As a child, I loved Cornbread, especially when served with chili. I loved it when my mom served it with maple syrup and butter. No wonder I love carbs.
Cornbread: Its Origins
We don’t pretend to be experts on the origin of Cornbread, but it is a topic that is hotly debated! Our research suggests that Cornbread may have been inspired by a Native American dish known as cornpone, which was made from simple ingredients such as cornmeal and water.
In the colonial period, cornmeal served as a source of nutrition and an essential ingredient for enslaved people. During this time, Cornbread was likely to grow in popularity. Recipes evolved according to personal tastes and the components available. Now, it’s popular across the US, but especially in Southern cuisine.
This is the gluten-free and plant-based version that we all grew up with!
Vegan Gluten-Free Cornbread
Over the last few years, I have successfully made vegan Cornbread. But I still hadn’t cracked the code for vegan, gluten-free Cornbread.
Gluten-free baked goods that do not contain eggs tend to lack the crumbly texture and rise required in quick breads and cakes.
Recently, I joined the Aquafaba movement, and everything changed. Aquafaba is the starchy brine that’s left in cans of chickpeas or other beans like white and kidney beans.
The brine is a rich source of protein, and it can be used to make meringues or pavlova. It’s amazing.
Aquafaba is a great egg substitute for gluten-free baking. I’ve not yet perfected meringue, but I love it.
The recipe is simple and only requires ten ingredients. It’s also very simple to make if you have a hand mixer and know how to whip egg whites.
Aquafaba is a binder and base that behaves exactly like egg whites. It creates a fluffy cornbread with a perfect texture.
I know that a natural sweetener might tempt some of you to replace organic cane sugar, but I beg you not to do so.
Experience has taught me that substituting maple syrup or coconut sugar for the sugar in Cornbread will compromise its texture and flavor. It might be possible to replace 1/4 cup sugar with stevia. If you don’t like it, I hope that you will try it anyway!
- Aquafaba = 1/3 cup chickpea brine (whip until soft and fluffy peaks form)
- You can substitute up to 1/4 cup of the organic cane sugar with one packet (or tsp) of stevia.
- Unsweetened almond milk 3/4 cup
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup grapeseed or canola oils
- 1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour*
- 1 cup fine cornmeal
- 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
FOR SERVING optional
- Vegan butter
- Maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. (176 C). Lightly grease or dust a 9-inch round pan or an 8-inch square baking dish with gluten-free baking flour. Set aside the excess flour and shake out any remaining. You could also use a 9-inch cast-iron skillet, but the food would not come out as well, and you’d have to serve it straight from the pan.
- Pour non-dairy liquid milk into a measuring cup and add lemon or vinegar. Set aside.
- Add the chickpea brine into a medium mixing dish and whip until loose peaks appear. Add sugar a little bit at a time, and continue beating until you have a glossy white texture and semi-firm peaks.
- Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the almond milk mixture and oil, and whisk again. Add the chickpea brine whipped with sugar and whisk/fold gently until you have a thick, pourable batter.
- Pourable but thick, the batter should be. If the batter is too wet, add more cornmeal. Add more gluten-free or almond milk to thicken it. I added 2 Tbsp of light gluten-free blend and 1 Tbsp extra cornmeal (amounts are as written in the original recipe // adjust if changing batch size).
- Bake the cake on the middle rack for 25 to 35 minutes or until the edges of the cake are golden and the toothpick inserted in the center is clean.
- Set the pan on a rack to accelerate cooling. Run a dull knife along the edge of the pan to loosen it, then cut and serve. Alternatively, you can place a plate over the cake and quickly flip it. You will find it upside down, so scan the plate onto another serving tray to turn it around.
- Serve with maple syrup and vegan butter. Combines well with dishes such as Vegan Lentil Chilli.
- Keep covered in the fridge for 3-4 days or 2-3 days. You can freeze for up to one month.