Gluten Free Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins

Gluten Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins! Minimalist Baker

The other night we had a new friend over and I wanted to make something outside of my weekly rotations. This lovely salad from How Sweet It Is caught my eye so I knew it had to be on the menu. While I could comfortably just have a salad for dinner, I didn’t want our guest – or John – to be left wondering ‘what else is there?’ So, cornbread muffins it was. Naturally.

Gluten Free Cornbread Muffins

This recipe is adapted from a version Iowa Girl Eats made that I’ve been eyeing for months. In fact, although it’s been in my “bookmarks,” I have neglected to make it until now. I decided to make these gluten free because I’ve been playing around more with GF recipes lately and was up for the challenge. Go me.

Gluten Free Cornbread Batter

This recipe is super simple and comes together in about 30 minutes. It also requires just one bowl and is healthier than your average cornbread, all things considered.

While there’s still a touch of butter, there’s no box mixes involved, half the sugar is replaced with honey, and it includes a full serving of fruit. (I used pumpkin puree but the recipe calls for applesauce – either will work.) Plus, there’s two jalapeños in there, which I’m told is good for your metabolism. I’ll take what I can get.

Gluten Free Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins!

I was super pleased with the way these little guys turned out. The texture is super moist, they weren’t too crumbly, and the sweet cornbread-spicy jalapeño pairing was spot on. I actually tried reducing the amount of sugar by half, but wasn’t as pleased with the end result. So in that case, I recommend sticking with the 1/4 cup for the best results.

Also, butter and honey on top (while still warm) is an absolute MUST.

Gluten Free Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins Recipe

4.8 from 11 reviews
Gluten Free Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A quick and easy gluten free cornbread muffin studded with jalapeños.
Recipe type: Quick Bread
Cuisine: Gluten Free
Serves: 12 muffins
  • 3 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1/3 c pumpkin puree or unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup raw or granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk OR almond milk + 1 Tbsp vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup GF flour blend
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 jalapeños, divided
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners OR lightly grease them with non-stick spray or butter.
  2. Melt butter in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add pumpkin puree (or applesauce), sugar, honey, eggs and whisk to combine.
  4. Next add salt, baking soda, 1 of the jalapenos (diced, seeds removed) and stir.
  5. Add buttermilk or almond milk and stir again until combined.
  6. Last, add cornmeal and gluten free flour blend and stir until combined. If it looks too thin, add a touch more flour. If it looks to thick, add more buttermilk.
  7. Pour evenly into 12 muffin tins and top each with a slice of jalapeño (optional), seeds removed.
  8. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.Remove from oven and let rest in the pan for a few minutes. Then transfer to a plate or bowl for serving. Cover to keep warm.
  9. I highly recommend serving these with just a touch of butter and honey.
  10. Will keep in an airtight container for up to a couple days. Store in the freezer to keep longer.
* Nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 muffin.
* Recipe heavily adapted from Iowa Girl Eats.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 muffin Calories: 199 Fat: 4g Saturated fat: 2g Carbohydrates: 37g Sugar: 11g Sodium: 202mg Fiber: 2g Protein: 3g

Nutrition information based roughly on 1 muffin

danaHi, I'm Dana! I am a food stylist, photographer, and author of the Food Photography School and the 31 Meals Cookbook.

Find me on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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Talk About It

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  1. says

    These muffins look awesome and I bet they went perfectly with that salad! I want these muffins for lunch. I love cornbread! Makes me think of summer!

  2. says

    Dana – that picture is breathtaking! I just finished the Food Photography E-Course, and I’m absorbing photo/styling inspiration like crazy. ;)

  3. jeanne says

    could these be made in a baking pan instead of muffin pans? if so what would would you recommend for cooking time and pan size?

  4. says

    Those muffins are adorable with the little jalapeño rings on top, and so nicely browned around the edges. I’m so pleased to have discovered your blog; it looks like your cooking style is right up my alley!

    I do wonder if there’s a more whole-grain heavy GF blend that could be added here? When I made gluten-full cornbread I would use white whole wheat flour in place of white flour and still liked it a lot. Has anyone experimented with whole-grain flours in GF cornbread?

  5. Dr. Raman Kumar says

    I substituted honey with sweet and hot Thai sauce [ the famous Kock brand ]
    Added a little extra than the quarter cup and it was divine.
    The Thai sauce has vinegar and garlic which took the recipe to next level.

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  7. Gina says

    Made these once before and making them again tonight to have with chili. These muffins are THE BOMB. Richly colored, moist (much more so than the other GF recipes I’ve tried), and with great flavor. (I used the pumpkin—which I think is the secret weapon, btw—and soy milk with lemon.) Thank you for giving me back great cornbread!

  8. Amanda says

    Just wanted to come back and let everyone know these are AMAZING. I only used one jalapeno and agave because someone gave me some. But they are so tasty, light and nice.

  9. Gina says

    Help! I’m completely baffled. The first time I made these they were absolute perfection, looked exactly like the photo. I’ve made them three more times since, and each time they baked up all bumpy on top and did not rise properly or have that lovely dome. I’ve triple checked to make sure I followed the directions to a “T.” What could possibly be going on? One question I’ve had from the beginning is, when you say “If it looks too thin, add a touch more flour. If it looks to thick, add more buttermilk,” what should the batter actually look like? Maybe my problem lies therein? Batch #1 were the best corn muffins I’ve ever made or had and I desperately want to get back to the perfection I know they can be. Thanks! :)

  10. says

    i make these with:
    Vegan butter *earth Balence*
    Unsweetend Vanilla Almond milk *no vinegar or lemon juice
    and Gluten free bisquick *instead of the GF flour blend

    they turn out AMAZING everytime.
    my friends and Family never believe they are Gluten free/Dairy Free !!!!!

  11. Margaret says

    Absolutely delicious! I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk and cut the lemon/vinegar. I couldn’t find pumpkin puree, so I used pumpkin, carrot, and apple puree from one of those kids squeeze packs. Also, I forgot to buy fresh jalapenos, so I used trappeys hot jarred japs (and put a ton in, because we like it spicy at or house). I will definitely make this recipe again.

  12. says

    these are super delicious! i replaced the pumpkin with avocado and it still turned out great, not too oily (didn’t decrease the butter). my batter was thicker than dana’s picture, but the muffins still came out very tender and moist on the inside. super great recipe!

  13. Liza says

    I halved the recipe, used almond milk, used applesauce instead of pumpkin, and used erythritol instead of sugar. I also omitted the honey and used safflower oil instead of butter. The muffins came out really well and I am very grateful that you figured out the correct ratios! The other thing I changed was that I used 1 egg rather than 1/2 of an egg for 6 muffins because I omitted the honey. Did you know that you say 1 cup of gluten free baking mix, but the recipe in the footnote equals 1 cup and 4 Tablespoons?

  14. renay says

    the World’s Pickiest Father-in-Law declared these delicious and even asked if i could make them into a loaf of bread that he will use instead of toast in the mornings. we’ve been trying to bring him over to the gluten-free world for awhile now and these have helped our cause! i used coconut oil instead of butter, coconut sugar for granulated sugar, a chia “egg”, cashew milk + apple cider vinegar, and BRM flour + 3/4 tsp xanthan gum. it made 10 perfectly puffed up muffins. thank you for such an excellent recipe!

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  16. Lyzel Jenkins says

    I made these for Thanksgiving…… Delish!
    They are light and healthy with very little fat.
    I made a few substitutions that turned out great: I only had half a cup of cornmeal so I used that with half a cup of frozen corn (put in the food processor) and I reduced the honey and sugars to 1/3 cup (combined of the 2). I also added 1/2 tsp of dried Thyme and a few shakes of Cayenne Pepper. Cooked them for 24 minutes .
    Yumo. Great toasted the next day with butter too. Will definitely make these again.

  17. Kathleen says

    This recipe is wonderful. I used muscovado sugar and threw a diced poblano in the mix. Perfect. Thanks for making gf easy for me, guys.

  18. Ashley says

    These were perfection! I used almond milk with vinegar as my buttermilk, white whole wheat flour for the flour and jarred jalapenos. This was only my second time making any type of cornmeal muffins (first ones were subpar using another recipe) but will definitely be making these again! Thank you!!

  19. Alice says

    Just what I needed! Wanted a side w/ bean soup but didn’t want to cheat on GF. Also had leftover pumpkin from muffins. The stars are aligned!

    I have local, stoneground cornmeal that I am still going to include. The masa harina will hopefully keep the texture nice. Will report back!

  20. Peter says

    I saw this recipes and was wondering about xantham gum? If you need it or because it’s a quick bread you don’t need any?

  21. Caity says

    These muffins came out alright. I used apple sauce and the flavor was delicious but the texture is a little spongy. Please wear gloves when cutting the peppers!!!! My hands are still burning hours later.

  22. Maria says

    I made this recipe x3 for a large fourth of July BBQ I was hosting and everyone is still talking about them. They were AMAZING! Everyone loved them. I made these the night before and they held up just fine. I used the applesauce. Thanks for a great recipe!

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