There’s just nothing more comforting on a chilly, rainy day than curling up with a nice warm bowl of soup and a big ole hunk of fresh, hot out of the oven, Simple Vegan Cornbread.

Just like mama used to make.

basket and plate of my simple vegan cornbread


You see, mama wasn’t vegan, so I know her traditional cornbread used a few unhealthy ingredients, like full-fat buttermilk and lots of oil.

Not to mention the whole thing was usually slathered down with butter too…. 

But NOW we’re watching our health a little more closely, and we don’t use dairy or oil anymore, do we?….

Does that mean giving up cornbread forever?  Not a chance.

We can duplicate that same, good ole southern flavor without using any of those artery-clogging ingredients…..and it tastes just as good if not better.

Yes, mom, there is a way to make down-home, plant-based cornbread without the dairy, without the butter, and without the oil.  And it’s just as moist, and crunchy, and – well – corny – as you used to make.

Simple Vegan Cornbread

tabletop with all the ingredients to make a simple vegan cornbread

First, we’re going to make vegan buttermilk by whisking unsweetened plant milk and apple cider vinegar together.  Set it aside for now and allow it to ‘curdle’ while we mix the dry ingredients.

Thoroughly mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl, and with a large spoon or rubber spatula, slowly stir in the applesauce and maple syrup.  

Now, add the vegan buttermilk and stir just long enough to combine.  Don’t overdo it.

vegan cornbread batter

Now that the batter is done you can pour it into the pan of your choice.  I like to use my cast-iron skillet or this cute little corn stick mold.

You could also use a cake pan or muffin tin.  Line whatever you’re using with parchment paper to prevent sticking, or if using cast iron, make sure it is properly seasoned.

cast-iron mold then makes 6 vegan cornbread sticks filled with batter

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean

Perfect, southern-style vegan cornbread without any oil.

Note: Many people have asked me how can you season a cast-iron skillet without using oil. Short answer: you can’t. You HAVE to use oil when you “season” a cast-iron skillet, notice I didn’t say “cook” with it, but “season”. When properly seasoned, the oil starts a chemical reaction with the iron and becomes this wonderful, non-stick polymer.
Here is a video I found that explains how.

Now I know some people don’t like sweet cornbread as I do….so feel free to adjust the amount of maple syrup to your own individual taste.


This recipe reminds me so much of my mom who sadly passed away in 2009

My mom loved cornbread and would always crumble it up into a big glass of buttermilk and eat it with a spoon, along with her Kentucky Soup Beans of course.

Personally, I think it would be perfect for my 15 Bean Soup or Best Damn Vegan Chili too.

Looking back I can see how her southern influence rubbed off on me as I still use many of her recipes…just tweaked of course for my healthier lifestyle.

Ah, the memories of country living…..miss you mom and thanks.

A big basket of my vegan cornbread


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Simple Vegan Cornbread

  • Author:
    Chuck Underwood

  • Prep Time:
    10 minutes

  • Cook Time:
    30 minutes

  • Total Time:
    40 minutes

  • Yield:
    46 servings 1x

  • Category:

  • Method:

  • Cuisine:


A simple, oil-free, plant-based vegan Cornbread, perfect for dunking into a hot bowl of soup or chili on a cold rainy day.





  1. Whisk the milk and vinegar together and set aside
  2. Sift the dry ingredients together into a large bowl and mix thoroughly
  3. With a large spoon or rubber spatula, slowly stir in the applesauce and maple syrup.
  4. Add the vegan buttermilk mixture we just made and stir just long enough to make a smooth batter
  5. Pour batter into a parchment-lined pan, seasoned iron skillet, or muffin tins.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean

Keywords: vegan cornbread,

This recipe was originally published on February 24, 2015, and recently updated to include all new photos.

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