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The Best Sweet Gluten-free Cornbread You’ll Ever Have!

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Moist, sweet gluten-free cornbread that’s so good, your gluten-eating friends will be asking for it!

The Best Gluten-free Sweet Cornbread Recipe. Tried and true recipe we've used for many years!

This is truly my most-requested recipe of all time from gluten-free folks and gluten-eating folks that have tried it at my house or at potlucks. Pretty much every person I’ve made this gluten-free cornbread for has absolutely loved it and said it was their favorite cornbread ever.

This gluten-free cornbread goes perfectly with so many meals, including my go-to Crock-pot Gluten-free Chili Recipe. We enjoy it with gluten-free beef stew too! 

A dear friend shared this recipe with me many years ago and we’ve loved it ever since.  After having to switch to baking gluten-free, I was so happy to find that it turns out just perfect with a good quality all-purpose gluten-free flour blend in place of all-purpose flour.

Gluten-free Sweet Cornbread Recipe perfect for potlucks

I always use gfJules all-purpose gluten-free flour when I make this, but it should turn out well with other high quality gluten-free flour blends as well. Just remember, if your blend doesn’t have xanthan gum or guar gum already in it, you’ll need to add 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum with the dry ingredients in this recipe.

My father-in-law always says this tastes like dessert!  This is definitely a sweet cornbread, not a southern style, savory cornbread. If you are looking for a more savory one, check out this gluten-free savory cornbread recipe from my friend Jules.

Is cornmeal gluten-free?

Not always! It is common for cornmeal to be made by companies that make/process flour as well so there is a high risk of cross-contamination. Make sure your cornmeal is certified gluten-free! 

Let’s talk about the other ingredients a bit too.

Ingredients for sweet gluten-free cornbread

Notes on Ingredients and Substitutions for Gluten-free Sweet Cornbread: 

  • Cornmeal – As stated above, be sure to purchase certified gluten-free cornmeal.  Also, some brands (like Bob’s Red Mill) make a much coarser cornmeal.  When I used that coarser cornmeal, it resulted in a very gritty cornbread that none of us cared for, so I’d recommend finding a finer grade cornmeal.  I usually buy my gluten-free corn meal from nuts.com.  They have a great selection of certified gluten-free ingredients and I find their gluten-free cornmeal to be just the right size for perfect results. Update 10/2019: I also just purchased this Arrowhead corn meal from Amazon – it’s certified gluten-free and it worked just as well as the one I usually buy so I recommend it as well!
  • As always, I only recommend baking with a good quality all-purpose gluten-free flour blend. All flour blends are not created equal! I recommend avoiding flour blends that contain any bean flours or that are primarily rice flour, as you’ll get a more gritty result. I always make this recipe with gfJules gluten-free flour. You can buy gfJules gluten-free flour directly or through Amazon.
  • Buttermilk – Regular store-bought buttermilk has modified food starch clearly listed on the label. In the US, if modified food starch is made from wheat it has to have wheat clearly labeled. If the product simply says “modified food starch” and has no wheat allergen warning, it is derived from a gluten-free source. The most common sources include corn, potato and tapioca.  So, using regular buttermilk is fine in the US for anyone on a gluten-free diet.  You can also choose to buy organic buttermilk as it doesn’t contain modified food starch, but organic buttermilk can be very difficult to find in stores: impossible in my town. Locally, I like to buy Darigold buttermilk or Trader Joe’s buttermilk because it doesn’t have a bunch of added ingredients to it.
  • Buttermilk Substitute – Also, I know many people don’t always have buttermilk on hand.  A great substitute to keep on hand in your fridge is Saco Cultured Buttermilk Blend.  It is a powdered buttermilk that you keep in your fridge and then in a recipe that calls for buttermilk, you instead add this powdered buttermilk with your dry ingredients, and then add extra water with your wet ingredients.  The package gives exact measurements for substitutions.  I buy this at my local Winco store, but you can also buy on Amazon here.

When I travel to my in-laws house, I usually mix up the dry ingredients for this recipe (cornmeal, gluten-free flour, salt) and bring with me. Then at my destination, I can just grab butter, sugar, buttermilk and eggs and I can whip this up for everyone to enjoy!

The Best Sweet Gluten-free Cornbread. Tried and true family favorite recipe.

My gluten-free cornbread bakes up nice and tall, is incredibly moist and needs only a slather of butter to make it a perfect accompaniment to any homemade meal. We especially enjoy it with chili, creamy gluten-free ham cheddar chowder and gluten-free chicken broccoli rice casserole. I’m going to make these crispy oven baked chicken thighs recipe soon to have with it.

This is my favorite food to bake to bring to potlucks as well since you can make it ahead and it cuts and serves so nicely. I bake it in my 9×13 Pyrex, and once cooled a bit, I can put on the lid and bring it. Here’s the Pyrex 9×13 dish and lid I have from Amazon. It makes it super easy to bring to potlucks!

Trying to bake ahead and freeze meals for future dinners? I often make this 9×13 pan of it for our family and then put half of the cornbread squares in a freezer bag and freeze.  On the night I want to use it, I just pull out, thaw, and then warm in the oven or microwave right before serving.

You can also bake this in a pretty 9×13 ceramic pan. Then once cool, just cover with plastic wrap so the cornbread doesn’t dry out.

Tried and True Sweet Gluten-free Cornbread Recipe.

What will you serve your gluten-free cornbread with?

I like it with just butter, but some guests like to make it even more sweet by adding honey!

You can also make a batch of this cornbread to make my gluten-free cornbread stuffing recipe. Here’s what it looks like:

Pan of Gluten-free Stuffing

That definitely needs added to your holiday menu! 

Let me know how you enjoy this gluten-free corn bread. Please come back and leave a rating and comment when you have a minute! Thanks!

Best Gluten-free Cornbread Recipe:

Yield: 24 servings

Best Gluten-free Sweet Cornbread

The Best Gluten-free Sweet Cornbread Recipe. Tried and true recipe we've used for many years!

Our guests always say this is the best cornbread ever, let alone the best gluten-free cornbread! If you don't want a huge pan of cornbread, feel free to cut this recipe in half and use an 8x8 pan. I do this when my freezer is full and just our family will be eating it. If you have leftovers, these freeze and reheat well.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup melted butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 ⅓ cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 2 cups all-purpose gluten free flour
  • 1 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp. salt

Instructions

  1. In a glass measuring cup, measure buttermilk then add baking soda, mix together and let sit.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, melt butter in microwave. Add sugar and use a spatula or wooden spoon to mix into butter. Add eggs. Add buttermilk/baking soda to the butter/sugar/egg mixture and mix just until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together cornmeal, gluten-free flour, xanthan and salt. Add to wet ingredients and stir. Pour into greased 13x9-inch pan.
  4. Bake at 375º for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with crumbs only and top of cornbread doesn't sink in if pressed with fingertip. Let cool at least 5 minutes or longer, until desired temperature for serving.

Notes

If you don't have buttermilk on hand, I recommend using Saco Cultured Buttermilk powder, following the substitution directions on the package.

gfJules gluten-free flour blend contains xanthan gum. If your gluten-free flour blend of choice doesn't contain xanthan gum, you'll need to add 1 teaspoon xanthan gum in with the dry ingredients


*Originally posted 2013, updated text and photos November 2016.

Pin this gluten-free cornbread to your gluten-free bread Pinterest board:

Best Sweet Gluten-free Cornbread Recipe

I hope you and your family enjoy this gf cornbread recipe as much as my family does!

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Diana

Tuesday 27th of October 2020

Is the xanthan gum 100% necessary? How will it turn out without xanthan gum?

Traci

Friday 23rd of October 2020

This was the best cornbread I’ve had, with gluten or without!! I did one small modification...I did not have buttermilk, so I used yogurt. This was moist, delicious and sweet! It held together beautifully. I wanted something that wouldn’t just crumble away. Just what I was looking for!!

Taya

Monday 19th of October 2020

Hi there! Delicious recipe! I'm wondering if you have recommendations for storing the batter? The recipe just makes WAY too much for me and my husband (I didn't think about halving the recipe, my own fault) and we have enough batter for 3 dozen muffins - we won't eat it all right now! Can this be frozen? Thanks!

Grace Kratovil

Tuesday 25th of August 2020

I hate writing this review since I had to change up so many things. However, the basic record must be fantastic because with all the substitutions and omissions, this turned out to be the best cornbread I've ever eaten. Also, I've never had sweet cornbread before, but I will again!!!

Marijka

Saturday 22nd of August 2020

Anyone multiplied this recipe to make a dry ready-to-use mix and, if so, did you have to make any modifications? My elderly neighbor has several medical conditions and an extremely restrictive diet, but can no longer find her favorite Martha White Gluten-Free Cornbread Mix. I'm wanting to make her a tin of mix (with dry buttermilk) with instructions for adding the liquid. Thanks for any feedback!

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