Gluten Free Cornbread is the PERFECT side dish for any holiday or weekend meal, made with cornmeal that’s soaked in buttermilk then mixed with a few simple ingredients, ready in under 45 minutes!

If you’re looking for a sweet gluten free cornbread recipe, check out my Gluten Free Cornbread Muffins! For more corn recipes, check out this Crockpot Corn Chowder, and Instant Pot Corn on the Cob!

A cast iron skillet of gluten free cornbread with a slice being lifted out.

This cornbread is a savory side dish with just a hint of sweetness for the perfect balance of flavor. It’s made with minimal ingredients and ready in under 45 minutes. Making cornbread from scratch is really easy, you’ll never need a store-bought cornbread mix again!

This is more of a northern cornbread, as southern style cornbread is usually sweeter. This recipe also works well with other mix-ins, like cheddar cheese and vegetables. If you’re serving this for a holiday, add some butter to the top of the warm cornbread with some cooked fresh corn kernels. 

Ingredients You’ll Need

Individual ingredients for gluten free cornbread.

Ground Cornmeal. I recommend using yellow cornmeal, which gives the cornbread the usual yellow coloring. You can also use other types of cornmeal, but the appearance will be different.  

If you’re gluten free, make sure you use a certified gluten-free cornmeal to avoid cross contamination. Or pick a brand with a gluten free cornmeal that you trust. 

I’ve made this using medium ground cornmeal and finely ground cornmeal. The finer grain produces a softer texture, but the medium grain is a more traditional cornbread texture. 

Buttermilk. Buttermilk helps add flavor, and the fat from the buttermilk also creates a moist cornbread, helping to keep it from drying out. 

You can replace the buttermilk with a dairy-free milk (like unsweetened almond milk), but the texture may be different. You can also use regular milk, or full fat canned coconut milk.

All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour. I personally really like the Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten Free Baking Flour, and the King Arthur Measure-for-Measure gluten free flour blend. I find that either one gives good texture and flavor, and they already contain xanthan gum so you don’t have to add it yourself (and buy another expensive ingredient). 

If you’re using a different gluten free flour blend, try to find one that has xanthan gum, because this helps hold everything together. It’s the key to cornbread that doesn’t fall apart or crumble easily. 

Brown Sugar. I use a small amount of brown sugar, to add a touch of sweetness without being overly sweet. This also helps balance out the flavors in general. 

I like brown sugar because it has a touch of molasses flavor, but you can use white granulated sugar if that’s what you have. 

Baking Powder and Baking Soda. I add both baking soda and baking powder, because I think you need a combination for the gluten free flour.

The baking soda combined with buttermilk would also do the job on its own, but adding a teaspoon baking soda with the baking powder gives us some insurance. You also want a whole tablespoon baking powder for cornbread recipes. 

Salt. A small amount of kosher salt helps balance out the flavor of the cornbread. 

Eggs. Eggs are a binder, meaning the protein in the egg helps hold everything together. The yolk also adds a little bit of fat. 

Butter. Butter adds a rich buttery flavor to the cornbread, and also adds a lot of fat which helps keep the cornbread texture moist and fluffy. 

How to Make Gluten Free Cornbread

Step by step instructions for how to make gluten free cornbread.
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a mixing bowl whisk together cornmeal and buttermilk. Let it sit for 10 minutes. 
  2. While the cornmeal soaks, in a separate bowl whisk together the gluten free flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 
  3. Mix the cornmeal with the dry ingredients. Add the other wet ingredients (eggs and melted butter), and mix everything together until well combined. 
  4. Add the cornbread batter to a seasoned cast iron skillet. Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes, until the cornbread is golden brown or a toothpick comes out clean. 

How to Make Honey Butter

Honey butter is a great spread to serve with cornbread!

  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened (or dairy-free butter of choice)
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (or more to taste)
  • Pinch of salt (to taste)

The butter should be soft enough to work with. Add everything to a medium bowl and use a fork to mix together until smooth. For larger batches, use an electric hand mixer. 

Spread generously on warm cornbread. 

Storage

Store at room temperature in an airtight container for 1-2 days. You can also wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and store it in a cool dark area of the kitchen. 

Don’t store at room temperature if you add any additional ingredients (cheese, vegetables, etc.) In this case, it must be refrigerated.

Refrigerate the cornbread in an airtight container for up to a week. 

Freeze in an airtight container for 2-3 months. Defrost and let it come to room temperature before consuming. 

What to Serve With Gluten Free Cornbread 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have to soak the cornmeal in buttermilk before making cornbread?

The short answer is no, you don’t technically have to soak the cornmeal before making cornbread. But this step helps make the bread softer and less chewy, which I prefer. If you skipped this step, it’ll still taste fine!

Is cornmeal gluten free?

Cornmeal is naturally gluten free, but it can sometimes be cross contaminated with gluten-containing grains while it’s being processed on a farm level. 

For this reason, if you have celiac, try to find a brand of trustworthy cornmeal that’s certified gluten free.

Why is my cornbread dry?

If you’re looking for moist cornbread, make sure you follow the recipe exactly. Substituting ingredients can change the amount of fat in the recipe, which can affect the outcome. 

Additionally, be careful not to overcook the bread. Cooking for too long (or at too high of a temperature) can dry the cornbread out. 

Cooking Tips

  • Serve gluten free cornbread with honey and lots of butter. This also goes great with comfort dishes like chili or Instant Pot Chicken Stew
  • If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, you can also make this on a prepared baking sheet or baking dish. Adjust the baking time as needed.
  • Some people swear by cooking the cornbread in bacon grease for flavor. If you want to do this, just cook a few pieces of bacon in the skillet, remove some grease from the pan, and pour the cornbread batter over what remains. Bake as usual.
  • You can also make corn muffins with this recipe by baking in a muffin tin instead of a skillet. If you’re using a muffin tin, the cooking time may change. Check them at the 15 minute mark, then add time as needed. 
A cast iron skillet of gluten free cornbread with a slice being lifted out.

If you loved this recipe, be sure to leave a 5 Star review below, and tag me with a photo of your finished recipe on Instagram @Jacqui_DishingDelish!

A cast iron skillet of gluten free cornbread with a slice being lifted out.

Gluten Free Cornbread

Gluten Free Cornbread is the PERFECT side dish for any holiday or weekend meal, made with cornmeal that's soaked in buttermilk then mixed with a few simple ingredients, ready in under 45 minutes!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
soaking the cornmeal: 10 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Author: Jacqui
Yield: 10 servings

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal, gluten free
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup gluten free all-purpose flour, 1:1
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

Equipment

  • 1 cast iron skillet (or baking dish)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a mixing bowl whisk together cornmeal and buttermilk. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
  • While the cornmeal soaks, in a separate bowl whisk together the gluten free flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Mix the buttermilk and cornmeal with the rest of the dry ingredients. Add eggs and melted butter, and mix everything together until well combined.
  • Add the cornbread batter to a seasoned cast iron skillet. Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes, until the cornbread is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Notes

Click on the time in the instructions to start a timer!
Storage
Store at room temperature in an airtight container for 1-2 days. Refrigerate if you add any additional ingredients (cheese, vegetables, etc.) 
Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to a week. 
Freeze in an airtight container for 2-3 months. 
Cooking Tips
  • If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, you can also make this in a baking dish. Adjust the baking time as needed.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 260kcal (13%)Carbohydrates: 31g (10%)Protein: 6g (12%)Fat: 13g (20%)Saturated Fat: 7g (44%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 66mg (22%)Sodium: 398mg (17%)Potassium: 266mg (8%)Fiber: 3g (13%)Sugar: 5g (6%)Vitamin A: 397IU (8%)Calcium: 113mg (11%)Iron: 1mg (6%)
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