Pumpkin Cornbread (Gluten free & vegan options!)


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A pumpkin cornbread that is so sweet and so moist it should be called a corn cake. A perfect side dish for BBQ, soups or anything really, this pumpkin cornbread can be free of: gluten, dairy, egg, soy, peanuts and tree nuts as well as vegan. All the substitutions explained below!

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Did anyone else grow up loving the Jiffy cornbread mixes? I did! But, once my son was diagnosed with multiple allergies to wheat/gluten, dairy and egg our days of pre-mixed cornbreads kind of went out the window.

I have an allergy friendly cornbread that is still beloved around our house. It’s great because it requires no flour (other than cornmeal) and can be made in the blender. It’s even been featured on TV! However, it’s more of a savory cornbread and I wanted some variety, with more of a corn cake–with a softer texture and sweeter. I’m really glad I now have both.

So, if you’re wanting a cake like cornbread where you may end up eating the entire pan–then read on! 

Here are the FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS to help you bake this like a pro. If you don’t have any questions, feel free to skip to the recipe card below.

Why put pumpkin in cornbread?

If you’ve ever eaten straight pumpkin puree, you’ll know that it really doesn’t have much in terms of flavor. That’s why most pumpkin recipes have to have a lot of spices added to make it that classic “pumpkin” flavor. Since this is cornbread, and not a spiced cake, the pumpkin here is to impart MOISTURE. It makes it very soft and cake-like. Plus, it adds a pretty hue to the batter.

Is this a gluten free pumpkin cornbread?

It is! We have gluten and wheat allergies at our house, so you’ll notice I call for gluten free flour in the recipe. If you DO NOT need this to be gluten free, simply swap in regular flour.

I prefer to use the Walmart gluten-free flour blend, because it’s closest to my homemade gluten free flour blend. It’s fairly inexpensive (as far as gluten free flour blends go) and it’s nice because it has xanthan gum already in it and is dairy free. I’ve only tested it with this flour, so if you would like to try another 1:1 gluten free baking blend, feel free and leave your comments below of how they work. I’d just stay away from flour mixes that are off from the typical rice & potato blends. Things like coconut flour, cassava flour or nut flours wouldn’t work well here.

What kind of milk substitute do you use for this dairy free cornbread?

Again, if you don’t need this to be dairy free–feel free to use regular milk. If you DO need it to be dairy free, my favorite baking milk substitute is rice milk because it doesn’t leave an after taste like nut milks do. I would assume you can handle rice, if you’re doing this recipe, since it calls for rice flour, but if you have another type of milk substitute in your fridge you’d like to try, I would assume it’d bake up fine, it just may taste a little different. Feel free to leave your comments below if you try another.

What type of dairy free butter do you use in this corn cake?

My go-to butter substitute for baking are the Earth Balance Buttery Sticks (they have soy free ones too). I often use coconut oil in place of butter, but in this instance, you really want that buttery taste. Feel free to try other butter substitutes. I’ve heard there are a lot of good nut butters out there, but we are allergic to all tree nuts. (Also–if you want to see all of my other allergy friendly pantry staples, check out my Amazon store where I’ve gathered them all together for you.)

Is this recipe a vegan corncake?

Yes it is! It is vegan because the pumpkin substitutes for regular eggs (that works out handy!) and I call for dairy free butter. With no dairy, eggs, or animal products this delicious corn cake is safe for vegans too. In fact, all of my baking is vegan because my son is allergic to milk and eggs, so be sure to check out my vegan baking recipes. Just make sure you don’t top it with the traditional honey. Use jam or maple syrup instead–or it’s divine plain!

How do you store this pumpkin cornbread?

Because this pumpkin cornbread is crazy moist, I’ve found that covering it in an air tight container can make it sooo moist that it becomes sticky moist. So, I prefer to just keep a towel over it. Feel free to store it how you feel best.

What pan size should I bake this dairy free cornbread in?

My favorite way to bake this is in an 7×11 (2 quart) pyrex baking dish. I find that makes it the perfect thickness. You’ll notice in my pictures it’s a bit thinner, because I chose to bake it in my 13×9 (3 quart) so that it was a pretty white dish instead of a glass pyrex. If you do it in a thinner pan, you’ll notice it doesn’t need quite as long to bake; try shaving off 10 minutes and checking it frequently from there. You want the edges a light golden and the center done when you take it out of the oven.

What goes well with pumpkin cornbread?

Cornbread is a wonderful side dish that can go with just about anything. Cornbread goes exceptionally well with my:

  • gluten free soups (I have lots of them, check out the whole category!)
  • instant pot pulled BBQ chicken
  • part of your allergy friendly Thanksgiving

What other gluten free pumpkin recipes do you have?

I am a true pumpkin fan who enjoys it ALL year long. Truly, my mother asked for my pumpkin muffins instead of a birthday cake this year. Yes, they’re THAT good. Here are my other favorite gluten free pumpkin recipes:

  • Gluten Free Pumpkin Mousse Pie (a MUST for Thanksgiving)
  • Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffins
  • Gluten Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Pumpkin Quinoa Porridge
  • Pumpkin Scones with Spiced Glaze
  • (If you’re looking for a less sweet cornbread there’s this fan favorite one that uses 0 flour mixes: The Best Top 8 Free Cornbread)

Do you have a video showing how to make this pumpkin cornbread?

Yes I do! I use a TikTok video because I like how short and succinct they are. I hope that by watching this general overview that you’ll feel ready to make this pumpkin cornbread too!

@allergyawesomenessA ##pumpkin ##cornbread recipe that’s ##glutenfree & ##vegan! ##glutenfreevegan ##fallflavors ##sidedishrecipe♬ original sound – Megan Lavin


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Pumpkin Cornbread (Gluten free & vegan options!)

Yield: 15 slicesPrep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 45 minutes Additional Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 55 minutes

A pumpkin cornbread that is so sweet and so moist it should be called a corn cake. A perfect side dish for BBQ, soups or anything really, this pumpkin cornbread can be free of: gluten, dairy, egg, soy, peanuts and tree nuts as well as vegan.


  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 and 1/2 cup gluten free flour (see FAQ above)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 3 Tablespoons butter substitute, melted (see FAQ above)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 and 1/4 cup rice milk (see FAQ above)


    Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 7×11 baking dish.

    In a large mixing bowl, or stand mixer, mix the dry ingredients: cornmeal, gluten free flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

    Melt the butter substitute.

    Add the wet ingredients to the stirred dry ingredients: canola oil, melted butter, pumpkin puree and rice milk.

    Stir until combined.

    Pour the batter into a greased 7×11 (see FAQ for other baking sizes).

    Bake for 45 minutes, or until edges are slightly browned and center is done.

    Allow it to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving.


*If you can have eggs, I also highly recommend my Gluten Free Dairy Free Cornbread (Plus there’s a video!)

If you don’t need this to be gluten free or vegan see my notes in the text above the recipe.

Adapted from

Nutrition Information:

Yield: 15Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 136Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 197mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 1gSugar: 11gProtein: 1g

© Megan LavinCategory: Side Dish


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