One week to go, guys. Are you ready? I’m definitely not. But I do have another delicious easy comforting side for your Thanksgiving table. I shared our favorite vegan skillet cornbread recipe that we make all the time a few years ago on the blog. But have now updated it so that you get a bigger fluffier cornbread as a result.
My favorite part about this golden buttery vegan cornbread is the crispy edges that brown up in the cast iron skillet. Do you have a cast iron skillet yet? This 10.25″ one from lodge is affordable and we use it nearly everyday for scrambles, stir-fries, pancakes, and baking delicious skillet cakes like this cornbread. Once you’ve made cornbread in a cast iron skillet you wont go back to any other baking dish.
The trick is to heat the skillet up first so that the cornbread batter sizzles when it hits the pan. A lot of people heat the skillet in the oven while it’s preheating, but I like to heat it on the stove on medium-low heat while I’m making the batter. I find it easier and only have to transfer the hot skillet once, instead of twice. Don’t forget to use an oven mitt as the skillet handle gets very hot!
This is the basic recipe but you can get creative and add sweet or savory add-ins to this cornbread. Try jalapeños and fresh/frozen corn kernels or pepper jack/cheddar cheese. Or make it sweet with more sugar, vanilla extract or paste, lemon zest and blueberries. My hub’s favorite is made with added chopped medjool dates and pecans.
Coconut milk, the full-fat canned type or homemade if you feel like going the extra mile, is key to creating a rich buttery cornbread, so don’t skimp on it. I mix rich coconut milk with a lighter non-dairy milk like soymilk or oat milk, and then add a splash of raw apple cider vinegar to thicken it, akin to buttermilk. This mixture produces a very tender crumb in the final result.
We prefer fine ground yellow cornmeal or polenta (same thing), but you can also use stone-ground cornmeal if you like. Look for non-gmo organic cornmeal when possible as nearly all of the corn on the planet has been genetically modified by Monsanto. It gets me so mad. We use this organic fine polenta from Argentina, and use it for baking, making polenta, and making cornmeal porridge.
I like to use whole wheat flour in cornbread because it creates a more crumbly cornbread with an open crumb texture. Use all-purpose flour for a tighter crumb that holds together better.
You can serve this skillet cornbread warm at the table or turn it into a cornbread dressing or make cornbread muffins instead. Options. Any way you choose, it’s an easy recipe that is great to bring to a potluck dinner or as guest if your invited to Thanksgiving at family or friends’ homes.
Vegan Skillet Cornbread
Yield 8-12 servings
- 1 3/4 cups fine yellow cornmeal or polenta
- 3/4 cup flour *see notes
- 1/2 cup granulated (caster) sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup full fat coconut milk *see notes
- 3/4 cup of unsweetened soymilk or oat milk
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons canola or grape-seed oil, or vegan butter
- Preheat oven to 375˚F.
- Heat an 10.25" seasoned cast iron skillet over medium-low heat on the stove while you prepare batter.
- Whisk milks and apple cider vinegar together and let stand for a few minutes to thicken.
- Whisk cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda together in a mixing bowl.
- Whisk oil into thickened milk mixture, then pour into into the dry mixture.
- Stir together until combined, about 1 minute.
- Flick water droplets from fingertips onto the the cast iron skillet to test if it is hot. Water drops should sizzle and evaporate.
- When skillet is hot, add canola or grape-seed oil or vegan butter and swirl skillet, holding handle with an oven mitt, so oil/melted butter coats bottom and part of sides.
- Pour batter into the hot skillet and scrape down sides of bowl. Batter should sizzle when it hits the hot skillet.
- Smooth top with a spatula and transfer skillet to preheated oven.
- Bake at 375˚F for about 25 minutes until cornbread is golden with a cracked top.
- Remove from oven and let cornbread cool for 10 minutes before cutting into it. Serve cornbread warm or at room temperature.
- Leftover cornbread will keep for up to 2 days, wrapped or sealed in bag at room temp. It tends to dry out to longer it sits and is best eaten the same same its baked.
- Look for organic non-gmo fine cornmeal or polenta for the best flavor and results.
- All-purpose flour will result in a more tight, cake-like crumb texture. Whole wheat flour will result in a more crumbly texture. I personally prefer whole wheat for this.
- Canned coconut milk or shelf stable/refrigerated coconut milk beverages can be used interchangebly in the recipe.
- Swap soymilk with another lighter non-dairy milk such as almond or oat milks. Or you can swap it with more coconut milk, which will result in a richer, denser cornbread.
- For a gluten free option, try swapping flour with a 1-1 gluten free flour blend.
- Leave out the sugar for a more savory cornbread.
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