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Gluten Free Buttermilk Cornbread Muffins

Gluten Free Buttermilk Corn Muffins uses simple ingredients in a one-bowl recipe full of classic cornbread taste.

gluten free buttermilk cornbread muffin with butter

Over the years, I’ve learned that the best results when making gluten free cornbread (and pancakes, too) come from using buttermilk in the batter. Not only does the immediate reaction between the buttermilk and baking soda give a good lift to the cornbread, but it also provides just the right “twang” you expect of good southern cornbread.

You’ll notice I’ve made this recipe as gluten free cornbread muffins, but you could also make it in the classic cast iron skillet. Rather than coating your cast iron pan with cooking spray, you’ll want to add 2 tablespoons shortening (I prefer Spectrum Organic) or peanut oil to the skillet. Place it in the oven while the oven preheats. Once your oven is done preheating, carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven, and pour in your batter. The hot oil on the bottom of the skillet is helps make the best cornbread crust. Watch the cooking time, but it should roughly be about the same as these muffins. 

How to make buttermilk

This question comes up often because apparently outside the South, buttermilk isn’t as easy to find. The recipe to make 1 cup of buttermilk is to add 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or white vinegar, or 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to a scant 1 cup of milk. Let the mixture sit for at least 5 minutes, and stir before using it in your recipe.

Should cornbread be sweet?

I suspect if you ask most folks my age who grew up with a southern Grandma, the answer is NO. Classic southern cornbread isn’t sweet. Over the years, with the addition of cornbread mixes to the marketplace, sweet cornbread has become quite common. I don’t typically turn down sweet cornbread, but I prefer a more savory cornbread. 

Is cornmeal mix gluten free?

Generally speaking, no. And that’s slightly frustrating because “cornmeal mix” is so much easier to find these days than plain corn meal. While corn is naturally gluten free, the addition of wheat flour to cornmeal makes it no longer gluten free. I’ve modeled the cornmeal to flour ratio in these gluten-free corn muffins after store-bought cornmeal mix. The flour gives a little bit lighter of a texture than using straight corn meal.

Are gluten-free cornbread mixes good?

In my opinion, no. I’ve tried just about everyone in the store. And they were all either too sweet, a poor texture or had an off flavor from the alternative flours. Trust me, this recipe is a better choice for homemade cornbread.

gluten free buttermilk cornbread muffins
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gluten free buttermilk cornbread muffins

Gluten Free Buttermilk Cornbread Muffins


  • Author: Regan Jones, RD
  • Total Time: 30 min
  • Yield: 1 dozen muffins
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

This one-bowl recipe for Gluten Free Buttermilk Corn Muffins uses simple ingredients and is full of classic cornbread taste.


Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup gluten-free flour blend or gluten-free all purpose flour (I used King Arthur Measure-for-Measure*)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp. white sugar**
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • ​6 Tbsp. melted butter or olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat 12 muffin cups of a muffin pan with nonstick spray; set aside. (Alternatively, line with paper liners, if preferred.)
  2. Whisk together cornmeal, flour, baking soda, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add egg, buttermilk, and butter to dry ingredients; stir until combined.
  3. Using an ice cream scoop, portion out a scant scoop into prepared muffin tin.
  4. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown and cooked through, about 20 minutes bake time. Store in an airtight container.

Notes

*Contains xanthan gum. If using one of the flour blends that does not contain xanthan, I recommend adding 1/4 teaspoon to this recipe.

**The amount of sugar here is minimal, as is the tradition in Southern classic cornbread. If you prefer a greater touch of sweetness, double or even triple this amount.

  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 muffin
  • Calories: 150
  • Sugar: 2 g
  • Sodium: 380 mg
  • Fat: 6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 20 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 3 g

Keywords: Gluten Free Buttermilk Cornbread Muffins

Other gluten-free recipes you’ll enjoy:

gluten free focaccia

Gluten Free Focaccia

gluten free cheese crackers

Gluten Free Cheese Crackers (Cheese Straws)

leftover cranberry sauce muffins (gluten free)

Leftover Cranberry Sauce Muffins (gluten free)

easy gluten free bread pudding recipe

Gluten Free Bread Pudding

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