This gluten free cornbread recipe is a STAPLE in my house—in the cool months we dunk it into soups and stews, and in the summer we pair with with barbecue and pack it for picnics. The cornbread has a touch of sweetness and an irresistible golden, buttery crumb. You’d never know it’s gluten free. Best of all, you’re not gong to believe how easy it is to make—don’t miss my step-by-step video below!

Close up of a slice of cornbread drizzled with honey.

One bowl gluten free cornbread recipe

This GF cornbread batter comes together in minutes using just one bowl and a whisk. It’s the kind of thing you can whip up on a whim, especially since the ingredients are mostly pantry staples. The recipe is featured in my book, Fresh Flavors for the Slow Cooker, where I pair it with my slow cooker pulled pork, although it’s also awesome with soups, salads and more (see more serving suggestions below!). 

Gluten free cornbread ingredients:

All of the ingredients for the gluten free cornbread recipe arranged on a marble surface.
  • Cornmeal: Use a fine or medium grain cornmeal for this recipe—I use Bob’s Red Mill Brand.
  • Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour: I’ve tested this recipe with Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking Flour, Cup 4 Cup Flour and King Arthur Measure-for-Measure Flour. All work great! If you’re not gluten-free you can use regular all-purpose flour. 
  • Sugar and salt: A touch of sugar gives this cornbread subtle sweetness. Feel free to cut back or add more to taste, depending on how sweet you like your cornbread. 
  • Baking Soda & baking powder: Baking soda and baking powder give the cornbread its lift, making it light and fluffy. 
  • Eggs: Eggs also help the cornbread rise and provide a light crumb.
  • Buttermilk: Buttermilk helps activate the baking soda and gives the cornbread a tender texture. See below for a dairy free version! Also, if you don’t have buttermilk, don’t miss my hack in the tips below. 
  • Butter: Melted butter makes the cornbread incredibly moist and tender. 
Close up of a cut piece of cornbread in a skillet.

How do you make gluten free cornbread from scratch?

  • Heat a 10-inch cast iron skillet in the oven for 10 minutes (a hot skillet is key for a browned, caramelized crust). If making muffins, line muffin tins with paper liners or spray them with cooking spray (don’t preheat).
Ten-inch cast iron skillet on a marble surface.
  • In a bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. 
Process shot showing cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
  • Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and crack in the eggs. Break up the eggs slightly, then pour in the buttermilk. Whisk the eggs and buttermilk, incorporating the dry ingredients. 
Process shot showing eggs and buttermilk being whisked into the dry ingredients.
  • Whisk in the melted butter. 
Process shot showing a hand pouring melted butter into the gluten free cornbread batter.
  • Take the hot skillet out of the oven and swirl in a tablespoon of vegetable oil (omit this step if making muffins). Add the batter to the hot pan, spreading it in an even layer. 
Gluten free cornbread batter in a cast iron skillet.
  • Bake the GF cornbread for 15-18 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the top is lightly cracked. 
Baked cornbread in a cast iron skillet.

Gluten free cornbread muffins

For gluten free cornbread muffins, bake the batter in 12 greased or lined muffin cups, and reduce the cooking time to 12-14 minutes. 

Dairy free cornbread

For dairy free cornbread, swap out the buttermilk for a non-dairy milk (such as a nut or soy milk) mixed with 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice. Also, use a vegan butter instead of regular butter.  

Skillet cornbread on a marble surface with a wedge removed and on a plate alongside.

Can I make the cornbread ahead of time?

The cooked cornbread is best eaten on the day it’s made (let it cool completely then cover it lightly with plastic wrap), but it can be frozen for up to 2 months. Cut it into wedges then freeze them in an airtight container or zip-top freezer bag (if you’re making muffins, simply freeze them whole). Defrost the cornbread at room temperature then heat it in the oven until warmed through, if you’d like. (p.s. It makes for an AWESOME breakfast with fried eggs!)

Homemade cornbread mix

You can also mix together the dry ingredients and store them in an airtight container for up to 2 months (meaning homemade cornbread will be at your fingertips in minutes!).

A slice of cornbread on a plate.

FAQ

Is cornmeal gluten free?

Cornmeal is naturally gluten free, but be sure to buy a brand that is certified GF, as some brands are milled in non-gluten free facilities, where there can be cross-contamination. 

Can I flavor the cornbread?

For a slight variation, feel free to stir in chopped jalapeño, sliced scallions and/or corn kernels (also, be sure check out these Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Muffins!).

Can I use honey instead of sugar in cornbread?

Yes; whisk 2-3 tablespoons of honey (to taste) into the buttermilk before adding it to the batter (omit the sugar).  

Close up of honey dripping off a piece of cornbread.

Tips for making this gluten free cornbread recipe:

  • Use fine or medium grain cornmeal for this recipe. I use Bob’s Red Mill Brand.
  • As far as the gluten free flour goes, I’ve tested this recipe with Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking Flour, Cup 4 Cup Flour and King Arthur Measure-for-Measure Flour. All work great! If you’re not gluten-free you can use regular all-purpose flour. 
  • Cooking the cornbread in a preheated 10-inch cast iron skillet gives it an irresistible caramelized crust. 
  • For cornbread muffins, Line 12 muffin cups with parchment liners or spray them with cooking spray before adding the batter (do not preheat the muffin tin). Reduce the baking time to 12-14 minutes.
  • No buttermilk? No problem. You can use a mix of half plain yogurt and half milk instead, or you can make a hacked buttermilk by mixing 1 ½ cups of whole milk with 1 ½ tablespoons of lemon juice. Let the mixture sit for 5 to 10 minutes before using (the milk will start to curdle).
  • For a dairy free version, use a dairy free milk (such as nut milk or soy milk) mixed with with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Also, use a vegan butter instead of regular butter.  
  • This recipe is adapted from my book, Fresh Flavors for the Slow Cooker, where you can find a SLEW of recipes to pair with the cornbread!
  • For a different variation, check out these Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Muffins.

What to serve with cornbread:

Other side dishes you might like:

Watch the video!

Get the recipe!

Gluten Free Skillet Cornbread (or Muffins!)

Adapted from Fresh Flavors for the Slow Cooker, by Nicki Sizemore (Storey Publishing, 2019)
This is my family’s favorite cornbread, and lucky for me it’s a cinch to throw together! It has just a touch of sweetness and a golden, buttery crumb. Cooking the cornbread in a preheated skillet gives it an irresistible golden crust, although you can use a 9×9-inch baking dish instead. You can also bake this batter in muffin tins—see the Tips below. Also, be sure to check out the Tips for a dairy-free version, as well as for a hack if you don’t have buttermilk! A touch of sugar gives this cornbread subtle sweetness—you can adjust the amount depending on how sweet you like your bread.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings: 8 people

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cups cornmeal
  • 1 cup gluten-free flour or regular all-purpose flour (see Tips below)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons sugar, to taste
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 tablespoon neutral vegetable oil

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425˚F (220˚C). Place a 10-inch cast-iron skillet in the oven for 10 minutes to heat up.
  • In the meantime, in a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center of the bowl, and crack in the eggs. Stir the eggs gently to break them up. Add the buttermilk and stir until mostly incorporated. Pour in the butter and fold until just combined.
  • Take the skillet out of the oven (be careful—it’s hot!), and add the vegetable oil. Swirl to coat. Pour the batter into the hot skillet and smooth out the top. Bake the cornbread until the top is golden brown and lightly cracked (a toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean), about 15-18 minutes. Let the bread cool in the skillet on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

Do Ahead:
  • You can mix together the dry ingredients and store them in an airtight container for up to 2 months (it’s an easy homemade cornbread mix!).
  • The cooked cornbread is best eaten on the day it’s made (let it cool completely then cover it lightly with plastic wrap), but it can be frozen for up to 2 months. Cut it into wedges then freeze them in an airtight container or zip-top freezer bag (if you’re making muffins, simply freeze them whole). Defrost the cornbread at room temperature then heat it in the oven until warmed through, if you’d like. (p.s. It makes for an AWESOME breakfast with fried eggs!)
Tips:
  • Use fine or medium grain cornmeal for this recipe. I use Bob’s Red Mill Brand.
  • As far as the gluten free flour goes, I’ve tested this recipe with Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking Flour, Cup 4 Cup Flour and King Arthur Measure-for-Measure Flour. All work great! If you’re not gluten-free you can use regular all-purpose flour. 
  • Cooking the cornbread in a preheated 10-inch cast iron skillet gives it an irresistible caramelized crust. 
  • For cornbread muffins, Line 12 muffin cups with parchment liners or spray them with cooking spray before adding the batter (do not preheat the muffin tin). Reduce the baking time to 12-14 minutes.
  • No buttermilk? No problem. You can use a mix of half plain yogurt and half milk instead, or you can make a hacked buttermilk by mixing 1 ½ cups of whole milk with 1 ½ tablespoons of lemon juice. Let the mixture sit for 5 to 10 minutes before using (the milk will start to curdle).
  • For a dairy free version, use a dairy free milk (such as nut milk or soy milk) mixed with with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Also, use a vegan butter instead of regular butter.  
  • This recipe is adapted from my book, Fresh Flavors for the Slow Cooker, where you can find a SLEW of recipes to pair with the cornbread!
  • For a different variation, check out these Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Muffins.

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