Perfect Vegan Cornbread

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Slices of the best vegan cornbread

Everyone needs a good cornbread recipe to go with chili, soup, BBQ bean bowls, and black eyed peas. And this, friends, is it! Say hello to the BEST vegan cornbread!

Just 10 ingredients required for this easy, fluffy recipe. Let us show you how it’s done!

Cornmeal, flour, ground flax, lemon, almond milk, vegan butter, applesauce, salt, baking soda, and sugar

Origins of Cornbread

Cornbread is a hotly debated topic and we don’t claim to be experts on its origin! But based on our research, it seems that the concept may have originated from a Native American dish called cornpone that was made with simple ingredients like cornmeal, water, and salt (source).

During the colonial era, cornmeal was an important ingredient and source of sustenance for enslaved individuals. It likely grew in popularity during these times and recipes evolved based on personal preferences and ingredient availability. It’s now popular throughout the US but is especially associated with Southern cuisine.

The following is our plant-based version, which resembles the flavors we grew up with and loved.

Mixing the ingredients for our vegan cornbread recipe

How to Make Vegan Cornbread

The base for this recipe is a mixture of fine cornmeal and all-purpose flour. We prefer using fine cornmeal over medium grind for best texture, but either will work.

For a “buttermilk” effect, we combined almond milk and lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar). And in place of eggs, we opted for our trusty flax eggs for binding and a nutrition boost.

Cane sugar and applesauce are both used for sweetness. While cane sugar helps achieve a crumbly texture, applesauce adds moisture and natural sweetness.

Baking soda provides leavening and sea salt adds extra flavor.

Vegan cornbread batter

We hope you LOVE this vegan cornbread! It’s:

Fluffy
Moist
Comforting
Perfectly sweet
Versatile
& The BEST!

It’s perfect for serving alongside chili, soup, BBQ bean bowls, and black eyed peas or enjoying as a delicious snack! It also works well when made into stuffing or croutons.

Baking dish of perfect vegan cornbread

More Cornbread Recipes

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Slices of vegan cornbread

Perfect Vegan Cornbread

Easy-to-make, fluffy, perfectly sweet vegan cornbread made with 10 ingredients. The perfect comforting side for soups and chilis, or to bake into croutons for salads or stuffing.
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Slice of the best vegan cornbread with a bite taken out
4.85 from 158 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 32 minutes
Total Time 42 minutes
Servings 9 (slices)
Course Side
Cuisine Native American-Inspired, Southern-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 2 Days

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ batches flax egg (1 ½ Tbsp (11 g) flaxseed meal + 4 Tbsp (60 ml) water as original recipe is written)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened plain almond milk (plus 1 Tbsp as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup vegan butter, melted (we like Earth Balance)
  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar or granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 cups fine yellow cornmeal (plus 1 Tbsp as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size)
  • 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour* (plus 1 Tbsp as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and grease an 8×8-inch baking dish (adjust number/size of baking dish if altering batch size).
  • Prepare flax egg in a small bowl and let set for a few minutes to achieve an "eggy" texture. Measure out almond milk, add lemon juice, and let curdle for a few minutes. Then add baking soda and stir once more. Set aside.
  • To a large mixing bowl, add melted butter and sugar and whisk vigorously to combine. Then add applesauce and flax egg, and whisk once more. Next add almond milk mixture and whisk vigorously again to combine.
  • Add salt, cornmeal, and flour and stir with a spoon until just incorporated. It will look thin and somewhat lumpy. That's what you're going for.
  • Add batter to prepared dish(es) and bake for 28-37 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
  • Let rest in the baking dish for a few minutes before serving. I highly recommend serving these with just a touch of non-dairy butter and maple syrup or honey if not vegan.
  • Will keep in an airtight container for up to a couple days. Store in the freezer to keep longer. It would be excellent with our 1-Pot Red Lentil Chili or Easy Instant Pot Chili (Vegan, Oil-Free).

Video

Notes

*For a gluten-free version, you can try replacing the all-purpose flour with our Best 1-1 GF Blend or check out this recipe.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without additional toppings.
*Note: You can learn more about the origins of cornbread here.
*Recipe heavily adapted/expanded from my Vegan Cornbread for 2.

Nutrition (1 of 9 servings)

Serving: 1 slice Calories: 200 Carbohydrates: 30.6 g Protein: 2.6 g Fat: 7.9 g Saturated Fat: 4.4 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 246 mg Fiber: 1.6 g Sugar: 11.6 g

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My Rating:




  1. 1Man 1Year 1Garden says

    Turned out great. Was surprised, as I don’t bake much. Thanks for the recipe. I made a few subs just ’cause of what I had in the kitchen. Was worried about the flax seeds as I’ve had them overpower in taste on other things, but it was fine. I used the blond flax. I could taste it and wonder how necessary it is, but it was fine. I used whole wheat flour. So the loaf was very on the brown side of things, but tasted great. I used maple syrup as the sweetener, forgot the salt, used sunflower oil and chopped fresh apple. These subs all seemed fine. The loaf is maybe a bit on the moist side from the maple syrup liquid. When I added the baking soda to the soured almond milk it reacted right away and foamed over, but still seemed to work in the bake. I’d like to experiment with more corn and less wheat, and I might try it without the flax to see if it flies. And I wonder if mixing the baking soda in with the flour would work, to keep in more of the bubbles. Two thumbs up.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi, thanks so much for sharing your experience! We’re glad it turned out well. It sounds like you might be using golden flax seeds, which do have a stronger flavor. We would recommend brown flax seeds, which shouldn’t contribute any flavor. Hope that helps!

  2. Rachel says

    Followed recipe mostly as was written and came out great. Only change was cooking it in a smallish (preheated) cast iron pan for 20 min.

  3. Mary says

    I really enjoy this cornbread, but only by using half the amount of sugar. With the full amount of sugar, there is no room for the additional sweetness of honey when serving it. A touch of honey has always been my preferred way of eating cornbread, so by halving the amount of sugar in the recipe to 1/4 cup, the honey then becomes the perfect complement.

  4. LoveToCook says

    I made this cornbread last night and boy was it good. I’m a southerner so I’m finicky about quick breads. My mother used to make both cornbread and biscuits from memory but alas I need a recipe and this is IT!! I didn’t make any changes which would matter to the outcome but did make two minor ones. I do not like sweet cornbread so cut sugar down to 1 Tbs but used the applesauce. A bit of sugar adds flavor much like adding spices to a dish. The other change which I make to all recipes requiring flour was substituting whole wheat flour for 1/4 cup of the flour. I used yellow corn meal since that is all I had and is the only version available where I live now but if you can find it white cornmeal is also good. Thanks for all the great recipes delivered straight to my email.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Amazing! We’re so glad it turned out well. Thank you for your kind words and lovely review! xo

  5. Jamie says

    I love love love this cornbread!! I ran out of flax egg so used 2 small eggs (we get from a local farmer) and it was still heavenly. Not too dense and the perfect amount of sweetness. This one is a keeper!! Thank you very much for posting this delicious recipe:)

  6. delin says

    This cornbread was insanely good! I followed the recipe but subbed whole wheat pastry flour instead of all-purpose and coconut sugar for white. I couldn’t find finely ground organic cornmeal so I whizzed the medium in the vita-mix. I did a trial run for Thanksgiving; my bread is golden-brown from the sugar and flour instead of yellow…and it will definitely be on the menu!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad it turned out well. Thank you for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Delin! xo

  7. Rebecca says

    Any tips on premaking this the day before and reheating so it tastes fresh on the next day? Trying to do a lot of pre prep for a lunch party

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Rebecca, it’s still really delicious the next day even without doing anything! But you could either microwave or cover with foil and bake at 350 F until warmed.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Lori, Either work, but we prefer finely ground! Medium grind isn’t as absorbent so you may need slightly more flour if the batter is looking too wet.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jean, yes! We think you could use dairy-free yogurt, pumpkin purée, or a little more vegan butter. Hope that helps!

  8. Dana Chalamet says

    Could one add organic sweet corn to this as well for added yumminess or would that mess with the consistency by adding too much moisture perhaps? I would imagine it should be fine. Curious if you’ve tried it (with corn added). Thanks for ALL you share! 💞🙌🏼💫🙏🏼💞

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Dana, good to hear from you! Thank you for your sweet words! Hmm, we think if you dried off the excess moisture with a clean kitchen towel it should be okay. Let us know if you try it!

  9. Darlene says

    I’m not a huge fan of sweet cornbread. I know sugar is important for more than sweetness. How can I alter this to leave sugar out?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Darlene, other readers have mentioned reducing/omitting the sugar in this one with success. If the batter looks too wet, you could increase the flour slightly. Let us know how it goes!

  10. Yvonne says

    I just put this in the oven about 20 minutes ago! So funny that your recipe just popped up again in my email :) I added some chopped home grown jalapeño— yum! Yum!

  11. Gina says

    You got it right when you named this recipe “Perfect Vegan Cornbread”. Have made this many times, by now (and will do so again this weekend, to accompany a fav Chickpea and Chard soup recipe; cooler weather is upon us). Having made many vegan cornbread recipes over the years, none compares to this recipe. It is, simply put, ‘perfect’, and the only one I make now. Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you love the recipe, Gina! Thank you for the lovely review and for sharing your modification! And that soup sounds so lovely for the upcoming season :)

  12. Susan says

    I used the amount yield metric available on the recipe…and it was not very good. I used a little less sugar and it’s still a sweet cornbread which I should have realized wasn’t for me. But its waaay to much flax. I think I need a different egg replacement. For my yield it was 2.5 batches of flax egg. I think with applesauce maybe I didn’t need all that butter. I used all the ingredients recommended (earth balance…etc…and followed directions but i have a large amount I was going to freeze and I’ll still do so but it was not one I’d want to repeat. I love a LOT of your recipes, however.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Susan, so sorry you didn’t enjoy it! This definitely is a sweet cornbread recipe, but readers usually love it! We wonder if something could have gone wrong when increasing the batch size? The sugar does also help with texture, so decreasing it may have made a difference there. Could you share the amount of flax meal and water you used? And the size of the pan/pans you used? Did you adjust the bake time to account for making a larger batch?

  13. Suzan says

    This was the best cornbread I’ve ever made. I baked it in a skillet (the one I used to melt the butter. I used all corn meal no flour and instead of sugar I used the 2 tablespoons of maple syrup. And I added some chopped (jar) jalapeño it was Very Very delish !!!

  14. Pam S says

    This recipe is a keeper! I made it using 1 egg in place of the flax egg (didn’t have any flax left), Miyokos dairy free butter and 1:1 gluten-free flour. I did have to add just a tiny bit more flour to get the consistency (a scant 1/4 cup). I had company and they requested seconds. I’ll definitely make this again and wanted to share my experience making it with gluten-free flour for others who might need it. Thank you so much for your wonderful recipes! I’ve share your website with many friends, family and patients (I’m a RN).

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you and your company enjoyed it, Pam! Thanks so much for sharing your modifications. xo

  15. Natalia Eva says

    I have been making this cornbread for my family for many years now. We love how airy and delicious it is! I make a few adjustments to this recipe. I use six tablespoons of JUST Egg instead of the flax egg. I replace the melted butter with oil. I also make this recipe gluten-free. Tysm!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Amazing! Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Natalia!

  16. Kenneth Ingham says

    What are the “as original recipe is written” comments about?

    I made this, but changed the instructions to keep the liquid and dry ingredients separate until the last minute, and I put it in the pan and into the heat as quickly as possible after the wet and dry were mixed. I was concerned about losing all of the bubbles from the vinegar and baking soda interaction.

    I also used whole spelt flour, not white flour, brown sugar instead of white, and olive oil instead of melted “butter”.

    I was cooking this while out camping, using an “oven” that sits on the camp stove burner. Other than taking a bit longer to cook, it worked fine. I served it with a vegan chili made with New Mexico red chile powder.

    The result got rave reviews from family and friends eating together. It all disappeared.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Kenneth, we write “(as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size)” because the recipe plug-in for our website doesn’t allow us to write “3/4 cup + 1 Tbsp” and we have to include the extra amount in a note afterwards. Apologies if it causes confusion! We’re glad to hear this recipe worked well for you while camping!

  17. Jasmine Bruce says

    This was an amazing recipe tha was easily made gluten free to satisfy the whole family. Because having the majority of them beig vegan and one of them being celiac (gluten free) making dinner for everyone isn’t the easiest.

  18. Anna says

    What a lovely surprise for a relatively unskilled cook like me: the end result was moist, not-too-sweet and paired well with soup, chili and also a fruit dessert! Even sophisticated foodie (non vegan) friends were impressed. I’m already dreaming of making it again.

  19. Rebecca says

    This is a good recipe, and it’s a great one if you make one tweak: add baking soda with dry ingredients instead of wet. It will rise higher with a lighter crumb.

    I’ve also had great results replacing some or all of the sugar with date sugar, like the Date Lady brand.

  20. Rebecca says

    So, this is great, but also terrible. Here’s what I mean: I’ve made this a bunch of times and we’ve loved it. But, that’s because I added the baking soda with the dry ingredients. This time, I followed the directions and added it to the acidified non-dairy milk. The result was *dense*. Do not recommend.

    I have no idea why this recipe adds the leavening at an unusual time, but I think I works better if you do it the typical way.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Sorry that was your experience, Rebecca! We find that with a 1-bowl method, it stirs in better when added with the liquid ingredients. Is it possible you’re letting the batter rest a while before baking?

  21. Eli says

    This is the most amazing cornbread I’ve ever made! OMG the chickpea bring I was skeptical but I think that’s what made it so good. I don’t usually like cornbread but wanted to make it for my husband who likes it who is gluten free. I didn’t need to make any adjustments for consistency at the end, made it 100% as written and it turned out perfect.

  22. Nancy G says

    I love this recipe! Happy New Year! It was easy to follow. It was delicious! My family thought the same! I will be making it throughout the winter, for sure!
    I also made the vegan cornbread and it is an excellent side dish for the black eyed peas and collard greens. We all feel healthy and lucky ringing in this new year! Thank you for this and all of the many vegan recipes you give us👍

  23. Marie says

    Your cornbread is so moist and wonderful. I don’t need it with any maple syrup or extra butter. It is perfect on its own. I made it to go along with your Smoky Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas & Greens, which I have made before, for the New Years Eve/Kwanzaa/ my son’s birthday happens to be on New Years Eve dish! Thanks so much!

  24. Rob says

    It turned out pretty stodgy & dense. We could taste the rising agent, yet it barely rose at all. I think this recipe needs much less liquid. It was over-sweet, as well — kind of dessert-level sweetness. Moreover, too many steps/ingredients that don’t seem to matter. A little over-engineered for a simple cornbread. We ended up using Nora Cooks ‘the Best Vegan Cornbread’ which is far simpler and results in more of a classic cornbread taste & texture.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Grace, it will depend which gluten-free blend you’re using as some are more absorbent than others. For our DIY blend, we’d recommend using a little more until the texture of the batter resembles the photos. For our NEW GF blend, we think it would work well to sub 1-1. We also have a vegan + gluten-free cornbread recipe here. Hope that helps!

  25. Gina says

    Hi Dana,
    Can I use Masa Harina in place of cornmeal? I don’t have enough cornmeal to make the double batch needed for your cornbread stuffing recipe? Btw. We love your cornbread stuffing. Pecans and leeks so yummy.
    Thanks,
    Gina

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoy the stuffing, Gina! We haven’t tested this recipe with masa harina and aren’t sure it would work. It would likely have a stronger corn flavor. We’d suggest starting with less and maybe subbing more all-purpose flour until the texture resembles the photos. Hope that helps!

  26. Sarah says

    I did make some substitutions but overall followed it and it was divine! I haven’t made cornbread for awhile and I’m so glad this was the recipe I ultimately chose to follow. Thank you!