pieces of cornbread topped with honey alternative and dairy free butter stacked on a plate

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Why I love this sweet cornbread (and how it came to be)

I’ve always had a thing for cornbread, but lately I’ve been thinking about it like crazy. So the other night when I made us some vegan chili, cornbread immediately popped into my brain. But, of course, we didn’t have any vegan butter so I figured my craving would just have to wait for another day, and I continued with whatever I was doing while I waited for the chili to finish.

Minutes went by and I was still thinking about the cornbread and how I could manage to make some without actually using butter. I knew there had to be a way, so I started brainstorming and decided to use olive oil. It’s the perfect “fat” for savory cooking and since I didn’t want the cornbread to actually taste sweet, I decided to just go for it.

The cornbread was literally in the oven 10 minutes later. It was that simple. In fact, I think I might prefer using olive oil to butter because the only kitchen tools I needed were a whisk and a bowl.

Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe

How to make vegan cornbread

Whisk the dry ingredients. Combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk until the ingredients are evenly distributed.

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish.

Bake the cornbread for about 30 minutes in a 350˚F oven or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and let the cornbread cool for at least 5 minutes before cutting or removing from pan. Serve with dairy free butter and vegan honey.

Cornbread stacked on a plate drizzled with vegan honey

FAQ’s and tips for making this cornbread recipe

Can I use a different non dairy milk?

Yes, Absolutely! I recommend avoiding the flavored ones and sticking with unsweetened, but if you want to use your favorite nondairy milk in this recipe, go for it. Then you won’t feel like you’re wasting the rest of the carton after only taking out a small amount for this recipe.

Can I freeze vegan cornbread?

Yes! After your cornbread has cooled completely, cut them into serving pieces and individually wrap in plastic wrap before placing in the freezer for up to 2 months. thaw, reheat and enjoy!

Can I make this cornbread in advance?

Making and baking it up to two days in advance and keeping it stored in the fridge is a great idea for reducing time in the kitchen on a busy day. Simply make sure that the cornbread is well covered so that it doesn’t dry out.

Can I make this recipe into vegan cornbread muffins?

Yes. By filling up your muffin tin to about half to 2/3rds full, and baking you can reduce the baking time and get nice cornbread muffins to enjoy. Bake for about 12-15 minutes and then test for doneness, adding more time if necessary.

Hand holding a piece of cornbread

More side dish recipes! 

More vegan baking recipes to try!

Print

Easy Vegan Cornbread Recipe

This vegan cornbread recipe is so simple and easy to make! It’s made with olive oil and dairy free milk with applesauce replacing the eggs that are found in traditional cornbread. Everyone will enjoy this slightly sweet cornbread that’s full of flavor and deliciously fluffy.

  • Author: Melissa Belanger
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Sides
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce, or 1 egg (not vegan)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375˚F (190˚C).
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
  3. Whisk in the milk, applesauce, and olive oil until smooth.
  4. Pour batter into a 8-inch square baking pan.
  5. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes (or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean).
  6. Allow cornbread to cool for 5 – 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 127
  • Sugar: 6.7 g
  • Sodium: 220.7 mg
  • Fat: 3.3 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 23.7 g
  • Fiber: 1.6 g
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: dairy free, vegan, easy, side dish, sweet, southern, olive oil

Last Updated on December 20, 2021 by Melissa Belanger

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Recipe rating

10 Comments

  1. I am so into cornbread right now! Olive oil and cornmeal are perfect for each other. This would be great both with a little jam, or served alongside chili–love the versatility! 🙂

  2. I really wanted cornbread but didn’t have any butter in the fridge, so I looked for a recipe that used olive oil and this one came up. It worked just fine. It’s true that it wasn’t necessary to grease the pan (I was skeptical, but it didn’t stick a bit!) . I do think it’s funny that the recipe title is “SWEET olive oil cornbread” but then when you explain the use of olive oil you say “and since I didn’t want the cornbread to actually taste sweet…” Hmmm… Anyway, I think the title “Olive oil cornbread” is more accurate. The cornbread is a bit more dense than my regular butter-based skillet recipe, but it was very good. So, a nice and simple recipe. And if there are any others out there who do not have a problem with dairy (remember I just happened to be out of butter today), I didn’t have almond milk on hand, so I used regular milk but on a hunch added 1/8 tsp almond extract and it worked really well.

    1. So, the really only added the “sweet” to the title because there is a heated debate in the world of cornbread about whether or not cornbread should contain sugar. Since my recipe uses sugar, it’s “technically” considered a sweet cornbread, even if I don’t like it that sweet. Does that makes sense?

      I’m glad it worked out with regular milk! It always nice to know for readers who aren’t avoiding dairy. Thanks so much for the review!

  3. Growing up in a Sicilian home, my family mostly maintained a more Mediterranean type diet. We only used butter for baking cookies, a few types of cake and besciamella sauce. Mostly we had Olive Oil cake, sometimes orange, lemon, and even chocolate. While corn bread is not on my list of favorite things to eat, this recipe caught my eye. My son asked if I could make corn bread because he gets it when he goes to KFC. Blech!
    Anyway, I searched and searched, then I found your recipe. I always have almond milk in the house, and 3 types of good olive oil, which one is specifically for baking.
    I did not deviate from your ingredients, but added some black olives, roasted red pepper, rosemary, cracked black pepper and to balance the saltiness of the olives, I uses unsweetened vanilla almond milk.
    My son said” it’s really delicious mama, but I thought I asked for corn bread, not baked polenta. Lol Next time I will shake off the Italian for just an hour, and make your recipe without adding any extras. Ricetta fantastica. Grazie!

  4. I found the corn bread to bit quite dry. While I really like the idea of using olive oil and having less dairy in my diet, I believe it might need just a little more fat, to relieve the dryness. Maybe along with the 1 1/4c almond milk, 1/4 – 1/2 c of fat free greek yogurt might help, or maybe one more tbsp of olive oil. I’m going to experiment with it, but as a whole, I like this recipe, just needs some tweaking to make it less dry. Good work!

  5. Hi,
    What kind of cornmeal do you use? Is is fine, ground etc? And what brand do you use? I’ve never bought cornmeal before so I don’t know how it comes.

    Thanks!