This is the best vegan cornbread recipe because it creates a delicious, dense cornbread perfect for serving with stews and chili. You’ll love that this buttermilk cornbread is made with minimal ingredients and can be served alongside your favorite plant-based meals. Don’t forget to add some vegan honey butter for smearing on top!
Truth be told, I’m a homebody. Of course, I like to get out too, because I’m right on that line between introvert and extrovert. So as long as I get some people time in during the day, then an evening at home feels like perfection. After a busy day, it’s time for some delicious vegan cornbread served with a big pot of vegan chili.
Making a traditional cornbread recipe vegan was one of my priorities after going vegan over 13 years ago. I confess homemade cornbread is the best, and this recipe does not disappoint.
Side note — this recipe works great for homemade stuffing too! See post tips for making vegan corn muffins and gluten-free cornbread.
Why This Recipe is a Winner
- Adding vegan butter to the batter means this cornbread infused with a buttery taste
- Using a bit of Agave Nectar adds hints of sweetness that doesn’t overpower this recipe
- Adding whole kernel corn adds both texture and flavor to this delicious quick bread, making it irresistibly delicious
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
This recipe calls for minimal ingredients:
- Whole wheat pastry flour — You can substitute all-purpose flour
- Cornmeal — You can find this in the baking aisle of most major grocery stores.
- Baking Soda & Baking Powder — These two together make a light and fluffy cornbread.
- Vegan Butter — I use Earth Balance or homemade vegan butter.
- Agave Nectar — Or a syrup sweetener of your choice, like maple syrup or bee-free honey.
- Plant-based Milk — I like using soy milk, but any plain plant-based milk will work
- Apple Cider Vinegar — You can substitute white vinegar. The vinegar combined with plant-based milk makes vegan buttermilk cornbread. It’s by far the best!
- Corn — Canned or frozen works here
How to Make Vegan Cornbread
So, if you’re wondering how to make cornbread without eggs, I’m ready to get started with the answer! Here are the steps:
- Mix Dry Ingredients — Stir together the flour, cornmeal, baking soda and powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the whole kernel corn (if using).
- Combine Wet Ingredients — Melt the vegan butter and add that to a separate bowl along with the agave nectar, plant-based milk, and apple cider vinegar. Stir to combine it all.
- Make the Batter — Pour the milk mixture in with the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
- Pour and Bake — Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, until the cornbread is golden on top.
I like adding whole kernel corn to my cornbread, because of the texture and flavor it adds. Also, if I remember correctly, it’s the way my grandma used to make her cornbread.
Yes, you can buy a vegan cornbread mix these days, but making cornbread from scratch is the best.
A note on sweetness: I feel like there’s something amiss in the cornbread mix world. Some people seem to look at cornbread as if it’s a cake, making it light and airy and super sweet. I prefer a cornbread that has a bit of sweetness, but not too much.
Vegan Cornbread Muffins
I usually make this cornbread in a round cake pan, but you can also make it in a muffin pan.
Making cornbread into muffins is critical when you need to make a batch in a hurry. That’s because muffins take less time to bake, meaning you can get dinner on the table even faster.
What is the Texture of Cornbread?
Cornbread has a delicious, golden brown crust and a soft, cake-like texture inside. Many will serve cornbread with hearty stews and chili recipes because the cornbread can be crumbled into the stew creating a thick, lightly sweet sensation in every bite.
Can I Substitute Eggs in Cornbread?
It’s easy to make cornbread without eggs. Here are some great egg substitutes for cornbread: chia seeds, ground flaxseed, whipped tofu, unsweetened applesauce, and even store-bought egg replacers such as Ener-G.
Do You Have to Incorporate Baking Powder in Vegan Cornbread?
Baking powder is a leavening agent and will help create rise both in cornbread and vegan cornbread muffins.
Is Cornbread Vegan?
Many store-bought cornbreads and cornbread mixes are not vegan because they use either eggs or dairy or both. Some may even use lard, making them not suitable for vegetarians, either. You can find cornbread mixes made without animal products and then add plant-based milk and egg substitutes. Or make homemade cornbread using plant-based ingredients.
Is Cornmeal Vegan?
Corn is a plant and Cornmeal is basically dried, ground corn, making it vegan.
Vegan Gluten-Free Cornbread
To make this cornbread gluten-free, simply replace the flour with gluten-free baking flour.
Keep in mind that gluten is a binding agent, so it provides structure to the cornbread. Without it, you should add a vegan egg to create structure in the absence of gluten. I use one flax seed egg or one chia seed egg.
Here are tips for making this vegan cornbread perfect every time:
- Feel free to add a bit more agave if you prefer your cornbread sweeter
- Add fresh slices of jalapeños on the top before baking (remove the seeds to make it less spicy)
- You could also add some vegan cheddar shreds over the top
- Make your vegan cornbread oil-free by replacing the vegan butter with unsweetened applesauce
What Do You Eat Cornbread With?
Cornbread is a perfect savory quick bread for many recipes, such as chili, soups, and stews. You can serve vegan cornbread with these plant-based soups and stews:
Also, for an exciting twist, I made a tasty Vegan Corn Casserole that combines some of the same ingredients with vegan cheese on top. It’s pretty tasty!
- Heat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Spray a small baking pan (9" square, or small rectangle pan) with vegetable spray.
- Combine the flour, cornmeal, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
- In a separate, microwave-safe bowl, add the vegan butter. Microwave for about 20 seconds, until melted. Add the agave nectar, plant-based milk, and apple cider vinegar. Stir to combine.
- Make sure to drain the corn (if using canned). Add corn (if using) to the flour mixture and stir until the corn is coated. Pour in the milk mixture and stir until just combined.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, until the cornbread is golden on top.
- Serve warm. Place in a sealed container and refrigerate any unused portions. It should last 4 to 5 days in the fridge; up to a month in the freezer.
(The products above contain sponsored links to products we use and recommend)
The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
I hope you enjoy vegan cornbread recipes to the very last bite!
This post was originally published in 2017 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2020.