Gluten Free Cornbread

This recipe for Gluten Free Cornbread is tender, moist, and subtly sweet. Serve it up alongside Crock Pot Steak Chili or Cowboy Baked Beans with Ground Beef for a comforting gluten free meal!

The Great Cornbread Debate

Two stacked slices of gluten free cornbread with a pat of butter on top.

Do you like your cornbread sweet or savory? I am decidedly in the sweet camp, though in recent years I’ve come to appreciate the occasional savory cornbread, especially if it includes cheese, like these Cheddar Cornbread Muffins.

But when I want a classic cornbread to serve alongside soups or chili, this Gluten Free Cornbread is my go-to recipe

This recipe checks every box on my Ultimate Cornbread Checklist (a list that is very real, even if it exists only in my mind).

It’s buttery, moist, and not too crumbly. The cast iron skillet gives it an irresistible golden crust and tender crumb.

It holds up well to a hearty White Chicken Chili, but can also be eaten for breakfast with a swirl of honey on top.

You can customize the sweetness of the cornbread to your liking, so whether you’re Team Sweet or Savory, this recipe is a classic worth adding to your recipe box.

Is cornbread gluten free?

Most cornbread recipes are not naturally gluten free, but they’re fairly easy to convert to gluten free. Cornbread recipes rely heavily on cornmeal, which does not contain gluten, and a small amount of all purpose flour. To make it gluten free, I simply substitute a gluten free flour blend for the traditional wheat flour.

While cornmeal is naturally gluten free, it may be processed in facilities that also process gluten-containing products. If you are very sensitive or have Celiac’s disease, look for cornmeal that is marked Certified Gluten Free, such as Arrowhead Mills.

Ingredients in Gluten Free Cornbread

Ingredients on a wood surface--cornmeal, milk, eggs, sugar, butter, gluten free flour, honey, and baking soda.
  • Butter– Salted or unsalted is up to you, we just want that crispy, buttery crust!
  • Cornmeal– I prefer the texture of fine ground cornmeal in cornbread; coarser grinds can result in a gritty texture. If you only have coarse ground cornmeal, give it a quick whiz in a blender until it resembles grains of sand.
  • Gluten Free All Purpose Flour– Choose a 1-1 or cup for cup variety of gluten free flour that contains xantham gum. I’ve used Kroger’s Simple Truth All Purpose Gluten Free Flour and Bob’s Red Mill 1-1 Gluten Free Flour with good results. I recommend avoiding flour blends that use bean flour.
  • Kosher salt
  • Baking powder
  • Buttermilk– Buttermilk adds amazing flavor to cornbread, and I don’t recommend replacing it. However if you don’t have it on hand you can substitute it for milk, or use milk + buttermilk powder (<<a great product to keep on hand, because it lasts FOREVER). Don’t want to buy a big container of buttermilk for one recipe? Find out how to use and freeze leftover buttermilk here.
  • Eggs
  • Honey– Even if I’m making a savory cornbread, I always add at least a few Tablespoons of honey. It makes a big difference!
  • Granulated sugar– This is optional, but I like to add ¼ cup of granulated sugar to my cornbread. I find this makes a sweet, but not too sweet version. You may want to increase that amount to as much as ½ cup for a very sweet cornbread, or eliminate it entirely for a savory cornbread.

How to Make Cornbread in a Cast Iron Skillet

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place an 8 inch round cast iron skillet in the oven to preheat.
  2. Melt butter in the microwave and set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Combine cornmeal, flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Stir together until well combined.
  4. Crack eggs into a medium sized bowl, then whisk until frothy.  
  5. Add buttermilk, melted butter, honey, and sugar to the eggs. Whisk together to combine.
  6. Pour wet ingredients into the flour mixture. Fold together gently with a spatula about 15 strokes.
  7. Remove the skillet from the oven and place a tablespoon of butter in the bottom, swirling the pan to coat. Pour the batter directly into the hot pan and smooth with a spatula.
  8. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until the top springs back when gently pressed.
  9. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
Cast iron skillet with cornbread batter in it, ready to go in the oven.

Substitutions and Tips

  • To make a dairy free and gluten free cornbread, use vegan butter + oat milk instead of buttermilk.
  • Preheating the cast iron skillet is key for getting a crispy and buttery crust. However, if you don’t have a cast iron pan or prefer a softer crust, bake the cornbread in a greased 9 inch round or square pan.
  • If you don’t need to be gluten free, simply use all purpose flour instead of gluten free flour.
Gluten free cornbread in a cast iron skillet.

How to Store Cornbread

Cornbread should be cooled completely before storing. Store tightly wrapped with saran wrap or in an airtight container. Cornbread will keep for 3-4 days.

How to Freeze Cornbread

Cornbread can be frozen in slices or whole. Cool the cornbread completely then double wrap it in saran wrap and place it in a freezer ziplock bag for up to 3 months. Defrost at room temperature before serving.

A stack of two slices of cornbread with a pat of butter on top and honey dripping down the side.

What to Serve with Cornbread

Cornbread goes with a variety of chilis and soups, including Italian Sausage Stew, Chicken Tortilla Soup, Crock Pot Goulash with Hamburger, and Sausage Kale Sweet Potato Soup.

It also makes a nice side for burgers and hot dogs, as well as Mexican inspired dishes like Crock Pot Barbacoa and Walking Tacos.

I love using this cornbread recipe as the base for my Gluten Free Cornbread Stuffing!

Two slices of cornbread stacked on top of each other with a drizzle of honey on top.

Gluten Free Cornbread

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This easy Gluten Free Cornbread is made in a cast iron skillet for a buttery, tender, and moist cornbread that's an incredibly versatile side dish.

Ingredients

  • 5 Tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 ½ cups gluten free cornmeal
  • ½ cup gluten free 1-to-1 flour blend with xantham gum
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ¼ cups buttermilk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place an 8 or 9 inch round cast iron skillet in the oven to preheat.
  2. Melt 4 Tablespoons butter in a microwave safe container.  Set aside to cool before adding to the batter.
  3. Combine cornmeal, flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Stir together until well combined.
  4. Crack eggs into a medium sized bowl, then whisk until frothy.  
  5. Add buttermilk, melted butter, honey, and sugar to the eggs. Whisk together to combine.
  6. Pour wet ingredients into the flour mixture. Fold together gently with a spatula about 15 strokes.
  7. Remove the skillet from the oven and place a tablespoon of butter in the bottom, swirling the pan to coat. Pour the batter directly into the hot pan and smooth with a spatula.
  8. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until the top springs back when gently pressed.
  9. Remove from the oven. Allow the cornbread to cool for a few minutes before slicing.

Notes

To store cornbread, allow it to cool completely then wrap in saran wrap or store in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

Cornbread can also be double wrapped and frozen for up to 3 months.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 288Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 90mgSodium: 505mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 2gSugar: 13gProtein: 7g

Please note nutritional information for my recipes is calculated by a third party service and provided as a courtesy to my readers. For the most accurate calculation, I always recommend running the numbers yourself with the specific products you use.

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