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This Vegan Cornbread is an easy side dish that’s tall, fluffy, moist, and sweetened to perfection. Serve with your favorite vegan chili, Thanksgiving dishes, or vegan barbecue! 

stacked cornbread squares with butter on top
easy vegan cornbread slices with one on its side

Today, cornbread is a classic side dish recipe that’s loved by many. The traditional recipe has deep roots in Southern cuisine, but is traced back to the indigenous peoples and is first and foremost a Native American dish. After European settlers invaded the Americas during the colonial era, the original bread transformed from a flatbread-like recipe to a richer, fluffier version we’re more familiar with today.

It’s important to remember that there are two popular versions of cornbread in the United States today: Northern Cornbread and Southern Cornbread. Southern versions are typically made in a cast iron skillet with little to no sugar. Northern versions, on the other hand, are notably sweeter, often made with sugar or honey. 

This vegan version of traditional cornbread is sweeter, embodying the beloved cornbread of the northern states. So, if that’s your personal preference, let’s get baking! 

non-dairy milk, cornmeal, all purpose flour, dairy-free butter, salt, maple syrup, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, apple cider vinegar

Ingredients You’ll Need 

  • Cornmeal: For the best-textured cornbread recipe, we highly recommend using medium-ground or coarse cornmeal. We used yellow cornmeal, but white cornmeal is also great. 
  • Flour: Regular all-purpose flour creates the lightest, fluffiest cornbread. If you’d like to use whole wheat flour, we recommend using 50% whole wheat flour and 50% all-purpose white flour. If you used all-wheat flour, the cornbread would be very dense.  
  • Sugar: This recipe uses a combination of granulated sugar and maple syrup. The granulated sugar adds sweetness and helps tenderize the crumb. It also encourages the top of the cornbread to brown until golden. A couple tablespoons of maple syrup add richness and depth of flavor and help keep the cornbread moist. 
  • Leavening agents: You’ll need baking powder and baking soda to help the cornbread rise and become light and fluffy.  
  • Soy milk: This vegan cornbread recipe is made entirely egg-free. Protein-rich soy milk not only reacts well with apple cider vinegar to make a homemade buttermilk, but also adds enough structure to the batter so that an egg replacer is not needed. If you are allergic to soy, opt for alternative non-dairy milk such as almond, oat, or coconut milk.
  • Apple cider vinegar: This vinegar is used primarily to react with the soy milk and create homemade vegan buttermilk, but the acidity also reacts with the leavening agents and helps the batter rise and expand.
  • Vegan butter: Adds moisture, savoriness, and richness that yields a soft, fluffy texture. Opt for your favorite vegan butter, or if needed, replace the butter with your favorite baking oil, such as vegetable oil, melted coconut oil, or even olive oil.  
cornbread slice on a plate with a pat of butter melting on top

How to Make Vegan Cornbread

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease an 8×8” baking dish and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Make the vegan buttermilk. In a measuring cup or small mixing bowl, combine the non-dairy milk and apple cider vinegar. Whisk until combined and set aside for about 10 minutes to curdle. 
  3. Combine the dry ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, add the cornmeal, all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine. 
  4. Add the wet ingredients. Next, add in the vegan buttermilk, melted vegan butter, and maple. Whisk again until just combined. 
  5. Bake until golden brown. Pour the cornbread batter into the prepared baking dish lined with parchment paper. Using a spatula or the back of a spoon, spread the cornbread into a smooth, even layer. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges are browned and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cornbread comes out mostly clean with a few moist crumbs. 
  6. Serve. Allow the vegan cornbread to cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Serve warm and enjoy with vegan butter and maple syrup.

Serving Suggestions 

When you think of cornbread, you likely think of a hearty bowl of chili, but a warm slice of vegan cornbread pairs well with virtually any vegan soup recipe. Think Tomato SoupVegan Broccoli Cheddar SoupWhite Bean SoupPumpkin ChiliHearty Lentil Soup, and more! 

Cornbread is also the perfect Thanksgiving recipe AND summer BBQ favorite (give it a try with our Barbecue TempehBarbecue Tofu SandwichesVegan Macaroni SaladColeslaw, and Vegan Mac and Cheese). It’s basically the ultimate side that won’t let you down no matter the season. 

Recipe FAQs

​Is this vegan cornbread gluten-free?

As written, this vegan cornbread recipe contains wheat-based all-purpose flour and is not gluten-free. If you follow a gluten-free and vegan diet, swap the all-purpose flour with your favorite cup for cup gluten-free all-purpose flour blend.

These gluten-free flour blends have the perfect gluten-free flour ratios that mimic the structure of a wheat-based flour. We use Bob’s Red Mill’s 1:1 Gluten-Free Flour Blend in many of our recipes with success! 

​How do I make this cornbread into cornbread muffins?

Preheat the oven to 350F and line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake or muffin liners. Divide the batter between the cups and bake for 17-20 minutes, or until the cornbread muffins are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean with just a few moist crumbs.   

Can I make this cornbread oil-free?

Using 1/4 cup of vegan butter helps to make the cornbread extra light and fluffy in texture and balances the sweetness well. If you are oil-free, replace the vegan butter with unsweetened applesauce. The final cornbread recipe will be more dense, but it will work well. 

overhead image of cornbread squares with butter on top

Storage and Freezing Instructions

Transfer the cooled cornbread to an airtight container and keep it at room temperature for 1-2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. 

This cornbread can also be frozen. For the best texture preservation, we recommend cutting the cornbread into individual slices and then wrapping each slice in plastic wrap. Place the individually wrapped cornbread slices together in a large freezer bag and freeze for 1-2 months.

This not only helps prevent freezer burn, but allows the cornbread to defrost quickly once transferred to room temperature. 

up close cornbread slice on parchment paper

More Vegan Side Dishes You May Enjoy:

Make sure you tag us on Instagram @sweetsimplevegan and @consciouschris and hashtag #sweetsimplevegan if you make this recipe. We love to see your photos!

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overhead image of cornbread squares with butter on top

Easy Vegan Cornbread Recipe


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  • Author: Sweet Simple Vegan
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 9 servings
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This Vegan Cornbread is an easy side dish that’s tall, fluffy, moist, and sweetened to perfection. Serve with your favorite vegan chili, Thanksgiving dishes, or vegan barbecue!


Ingredients

  • 1¼ cup soy milk
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1¼ cups (200g) cornmeal
  • 1 cup (120g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup melted vegan butter
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

Equipment


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease an 8×8” baking dish and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Make the vegan buttermilk. In a measuring cup or small mixing bowl, combine the non-dairy milk and apple cider vinegar. Whisk until combined and set aside for about 10 minutes to curdle. 
  3. Combine the dry ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, add the cornmeal, all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine. 
  4. Add the wet ingredients. Next, add in the vegan buttermilk, melted vegan butter, and maple. Whisk again until just combined. 
  5. Bake until golden brown. Pour the cornbread batter into the prepared baking dish lined with parchment paper. Using a spatula or the back of a spoon, spread the cornbread into a smooth, even layer. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges are browned and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cornbread comes out mostly clean with a few moist crumbs. 
  6. Serve. Allow the vegan cornbread to cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Serve warm and enjoy with vegan butter and maple syrup.

Notes

  • Storage: Transfer the cooled cornbread to an airtight container and keep it at room temperature for 1-2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. 
  • Freezing: For the best texture preservation, we recommend cutting the cornbread into individual slices and then wrapping each slice in plastic wrap. Place the individually wrapped cornbread slices together in a large freezer bag and freeze for 1-2 months. This not only helps prevent freezer burn, but allows the cornbread to defrost quickly once transferred to room temperature.
  • Muffins: Preheat the oven to 350F and line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake or muffin liners. Divide the batter between the cups and bake for 17-20 minutes, or until the cornbread muffins are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean with just a few moist crumbs.   
  • Whole wheat flour: If you’d like to use whole wheat flour, we recommend using 50% whole wheat flour and 50% all-purpose white flour. If you used all-wheat flour, the cornbread would be very dense.  
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Oven

Meet The Bloggers

hey there! we’re jasmine & chris.

Hi, we’re Jasmine and Chris! We share fresh and fun recipes to show you that vegan cooking is easy, approachable and delicious. When we’re not blogging, you will probably find us enjoying live music, tending to our backyard garden or playing with our dogs Berry and Louie

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