The BEST Cornbread Ever


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Homesteader Cornbread - Gluten Free or Not recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

The Best Cornbread Ever is moist and sweet, while being just dense enough not to fall apart in your hands. 

There is no need to slather on butter and drizzle honey over this cornbread, the cornbread is lightly sweetened and delicious on its own. (Not that it won’t be even more delicious with any and all of your favorite toppings!)

Almost every time I make this, I hide a piece just for myself the next day. To say that I love this cornbread, just doesn’t even do it justice.

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With bread recipes, it is often all about the texture for me. This cornbread is not too crumbly at all; it holds together beautifully. I’ve even baked it in a loaf pan and sliced it more like sandwich bread.

I made the traditional version of this recipe for over ten years and I’ve now made the gluten free version for over two years. This cornbread has never failed to get great reviews from everyone who tastes it.

Homesteader Cornbread - Gluten Free or Not recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

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The BEST Cornbread Ever

Recipe adapted from and with thanks to All Recipes
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 8 servings


  • ¾ cup cornmeal
  • cup milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour*
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup light flavored olive oil

*Gluten-Free Alternative

  • cup brown rice flour
  • ½ cup potato starch
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum


  • In the bottom of a mixing bowl, whisk together the milk and cornmeal and set aside. Let the mixture rest for 15 minutes. While this is resting, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt, and sugar and set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Add the dry ingredients to the milk and cornmeal mixture and stir to combine. Add the egg and the oil and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 10 minutes. (This amount of time is required. The cornbread won't be nearly as fluffy and moist without the full beating time.)
  • Grease an 8×8 or 7×10 pan with butter and pour the batter into it. I have used a small 8″ cast iron skillet as well and it works great. Doubling the recipe will perfectly fill a standard cast iron skillet or a 9×13 pan. (If doubling the recipe use a TOTAL of 3 teaspoons of baking powder.)
  • Bake 25-30 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. The bread should be lightly browned at the edges, dry on top, and just beginning to show some cracks in the crust. Slice and serve hot. Enjoy!


The secret to this cornbread is in the method. The soaking of the cornmeal combined with the beating process makes this the amazing cornbread that it is. Don’t let the slightly longer process deter you from trying this. This is a simple and straightforward recipe: soak, stir, beat, and bake. The extra step is worth it! Whether you are baking a gluten free version or not, be careful to follow all of the steps in the directions.


Calories: 238kcal · Carbohydrates: 33g · Protein: 4g · Fat: 9g · Saturated Fat: 1g · Cholesterol: 24mg · Sodium: 171mg · Potassium: 223mg · Fiber: 1g · Sugar: 10g · Vitamin A: 90IU · Calcium: 92mg · Iron: 1.4mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @barefeetkitchen or tag #barefeetkitchen!

{originally posted 9/7/12 – recipe notes updated 10/8/2014}

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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26 Comments Leave a comment or review

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  1. Jean | Delightful Repast says

    Mary, that's definitely Northern cornbread – it will make my husband happy. I usually make Southern cornbread – thinner, less sweet (maybe crunchy on the bottom from being baked in bacon grease!). I just love all kinds really!

  2. Monet says

    Delicious! Have I told you my obsession with cornbread? I eat a piece almost everyday of the year. A serious addiction! This looks great. And I can't wait to try it. Thank you for sharing another winning recipe!

  3. Tricia @ saving room for dessert says

    It does look amazing! My husband would hug your neck for a piece of that. You really love the gluten free version? I don't know about you but I feel so much better when I don't each much gluten. An occasional splurge is nice however. Butter and honey – yes please 🙂 You are a blogging rock star – always posting day after day. I couldn't even get my second post up this week! The things we need to do sometimes get in the way of the things we want to do. Have a wonderful weekend Mary!

    • Mary says

      Substituting should work and the bread would probably still hold together. However, the taste will be noticeably different and the texture might be affected as well. If you do try it, I'd love to know how it turns out. Good luck!

  4. Mary S says

    Another wonderful recipe, Mary. I have had chili on the brain and this would be the perfect cornbread to set beside it. I also love a moist corn muffin. I'm thinking this would be an ideal candidate. Have you ever made this into muffins? and if so, how did they come out? Thank you.

    • Mary says

      I have made corn muffins without any problems at all. I don't recall the baking time for them though. I'll try to remember to make a note of it next time we make these!

    • Mary says

      oh. my. goodness. You are correct! I always pour it into my canister when I buy it, so I never have the packaging on hand to reference. In five years of baking gluten free, I have never noticed I was spelling it wrong!! Thank you so much. Yikes. I have a lot of editing to do.

    • Mary says

      It isn't just the oil and egg, it is the final step of the ingredient list. The other ingredients are combined, then the oil and the egg are added and everything is then beaten together. I don't know the science behind the extended mixing period, but it absolutely works. I've skipped the 10 minute mixing step before and the difference is noticeable. I hope that helps explain it!

  5. Johnna R. says

    Can you use a gluten free all-purpose baking flour for this receipe? How about making muffins instead of in a loaf or cake pan?
    Thanks for the advice!