Gluten Free Pumpkin Cornbread

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cornbread

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!

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.

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.

8 pieces of cornbread on beige paper

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!

A bowl of pumpkin cornbread dough with a spatula

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.

A close up of the side of a pumpkin cornbread piece on a white plate

A close up of a slice of cornbread on a white plate and multiple slices of pumpkin cornbread below

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!

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 9 to 12 squares


1 cup (140 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if using Better Batter)

1 cup (132 g) coarsely ground yellow cornmeal

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice*

4 tablespoons (56 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

3 tablespoons (63 g) honey

2 eggs (100 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, lightly beaten

6 ounces pumpkin butter (homemade or store bought)

3/4 cup (6 fluid ounces) half-and-half or whole milk

*To make your own pumpkin pie spice, combine 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger + 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves + 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg.


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with unbleached parchment paper and set it aside.

  • In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice, and whisk to combine well. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the butter, honey, eggs, pumpkin butter and milk, mixing to combine after each addition. The batter will be thick.

  • Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top into an even layer with a wet spatula. Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until lightly golden brown on top and firm in the center to the touch. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out with no more than a few moist crumbs attached.

  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes or until firm enough to transfer to a cutting board and slice into 9 or 12 equal squares. Serve warm. Store any leftover bread in an airtight container at room temperature. Warm in a toaster oven before serving.


Comments are closed.

  • Mary Month
    February 5, 2017 at 5:07 PM

    Best corn bread recipe Evers hands down! Thank you Nicole?

  • kcbythec
    October 10, 2016 at 4:12 PM

    I made this recipe yesterday and it is scrumptious. Moist and light and can already see lots of potential for switching it up to a savoury bread as well. I made a single batch and less than 24 hours and it’s 1/2 gone, which is fine, but it’s only two of us lol….really enjoying your recipes and will post more often once I make things. With the eggs I just used two large free range and it was just right on weight, and for the butter I could not find any so I used pumpkin pie filling and apple sauce and just reduced it on the stove top and it was great so froze the rest for my next batch :)

  • Melanie West
    October 10, 2016 at 2:57 PM

    Hello, this looks great. I found potato starch but can’t find potato flour in stores, can I sub ground potato flakes in place for better batter?

  • Cheryl M
    October 8, 2016 at 11:17 AM

    Hi Nicole,
    I’m wondering how specific you have to be in reference to eggs in your recipes? Can I just use 2 eggs or do I have to actually weigh them out? I’m new to GF baking.

    • Lynne
      October 9, 2016 at 4:03 PM

      Without a doubt, you need to weigh everything! You will find that your GF baking is better and more consistent if you weigh!

    • Mare Masterson
      October 13, 2016 at 5:04 PM

      Yes, you need to weigh. Here is a chart to get you started in knowing which eggs to weigh:

      Medium: 42 – 49.9 grams
      Large: 50 – 58.9 grams
      Extra Large: 59 – 66.9 grams
      Jumbo: 67 – 71.9 grams
      Extra Jumbo: 72 – 78 grams

  • Peggy N Bill Deskin on Facebook
    January 2, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    Can’t wait to try this! I just made soup, so this will top it off!

  • Beth Quigley on Facebook
    January 2, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    Wow, wouldn’t this make a great stuffing for Thanksgiving? Can’t wait to try it!

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  • Sarah D
    November 3, 2011 at 9:13 PM

    I’m about to make this tonight so I can turn it into stuffing tomorrow for a pre-Thanksgiving dinner on Sat. Looks delish! To make stuffing, would you recommend cubing it and letting it dry out overnight like you would with regular bread? Or would you suggest just crumbling it into the stuffing because the cubes won’t hold their shape?

    • Nicole
      November 3, 2011 at 9:45 PM

      Hi, Sarah,
      Yes! I would definitely recommend cubing it and letting it dry out. Better yet, cube it, then ‘toast’ the cubes by putting them on a baking sheet and back in the oven for a few minutes. Ooooh mm mmm good.
      xoxo Nicole

      • Anonymous
        November 4, 2011 at 10:31 AM

        Ooooo…good idea on toasting it. I’m going to put some cranberries in the stuffing as well. It’ll be festive and seasonal, but not your average stuffing. Thanks for the great recipe. It turned out amazing!

        • Nicole
          November 4, 2011 at 11:08 AM

          I love cranberries in stuffing, Sarah. Much better than your average stuffing. :)
          xoxo Nicole

  • Darlene
    November 3, 2011 at 8:47 PM

    Nicole, if you haven’t already, you have to come out with a recipe and call them Hunny Buns. You can even dedicate them to Dr. Steve.

    • Nicole
      November 3, 2011 at 9:46 PM

      *snort* Hunny Buns. Dr. Steve is the one with Hunny Buns, though. I just have Hunn Buns. :(
      xoxo Nicole

  • Donna
    November 3, 2011 at 3:05 PM

    This sounds like a great recipe, and especially using Better Batter Flour! I’ve been trying different combo flours, but Naomi’s Better Batter is the best!! I was one of her first customers!

    • Nicole
      November 3, 2011 at 3:28 PM

      Hi, Donna,
      Were you really one of Naomi’s first customers? How great is that? I actually learned about Better Batter when it recommended to me by readers of this blog a couple years ago. And I will be forever grateful! It has completely transformed my cooking, my baking, my recipe development — everything!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Jackie
    November 3, 2011 at 2:06 PM

    If I were to substitute nondairy milk(coconut)/splash of vinger for the sour cream, would I still use 1/2 cup? Thanks!

    • Nicole
      November 3, 2011 at 2:21 PM

      Hi, Jackie,
      Yes. A 1:1 sub should work. For 1/2 cup milk, I would use 1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar or lemon juice. Personally, I like to sour milk with lemon juice better than vinegar, but either one works just fine. The batter will be thinner than mine, just so you know, but it should bake up mighty fine. :)
      Hope that helps!
      xoxo Nicole

      • Jackie
        November 3, 2011 at 2:32 PM

        Yes, thank you!! Never have found a good dairy-free,soy-free sub for sour cream…now I know! Can’t wait to try this.

        • Nicole
          November 3, 2011 at 2:36 PM

          Hi, Jackie,
          So glad you’re happy with your new-found knowledge! Generally in baking, you can substitute soured milk for sour cream, unless raw texture is important. The same is not generally true in cooking, since thickness and consistency tend to matter more in cooking since there often isn’t the chemical reaction that there is in baking to level the playing field. I will often use whatever I have most of, whether that is sour cream, buttermilk, or just milk that I sour myself with some lemon juice.
          xoxo NIcole

  • Jessica
    November 3, 2011 at 2:04 PM

    What is a good sub for the sour cream?

    • Nicole
      November 3, 2011 at 2:19 PM

      Hi, Jessica,
      Any nondairy sour cream sub will work. Do you have a favorite? Tofutti brand always seemed pretty good to me. You could even try a nondairy cream cheese. That would probably work well, too.
      xoxo Nicole

      • Jessica
        November 3, 2011 at 2:22 PM

        Thanks! I’ll check those out or try the coconut milk sub that Jackie mentioned below.

        • Nicole
          November 3, 2011 at 2:29 PM

          Great, Jessica. I love having options!
          xoxo Nicole

  • Susan Adams Oliff on Facebook
    November 3, 2011 at 2:01 PM

    Oh you had me until the cornbread part..I’m allergic to corn ;-)
    I’ve wondered if I could use brown rice farina as a sub for cornmeal because when I made it as a hot breakfast cereal, it reminded me of grits…

  • Jessica Rosman on Facebook
    November 3, 2011 at 1:57 PM

    If you could see the size of my eyes right now…

  • Linda
    November 3, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour (I use Better Batter)
    1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if using Better Batter)

    If the brand I use has xanthum gum included I should omit this? I could swear the Bob’s Red Mill brand does, but maybe I’ve got it mixed up with the Arrowhead Mills all-purpose baking mix. I’m sneeking in a peek at your blog while at work so can’t check my cupboards — lol!!!

    • Nicole
      November 3, 2011 at 1:53 PM

      Hi, Linda,
      Yes, if your brand of all purpose gluten-free flour includes xanthan gum, you should omit it from the recipe. Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose flour does not contain xanthan gum. It’s also not truly an all-purpose flour, so I can’t promise that it will work in this recipe.
      I hope that’s helpful!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Michelle Bastian on Facebook
    November 2, 2011 at 9:08 PM

    I just made this and it is OUTSTANDING! Thank you for sharing!

  • November 2, 2011 at 8:10 PM

    Thanks for the interesting last comment about corn…I did not realize that corn is often contaminated with gluten….My cousin is in New Jersey and is not happy about the sleet that they received a few days ago, so I will send her this recipe.

    • Nicole
      November 2, 2011 at 8:50 PM

      Hi, Stan,
      Yes, I would say that your cousin needs a nice piece of sweet potato cornbread. I hope she has power, so she can make it. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Claire
    November 2, 2011 at 4:40 PM

    Just started GF on Monday. Do I need to buy specifically GF cornmeal? I’ve seen it for sale but don’t know if regular cornmeal is likely to be contaminated. Advice please!

    • Nicole
      November 2, 2011 at 4:51 PM

      Hi, Claire,
      Yes! Corn is a gluten-free grain in its pure form, but it is often contaminated with gluten when it is grown and/or processed. There are a number of companies that make a certified gluten-free cornmeal, including Bob’s Red Mill (although you have to be sure that it is their gluten-free variety; look for the symbol on the label), Kinnikinnick, Arrowhead Mills to name a few. Good question!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Jen
    November 2, 2011 at 11:41 AM

    Hi Nicole, I made your old fashioned cornbread the other night and my picky, gluten-eating husband loved it so much that he ate the leftovers for breakfast the next day. I can’t wait to try this version!

    • Nicole
      November 2, 2011 at 1:46 PM

      Hi, Jen,
      I love it when we can show a picky gluten-eater that the gluten-free is a delicious way. Thanks for telling me!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Pamela G
    November 2, 2011 at 9:51 AM

    This sounds YUMMMMY! I’m going to try it for Thanksgiving stuffing!
    So sorry to hear about your storm.
    See, we had a HORRIBLE storm a couple years ago on Friday October 13…power was out for 4 days…trees were devastated….so I FEEL YOUR PAIN….no travel, no work.We heated frozed leftover pulled pork in foil packets over candles…played rounds and rounds of backgammon by candlelight wrapped up like mummies…
    Honestly? It wasn’t too bad! My only wish was a GAS OVEN…is that asking too much?

    • Nicole
      November 2, 2011 at 9:58 AM

      Hey, Pam,
      That’s a great idea. This cornbread would make great Thanksgiving stuffing. A horrible storm on Oct. 13? That’s crazy. We were trying to remember if we had ever had a storm like this so early in the year, and we couldn’t. Trees with leaves on them + snow storm = not good.
      Pulled pork warmed over candles sounds, well, awful! Fingers crossed for no more crazy weather. ;)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Hilari Weinstein on Facebook
    November 2, 2011 at 9:41 AM

    Have you ever used it to make holiday stuffing?

    • Nicole
      November 2, 2011 at 10:01 AM

      I haven’t, Hilari, but that sounds like a great idea.
      xoxo Nicole

  • Beth Quigley on Facebook
    November 2, 2011 at 9:23 AM

    I make a GF cornbread stuffing at Thanksgiving, with sautéed vegetables, Italian sausage and Madera wine. I can’t wait to try out this recipe for it! Thanks for the post!

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