This is not a drill. I made my first ever homemade cornbread and I’m dying at how good it came out. Not sure why it took so long to finally try my hand at making such a classic from scratch, but I’ll never look back now that I’ve locked down this Gluten-Free Cornbread Skillet recipe. I’m really proud of how this turned out, and happy to share how easy it is to make. Major win. Did I also mention it’s lactose-free? I got you, my dairy-sensitive girlies! But don’t let the GF and lactose-free factors fool you. This cornbread is naturally sweetened with honey and will quickly have you feeling love at first bite. Do yourselves and your family + friends a favor and make this ASAP.
Believe it or not, this GF Skillet Cornbread tastes even better than it looks. One of the first times I made it was on Thanksgiving and it was a big hit. The whole fam loved it and I know you will too. Even if you’re not the biggest cornbread fan to begin with, promise me you’ll give it a try and I promise you’ll be converted. I could rave about the taste all day, but I should also mention how flawlessly soft and crumbly the texture is. If you’re like me you’ll want to douse it in honey when you serve it, and you’ll feel like you’ve skipped straight to dessert – which definitely isn’t a bad thing, IMO.
HEALTHY AND HOMEMADE
Not only is this cornbread gluten-free and lactose-free, it’s also made with all the better-for-you ingredients (of course – you guys know my style by now). I used Masa Harina cornmeal and it worked great, but standard organic cornmeal would perfect as well. To keep the cornbread fluffy and moist, I used eggs and ghee. Ghee contains healthy fats, and vitamin K2, which did you know is essential for calcium optimization?
I love ghee because I’m lactose-intolerant and it’s a great buttery option that never leaves me feeling left out on butter. Ghee is a form of clarified butter, simmered over heat, allowing the water content to be evaporated and the milk solids to separate. The milk solids are then strained out, leaving you with a rich, buttery spread you can use in place of butter. It’s made from cow’s milk, so I don’t recommend to those who are allergic to dairy, but could be a great alternative for those with only an intolerance! I never have any issues consuming ghee.
The honey of course makes for the best natural sweetener in this recipe, but let me share with you a few more nutritional facts about this tasty ingredient. Honey is rich in polyphenols, may help to support a healthy gut thanks to it’s anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, and some research even points to honey’s hypoglycemic effect. When compared to white sugar, for example, honey tends to metabolize differently and produces less of a blood sugar spike. All the more reason to add that extra drizzle on top! For balance and because I wanted to keep this GF and lactose-free, I used GF all-purpose flour and unsweetened almond milk. To keep a light, fresh flavor, and for the acidity, I add a small amount of lemon juice. Mix it all together and you’ve got the best healthy, homemade cornbread you’ve ever baked. I can’t get enough of it!
THE COZIEST COMBO
Cornbread is a popular Thanksgiving side dish, but it definitely has a place on the table beyond the holiday season. Since we’re not into gatekeeping around here, I have to share with you what I am deeming the coziest combo of a meal. I’m talking about this cornbread and my Hearty Paleo Chili. A true match made in heaven. While the cornbread is baking, I whip up a batch of my Paleo Chili on the stovetop and take in the amazing smells that fill the kitchen. I mean, who doesn’t love an efficient and incredible-tasting (+ smelling) meal? Pro tip: top your cornbread with honey and crumble it over top your bowl of chili. I honestly don’t think there is a better meal to make in the fall or winter than this cornbread + chili combo; it’s what hibernation season dreams are made of. Let me know what you think when you try it!
INGREDIENTS YOU’LL NEED:
- Milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
- Lemon juice
- Cornmeal (or Masa if you’re grocery store is out)
- GF all-purpose flour
- Baking powder
HOW TO MAKE A GLUTEN-FREE CORNBREAD SKILLET
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, add all of the wet ingredients, then use a hand mixer or whisk to mix together.
Then add in your dry ingredients, making sure to break up any clumps, and combine. Make sure not to over stir!
Spray the cast-iron with oil, then pour in the cornbread mixture. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until edges are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Top with honey and/or ghee and serve with chili, or enjoy as a snack any time of day.
RECIPE SUBSTITUTIONS & QUESTIONS
For this skillet cornbread, I prefer a cast iron skillet (I used my 10-inch Staub cast iron in this recipe), but if the size of your cast iron doesn’t work or you don’t have one, then any baking dish should do the trick. If you’re not lactose-free, you can use whichever milk you prefer instead of almond milk. Instead of ghee, you can use butter, or even oil. Regular flour in place of gluten-free flour also works if there are no gluten sensitivities. I used Masa Harina cornmeal in this recipe, but any kind of fine or medium-ground cornmeal will work too (white or yellow).
Another pro tip I’ll let you in on: how to quickly get your eggs to room temperature (especially useful if you forget to pull them out before you begin baking). Fill a small bowl (big enough to fit the number of eggs you’ll need, which is 3 in this recipe) with warm to very warm tap water. You don’t want the water to be hot though, as you don’t want the eggs to cook prematurely. Place the eggs (still in their shells) in the bowl and wait about 5 minutes. That’s it!
HOW TO KEEP CORNBREAD FROM BEING TOO CRUMBLY?
There are a couple ways to prevent your homemade cornbread from being too crumbly. First, you can add moisture by adding more liquid to the batter (aka whichever milk you’re using). Another important tip is to make sure you are not overmixing the batter, which can lead to a crumblier texture. Be sure to mix the batter only until the ingredients are just combined, then pour into your skillet or baking dish. It might not seem like those extra few stirs will make a difference once everything is mixed together, but trust me on this one!
WHAT TYPE OF CORNMEAL IS BEST FOR CORNBREAD?
A couple great choices for cornmeal are fine or medium-ground, yellow or white. Medium-ground cornmeal will provide slightly more texture and grittiness, so it’s up to you what texture you prefer. Yellow cornmeal has a more prominent corn flavor, while white cornmeal is more subtle and delicate in flavor – so again, it’s just a matter of personal preference.
I used Masa Harina in the recipe and it turned out so good. Masa Harina is a powdery, gluten-free, corn-based product that is the dried and powdered form of masa, or masa de maíz, a dough of ground nixtamalized corn. Typically used in Mexican and Latin American cuisine, Masa Harina is used for the basis of foods like corn tortillas and tamales, but also works really well in this skillet cornbread recipe. Fun fact: masa is the Spanish word for “dough”.
SHOP THE RECIPE
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Click here to watch the reel I made of this recipe 🙂
Gluten-Free Cornbread Skillet
- Hand mixer or whisk
- Cast iron skillet or baking dish
- 3 eggs, room temp
- 1 cup milk, I used unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/3 cup ghee, melted
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp cornmeal, I used Masa Harina and it worked great!
- 1 cup GF all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, add all of the wet ingredients, then use a hand mixer or whisk to mix together.
- Then add in your dry ingredients, making sure to break up any clumps, and combine. Make sure not to over stir!
- Spray the cast-iron with oil, then pour in the cornbread mixture. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until edges are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Top with honey and/or ghee and serve with chili, or enjoy as a snack any time of day.