This gluten-free cornbread recipe is unique in that it uses no gluten-free flour blend. This cornbread is made with 100% cornmeal. It's the perfect balance of savory and sweet, tender and moist in the middle, and has deliciously crispy edges.
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This homemade cornbread recipe is simple, versatile, savory, a little bit sweet, moist, crispy...okay, you get it. It's really good.
This recipe is made with pantry staples and takes just a few minutes to whip up before it goes into the oven. It's a simple recipe that yields a delicious snack or side dish that everyone will love.
📖Why This Recipe Works
This cornbread recipe is given its structure using just cornmeal and a little bit of cornstarch. That means no all-purpose flour and you also don't need any xanthan gum. This saves you a ton of money.
This recipe creates a cornbread with the perfect mix of savory and sweet flavors. Not too much of either! You can adjust to your liking but I think the hint of sweetness is what makes this the best gluten-free cornbread recipe.
I will say my biggest pet peeve about store-bought gluten-free cornbread mix is that they all have way too much sugar. Definitely not good if you want to make stuffing.
We're using a preheated pan (preferably a cast iron pan) to create the most delectable crispy crust on the edges of the cornbread. This easy recipe is one you'll be making again and again!
Cornmeal - Use any certified gluten-free cornmeal of your choice. A fine cornmeal will give you a cake-like structure, and a coarse grind will give a crumbly texture. I generally choose a medium grind for a nice balance of the two. This is the same grind I use for my cornmeal pancakes.
Cornstarch- Just a little bit of cornstarch adds a lightness to the bread.
Sugar - A little bit of sugar helps to enhance the natural sweetness of the cornmeal. If you don't want to use sugar, you can swap it out for honey or maple syrup (added to the wet ingredients; not the dry.)
Eggs - Use room temperature eggs if possible.
Sour Cream and Milk - A combination of sour cream and whole milk adds so much moisture to the batter. Alternatively, you can swap the sour cream and milk mixture out for buttermilk. You will need 1 ½ cups of buttermilk.
Butter - Melted butter adds flavor depth and that classic buttery flavor. I use unsalted butter.
Baking Soda and Baking Powder - A couple of leavening agents keep the texture lighter and fluffier.
Seasonings - We're seasoning with a super simple combination of salt and cayenne pepper. If you don't like spice, feel free to leave the cayenne out.
For the pan, you need a neutral oil or you can use bacon fat.
While I have two standard variations you can add a variety of add-ins. Try shredded cheese, crumbled crispy bacon, fresh corn kernels, or diced jalapenos.
Gluten-Free Corn Muffins
Use a regular muffin tin instead of a baking dish or cast iron skillet to make gluten-free cornbread muffins. Please note that muffins won't take as long to bake, so check them at 10 minutes and add time as needed.
Gluten-Free Sweet Cornbread
If you like an extra sweet gluten-free cornbread flavor, simply double the sugar content and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
⏲️How to Make Gluten-Free Cornbread
his homemade gluten-free cornbread recipe takes no more than 10 minutes to prep!
Scroll to the recipe card below for the ingredient amounts and step-by-step instructions.
Step 1- Preheat
But before you begin making the batter preheat your oven. While the oven is preheating, place a cast-iron skillet, a small pie pan, or an 8x8 square baking dish into the oven to preheat. You must pour the batter into a hot pan!
Step 2 - Make the Batter
In a mixing bowl, whisk together cornmeal, sugar, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cayenne pepper. In a separate bowl, mix together sour cream, milk, melted butter, and eggs.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, then stir until just combined. Do not over-mix the batter. If there are a few lumps, that's okay. Mixing too much can create a dry, dense texture.
Step 3 - Bake
Once the oven is hot, remove the preheated cast-iron skillet from the oven and drizzle in a little bit of vegetable oil or bacon fat. Swirl the pan around so that the oil is distributed all over.
Pour the prepared cornbread batter into the hot skillet, spread it evenly into the pan, then bake until the edges of the cornbread are golden brown and the center is set.
I plan for 18-20 minutes, but the cooking time may vary depending on your oven and the pan you use.
To check for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the bread. If it comes out clean, then the bread is done!
You can serve cornbread warm with butter and honey. Or cool it and save it for later.
👩🏻🍳 Expert Tip
Preheat the skillet! This is the key to those crispy edges. The hot skillet coated with oil allows the batter to start crisping up as soon as it hits the pan. For a true southern-style cornbread use a cast iron skillet.
To store leftover cornbread, let it cool to room temperature, then transfer it to an airtight container or wrap the baking dish in plastic wrap. It will last for up to 3 days at room temperature.
For longer storage, wrap the bread tightly in plastic wrap followed by foil (or place it in a freezer-safe container) and store it in the freezer. There, it will last for up to 3 months.
When you're ready to serve it, simply thaw it at room temperature, then enjoy or warm it in the oven.
More Gluten-Free Bread Recipes
💭 Frequently Asked Questions
Cornmeal is naturally gluten-free. But is only suitable for those on a gluten-free diet if it is labeled gluten-free. This means precautions against cross-contamination were taken during the milling process.
I have not tested making this recipe dairy-free. The fat and acid from the sour cream are critical to the structure of the cornbread, so using 100% dairy-free milk isn't recommended. You would need to use both DF milk and dairy-free sour cream.
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Gluten-Free Cornbread (Flourless)
- Preheat the oven to 425°F and place a rack in the middle. Place a 10 inch cast-iron pan, a small pie pan, or an 8×8 square baking dish in the oven to preheat with the pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, sugar, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cayenne.2 cups cornmeal, 2 Tablespoons sugar, 1 Tablespoon cornstarch, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- In another bowl, mix the sour cream, milk, melted butter, and eggs. Whisk until well combined.1 ⅓ cup sour cream, ⅔ cup whole milk, ¼ cup unsalted butter, 2 large eggs
- Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. Do not overmix; it's okay if there are a few lumps.
- Carefully remove the hot cast iron skillet from the oven. Add the vegetable oil to the pan, swirling to coat the bottom and sides evenly. Pour the batter into the hot, greased cast iron skillet. Spread it evenly.2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Bake for 18 to 20 or until the cornbread starts to turn golden brown. The edges will be slightly darker. A toothpick inserted into the middle should come out clean. Cool the cornbread for at least 10 minutes before serving.
- You can substitute buttermilk for the sour cream and milk, use 1 ½ cups total.
- For sweet cornbread double sugar.
- You can substitute honey or maple syrup for the sugar, and add to the wet ingredients.