Southern Style Vegan Cornbread – Oil-Free, Whole Grain Recipe

Crumbly Southern Cornbread – Vegan, Gluten-Free, Healthy, Plant-Based, Oil-Free, Dairy-Free, Bread Recipe


Medium |  Servings: 8 |  Ready In: 45 minutes |  Yield: 1 (8×8-inch) square pan

This gluten-free, whole grain cornbread starts with a vegan “buttermilk”, giving subtle tang to the finished loaf. Based on a traditional recipe from Chef Cat Cora, whole corn kernels are baked into the bread for authentic flavor. Enjoy this plant-based recipe as a great compliment to Hearty Lentil Chili over White Poblano Chili, or slathered with 5-Ingredient Guacamole.


  • 1 cup plain, unsweetened almond milk  (8 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar (1 ounce)
  • 2 tablespoon ground flax meal (13 g)
  • 6 tablespoons warm water (3 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup oat flour (90 g)
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal (140 g)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed

How It’s Done

Preheat the oven to 425F.  Line an 8×8-inch square pan with parchment.

Make the Vegan Buttermilk:  Combine the almond milk with the vinegar in a small bowl.  Set aside for 5-10 minutes to let the almond milk curdle slightly.
Make the Vegan Flax “Egg”:  Combine the ground flax meal and warm water in a small dish.  Set aside for 5 minutes, until gooey and “egg-like”.

To make the Southern Style Vegan Cornbread:  Working over a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients: oat flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add the vegan buttermilk and flax “egg” and whisk to combine.  It’s okay if you have a few lumps.  Add the corn kernels and stir to combine.

Pour the batter into the pre-lined baking pan.  Bake until the cornbread just begins to brown and it pass the clean-toothpick test, about 28 – 33 minutes.

Let cool 10 minutes before slicing.

Enjoy with Hearty Lentil Chili , White Poblano Chili, or slathered with 5-Ingredient Guacamole

Chef Katie’s Tips:

Nut Allergies: For nut allergies, swap out the almond milk for another plant-based milk like soy, rice, or hempseed.  Just be sure to use plain, unsweetened milk for this recipe.

Bread Storage Tip:  The best way to store bread is tightly wrapped in foil, then sealed in a plastic bag, in the freezer.  You want to eliminate as much air and moisture as possible, as these cause both mold and stale bread.

Oat Flour Tip:  Oat flour is naturally gluten-free and has a nutty flavor with light texture.  It can be used as a replacement for white flour in much of your vegan baking.  Just be sure to substitute by weight, not by volume.  A small, digital scale can help with this.

Weigh your Ingredients: For consistent results, use a digital kitchen scale for precise measuring.  This small investment will save you time from fooling with measuring cups. It will also help make you a better baker.

Sift the Dry: It’s always important to sift together the dry ingredients for a lighter, fluffier batter. If you don’t have a sifter, use a whisk to combine the dry ingredients and add some air into the flour mix.

No Refined Sugars or Syrups: I’m on a mission to avoid using sugar, maple syrup, and other refined sweeteners.  These ingredients leave you feeling hungry and can spike a sweet-tooth craving that pushes you to overeat.  For this recipe, whole foods, natural sweetness comes from unsweetened applesauce, banana, and dates.

Watch to Learn More:


Nutrition Facts

Nutrition Facts
Servings 8.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 142
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 2 g 3 %
Saturated Fat 0 g 1 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
Sodium 297 mg 12 %
Potassium 42 mg 1 %
Total Carbohydrate 27 g 9 %
Dietary Fiber 2 g 9 %
Sugars 11 g
Protein 3 g 7 %
Vitamin A 0 %
Vitamin C 1 %
Calcium 2 %
Iron 4 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Shopping and Gear List

  • PALMETTO FARMS Stone Ground Yellow Corn Meal, 32 OZ
  • Arrowhead Mills Flour Oat Organic, 16 oz
  • Bob’s Red Mill Pastry Flour Whole Wheat – 5 lb
  • Bob’s Red Mill Organic Golden Flaxseed Meal, 16 oz

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