This healthy cornbread recipe lightly sweetened with honey is moist yet light and fluffy texture. Plus, it’s better for you because it’s made without refined flour or sugar. Perfect chili pairing or holiday side dish!
I don’t know about y’all, but I freaking LOVE cornbread.
It’s 100% my favorite Thanksgiving side dish or any holiday side dish. I can’t wait to eat this cornbread as part of my gluten-free cornbread stuffing recipe this year. It’s going to be so much better than using cornbread from a box!
I’ve been working on this recipe for years now, and I’m so excited that I finally made a healthy cornbread recipe that tastes DELICIOUS! Why was it so hard to come up with one?
Well, friend, since you asked…
The key ingredient I wanted to use in this recipe was whole-grain cornmeal. Like other whole-grains, whole-grain cornmeal has the nutritious outer layer of the corn kernel intact before being ground into a meal. In contrast, de-germinated cornmeal is more like a refined white flour where the husk (along with all the vitamins, fiber, and protein) is removed.
Although it’s better for you, it can be a little tricky to work with because it’s more likely to crumble. So, you have to combine it with another flour to help bind everything together.
In the past, I’ve tried whole wheat four, but no matter what recipe I followed or tried to create, it always came out too dry and crumbly. But THIS time, I chose to use almond flour and eureka!!!!
Light, fluffy cornbread that’s not too crumbly, perfect for dipping in chili!
The other change I decided to make was to OMIT buttermilk in favor of using the cream of tartar. It’s just that I don’t often have buttermilk in my house, and I wanted a recipe I could make any time the craving for this yellow wonderbread hits.
I nailed that because as long as you have the whole-grain cornmeal, you will probably have all the rest of the ingredients.
How to Make Healthy Cornbread
Here is a quick rundown of how to make this fabulous healthy cornbread recipe!
Preheat your oven then, combine all your dry ingredients (whole-grain cornmeal, almond flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, baking powder, salt) in a large bowl.
Then add in your wet ingredients and whisk until just smooth. This is a quick bread, so do not overmix, or you will see a ton of tunneling and uneven rising!
You’ll want to be quick about getting the quickbread into the pan and the oven. The combo of baking powder, soda, and cream of tartar will cause it to start to bubble if you wait more than a minute to get it into the oven. This is fine, it’s normal, but the sooner it goes in the oven, the better.
Then, wait 25-35 minutes and BING! Delicious healthy cornbread with no refined flour or sugar!
I often get asked about ingredient swaps in recipes, so here is what you need to know:
Whole-Grain Cornmeal: To make cornbread, you must have cornmeal. What if you only have de-germinated (refined) cornmeal? Yes, this recipe will work, but it won’t be refined flour free. Do not omit or swap entirely, or it won’t be cornbread anymore. (Yes, you’d be surprised, someone will ask that! Insert crying laughing emoji.)
Almond Flour: Almond flour is unique in its macronutrient breakdown (fat/protein/carbs) and therefore is not substitutable with any other flour. I would not recommend substituting or omitting it. Do not substitute almond meal for almond flour. The result will be dry and crumbly if you do. (If this is your first time buying almond flour, click here to see all the other things you can do with it.)
Baking Powder: Do not omit.
Baking Soda: Do not omit.
Cream of Tartar: Optional gives the bread it’s unique “cornbread flavor,” so if you omit it, please understand that you might not have the traditional “cornbread taste.”
Salt: You can choose to omit the salt, but the bread may taste a whole lot sweeter. Salt kind of balances out the sweetness.
Eggs: I have not tried vegan egg substitutes, but if you do, please let us know! I think flax eggs would work just fine!
Butter: You need oil to get the traditional texture of cornbread. I used 100% grass-fed butter, but you could also use coconut oil (will give a coconut taste) or vegan butter (my favorite is Miyokos.)
Honey: Do not omit; this works as both a binder and a sweetener. For vegan, please sub brown rice syrup.
Milk: I have not tried anything other than almond milk, but any dairy or non-diary milk should work. If you chose to omit the cream of tartar, you could try buttermilk here. I haven’t tried it, though!
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Healthy Cornbread Recipe
- Preheat oven to 350F and grease an 8 x 8 baking dish with butter (or butter sub.)
- Combine dry ingredients (whole-grain cornmeal, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt).
- In another bowl, combine melted butter, eggs, milk, and honey, whisk until there is a smooth consistency.
- Add in eggs, honey, milk, and butter into the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined, DO NOT OVERMIX.
- Immediately pour the mixture into a baking dish and place in the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean and edges of cornbread are golden brown.