Gluten-Free Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins

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Holding a plate of delicious Gluten-Free Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins

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.

Whisking together the batter for 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.

Whisking Gluten-Free Jalapeno 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. You can learn about the Native American and Southern origins of cornbread here.

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.

Muffin tin filled with 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.

Holding a plate of our Gluten-Free Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins recipe

Gluten-Free Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins

A quick and easy gluten-free cornbread muffin studded with jalapeños.
Author Minimalist Baker
Holding a plate piled high with Gluten-Free Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins
4.90 from 28 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 (muffins)
Course Side, Snack
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Native American-Inspired, Southern-Inspired, Vegetarian
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 2-3 Days


  • 3 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1/3 cup 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 sub almond milk + 1 Tbsp vinegar or lemon juice)
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup gluten-free flour blend
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 medium jalapeños (divided)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C), and line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners OR lightly grease them with non-stick spray or butter (as original recipe is written // adjust number of muffins if altering batch size).
  • Melt butter in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add pumpkin puree (or applesauce), sugar, honey, eggs and whisk to combine.
  • Next add salt, baking soda, 1/2 of the jalapeños (diced, seeds removed // 1 jalapeño as original recipe is written) and stir.
  • Add buttermilk or almond milk and stir again until combined.
  • 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.
  • Pour evenly into 12 muffin tins (as original recipe is written) and top each with a slice of jalapeño (optional), seeds removed.
  • 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.
  • I highly recommend serving these with just a touch of butter and honey.
  • Will keep in an airtight container for up to a couple of days. Store in the freezer to keep longer.


* Nutrition information is a rough estimate.
* Recipe heavily adapted from Iowa Girl Eats.

Nutrition (1 of 12 servings)

Serving: 1 muffins Calories: 199 Carbohydrates: 37 g Protein: 3 g Fat: 4 g Saturated Fat: 2 g Sodium: 202 mg Fiber: 2 g Sugar: 11 g

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  1. Yvette says

    I love your recipes, but the amount of ads on this page is ridiculous. The ingredients are broken into 3 sections by ads, and the instructions are as bad. This makes it very difficult to follow the recipe.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Yvette, We’re glad you enjoy our recipes! Thank you for your honest feedback and sorry for any inconvenience. We always try to optimize for user experience, while also having ads to keep the content free and high quality. We’ll take another look and see if that can be adjusted!

  2. Bianca says

    I was on the hunt for a delicious GF cornbread muffin and I knew Dana would not lead me astray! Even so, I actually did a double-take when I bit into these! I’ve had GF muffins before but none as soft and perfect as these! We had a chili night and these were the perfect accompaniment to that! Even the non-gluten-free crowd was raving about them. *I subbed a vegan egg for the egg and it worked great to make this recipe dairy-free and egg-free too!

  3. Pave' Johansen says

    Hi I was looking for a vegan cornbread and this recipe came up. However there are honey and butter in the recipe. So not vegan. Just thought I should let you know.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Pave’, this one is vegetarian, not vegan. Did you see it listed as vegan somewhere? You can find our vegan cornbread here!

  4. Joanne says

    This is one of the easiest and tastiest gluten free recipes I’ve tried. I have made it multiple times with fantastic results! I recommend the full amount of jalapenos because they add a really great flavor and are not too hot (I’ve fed them to people who are very adverse to heat and they just picked off the top slice and were fine with what was in the muffin itself).
    I’ve made these using applesauce instead of pumpkin puree and they were still great but the pumpkin puree is better. Other than that I stick to the recipe because its just that good!

  5. Vicki says

    I made a couple batches of soup last week because two family members tested positive for covid so I was looking for some muffins to go with it. We need gluten and egg free for my son. I made a batch one night from another website and they were flat and without much flavor. Then I thought, “Minimalist Baker usually has good recipes.” I searched the site for muffin recipes and came across these. I used jarred jalapenos and a flax egg. These were delicious!! I will start all my searches on this site first! Thank you so much for sharing!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad these ones turned out well! Thanks so much for sharing, Vicki! Wishing a speedy recovery to your family members! xo

  6. Sara says

    I used 1/3 cup finely grated raw sweet potato instead of the pumpkin puree or applesauce as I didn’t have any on hand and they turned out awesome! I also omitted the jalapenos and used cashew milk instead of almond milk. I baked them in mini muffin tray (24 muffins) for 18mins and they were perfect. The sweet potato completely melted away and was undetectible. yum!

  7. Hannah says

    This came out okay. I added an extra egg. which I do not suggest. My finished product was not thick.
    I made this to bring to friends’ for dinner, but since they have a toddler – no jalapenos were used. I used unsweetened applesauce, Bob’s GF 1 to 1 baking flour, and omitted the sugar.
    My stubborn self made a doubled recipe in a 8×8′ pan, only since I didn’t want to deal with cornbread possibly sticking to the muffin liners.

    • Hannah says

      As I baked a DOUBLED recipe in a 8×8″ pan, I had to cook for about 1 hour, testing after 40 minutes and every 5-8 minutes for doneness.

  8. Kat says

    Im currently house sitting and dont have a muffin tray. Could I make these in a dish or cast iron skillet instead? If so, which size would you suggest and how would you adjust the cooking time? I love your blog and would love to be able to stick with your recipe. Many thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yes, you could try using either a dish or cast iron skillet! I’d use a standard 10″ skillet!

    • Laura says

      I made these tonight – I subbed regular skim milk for almond milk, used pickled jalapeños because that was all I had and added cheddar cheese but otherwise stuck to the recipe exactly.

      These turned out delicious – not too sweet, just the right amount of spice and had great texture for a gluten free recipe – fluffy and held together very well.

      Thanks so much! I’ll be making these a lot now!

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        We’re so glad you enjoyed them, Laura! Thanks so much for the lovely review! xo

  9. Susan Fine says

    This bread was delicious. I changed it slightly and instead of using jalpeños, I included small pieces of fresh basil in the batter with one batch, and in a second batch I included chopped ufresh rosemary. They both were delicious.

    Also, I needed to bake it longer than the recipe — for 40 minutes instead of 22, and I added tsp of salt because I didn’t think 1/2 was enough. 1 is better.

  10. Candace | From the Roots Blog says

    Made these muffins over the weekend and they turned out amazing! I made them with the pumpkin puree option and the almond milk with vinegar/lemon option. Reminds me of the jiffy cornbread muffins but without the guilt!

  11. linda says

    What would you recommend to sub the egg with? My SO and I both have egg allergies, but I would love to test this recipe out! Many thanks xx

  12. CS says

    Your Gluten-Free Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins: Could you leave the sugar and honey out? I am serving them with pinto beans and tasso and I just didn’t want a weird sweet taste. Thanks!

  13. Ally says

    These are delicious! I omitted the sugar and added cheddar. I used a mini muffin pan as well. It was still just the right amount of sweetness with the honey. I chopped up both jalapeños and mixed them in due to using the mini muffin pan. I love your recipes. I make your biscuits for my family all the time and they love them!

  14. Gabriel Austin says

    I just made these but substituted blue corn atole for the gluten free flour and used 1/2 cup of raw honey and left out the sugar. SO AWESOME!

  15. Diane says

    Made these tonight for a dinner party and they were wonderful. I was skeptical because I’ve never baked with GF flower before. So tasty and pretty! I was very proud of my muffins. Thanks so much for the recipe.

  16. cyalis says

    I go to see each day some web pages and websites to read articles or reviews, except this website offers quality based posts.

  17. Allisa says

    I’ve made these muffins twice – and this recipe is awesome! I’m sensitive to xanthum gum, so I substituted corn flour for all purpose GF flour. It has worked beautifully both times, and the muffins hold together well. Tonight I had some leftover roasted sweet potato I was using for a pie, so I used that in lieu of the pumpkin. It turned out just as well as the pumpkin version. Thank you for sharing this recipe – it’s a favorite!

  18. Dawn says

    I made a half recipe without the peppers. Very nice. Good moisture level.
    After three years of gf, my husband remains generally unimpressed. He called these the best cornmeal muffins he’s ever had which is high praise from a man who doesn’t like cornbread.
    Thank you, I find your recipes to be very good.

  19. Eliza says

    Made these tonight without the jalapeños as I was also feeding my 4 year old and 21 month old. Delicious! It is a tasty recipe that doesn’t crumble like a lot of Gluten-free cornbread recipes. I used applesauce, but will do pumpkin next time.

  20. Corina says

    I made these to compliment a homemade turkey vegetable chili that was also gluten free. These were amazing! Everyone enjoyed them and kept coming back for seconds and thirds. The only substitution I made was instead of honey I used rice malt syrup.. These were so easy to make and I plan on making these in the future for parties!
    FYI this is my first recipe review.. And I’ve tried a ton!
    Thank you for sharing :)

  21. Diana says

    These are really delicious! Subbed a flax egg for the real one and left out the additional sugar as someone about suggested. Otherwise, stuck to the recipe and these are really good and moist. Thank you!

  22. Sharon says

    I’ve made these a couple times (and prefer the pumpkin puree!), and I left out the vinegar/lemon juice. I didn’t notice a difference without it. What is its function? Thanks for the delicious recipe.

  23. Brittney says

    These turned out amazing and EVERYONE loved them! I made a few modifications to suit my dietary restrictions – I wanted to let you know in case anyone else had similar restrictions!

    I kept them gluten free and used a 1-to-1 GF baking blend by Bobs red mill. I also made them dairy free using coconut oil instead of butter and almond milk + 1T of vinegar like you suggested.
    I skipped the sugar and used 2T of granulated Xylitol and maple syrup instead of honey

  24. Grace says

    making these for the second time…first time was yesterday! I made the recipe in a cast iron skillet and it turned out beautifully. Me, my boyfriend, and our happy tummies say thanks!

  25. Kerrie says

    Could I sub sweet potato for the pumpkin? I have a couple left from the last sweet potato pie I made. I’m making slow cooker chili con carne for family visiting tomorrow, with GF chocolate brownies for dessert. Wanted to make cheese n onion GF cornbread to go with the chili. I have dry polenta and masa harina.

  26. Jessica says

    I would like to make these, but add cheese. Should I adjust the recipe at all? reduce or eliminate the 1/4 cup of sugar?

  27. Audrey says

    We’re gluten and diary free- I used oil for the butter and didn’t have honey so I used 1/2 cup br. sugar instead. They turned out really good, will make them again with chili!

  28. 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!

  29. 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.

  30. 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?

  31. 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!

  32. 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!!

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

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  36. 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!

  37. 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?

  38. Mary Beth 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!

  39. 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.

  40. Natalie 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 !!!!!

  41. 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! :)

    • Len Inkster says

      Change the rice flour for amaranth. It will give a slightly nuttier taste but it’s better than no eating these at all.

  42. 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.

  43. 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!

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  45. 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.

  46. Molly (Sprue Story) 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?

  47. Molly @Bakelette says

    That first picture = SWOON!

    Just came across your blog and I am loving your minimalist aesthetic! Can’t wait to try some of your recipes!!


  48. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious says

    Oooh I love the addition of jalapenos in this! Plus, I’m OBSESSED with cornbread – I’m sure I could make a meal out of this :)

  49. 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?

  50. Jess says

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

  51. Erin | The Law Student's Wife says

    I’m a sucker for cornbread. Also, in the pics I feel like that big, beautiful plate is being held out just for moi. I’ll take 3 please! ;-)

  52. Tieghan 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!