Cornbread, Gluten-Free

by Jeanne on November 10, 2010

Today’s recipe for skillet cornbread is one of those miraculous “tastes-delicious-and-requires-little-work” recipes.  I love those.   This is the time of year when my thoughts turn towards soup, stew, and chili–and cornbread is the perfect accompaniment.

We just got back from visiting my sister and her family in California.  We had soup most days.  This is my and my sister’s style–we both tend towards making a big pot of soup for company.  I never really thought of it too much before until years ago her husband, my brother-in-law, said to me, “Jeanne, I love your cooking–but I can’t take any more soup.”  That totally cracked me up.  I hadn’t even been aware that I was making soup every night.  Well, he talked about it again this time–he was getting a bit tired of soup.  Oops, we’d done it again!  Apologies to my brother-in-law–soup must been in our genes.

So, soup’s on the menu a lot this fall.  And luckily, I have a terrific yeasted dinner roll recipe that goes nicely with soup.  I made that one of the nights we were at my sister’s house to go with the soup she made and everyone loved them.  When I got back last night, I had a note from one of my readers, Rachel, asking if I have a cornbread recipe I’d be willing to share.  Why yes, I do!  And I am happy to share it.  It’s for a skillet cornbread that is as sweet or not-sweet as you want it to be.

As I have mentioned several times on this site, I am a Southern girl at heart.  But, I do have some failings as a wanna-be-Southern-gal.  One of the most egregious, according to my actual Southern girlfriends, is that I like cornbread with sugar in it.  I can’t help it–cornbread is slightly sweet in my world.  Please don’t judge.  My name is Jeanne and I have a sweet-tooth.

That said, this recipe you can make it as sweet or as authentically Southern (non-sweet) as you want.  And it’s easy-peasy.  No special equipment needed other than a seasoned cast iron skillet.  Note: be sure that the corn flour and corn meal that you use is gluten-free.  Many types aren’t, oddly enough.  Check the label.

Skillet Cornbread, Gluten-Free

Special equipment needed
-9″,10″, or 11″ cast iron skillet or an 8″x8″ or 9″x9″ baking pan

1 C (130g) gluten-free corn flour (like masa harina)–be sure it’s labeled “gluten-free”
1 C (115) gluten-free corn meal (I like medium grind)–be sure it’s labeled “gluten-free”
2 tsp-3 TBL granulated sugar (or none at all–you choose amount based on how sweet you want it to be)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 large or extra large eggs
3/4 C yogurt or sour cream (170g)  (dairy or dairy substitute)
3/4 C milk (180ml) milk substitute)
2 TBL butter (or butter substitute)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. When oven is heated to temperature, place butter in skillet and place skillet in oven to preheat and to melt the butter.

As skillet is preheating, in a large bowl, mix together corn flour, corn meal, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, yogurt, and milk unti fairly smooth. Add egg mixture to corn mixture and mix with a large spoon until combined.

Carefully remove hot skillet from oven. Butter should be melted. Carefully swirl butter around the skillet to make sure it covers bottom of pan fully. Pour batter into skillet. Place skillet back into oven and bake for about 20 minutes–until top is golden brown and bread is firm. The top will have cracked a bit–that’s fine. Remove from oven and cool in skillet on top of stove.

Cut into wedges and serve. Makes a great accompaniment to soup or chili! Can also be cut into cubes (when cool) and used for Thanksgiving dressing or stuffing.



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{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

Betsy November 16, 2014 at 3:47 pm

Made this tonight with a couple variations. I used maple syrup instead of sugar (hey, I’m a northerner, we like sweet cornbread!). I only had Maseca which is similar to masa harina. I also added a can of corn kernels. I did it in a deep dish ceramic baking dish. I think it must have been deeper and not as big around because even after cooking it 10 or 15 minutes longer than called for, it was still doughy in the middle – maybe the Maseca made the difference. Excellent flavor though.


Jeanne November 17, 2014 at 2:23 pm

Betsy: I’m guessing the maple syrup might have contributed to the doughy interior since it is liquid. If you add a liquid sweetener in the place of a dry sweetener, you need to adjust the liquid in the recipe most of the time. Also, yes, a different pan will change how it bakes.


Sandra Kerns November 1, 2014 at 8:30 am

How well do you think this could made into corn dogs, also I really want to thank you for all these great recipes , My daughter was just diagnosed with Celiac and she can eat everything you have posted and I have fixed , the yeast rolls are to die for , my husband is so picky he couldn’t tell that they were GF, it is so good to see my daughter eat again (she is 50 ) she had been sick for so long and had lost so much weight I really do wan.t to say thank you for these recipes


Jeanne November 11, 2014 at 1:10 pm

Sandra: I’m so glad to be helpful! And I so know your daughter’s experience–so many of us have gone through the same thing! Also, about the corn dogs: Hm, I’m not sure. It would be worth a try. Also, my friend Silvana Nardone just came out with a new book called Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Kitchen: Timeless Favorites Transformed. I think she has a corn dog recipe in there if you want to check it out. I trust her recipes implicitly!


Sidney Davenport October 21, 2014 at 8:26 pm

I laughed when I went back and read your cornbread story because the first thing I did was go to the ingredient list to see if it was “Yankee cornbread”. I like both versions but have only ever made it Southern-style.


Jeanne November 17, 2014 at 2:33 pm

Sidney: LOL! I know! I love a little sweetness in my cornbread…


Kris January 14, 2014 at 6:27 pm

Thank you for this yummy recipe. I am currently doing a gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar free diet. This recipe was a great starting point. I substituted almond milk, tofu sour cream and olive oil for the dairy ingredients and omitted the sugar. We will be making this one again!


Jeanne January 16, 2014 at 5:25 pm

Kris: Yay! I’m so glad!


Heather October 26, 2013 at 5:24 am

Made these as muffins for my family for breakfast this morning. I put the butter melted into the batter and baked them for 14 minutes at 385F. I also didn’t have GF corn meal (I thought I did but discovered that there was wheat in it) so I just used all corn flour and worked great – a smooth texture.
We cut them open and put butter and honey on them. Delicious!


Jeanne October 26, 2013 at 10:31 am

Heather: Yay! Sounds great! Thank you!


Tanya September 6, 2013 at 1:20 pm

I put the mixture into muffin tins and cooked at about 200 C for about 12 min. It worked well!


Jeanne September 6, 2013 at 2:24 pm

Tanya: Yay! So glad! Thanks for letting me know!


Jan February 18, 2013 at 7:48 pm

Definitely delicious!


Pavlina December 25, 2012 at 4:39 pm

Made this today……Merry Christmas. I don’t have a cast iron skillet, so I just used a square baking pan. The cornbread was good, but I used it for stuffing and it seemed most spongelike, I guess I needed to squeeze it more. All in all, a very good recipe. Thanks.


Jeanne December 26, 2012 at 6:09 pm

Pavline: Merry Christmas to you, too!! And interesting about the cornbread as stuffing. When you say “sponge” do you mean that it absorbed a lot of liquid or it had the texture of a sponge?


Pavlina December 28, 2012 at 4:59 pm

Thanks. It absorbed a lot of liquid and it was kinda like eating a sponge. Kinda weird, but not entirely bad. When I use “regular” cornbread, I would make it without leavening to avoid this problem, so I probably just need to play with it. In other news, I was able to make breadcrumbs with this and put it in top of corn Mac and cheese and it was perfection! My son thought he was eating wheat it was so good. This recipe is def the best cornbread. Thanks so much.


Jeanne December 30, 2012 at 11:18 pm

Pavlina: Thanks so much! I’m so glad it went over well!


Kathleen Silver November 16, 2012 at 8:24 am

Has anyone tried adapting this for corn muffins? One of my favorites is blueberry corn muffins and I haven’t found a good gf recipe… Thanks for all the delicious recipes on this site; I’ve tried many of them!


Jeanne November 16, 2012 at 4:04 pm

Kathleen: I think this would be quite easy to adapt into muffins. Just mix, add blueberries, and bake at same temperature but in muffin tins. You will need to watch the baking time–I’m not sure how long they would bake for. Happy baking! Let me know how they turn out!


Mary Kate November 15, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Not sure if you read all your comments but just wanted to add praise for this site and recipe! I am gathering some for my first GF Thanksgiving am excited to find I can have all my favorites!! . I just made this cornbread and subbed out the sour cream and milk for almond milk , cream corn and ground flax+water for the eggs (i have a sensitivity to dairy and eggs) and it turned out perfect for stuffing. Not so much for a side dish of cornbread…although it was pretty tasty with butter and honey! Last week I made 3 loaves of your bread for stuffing as well. Yay! Thanks again.


Jeanne November 16, 2012 at 4:12 pm

Mary Kate: Yay! Thank you so much for letting me know! I really appreciate it. And I do read every one of the comments! Happy Thanksgiving!


Tracey November 9, 2012 at 4:31 pm

I just made this as a side for a roast chicken lunch. It turned out great! Since I don’t have an ovenproof skillet, I just put the batter into a pie pan. It worked well, but I had to increase cooking time by about 10 minutes. It could be due to the 2 tablespoons of honey I added – at 20 minutes the middle was still looking quite loose and jiggly. I live at a high elevation (5,300 feet), which may have affected the time as well, although that normally means baked goods end up cooking slightly faster than lower altitudes. I also wanted to make this as a trial for Thanksgiving stuffing. It has definitely passed the test, and I’ll be cooking up a couple more batches soon.

Once again, thanks a bunch for yet another delicious recipe! :-)


Jeanne November 9, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Tracey: Yay! And yes, the honey is probably what made it need to bake longer–the added liquid will do that. And yay on using it for stuffing! Sounds delish!


Magycian November 23, 2011 at 4:54 pm

So good! I used a different recipe last year and the corn bread was okay. This is perfect!

I think I might need to make 6 cornbread. I might eat one tonight how and fresh out of the oven rather than making stuffing.

I used crisco rather than butter in the pan, and just a bit of sugar.


admin November 24, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Magycian: Yay! Happy Thanksgiving!


Steven November 16, 2011 at 11:21 am

I tried following this recipe, but I had to add extra liquid. It was more like a dough than a pourable batter. Did I miss something?


admin November 16, 2011 at 12:36 pm

Steven: Hm. It shouldn’t be liquid, like pancake batter. But it will be thick and you will need to pour-scrape it into the pan. Is that what you encountered? Or truly like cookie dough?


Moll September 5, 2011 at 3:32 am

Oh, and thank you SO much for adding the metric conversions! Volume measurements don’t always work in my neck of the universe, because cup sizes are different.


admin September 6, 2011 at 10:20 am

Moll: Yay! I am so glad!


Moll September 5, 2011 at 3:26 am

I can’t get masa harina (not without breaking the bank, anyway). Will fine ground meal do? I know it’s not the same thing, but it’s what I can get. I have a gorgeous recipe I converted to gluten-free, but it’s VERY sweet, and I’m looking for something I can use with main dishes that doesn’t require buttermilk. Tried that – it made my eyes water!


admin September 6, 2011 at 10:23 am

Moll: do you have a food processor or a blender. If so, take the corn meal and process it until it is fine. If not, go ahead and just use the corn meal as is. The bread will just be a bit more grainy than normal. :)


Judy April 10, 2011 at 6:09 pm

I just made this today for a family gathering. Absolutely delicious. Everyone loved it. Good thing I made a double batch!

My sister is gluten free, so we are always looking for recipes to add to our repertoire. I know I will be making this again soon.

Thanks for posting it!


admin April 11, 2011 at 11:02 am

Judy: Oh, I’m so glad! Yay!


Joanne March 13, 2011 at 7:52 am

This is the best cornbread I’ve ever made! Thanks.


admin March 13, 2011 at 11:28 am

Joanne: Oh, I’m so glad!! Thanks for letting me know!


Janet February 4, 2011 at 1:34 pm

I have friends coming for supper next weekend and one of them is gluten-intolerant. I am making Chili and was looking for something to have with it. This cornbread will be perfect! Thanks for the recipe!


admin February 4, 2011 at 9:18 pm

Janet: You’re welcome! Glad I could help!


shelley December 4, 2010 at 7:49 am

this turned out spectacular!! butter melting on sliced wedges, honey oozing on top, it made a pot of ham and bean soup come alive! yummy. oh-so yummy…


admin December 4, 2010 at 9:45 am

Shelley: Oh, I’m so glad!!


Rachel November 24, 2010 at 10:24 am

Made 2 batches of this last night, in preparation for my Thanksgiving stuffing. AMAZING!!!! The absolute best GF cornbread I’ve tried to date.

I used Bob’s Red Mill stone ground GF cornmeal because it was what I had in the house, but next time I’ll take your advice and try medium ground for a finer texture.

BTW, I doubled this recipe in one bowl (as opposed to making two separate batches), and used two 9 inch cake pans instead of skillets, and it turned out great. Thanks as always for your fantastic recipes…you should really write a book!


admin November 24, 2010 at 3:25 pm

Rachel: Oh, I’m so glad!! Yay! And I like the fact that you doubled it with no problems–yay, again! Thanks for letting me know!! And thanks for the kind words :).


Carla November 23, 2010 at 8:57 pm

My family is fighting over this cornbread and it hasn’t even gotten out of the oven yet….haha! ;-)


admin November 24, 2010 at 3:27 pm

Carla: I’m so glad! Yay!


Stephanie November 11, 2010 at 3:55 am

IMO, there is nothing better than cornbread baked in a cast iron skillet that has been pre-heated in the oven. And this New England Yankee loves her cornbread sweet and fluffy. (I would probably even put in a bit more sugar than your recipe. LOL) Interesting that you used masa. I’ve always used GF all-purpose flour and cornmeal.

And soup, I’m all over that! I just bought a soup recipe book today, although most of my soups come from my head (or from whatever is in danger of rotting in the fridge.)


admin November 12, 2010 at 1:20 am

Stephanie: Yes, I love me my sugar! So glad to know others do, too :)


Wendi @ Bon Appetit Hon November 10, 2010 at 5:50 pm

I had to break up with corn a few years ago. Cornbread is probably what I miss most.


admin November 10, 2010 at 10:08 pm

Oh, I’m so sorry! That’s a drag!


Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction November 10, 2010 at 4:54 pm

I will definitely have to make this recipe! I keep discovering more and more friends are gluten free and I know they would LOVE this… Plus, it’s great for cornbread stuffing for Thanksgiving so that no one is left out. Love it! :)


admin November 10, 2010 at 4:58 pm

Jen: Yay! I’m so glad to help.


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