Easy Vegan Cornbread

You may not have thought cornbread was life changing…until now. This tender, moist vegan cornbread tastes the Jiffy box, but 100 times tastier.

Vegan cornbread

Did you know cornbread can be life changing? This vegan cornbread is the moistest, fluffiest, thickest recipe we’ve made, with the best sweet-savory tang. How Alex and I have lived this long without a go-to cornbread recipe, I’m not sure. But here’s our new standard, brought to you by the magic of cornmeal and coconut oil. It’s all the nostalgia of sneaking licks of the Jiffy corn muffin mix spoon, without the processed part. It’s a short list of ingredients—and 100% plant-based too. So what are you waiting for? Here are all the secrets to never needing the Jiffy box…again.

Best vegan cornbread

What makes this the best vegan cornbread?

Back 100 years or so, my sister and I would take turns sneaking bites from the Jiffy corn mix bowl. I’m pretty certain she once made herself a bowl of the batter to eat as a snack, with no intention of baking. There’s something about that batter: savory sweet, oddly tangy from the baking soda, and a little salty. As Alex and I were testing out this vegan cornbread recipe, I snuck some batter, for old times sake. It was JUST like the nostalgic taste, but even better. When I saw my son Larson going to town with a spatula, I knew we were on to something!

This recipe is very easy to make and pretty impossible to screw up. It’s perfect for baking with kids, or making an easy side dish for your chili. Here’s what makes this vegan cornbread recipe the best around:

  • It’s got the optimal thickness (2 inches). Lots of cornbread recipes turn out too thin. Or they call for an 8″ square pan when most people we know use a 9″ pan. In a 9″ pan this vegan cornbread comes out at about 2 inches thick: which after all our recipe testing, is optimal.
  • The texture? Perfectly tender and moist. This recipe relies on coconut oil for structure and moistness, as well as almond milk. Sugar also plays a role in the texture too, making it just the right tenderness but not gummy like many liquid sweeteners.
  • It’s tangy, with the right sweetness. Apple cider vinegar brings a little tang: whisking it into the almond milk simulates buttermilk. Then there’s just the right sweetness from the sugar: it’s a little less than most recipes, but enough to be just the right amount. (You can reduce to 1/2 cup without affecting the recipe.)
Pouring maple syrup

What people are saying

We wanted to make sure this was the BEST vegan cornbread out there, so we sent it to a few recipe testers. Here’s what they had to say:

  • “The cornbread was easy and delicious! It was sweet and tender and was the perfect balance with the salty, spicy chili I made. I would definitely make it again!” -Lisa
  • “We thought it was really good and ate it with your sweet potato chili. I will definitely make it again. I liked how moist it was!” -Camille
Squares of cornbread recipe

Tips on how to make vegan cornbread

Because this recipe is a such an easy baking recipe, there aren’t too many tips to keep in mind. But here are a few things of note:

  • You can use any type of cornmeal. We used yellow medium grind cornmeal, which we’d recommend. Fine grind can also work, though we prefer the chunky texture of medium grind. We also like using yellow cornmeal over white, just for color.
  • Liberally spread coconut oil on the pan. One recipe tester had an issue getting the cornbread out of the pan, so we recommend liberally spreading the pan with coconut oil so that it easily slides out.
Closeup of cornbread with maple syrup

Storing leftovers

Another great thing about this vegan cornbread is that it saves well! It stays perfectly moist on a cutting board at room temperature with a towel on top for 3 days. It’s also stays well in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

You can refrigerate it, but this makes it dry and it loses a lot of moisture. So storage at room temperature is recommended! You also can freeze the cornbread for several months: make sure to thaw to room temperature before serving.

How to serve vegan cornbread

One of the reasons we love this vegan cornbread is because it goes with just about everything! Soups, stews, cookouts, and chili (naturally!) are all better with cornbread. And you can always slather it with maple syrup or strawberry jam. Here are a few of our recipes that would go well with this cornbread:

This vegan cornbread recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free.

Print
Homemade cornbread

Easy Vegan Cornbread


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 4.50 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 16 1x

Description

You may not have thought cornbread was life changing…until now. This tender, moist vegan cornbread tastes the Jiffy box, but 100 times tastier.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup medium grind cornmeal (fine grind also works)
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 cups unsweetened soy or almond milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Use coconut oil to liberally grease a 9 x 9″ pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, kosher salt, and sugar.
  3. Whisk together the almond milk and apple cider vinegar in a liquid measuring cup. Melt the coconut oil, then pour both the almond milk and coconut oil into the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. Pour into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake about 30 minutes until the center has firmed up and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan completely, about 30 minutes. Then run a knife around the edges and invert. Cut into 16 squares and serve. Store any leftovers at room temperature covered with a towel for about 3 days, or in a sealed container at room temperature for about 5 days.

  • Category: Baked
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Cornbread Recipe, Vegan Cornbread, Vegan Cornbread Recipe

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

8 Comments

  • Reply
    Elizabeth
    September 11, 2019 at 8:59 am

    Hi! This looks amazing! Can some of the sugar be substituted? I like to limit my sugar intake. Thank you!

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      September 11, 2019 at 8:14 pm

      You could definitely reduce it a bit! Not sure about subbing it all the way — it ads a nice balance to the overall flavor (though we rarely use much sugar as well!)

  • Reply
    Victoria King
    September 13, 2019 at 3:14 pm

    I have been looking for a vegan cornbread, this sounds wonderful! Can’t wait to try with some chili soon. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Lanee Kennon
    October 5, 2019 at 4:03 pm

    Just made it. It turned out perfect.

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      October 5, 2019 at 4:20 pm

      Awesome! Love to hear that :)

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    October 6, 2019 at 2:16 pm

    8X8 pan-should I just make muffins?

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      October 6, 2019 at 8:25 pm

      8×8 should work — they’ll just be a little extra thick!

  • Reply
    Emily W.
    October 28, 2019 at 7:55 pm

    This is so good!! I did end up cutting the sugar to 1/3 cup and I think it still tastes sweet – plus my fam loves topping it with honey and butter ;) I’ve made it several times and always a hit!

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