This post was last updated on October 17, 2022 by India
Southern Gluten Free Cornbread taste just like comfort! it’s moist, flavorful, and has the best texture. This gluten free cornbread is reminiscent of the cornbread my southern grandma made for family gatherings when I was growing up!
gluten free cornbread
Cornbread Muffins have a long history with my family and are truly a family staple. As long as I can remember, my mother can remember, and my grandmother can remember, important family gatherings have always had a tray of steaming hot cornbread muffins fresh from the oven served with a side of butter. It’s always the thing to come out of the oven, signaling to the family to gather round.
My grandmother, born and raised in a small town in western Kentucky, bought her cornbread tin when she married my Grandpa at the age of 16 and has used the same tin ever since. My mom remembers being a toddler and hearing the cornbread batter sizzle as it hit the hot muffin tin before Nana put it in the oven. I remember my great-grandfather telling me one of his all time favorite meals was cornbread muffins soaked in buttermilk.
All that is to say that we take our cornbread very seriously around here! When I first went gluten free, I cried after having a premixed gluten free cornbread blend from the store because it resulted in such dry, flavorless cornbread that tasted more like cardboard. I knew there had to be something better out there. This recipe transports me back to my grandmothers table each time I make it.
If you like sweet cornbread and are looking for a sweet cornbread recipe, then you’ll want to stop reading right here. This is not sweet cornbread. It’s savory cornbread that is nothing less of deliciously moist little bundles of joy with the best buttery corn flavor. This gluten free cornbread is the perfect accompaniment for almost anything. Use this cornbread as a base for piling high with smoked pulled pork and coleslaw, as a side for habanero honey chili, top it with gluten free paleo sausage gravy, or serve with cracker barrel style chicken and dumplings for the ultimate gluten free southern comfort food meal.
Ingredients in Gluten Free Cornbread
It’s actually pretty simple to make cornbread gluten free! Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe:
- Cornmeal. Since cornmeal is the main ingredient, it’s important to use the best quality cornmeal you can find for the best flavor. I prefer the taste and texture of stone-ground cornmeal the best because it has a slight crumb but doesn’t completely fall apart. If you want something denser, use fine-ground cornmeal. If you’re celiac or have a gluten allergy, be sure to use certified gluten free cornmeal since cross-contamination is easy. My favorite brands are Bob’s Red Mill (certified gluten free) and Arrowhead Mills cornmeal.
- Butter. This Gluten Free Cornbread recipe calls for a whole stick of butter in the batter plus additional butter for greasing the muffin tin. You can’t have too much butter in cornbread! If you’re dairy free you can use a dairy free buttery spread.
- Buttermilk. Or make homemade buttermilk by mixing 2 tablespoons + 1.5 tablespoons lemon juice or white vinegar and enough milk to make 2.5 cups buttermilk. Let it sit for 5 minutes to make your buttermilk. Dairy free? Make your own buttermilk with soy milk, cashew, or almond milk.
- Cassava Flour. We’re only using 1/4 cup of cassava flour to give the cornbread a lighter texture and to help the cornbread stay together so it doesn’t crumble into pieces. Otto’s Cassava flour is my favorite brand. You can sub your favorite gluten free flour if you don’t have cassava flour.
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda. Yep, using both!
- Sugar. My nana says cornbread with sugar in it is just cake. Sugar is not traditional in Southern style cornbread. However, if your cornmeal doesn’t have a good natural corn flavor, you can add 1 – 3 teaspoons of sugar or honey to help enhance the sweet corn flavors. For some fun reading about the history of sugar in cornbread, check out this article by Serious Eats.
Tips and Tricks for Making gluten free cornbread
Want to make the best southern style gluten free cornbread? Here are the tips and tricks I’ve learned from watching my grandmother make cornbread for decades:
- Preheat the muffin tin. To create a crispy outer crust, put the muffin tin in the oven while it preheats. Once the oven is preheated and the batter is ready, remove the tin and carefully grease the muffin tin with a stick of butter or spray oil (I like to use avocado). When the batter hits the tin you should hear a sizzle!
- Use a heavy muffin tin or cast iron. You’ll want a thick and heavy muffin tin for the ultimate crunch on your crust. No muffin tin? Use a deep cast iron skillet. My favorite cast iron skillet for cornbread is this 12 inch Lodge cast iron skillet.
- Rest the batter. Let the batter rest for about 30 minutes so the liquid can absorb. This produces a less crumbly and more moist cornbread muffin while slightly improving the taste. It’s not a deal killer if you’re pressed for time, but definitely try to rest the batter if you can!
What to serve with gluten free cornbread
This gluten free cornbread goes well with nearly everything. Use this cornbread as a base for piling high with smoked pulled pork and coleslaw, as a side for habanero honey chili, top it with gluten free paleo sausage gravy, or serve with cracker barrel style chicken and dumplings for the ultimate gluten free southern comfort food meal.
You can also use this cornbread for making gluten free cornbread stuffing! Simply cube the cornbread, either dry it out in the oven or on the counter overnight and use this cornbread in your favorite stuffing recipe. It’s my favorite Thanksgiving side and consistently gets rave reviews from my family!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is cornmeal gluten free?
While cornmeal is naturally gluten free because the only ingredient in cornmeal is corn, it’s often cross contaminated with wheat so it’s important to buy certified gluten free cornmeal if you’re celiac, have a gluten free allergy, or an intolerance.
Can cornbread be frozen?
Yep! Wrap the cornbread in parchment paper and freeze in an airtight container or large ziplock bag. Defrost the cornbread on the counter for about 30 minutes and toast it in the oven before serving. It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
How to store gluten free cornbread?
This cornbread will keep on the counter for a day in an airtight container. Store it in the fridge for up to 5 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months. Warm it in the oven right before serving.
DID YOU MAKE THESE Southern Style Gluten Free Cornbread Muffins?
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Southern Gluten Free Cornbread (Savory)
Southern Gluten Free Cornbread taste just like comfort! it's moist, flavorful, and has the best texture. This gluten free cornbread is reminiscent of the cornbread my southern grandma made for family gatherings when I was growing up!
- 2 3/4 cups stone-ground cornmeal See note 1 below.
- 1/4 cup cassava flour See note 2 below.
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 eggs
- 2 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 1 stick unsalted butter melted, see note 3 below.
- 1 - 3 teaspoons sugar optional, see note 4 below.
- butter or spray avocado oil for greasing the muffin tin
Place your muffin tin or cast iron skillet in the oven on the middle rack and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Combine the cornmeal, cassava flour, kosher salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl and mix to combine.
In another bowl, whisk the buttermilk and eggs together until they become a homogonized mixture. Add the melted butter and sugar (if using) and whisk to incorporate.
Stir the buttermilk, egg, and butter mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Let the batter rest for about 30 minutes (optional but does result in cornbread better texture and taste).
Once oven has preheated and the batter is ready, remove the tin or skillet and carefully grease muffin tins with the butter or lightly spray with the avocado oil. Fill the muffin tins 3/4 of the way full. If using the skillet, add all the batter. Bake until tops are golden brown and a fork comes out clean when inserted in the middle. For muffins this will be about 20 - 25 minutes and if using a skillet will be 35 - 45 minutes. Let cool slightly before popping out and serving. Enjoy!!
Recipe adapted from Serious Eats
- Use the best quality cornmeal you can find for the best flavor. I prefer taste and texture of stone ground cornmeal the best. If you're celiac or have a gluten allergy, be sure to use certified gluten free cornmeal since cross contamination is easy. My favorite brands are Bob's Red Mill (certified gluten free) and Arrowhead Mills cornmeal.
- Otto's Cassava Flour is my favorite brand of cassava flour. If you can't find it, you can use your favorite all purpose gluten free flour blend.
- It's best to melt butter in the microwave so it doesn't get too hot. If melting on the stove, use a double boiler so the butter won't be so hot it will curdle your eggs when mixed together.
- I don't like to use sugar in my cornbread, but if you can't find a high quality, stone ground cornmeal then you can add a small amount of sugar (like 1 - 3 teaspoons) to bring out the flavor in the cornmeal.
STORE it Room temp
You can store Gluten Free Cornbread at room temperature for a day in an air tight container
STORE IT IN THE FRIDGE
Gluten Free Cornbread will keep iin the fridge wrapped in plastic or in an air tight container for up to 5 days.
STORE IT IN THE FREEZER
Wrap the cornbread in parchment paper and freeze in an airtight container or large ziplock bag. Defrost the cornbread on the counter for about 30 minutes and toast it in the oven before serving. It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.