Gluten-free Cornbread That Passes the Holiday Test

Jessica Bryars

Submitted by Jessica Bryars, Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants

With the holidays fast approaching, it’s time to begin pulling together recipes to share with family and friends. I’m from southern Alabama and grew up eating cornbread dressing with every holiday meal. Now that I’m gluten-free, I have adapted a simple cornbread recipe that is amazing on its own, but also can be used to make cornbread dressing and many other delicious recipes.

This is a very soft and moist cornbread that everyone will rave about – and no one will miss the wheat flour. In fact, they likely won’t even realize it is missing! Perfect if you’re gluten-free or hosting a friend or relative with a gluten-sensitivity.

I hope you enjoy preparing and sharing this Bryars family holiday tradition, now with a slightly healthier update. And don’t forget the Monticello grown honey, lovingly created by our very special bees!


  • 4 tablespoons bacon drippings or butter
  • 1 ½ cups cornmeal
  • ½ cup 1-to-1 gluten free flour
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups milk or buttermilk, more if needed
  • 2 tablespoons Monticello Honey


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put butter or bacon drippings in 10-inch round or 8-inch square baking pan and place in oven as it heats. Cast-iron is perfect, but any heavy bottomed baking pan will work.
  2. While your pan is heating, combine dry ingredients in large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk eggs and honey together and then mix in 1 ½ cups milk or buttermilk.
  3. Gently fold the egg and milk mixture into the dry ingredients. If the batter feels too thick or dry, mix in more milk by the tablespoon until a smooth, thick consistency is met.
  4. Once the oven is pre-heated, remove the hot pan and pour in batter. Place back into oven on center rack and bake for 25-30 minutes, until top is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.


  • Not all gluten-free flours are the same. Make sure you are using a wheat-free flour blend with xanthan gum for best results.
  • If you do not have buttermilk and want to use it, add 1 tablespoon white vinegar to the milk and let sit for 5 minutes.
  • To jazz up basic cornbread, try adding cheddar and diced jalapenos for a Tex-Mex flavor, or make a festive dessert cornbread by adding cranberries and orange zest!