the cakey delicacy that we enjoy today.

Interestingly, because this recipe uses flour in addition to the cornmeal, plus the rising agent of Baking Soda this is sometimes referred to by Southerners as Yankee Cornbread as this version originates from the North of the country and it is not considered true Cornbread. These additions make the Cornbread more ‘cakey’ and it loses that delicious, slightly grainy texture that true Cornbread has.

Actually though, I would defy anyone to not love this tasty variation, traditional or not, because it combines everything that’s great about baking and cooking: cake, hot chilies and cheesy topping. It’s what I dream about.

How Do I Make Vegan Cornbread?

How to Make Vegan and Gluten Free Cornbread
  • Use vegan butter instead of dairy butter. You can use coconut or vegetable oil if you’d rather, but it gives you a less buttery taste (as you might expect!)
  • There are no eggs in this recipe!
  • Use vegan yogurt, (I like Alpro plain yogurt) instead of buttermilk
  • Use dairy-free milk instead of dairy milk.
  • Gluten-Free Flour instead of Regular Plain Flour (however, this recipe works just as well with plain flour)
  • You can use Polenta or Cornmeal for this. Both are actually the same thing, but do try and get coarse, as it gives the Cornbread it’s distinctive texture.

What Can I Eat Cornbread With?

How to Make Vegan and Gluten Free Cornbread
Vegan and Gluten Free Cornbread served with Vegan Dirty Rice

You can use it, crumbled up, to make a stuffing for Squash or Peppers, mixing it with sauteed onions or peppers.

  • Served with Chilli
  • Served with Gumbo
  • Served with your favourite Soup, I love it with my Green Chilli Hominy Soup
  • Eaten on it’s own, warm and dripping with syrup and vegan butter
  • Served with my delicious Vegan Dirty Rice

The method is incredibly easy. You simply melt your butter and sugar in a microwaveable jug, and add it to the dry ingredients, then pour into your prepared baking dish.

How Can I Improve My Cornbread?

Try adding all or any of the following to your cornbread batter:

  • Grated Vegan Cheese
  • Tinned or freshly hulled Sweetcorn (use about half a cup)
  • Some chopped vegan bacon
  • Chopped Spring Onions
  • Some freshly chopped herbs, I suggest parsley or chives for a great flavour
  • You can even bake your cornbread mixture on top of your chilli! Make a chilli, spread that out into a baking pan and top with cornbread batter. Sprinkle with grated vegan cheese. Bake at 200c for 30 minutes, or until the cornbread is baked through.
How to Make Vegan and Gluten Free Cornbread

Vegan and Gluten Free Cornbread

5 from 25 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cornbread, Gluten Free Cornbread, Vegan Cornbread
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 9 pieces


  • 6" square (or round!) baking pan or 12 cup muffin pan (not jumbo), lined
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Microwaveable Jug or dish


  • ½ cup (115g) vegan Butter
  • ½ cup (115g) white Sugar
  • ¾ cup (180ml) Vegan Milk
  • ½ cup (120ml) Vegan Plain Yogurt
  • 1 cup (130g) Gluten Free Plain Flour (or use regular plain flour if not gluten intolerant)
  • 1 cup (130g) Coarse Cornmeal or Polenta
  • 3 tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1 tsp Salt


  • In a microwaveable dish, melt the butter and sugar together, about 30 secs
  • Stir in the yogurt and milk
  • In a large bowl, whisk together all the other ingredients. Make a well in the centre
  • Pour in the wet ingredients and gently mix until combined. Don't worry about a few odd lumps here and there.
    Add in any extras you might like to add at this point.
  • Pour into your prepared lined baking dish or muffin tin.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 200c for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Leave to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before cutting into squares or lifting out the muffins
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  1. 5 stars
    Oh wow this looks so good. Such a great recipe! ?

  2. Jessica Formicola says:

    5 stars
    I have a few friends that are either gluten free or vegan, so this recipe will be wonderful to make when we have them over for dinner. Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. 5 stars
    This looks incredible! Do you think I can reduce the amount of white sugar or substitute it with an alternative sweetener? Thanks!

  4. 5 stars
    Such a cool recipe !

  5. 5 stars
    Such a handy recipe to have for vegan family members!!

  6. 5 stars
    This sounds wonderful! What a great recipe for gluten free and vegan people!

  7. 5 stars
    I love cornbread. Thanks for the recipe.

  8. 5 stars
    This was really great with oat milk. Thanks!

  9. 5 stars
    My daughter LOVES cornbread. I can’t wait to try this healthier version!

  10. Alexandra says:

    5 stars
    This looks so tasty, and I love that it is vegan and gluten free.

  11. 5 stars
    Love corn bread! I looks forward to trying this vegan and gluten free version ?

  12. 5 stars
    Thank you for creating such a moist gf cornbread!! Perfect!

  13. oh my gosh looks so good!!

  14. 5 stars
    I loved this!!

  15. 5 stars
    Love that it’s gluten free!

  16. 5 stars
    This cornbread looks so soft and delicious! I can’t wait to make this with my next soup or chili. Thank you!

  17. 5 stars
    You are speaking my love language with this recipe haha. I love cornbread!! This recipe is so awesome!!!

  18. 5 stars
    So easy and delicious, I love this cornbread!

  19. 5 stars
    This looks amazing! I love cornbread. I can’t wait to try this recipe 🙂

  20. 5 stars
    Cornbread is my absolute favorite! Can’t wait to make this

  21. Shannon says:

    5 stars
    The best cornbread!!

  22. 5 stars
    So glad I found this recipe, it’s the first time I have made cornbread. Came out perfect.

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