This moist and rich gluten free pumpkin cornbread is the perfect way to complete any fall meal, or as a base for stuffing for the holidays. Top a warm slice with some butter and honey!
The pumpkin flavor of this incredibly tender cornbread isn’t overpowering, but baking with pumpkin butter (instead of straight-up canned pumpkin puree) means there’s no mistaking it. The pumpkin pie spice lends a hand as well.
If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, and don’t want to make your own (with the simple spices listed below), you can simply substitute it for 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon plus 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg. Those are the two spices that make fall baking unmistakable anyhow.
My absolute favorite type of cornmeal for baking is coarsely ground cornmeal, as it doesn’t dissolve into the baked good entirely. It retains a chewy texture that I love. But if you have a more finely ground cornmeal, it will still work in this forgiving recipe. Just be sure to measure by weight, not volume!
The batter is quite thick, but not so thick that it’s difficult to mix and stir. It only has the sweetness in the pumpkin butter, plus three tablespoons of honey. No added white or brown refined sugar at all. And I’ve made it successfully with store bought pumpkin butter (Trader Joe’s makes a great one!) and my homemade variety. They are both delish.
If you prefer your cornbread straight-up, try my recipe for Old Fashioned Naturally Gluten Free Cornbread. That one is pure cornmeal, no flour at all. It’s also very lightly sweet. Either one can be made in a cast iron skillet, for an extra crisp crust, or in a baking pan. Just imagine how it would taste with a big, steaming bowl of chili!
One final variation suggestion: the pumpkin butter can be substituted for an equal amount of roasted and pureed sweet potato. Just pierce sweet potatoes all over with a fork, then bake them in a 400°F oven until the flesh begins to shrink away from the skin (about 45 minutes, depending upon the size of the potatoes). Peel and puree the sweet potato until smooth. This recipe was originally developed to be made with sweet potatoes, and it was so good!