Maple Cornbread – This gently sweet cornbread recipe is the perfect complement to a bowl of chili or a big chopped salad. (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)
Between the daily tasks of a job in recipe development, daily homework sessions at the counter over after school snacks, and the 3-meals-a-day routine of feeding a family, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen.
But few things pull me to the kitchen for the pure joy of it than a change in the seasons. The transition from summer to fall is maybe my very favorite. The sweltering Arizona summers finally start (even if it’s just theoretically) to give way to cooler temperatures. I plaster my home in fall leaves and black bat cut-outs, and my playlists subtly shift from bouncy dance tunes to more relaxed songs that make me feel cozy.
Then, of course, there are the recipes. When I cook or bake simply for the joy of it, recipes have a way of taking my mind off things. My focus is drawn to the process of what I’m doing–measuring, leveling, stirring, pouring. I breathe in and out, and, slowly, my house is filled with the smell of comfort, and sweetness, and home.
Comfort, sweetness, and home perfectly describe this maple-glazed cornbread.
WHAT’S IN MAPLE CORNBREAD?
I make my maple cornbread using traditional homemade cornbread ingredients–flour, cornmeal, baking powder, milk, eggs, etc., but with the addition of pure maple syrup in place of the typical sugar or honey. The effect is subtle but just different enough to be special. Here’s a snapshot of the ingredients:
(GLUTEN FREE!) FLOUR. This is a re-make of an old maple cornbread recipe I had on the blog. I’ve updated it with the use of a gluten free measure-for-measure (or 1:1) gluten free baking flour. My two favorites are this one from King Arthur Flour and this one from Bob’s Red Mill.
GLUTEN FREE CORNMEAL. Cornmeal is naturally gluten free, but it’s not always processed in ways that are safe if you have an allergy or intolerance. Look for the “certified gluten free” label for best results. We like this one and this one.
BAKING POWDER, BAKING SODA & SALT. My maple cornbread gets a great puffy rise thanks to this combination, and the salt does a great job rounding out the flavors.
(DAIRY FREE) MILK + BUTTER/GHEE. We make this with unsweetened almond milk, but you can use whatever you drink or works for your diet–soy, rice, dairy, cashew, etc. Then, you’ll use melted butter, dairy-free butter, or ghee, which adds substance and keeps this nice and tender.
PURE MAPLE SYRUP. The deeper, more caramel-y notes of pure maple syrup add something special to this gently sweet cornbread recipe. I love it! (And love it in the glaze on top!) Don’t be tempted to use pancake syrup for this, as the flavor will be SUPER strong and overwhelming. Use the pure stuff.
EGGS. Another key to keeping this light, fluffy, and tender. I haven’t made this egg-free yet, but see the FAQ for my suggestion.
A MAPLE GLAZE FOR THE TOP. Lastly, you’ll brush a little “glaze” of melted butter/ghee + maple syrup on top, which gives a pretty sheen and another subtle layer of flavor. We love it!
WHAT TO SERVE WITH MAPLE CORNBREAD.
Cornbread is one of my kids’ favorite side dishes whenever we have soup or salad. I think this subtly sweet cornbread goes perfectly with a nice chili (especially one with a kick!) or a big salad.
Some of our favorite main dishes to pair with this maple cornbread are:
- Simple Slow Cooker Chili
- Salsa Verde Chicken & Rice Soup
- Fall Chopped Salad
- The BEST EVER Pumpkin Chili
- Fall Cobb Salad
FAQ + TIPS FOR THE BEST MAPLE CORNBREAD:
I’M NOT GLUTEN FREE. CAN I USE REGULAR FLOUR? Yes! This gently sweet cornbread is a re-make of an old recipe. I used to make it using the same amount of white flour.
CAN I MAKE THIS VEGAN (WITHOUT EGGS)? I haven’t made this cornbread egg-free yet, but I’d start with a powdered egg substitute for a job like this, rather than a chia or flax egg, which can add a bit of grit to a cornbread recipe.
CAN I FREEZE CORNBREAD? Yes, you can, though it sometimes dries out a tiny bit upon thawing. You can freeze it whole and unsliced in a freezer-safe zip-top bag, or you can freeze it in slices the same way. It’ll keep in the freezer for about a month.
HOW DO YOU STORE CORNBREAD? For best results, I recommend covering the pan (or transferring to an airtight container/bag) and storing the cornbread in the fridge, where it’ll last 2-3 days.
CAN I DOUBLE THIS MAPLE CORNBREAD TO MAKE A 9×13 PAN? Yes, though I don’t have a baking time for you. You’ll want to start checking it every few minutes once you hit the 20-minute mark.
CAN I MAKE THIS AS CORNBREAD MUFFINS? I think so, but I haven’t tried it yet to double-check. I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t work. You could likely get about 12 muffins from this recipe.
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USEFUL FOR THIS RECIPE: