This easy gluten free cornmeal spoonbread casserole is light, fluffy, and creamy, with the slightest crust all around. Perfect for a holiday, or any day.
It's all about the side dishes
The holiday season is all about the food that we share with our nearest, dearest and sometimes most crazy-making friends and family. We each have our private ideas about what the gathering should look like, feel, and (of course) taste like, and sometimes we're not sure how we'll survive at all.
Somehow, everyone and everything will be just fine. The meal will turn out wonderful, and the side dishes will carry the day, as per usual. This recipe for incredibly moist gluten free cornmeal spoonbread, with the right balance of creamy and fluffy and only the slightest crust on the edges, should be at the top of your list.
Make-ahead options for this spoonbread
I try not to save this casserole dish for serving only in the holiday season, especially since it's extra special with fresh summer corn. But inevitably, I don't tend to think about it until the weather starts to turn cooler in the fall.
This spoonbread is well worth space in the oven on the big day, but that's not always possible. Luckily, you can make it ahead of time.
Just store it at room temperature for at least an hour or let it cool completely and refrigerate it (covered) for up to 2 days. I recommend letting it sit at room temperature first, then reheating it in right before serving in the microwave. Putting it back in the oven may dry it out.
Homemade creamed corn
The creamed corn recipe is essential since I've never been able to find a ready-made gluten free creamed corn. Not only can that element of the recipe be made ahead of time, but it should be, since it needs to cool to at least room temperature before including it in the spoonbread mixture.
The original recipe for creamed corn makes about 30% more than the recipe included here. Feel free to make the entire original recipe and enjoy the leftovers on their own.
Corn muffin mix
When I originally published this recipe, I built it off our recipe for gluten free Jiffy-style corn muffin mix. I used one-half of that muffin mix recipe in place of the gluten free flour blend, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, granulated sugar, and 2 tablespoons of the butter in the spoonbread ingredients list below.
If you'd like to help this recipe come together more quickly without making the entire soufflé ahead of time, try making the corn muffin mix as far ahead of time as you like, and storing in the pantry. You can either make a half-recipe of the muffin mix just for use here, or make a whole recipe and then some corn muffins with the rest.
Of course, you could also make the entire corn muffin mix, double all of the other ingredients (including the creamed corn), and make two spoonbreads. Even if you're having a small gathering, you can't beat the leftovers!
Ingredients and substitutions
Dairy-free: To make this recipe dairy-free, you'll need to replace the butter in the creamed corn and in the spoonbread, and the sour cream in the spoonbread. I think it can all be done, though!
The butter in both the creamed corn and the spoonbread should be able to be replaced with Melt brand vegan butter or even Earth Balance buttery sticks. The sour cream can be replaced with nondairy Greek-style plain yogurt. If you can't find that in nondairy form, just strain plain nondairy yogurt of moisture until it's the consistency of Greek yogurt or sour cream.
Egg-free: I'm afraid that you can't make this dish without eggs entirely. There are 3 eggs, and this recipe is essentially for a soufflé, which relies heavily upon those eggs for height and texture.
Gum-free gluten free flour blend for the creamed corn: In place of the gum-free gluten free flour blend that is called for in the cream corn recipe, which is made of superfine white rice flour, potato starch, and tapioca starch/flour, you can use arrowroot or superfine sweet white rice flour.
Easy Gluten Free Cornmeal Spoonbread
For the creamed corn
2 tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons (18 g) basic gum-free gluten free flour blend
1 1/4 cups (10 fluid ounces) milk
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon (12 g) granulated sugar
12 ounces frozen corn, defrosted (or fresh corn kernels)
For the spoonbread
1/2 cup (70 g) all purpose gluten free flour blend (I used Better Batter)
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
1/2 cup (66 g) coarsely ground yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon (12 g) granulated sugar
8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 egg yolks (75 g), at room temperature
3/4 cup (180 g) sour cream, at room temperature
15 ounces creamed corn, at room temperature (from recipe above)
4 ounces frozen corn kernels, defrosted (or fresh corn kernels)
3 egg whites (75 g) at room temperature, whipped to stiff (but not dry) peaks
Preheat your oven to 375°F. Grease a 2-quart round casserole dish and set it aside.
First, make the creamed corn. In a medium-size, heavy-bottom saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat, whisking occasionally and allowing the water to boil off. Add the flour blend all at once, and whisk to combine well. Allow to cook, whisking occasionally, until the mixture is well-combined and has started to become fragrant (about 1 minute). Add the milk in a slow but steady stream, whisking constantly, until well-combined. Add the salt, pepper and sugar, and whisk to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking occasionally, and continue to cook until the mixture begins to thicken (about 4 minutes). Add the corn kernels, and whisk to combine. Transfer the creamed corn to a wide, flat bowl and allow it to cool until no longer hot to the touch.
In a large bowl, place the gluten free flour blend, xanthan gum, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and granulated sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the melted butter, egg yolks, and sour cream, and mix to combine. Add the cooled creamed corn mixture, and the additional 4 ounces of corn kernels, and mix until combined. The mixture will be thick but very soft. Add the whipped egg whites, and fold in the whites with a large spatula until just combined, taking care not to deflate the egg whites too much. Transfer the mixture to the prepared casserole dish, and smooth the top gently.
Moisten the index finger of one hand, and run it gently around the perimeter of the dish, separating the top couple inches of the mixture from the side of the dish. Working quickly, place the dish in the center of the preheated oven and bake until lightly golden brown on top and set enough that the spoon bread doesn’t jiggle when the dish is shaken gently from side to side (about 45 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving by the spoonful.
Originally published on the blog in 2015. Recipe adapted slightly, recipes for Jiffy corn muffin mix and homemade creamed corn included in full, rather than being incorporated by reference. Some photos and video new.