Vegan cornbread is a delightful twist on the classic Southern dish that captures the essence of comfort food while remaining cruelty-free. This recipe offers a perfect balance of sweetness and savory flavors, with a moist and tender texture that will melt in your mouth.
Soft and moist, this Vegan Cornbread recipe is the perfect side dish for soups, stews and vegan Chili. Made with cornmeal, plant-based milk and a touch of sweetness, this easy dairy free cornbread is a classic Southern dish that you can easily make at home.
Made with simple and wholesome ingredients, this cornbread is not only delicious but also a healthier alternative for those following a plant-based lifestyle. Plus, you don’t need any fancy ingredients or equipment to make it.
Whether you’re a seasoned vegan or simply looking to incorporate more plant-based options into your diet, this recipe is sure to become a favorite.
Read on to learn exactly how to make this delicious vegan cornbread recipe today!
- What is Vegan Cornbread?
- Why This Is The Best Vegan Cornbread Recipe
- What You Need to Make Vegan Cornbread At Home
- How to Make Vegan Cornbread Step by Step
- Tips For Making the Best Vegan Cornbread Every Single Time
- Serving Suggestions
- Recipe Variation Ideas for Vegan Cornbread
- Frequently Asked Questions
- How to Store Leftover Vegan Cornbread
- Similar Recipes
What is Vegan Cornbread?
Vegan cornbread is a type of cornbread that is made without any animal products, such as eggs or dairy. It is typically made with a combination of cornmeal, flour, non-dairy milk (such as almond or soy milk), a plant-based butter or oil, and a vegan-friendly sweetener like maple syrup or agave nectar.
What is best about this dish is that it is suitable for those following a vegan diet or those with dietary restrictions or preferences. It provides a tasty alternative to the traditional cornbread, without sacrificing flavor or texture.
Plus, vegan cornbread is often considered healthier than the traditional cornbread, as it is lower in saturated fat and cholesterol. It can be enjoyed as a side dish with a variety of meals, such as chili or barbecue, or even consumed on its own as a snack.
Why This Is The Best Vegan Cornbread Recipe
Easy to make: This vegan cornbread recipe is simple and straightforward, requiring only basic ingredients and minimal prep time. You just mix the dry ingredients, wet ingredients, then combine them altogether, pour into a cast iron skillet, and then the oven will do all the work.
Versatile: It can be customized to suit various dietary needs and preferences, making it suitable for vegans, vegetarians, and those with gluten or dairy sensitivities.
Perfectly vegan: Applesauce makes a wonderful alternative to eggs, making this recipe egg-free and dairy-free;
Moist and flavorful: This cornbread is incredibly moist and has a rich and delicious flavor, thanks to the addition of ingredients like plant-based milk and corn kernels.
Ideal for a crowd: Whether you are hosting a potluck, barbecue, or holiday gathering, this cornbread is sure to please a crowd. It can be easily doubled or tripled to accommodate larger groups.
Pairs well with various dishes: This cornbread is a versatile side dish that pairs well with a wide range of dishes, from chili and soups to salads and BBQ. Its slightly sweet and savory taste compliments both hearty and light meals.
No special equipment: This recipe doesn’t require any fancy equipment. All you need is a good old cast iron skillet, but if you don’t have it you can use any other ovenproof pan.
What You Need to Make Vegan Cornbread At Home
All you need are some incredibly simple, pantry-staple ingredients to make this delicious vegan cornbread recipe at home.
Here's an overview of the specific ingredients for this recipe. For the exact ingredients and measurements, please scroll to the recipe card below.
All-purpose flour: We will be using all-purpose flour to make this recipe. It will provide structure and help bind the other ingredients together.
Yellow cornmeal: We will also be needing yellow cornmeal as it will add a subtle crunch and a hint of nutty flavor.
Baking soda: It will help the dough rise and create a light and fluffy texture. Baking soda will further enhance and give it a tender crumb.
Cane sugar: We will also be using cane sugar to add sweetness and help caramelize the crust. Make sure to use organic cane sugar, as regular cane sugar is processed with a bone char and isn't considered a plant-based ingredient. You can try substituting with coconut sugar, but the cornbread might be slightly darker (which is not a problem at all).
Salt: Remember to add some salt to the recipe. It will enhance the flavors and balance out the sweetness.
Unsweetened applesauce: Prepare to use unsweetened applesauce to the recipe. It will act as a binder and add moisture to the dough. In my opinion, it works even better than flax egg.
Plant-based milk: We will be adding plant-based milk as it will help create a smooth and pourable batter. I prefer using neutral flavored milk, like almond milk or soy milk. Canned coconut milk has a rich flavor but you can use that as well. I’s suggest mixing it with other plant-based milk though. This way the "milk" will be rich and creamy without a strong coconut flavor. I also recmmend buying plant-based milk that doesn't have any additional ingredients like oils or sugar.
Melted vegan butter: We will also use melted vegan butter (I use Miyoko’s unsalted vegan butter) as it will add richness and enhance the flavor of the dough.
How to Make Vegan Cornbread Step by Step
Making this incredible vegan cornbread recipe at home is super easy and will give you great results every single time. Here's how to make it step by step:
- Mix dry ingredients. In a big bowl add flour, cornmeal, baking soda, baking powder, sugar and salt. Mix to combine.
- Mix liquid ingredients. In another big bowl whisk applesauce, plant-based milk and melted vegan butter.
- Combine the ingredients. Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients and mix with a whisk until the batter is smooth and without lumps.
- Preheat your cast iron for the cornbread. Place a 9-inch cast iron pan on a medium heat for at least 5-7 minutes. You can also put the pan in the 435 F oven and preheat it there. Make sure to use oven mitts as the pan will be hot. The pan should be hot. Melt 1 tablespoon of vegan butter and make sure it coats the pan evenly including the sides. You can replace butter with cooking olive oil if you want.
- Bake the corn bread. Quickly pour the batter into a hot skillet, place it into the oven and bake for 25 minutes.
- Let the cornbread cool. Remove the cornbread from the oven and let the skillet cool for at least 15 minutes or until it's no longer hot to the touch.
- Place a plate over a pan with vegan cornbread and flip it. The cornbread will invert on to a plate. Let it cool completely, slice, and serve.
Your delicious vegan cornbread is ready to be served!
Tips For Making the Best Vegan Cornbread Every Single Time
Preheat the oven: Before starting the recipe, preheat the oven to the specified temperature. This will make sure that the cornbread bakes evenly and achieves a golden crust.
Preheat the skillet well: Generally, if you buttered and preheated your skillet really well, the homemade vegan cornbread won't stick. However, it still happens and it might stick just a little bit. In this case, you can use a thin spatula and gently insert it in between a skillet wall and cornbread. Push the spatula toward the center to gently lift up the cornbread and transfer it on to a plate.
Use non-dairy milk: To keep the recipe vegan, substitute regular milk with non-dairy alternatives such as almond milk, soy milk, or oat milk. This maintains the creamy texture of the cornbread while making it suitable for those with dietary restrictions.
Try making your own vegan buttermilk: For a buttermilk effect, milk some lemon juice or apple cider vinegar with your non-dairy milk. Use this milk mixture in the recipe for a classic buttermilk flavored cornbread.
Add corn kernels: For extra texture and flavor, add a handful of fresh or frozen corn kernels to the batter. This adds sweetness and a burst of color to the cornbread.
Grease the baking dish: To prevent the cornbread from sticking to the baking dish, grease it with non-stick cooking spray or a thin layer of oil. This in turn will guarantee us easy removal and a clean presentation.
Let it cool before slicing: Allow the cornbread to cool in the baking dish for a few minutes before slicing and serving. This allows the cornbread to set and prevents it from crumbling when sliced.
Serve with vegan butter: For an extra touch of taste, you can also serve the vegan cornbread with a dollop of vegan butter or margarine. This enhances the flavor of the cornbread.
Store leftovers properly: If there are any leftovers, store them in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator. This helps to maintain the freshness and prevent the cornbread from drying out.
- Serve the vegan cornbread alongside a hearty bowl of vegan chili for a comforting and satisfying meal. The sweetness of the cornbread compliments the savory flavors of the chili and makes a perfect combination.
- Enjoy the cornbread as a side dish for a summer BBQ or picnic. It pairs well with roasted vegetables, veggie burgers, or any other summer favorites..
- Make a vegan cornbread stuffing by crumbling the cornbread and mixing it with sautéed onions, bell peppers, celery, herbs, and vegetable broth. Bake it in the oven until golden brown for a delicious option.
- Serve the cornbread as part of a brunch spread. It can be paired with vegan butter, jams, or spreads for a tasty addition to the breakfast or brunch table.
- Use the vegan cornbread to make croutons for salads or soups. Cut the cornbread into cubes, toss them with olive oil and seasonings, and bake until crispy. These homemade croutons add a delightful crunch and flavor to any dish.
Recipe Variation Ideas for Vegan Cornbread
This delicious vegan cornbread recipe is so flavorful and easy to make, you'll want to try out some of these delicious variations! Here are some great ideas:
Savory Herb: Add a tablespoon of dried herbs such as thyme, rosemary, and oregano to the batter. This variation adds a savory twist to the cornbread, making it perfect for serving alongside soups or stews.
Cheesy Jalapeño: Stir in a handful of shredded vegan cheese and diced jalapeños to give the cornbread a spicy kick and a cheesy texture. This is great for those who love a little heat in their cornbread.
Maple Pecan: Mix in a tablespoon of maple syrup and a handful of chopped pecans to add a touch of sweetness and a crunchy texture to the cornbread. This is perfect for a sweet brunch or as a dessert.
Sun-Dried Tomato and Olive: Add a tablespoon of chopped sun-dried tomatoes and a handful of sliced black olives to the batter. This helps to add a Mediterranean twist to the cornbread, making it a delicious accompaniment to salads or pasta dishes.
Cinnamon Sugar: Sprinkle a mixture of cinnamon and sugar on top of the cornbread batter before baking. This creates a sweet, cinnamon-infused crust on the cornbread, making it a delicious treat for breakfast or as a snack with tea or coffee.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, however, corn grits and corn meal have different texture. Cornbread is best when made with fine cornmeal, so if you only have corn grits I recommend grinding them to obtain a meal-like texture.
Yes, you can either replace the white flour completely or try half of whole wheat flour and half of all-purpose flour. Alternatively, you can use whole wheat pastry flour.
Yes. Just keep in mind that the cornbread won't be as sweet.
Mashed banana or pumpkin puree might be a great alternative to an applesauce. Just keep in mind that if you use pumpkin puree, the cornbread will be slightly darker.
Yes, you can add additional ingredients to the cornbread such as chopped jalapeños, vegan cheese, or corn kernels for added flavor and texture. Just make sure to adjust the baking time accordingly if you add extra ingredients.
Yes, you can make this cornbread gluten-free by using a gluten-free flour blend instead of regular flour. Plus, make sure that all other ingredients you use are also gluten-free to guarantee the recipe is suitable for people with gluten sensitivities.
How to Store Leftover Vegan Cornbread
This dairy-free homemade cornbread stores really well. If you plan to eat within 5 days, put it in an airtight container and store it at room temperature on a counter.
Another option is to freeze the cornbread. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or place in a freezer-friendly zipper bag, making sure to release the air. Store in a freezer up to 1 month.
Before serving, allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then reheat in the microwave for 10-15 seconds or bake in a 300°F (149°C) oven for 10 minutes.
If you make this recipe, please leave me a comment below and rate it. I always appreciate the feedback. Also, you can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.
Best Vegan Cornbread
Mix dry ingredients
- In a big bowl add flour, cornmeal, baking soda, baking powder, sugar and salt. Mix to combine.
- Mix liquid ingredients
- In another big bowl whisk applesauce, plant-based milk and 6 tablespoon of melted vegan butter.
Combine the ingredients.
- Pour liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a whisk until the batter is smooth and without lumps.
Preheat your cast iron
- Place a 9-inch cast iron pan on a medium heat for at least 5-7 minutes. You can also put the pan in the 435 F oven and preheat it there. Make sure to use oven mitts as the pan will be hot.
- Melt 1 tablespoon of vegan butter and make sure it coats the pan evenly including the sides. You can replace butter with cooking olive oil if you want. If you preheat the skillet on the stovetop, you still need to set the oven to 435 F.
Bake the vegan cornbread
- Quickly pour the batter into a hot skillet, place it into the oven and bake for 25 minutes.
Let the cornbread cool
- Remove the cornbread from the oven and let the skillet cool for at least 15 minutes or until it's no longer hot to the touch.
Transfer the cornbread to a plate
- Place a plate over a pan with vegan cornbread and flip it. The cornbread will invert on to a plate. Let it cool completely, slice and serve.
Iryna Bychkiv is the founder and writer of the culinary website Lavender & Macarons, where she shares clean, European-inspired recipes that are delicious, easy to prepare, and made with wholesome ingredients. Iryna loves creating meals that are simple yet healthy and unique, including vegan and vegetarian recipes.
Iryna is also a freelance writer for MSN and Associated Press Wire.