Until recently, I had no idea there was such a raging debate about how cornbread should be made. If you’re from the South, there’s a good chance you have a recipe grandma used to make. But I’m a Northerner who didn’t grow up eating a traditional cornbread that was passed down through generations of home cooks.
My cornbread experience comes from restaurants and barbeque joints that served a sweet, buttery version of cornbread and from the boxed versions that were occasionally made for special events at home.
So, before we begin, I have to warn you that this recipe is definitely not your grandma’s cornbread. It’s sweetened with sugar and is light and moist. If you’re a cornbread purist, you’d probably call this recipe cornbread cake, but I don’t think I’d go that far. It has a good crumble and texture to it without being too dry.
It’s also made with gluten-free 1:1 replacement flour, but it can be made using all-purpose flour if you aren’t inclined to or don’t need to eat a gluten-free diet.
How to Make Sweet Gluten-Free Cornbread
If you eat a gluten-free diet, you may have tried a boxed mix or two or three to find one that actually tastes good. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never found one that was really satisfying. That’s what makes this simple homemade recipe for cornbread so precious.
Here’s how to make up some scrumptious gluten-free cornbread at home.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) of softened salted butter + a little extra for preparing the baking dish
- 2/3 cup of granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs (we use duck eggs because they are so good for baking, but chicken eggs are also fine)
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- 2/3 cup of cornmeal
- 1–1/3 cups gluten-free 1:1 replacement flour
- 3/4 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Butter an 8″ x 8″ glass baking dish.
- Cream together the butter and sugar.
- Mix in the eggs and salt.
- Add the cream, mixing slowly enough to avoid splattering.
- Mix in the cornmeal.
- Add the flour, baking powder, and baking soda and mix well. If you’re using a stand mixer, you’ll want to scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue mixing at least once to make sure the ingredients are incorporated well.
- Spread the batter as evenly as possible into the prepared 8″ x 8″ baking dish.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick or butter knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Serve warm on its own or with butter or as a side along with chili or smoked ribs, pulled pork, and other barbeque favorites.
To give credit where credit is due, the recipe I use was adapted from the one you can find at The Girl Who Ate Everything. There, the author uses a larger recipe, all-purpose flour, and buttermilk instead of heavy cream.
Why did I make changes? Besides needing the cornbread to be gluten-free, there were two other reasons. Buttermilk is delicious, but it’s just not something I regularly have on hand (though her recipe does offer an alternative involving vinegar and milk), so I replaced it with heavy cream. Plus, creating a recipe that was cut in half (with some minor alterations to the amounts of some of the ingredients) is a better fit for our family size.
How Do You Make Your Cornbread?
Are you a cornbread purist who thinks sugar is a no-no? Did your grandma’s recipe call for bacon grease and a cast-iron skillet? Do you love this recipe or would you do it all very differently? Join the debate in the comments section.