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