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!
Gluten Free Pumpkin Cornbread
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.