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 (115 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 and sweet corn.

Watch to Learn More:

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition Facts
Servings 8.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 120
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3 g 4 %
Saturated Fat 0 g 1 %
Monounsaturated Fat 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
Sodium 293 mg 12 %
Potassium 82 mg 2 %
Total Carbohydrate 21 g 7 %
Dietary Fiber 3 g 12 %
Sugars 1 g
Protein 4 g 8 %
Vitamin A 1 %
Vitamin C 1 %
Calcium 2 %
Iron 7 %
* 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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  • So I am thawing my corn now to make this in a little bit!!! However, I have a few questions. I don’t see any dates or sweeteners listed as being used in the recipe ingredients or instructions, but the calorie information lists there being 11g of sugar per serving and the note at the bottom says, “For this recipe, whole foods, natural sweetness comes from unsweetened applesauce, banana, and dates.” Am I missing some ingredients or was this a typo?

    Also, when I weigh my cornmeal 3/4 c is around 90 grams. Should I still use the 3/4c or should i go by weight which would then be more than 1c?


    • Hi Sarah — I apologize, I had some corrections to make.
      No sweeteners in this recipe — you can add 1 tbsp. Stevia if you find you need more sweetness. I adjusted the cornmeal weight to be more accurate — 3/4 cup is about 115g. I also double-checked the nutrition and the sugar is much lower. I apologize for any inconvenience – hope you still enjoyed!