Gluten-Free Cornbread Muffins

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Gluten-Free cornbread muffins made with wholesome ingredients. Sweet corn kernels add a nice bit of texture while honey is used to enhance the flavor of these delicious golden cakes.

Gluten-Free cornbread muffins

If I could choose one side dish at any holiday feast, it would be cornbread muffins. It always makes an appearance at my dinner table because these tender golden cakes instantly bring smiles to my guests. Plus I want them to leave happy. This year I’ve taken my favorite traditional cornbread muffin recipe and gave it a healthier gluten-free twist.

Using essential baking techniques like choosing the right leavening agents, you can ensure that each muffin has the perfect rounded top and soft texture. Just because more nutritious ingredients are selected for this recipe, doesn’t mean that taste or quality should be overlooked. These quick bread muffins come together in 30 minutes or less so that everyone can get back to enjoying their meal and not spending all day in the kitchen.

How to Make Gluten-Free Cornbread Muffins

There are a lot of choices of gluten-free baking flours on the market now. I’ve tested several different types of substitute flours for the traditional wheat-based product. So far my top pick is Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking Flour. It gives the most similar texture and taste to wheat. I’ve found with the cornmeal base; the texture differences are not as noticeable due to the dry milled corn granules that are characteristic of the bread.

For those who are sensitive to wheat, the formulas for these replacement flours often are a combination of ingredients that mimic the protein and binding properties of gluten. The flour I used is a combination of sweet rice flour, whole grain brown rice flour, potato starch, whole grain sweet rice sorghum flour, tapioca flour and xanthan gum.

mixing ingredients for cornbread muffins in a large bowl

I developed this recipe to be dairy-free with unrefined sugars as well! The dry blend is a mixture of the gluten-free flour with coconut sugar, yellow cornmeal, and baking powder. The coconut sugar has more of an earthy molasses flavor that is an excellent complement to the savory corn. It also has more nutrients like minerals left in the sweetener for added benefits.

mixing corn mixture in a bowl

The wet ingredients added to the flour base is a blend of honey, eggs, unsweetened cashew milk, coconut oil, and whole yellow corn kernels. I love the addition of fresh corn because it added natural sweetness and texture the muffins. Both the honey and moisture in the corn keeps the muffins moist and tender after baking.

muffins in a tin

It’s hard not to want to eat these gluten-free cornbread muffins straight from the oven. I know I usually can’t wait myself. This recipe is a nice alternative for your guests who may have a more restrictive diet, or if you just want to try something a little different that still tastes delicious! Make sure to bake a batch when you’ve got some chili cooking or make some leftover turkey soup.

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What are the key ingredients used in gluten-free baking?

Gluten provides a protein network that creates structure in the baked good. For gluten-free baking, utilizing ingredients to mimic gluten are essential. Rice flours help to provide a protein source for structure, while gelling and thickening from starches like tapioca and potato help to keep the product held together. You will often see xanthan gum added to stabilize and thicken the batter or dough. A combination of these ingredients can give a successful baked good in the absence of wheat.

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Gluten Free Cornbread Muffins

Tender gluten free cornbread muffins loaded with wholesome ingredients for a dairy free side. Corn kernels and honey add texture and flavor to these cakes. 
Pin Print Review
4.18 from 29 votes
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings 12 muffins
Course Side
Cuisine American

Ingredients

  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup gluten-free flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup milk, almond, soy or cashew
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¾ cup yellow corn kernels, cooked

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 400°F (204ºC).
  • In a large bowl whisk together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, coconut oil and honey.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk together until just mixed. Gently stir in the corn.
  • Lightly spray the muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray. Skip this step if using paper liners. Fill the muffin tins ⅔ full with the batter, about ⅓ cup per tin.
  • Place the muffin tin on a sheet pan and bake in the center rack of the oven.
  • Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, until golden and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool for 5 minutes in the pan, and then transfer to a cooling rack.
  • Do not leave the muffins in the tin longer than 5 minutes otherwise, they'll become soggy as they cool.

Notes

  • Butter can be substituted for coconut oil.
  • Granulated sugar can be substituted for coconut sugar.

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Nutrition Facts
Gluten Free Cornbread Muffins
Amount Per Serving
Calories 192 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 29mg10%
Sodium 344mg14%
Potassium 45mg1%
Carbohydrates 32g11%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 14g16%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 150IU3%
Vitamin C 0.8mg1%
Calcium 120mg12%
Iron 0.9mg5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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Reader Interactions

39 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Sherry Kain says

    Hi, I’m also allergic to honey and agave, besides the gluten and dairy. Do you have a replacement for the honey that I could use. I really miss having cornbread and would love to try this recipe.

    • Amelia says

      I often replace honey with maple syrup 🍯🍁 dunno if it’s legit, but seems to usually work out. I interalized some advice about baked honey in herb school, so I always sub.

  2. Angela says

    I really liked this recipe, but as others stated, It’s waaaay too sweet. I love sweet cornbread, but I will probably half the sugar next time. These are more like corn “cakes”. lol

  3. Tizi says

    Just tried these- recipe seemed to be more on the sweet side so I experimented….I had no corn kernels so I subbed in dried sour cherries – yum. Nice sweet treat without a lot of guilt. Love a recipe that works out first time!
    Thanks so much

  4. DL says

    I made this cornbread recipe and was wondering should xanthum gum be added so it doesn’t crumble so much or more moisture so it’s not so dry? Other than that I thought it tasted pretty good. In your blog you talk about a gluten-free flour blend of sweet rice flour, whole grain brown rice flour, potato starch, whole grain sweet rice sorghum flour, tapioca flour and xanthan gum. What are the measurements for each ingredient?

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi DL- I don’t quite yet have a formula for a GF flour blend. Maybe soon! What brand of gluten-free flour did you use? I formulated this one with Bobs Red Mill 1:1 baking flour and didn’t get any dryness issues.

  5. Stephen Bellinger says

    OMG these muffins are the best! As it turned out I got 18 muffins but it was for the best as me, my wife and two lads (university dudes) devoured these with my homemade chilli Yes they are sweet muffins but we will take them any day! I was using a JO recipe for GF cornbread but never again. I messed up with first batch as I misread the oven temp to be 350 but the muffins just needed a few more minutes, no biggy. Oh yes I just had a very generic GF flour and it worked great. Thanks

  6. Lisa says

    I used this recipe as a baseline and they turned out great! Instead of a sweet cornbread muffin I didn’t add any of the sweeteners, instead added a few tablespoons of green onions, a 1/3 cup of nut-based cheese, and a dash of cayenne and black pepper. I did add a bit extra flour as my batter was very runny – but they turned out deliciously!

  7. Iris says

    I made this recipe today. Well, … I made some changes to the recipe. I used my own gluten free blend (1/4 cup each of brown & white rice, tapioca & almond flour). I use 1/4 cup coconut sugar, 1/2 cup dates (minced in the nutribullet) & 1 TBS honey. I also omitted the corn kernels.
    The muffins rose, they were fluffy, & the right amount of sweetness.
    Thank you Jessica!

  8. Cbj says

    I made this when I realized I had no lunch items for my son’s school lunch . They were quick and easy. Changes I made based on what I had on hand ; I used 4tablespoon melted butter instead of coconut oil ,1 cup of oat milk, 1/2 of granulated sugar and 1/4 cup of honey granules and no corn . They were yummy . We do like our cornbread sweet so next time I’ll increase my sugar to 1 cup and eliminate the honey granules bc it did nothing for the corn bread . It was light and fluffy . I also used bob mills one for one .

  9. Kathryn E Murakami says

    I made these with half the sugar and half the honey based on comments made about the sweetness. Everything else I followed exactly ! They were just perfect for me ! They raised perfectly and were very moist .

  10. Marcella says

    We love these!!! They are truly beautiful and that’s rare for GF. (We’ve been cooking gluten free for about 15 years)

    We used King Arthur flour this time and it was perfect although we agree Bob’s is usually the best replacement.

    And we do love our cornbread sweet. But we could easily decrease the dry sugar a little and still love these.

    Thank you!!!

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