Easy Vegan Cornbread 🌽 A lightly sweet, fluffy and moist classic quick bread made with all plant-based ingredients. Enjoy this easy and delicious vegan recipe made even better with pure maple syrup & whole corn.
Cornbread is the perfect fusion of a quick bread and cake. Subtly sweet, soft and chewy with a slightly coarse crumb, it is a staple side dish served in homes and restaurants (like Marie Callender's), across the United States. Cornbread is particularly popular in the South and Southwest and is often eaten with chili, barbecue, Thanksgiving meals (and stuffings), and even for breakfast.
Traditionally, cornbread is made with dairy butter, buttermilk, eggs and sugar. In this elevated vegan version of a classic cornbread, we have replaced the animal products with plant-based ingredients and swapped the sugar with pure maple syrup, making it healthier and scrumptiously delicious. This simple recipe is a wonderful side dish to enjoy with soups and stews, like my favorite rustic veggie soup, vegan lentil soup, and Congressional bean soup.
🌽 Why you'll love this recipe
- Quick & easy. Prepared with just a few basic ingredients
- Everything you want in a cornbread. Fluffy, moist & delish!
- No processed sugar. Sweetened with pure maple syrup & sweet corn
- No eggs or dairy. 100 % vegan
- Kids love it. You will too!
This delicious and easy cornbread may very likely become one of your go-to recipes anytime you want to prepare a cozy & satisfying something extra to go with a bowl of soup, stew or chili. Most of the ingredients are items you probably keep in your kitchen.
Short on time? No worries, you can whip up a pan of homemade cornbread in just a few minutes! A single batch serves up to 12 people. If you don't eat it all in one day, simply store leftovers in an airtight container and it will stay soft and fresh at least another day or two.
🥕See the printable recipe card below for quantities & details
- Cornmeal - I prefer using fine or medium ground yellow cornmeal.
- Flour - Unbleached all-purpose flour is my first choice because it adds to the fluffy texture of the cornbread. You can substitute with whole wheat, which will likely create a denser, heavier bread. See below for gluten-free suggestions.
- Egg replacer - You'll need the equivalent of one egg. Use a packaged egg replacer or make your own by combining ground flax meal with water.
- Baking powder - The fresher the better. Baking powder can lose its rising oomph over time, so keeping an extra box on hand is a good idea.
- Non-dairy milk - Rice, oat, almond, cashew, soy (your choice)
- Non-dairy butter
- Maple syrup
- Sweet corn - Fresh, frozen, or canned
🥕 How To Make This Recipe Gluten-Free
If you would like to make gluten-free cornbread, first, be sure that all the packaged ingredients you use are labeled gluten-free and are not manufactured on shared equipment.
Most packaged vegan egg replacers are gluten-free, but if you can't find one, making your own using ground flaxseed (flax meal) is quick & easy! For one egg, combine 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of water. Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes to thicken, then add it to your batter.
You will need to substitute the all-purpose flour with a 1:1 gluten-free flour of your choice, or you can make your own using this blend:
- 3 cups white rice flour
- 3 cups potato starch
- 2 cups sorghum flour
- 4 teaspoon xanthan gum
Whisk together in a large bowl. Since this will make more than you need for this cornbread recipe, store the extra flour blend in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 months.
Variety is the spice of life! You can use this basic recipe to create savory and sweet versions of the best vegan cornbread! For savory cornbread, you might want to reduce the amount of maple syrup in the recipe.
Here are a few ideas:
Southwestern Style Cornbread - Toss in some diced jalapeño pepper & a handful of shredded vegan cheddar or pepper jack cheese for a bit of heat & zesty flavor!
Mediterranean Style Cornbread - A sprinkle of sliced olives, sun dried tomatoes, chopped fresh basil and vegan feta would be delish!
Thanksgiving or Holiday Cornbread - How about a sweet and savory fall-inspired combination of dried cranberries with a pinch of fresh herbs like parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme (sorry - couldn't resist!)
Begin by preheating your oven to 400°F
Equipment You'll Need
This recipe is so simple, just a few basic kitchen tools are all you need to whip a fast batch of this easy vegan cornbread with maple syrup. Here you go:
- Medium mixing bowl
- Small mixing bowl
- Silicone spatula or large spoon
- Measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- 8" square baking pan or cupcake pan (and liners - or not)
- Parchment paper (optional)
- Wire cooling rack (optional)
🍊 Top Tips For Better Baking
Tip #1 - Read the recipe thoroughly before starting. Familiarize yourself with each step before you begin baking. Make sure you have all the ingredients you'll need.
Tip #2 - Use fresh ingredients, including flour and leavening agents (which help baked goods rise) like baking powder. All-purpose white flour has a shelf life of about 3-8 months. Gluten-free and whole wheat flours may become stale sooner. Unless you bake a lot, it's better to purchase flour in small quantities. Baking powder can lose its rising oomph after a few months. I like to keep an extra unopened container on hand just in case.
Tip #3 - Measure accurately. Baking is equal parts science and art. Unlike some cooking methods where you can guess-timate quantities by adding a handful of this or a pinch of that - too much or too little of an ingredient can mean the difference between ooh and aah or uh-oh. Pre-measuring your ingredients with everything prepped in advance can be a game-changer.
Tip #4 - Set a timer and keep an eye on the oven. Temperature accuracy can differ with some ovens. You may find the baking times will need to be adjusted depending on your oven. I like to check whatever I'm baking at least 5-10 minutes before the timer rings. If you have an older oven, using an oven thermometer can be a helpful tool.
Tip #5 - Baking in high altitudes over 3,500 feet above sea level requires a few adjustments for baked goods to rise properly. You may need to increase your oven temperature and decrease the baking time as well as adjust the quantities of certain ingredients. This article from King Arthur Baking offers a lot of great tips on successful high-altitude baking.
Do I need to use parchment paper if I have a non-stick pan?
Parchment isn't absolutely necessary, but there are some good reasons for using it, for instance:
A layer of parchment helps provide even baking by creating air space between the baking pan & paper which can regulate the overall temperature of the baking surface. Ever notice how some pans get hot spots?
For cakes and quick breads, parchment makes it a lot easier to lift a cake from a pan, plus, it keeps pans looking new and makes clean-up a whole lot easier.
What can I use instead of eggs in this recipe?
There are lots of packaged powder egg replacers available in stores and online. I like Bob's Red Mill a lot, but you can also make your own in a pinch. All you need is ground flaxseed (flax meal). For one egg, combine 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of water. Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes to thicken, then add it to your batter. That's it!
How to store vegan cornbread?
I find the easiest way to store it is by covering the baking dish with food safe plastic wrap and keeping it refrigerated up to 3 days. If you want it warm, place the cornbread in a microwave-safe dish and heat it in short 15-second increments in a microwave. You can heat it for about 15 minutes in a low oven at <300℉. I suggest covering it in foil (I like to add a layer of parchment between the food and the foil).
very vegan 🌱 very good
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Thanks a bunch!🥕
Easy Vegan Cornbread Recipe with Maple Syrup
- Medium mixing bowl
- Small mixing bowl
- 8" square baking pan or cupcake pan
- Large spoon or silicone spatula for stirring
- 1 C corn meal
- 1 C all purpose flour
- ¼ C maple syrup scant cup
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 C vegan milk rice, oat, almond, cashew, your choice
- ⅓ C vegan butter melted
- 1 vegan egg replacer* equivalent of 1 egg using vegan egg replacer
- ⅓ C sweet corn fresh, frozen, or canned
- Preheat oven to 400°
- Prepare baking dish by lining with parchment or greasing with butter or oil. If using a muffin pan, use paper liners or oil.
- In medium bowl, combine corn meal, flour, baking powder and salt.
- In small bowl, mix milk, melted butter, maple syrup, prepared egg replacer, and corn.
- Add wet ingredients to dry. Combine until just blended. Don't over-mix.
- Pour into prepared baking dish or muffin tin.
- Bake for 25 - 27 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.