Sweet Potato Cornbread- A Gluten-Free Favorite

sweet potato cornbread - a gluten-free favorite
Scrumptious sweet potato cornbread- and it's gluten-free.

It's all about taste. Good taste and bad taste. You want the good first? This recipe for sweet potato cornbread. It rocks. Seriously. The bad? Yesterday we decided to go to the movies with Joey and Will (those two totally fab rockin' guacamole styling hunks). We chose The Departed, Scorsese's new flick (it's been garnering rave reviews); and met at the theater.

Well, Babycakes, in all gut wrenching honesty (I won’t speak for the three men who apparently liked it more than I did) I could barely sit through it. I felt as if I was being beat up. Run over by a Zamboni. I mean how much misogyny and homophobia and execution-style murders can a tenderhearted sensory sensitive girl like me take? 

Not this much it turns out.

After a soul-numbing Boston gangster movie like this, there’s nothing better to ground you than an autumn flavored bean soup and fresh warm cornbread (well, that, and an ice-cold vodka martini poured by your sweet husband). So the four of us retreated to the cozy Allrich casita and decompressed. Then we ate and talked movie talk until the post-traumatic tension had dissipated and the night regained its charm.

Sweet Potato Cornbread Recipe

I felt inspired to try a cornbread made with sweet potato. Don't ask me why. Because I don't know.  I just did. And it turned out to be the tastiest cornbread yet, with a lovely, tender crumb. And not a speck of gluten in sight. Put this on your To Bake List. You won't be sorry.


3 large organic free-range eggs
1/2 cup extra light olive oil or vegetable oil
3/4 cup sweet potato puree
3/4 cup organic light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon bourbon vanilla extract
1 cup Bob's Red Mill gluten-free stone ground cornmeal
1 cup Pamela's Ultimate Baking Mix - (or your own flour mix with 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and a good pinch of sea salt added)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon GF Pumpkin Pie Spice blend
Sea salt, to taste


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease the bottom of a 8-inch cake pan and dust it with cornmeal. I used a Springform pan.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs until foamy; add the oil; whisk again to combine. Add in the sweet potato puree and mix well. Add the light brown sugar, and bourbon vanilla extract, and mix to combine.

In a separate mixing bowl whisk together the dry ingredients: cornmeal, gluten-free flour mix, baking powder, cinnamon, Pumpkin Pie Spice blend, and sea salt.

Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, add the dry ingredients into the wet; and stir by hand just enough to make a smooth batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.

Bake on a center rack in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes or so, until the cornbread is firm to the touch and golden. Check with a wooden pick, if necessary; if it emerges clean, the cornbread is done. [Remember, Dear Reader, I bake at high altitude, so please use your own tried-and-true guidelines for baking times.]

Cool the cornbread in the pan- on a wire rack- for ten minutes. Remove from the pan and continue to cool.

Serve slightly warm with a dab of your favorite butter or buttery spread.


Wrap and freeze leftover slices. Or grill leftover slices in a little light olive oil. Scrumptious.

Makes 8 servings.



nancy said...

oooh, another autumn-centric recipe! i so love this time of year, and can't wait to fill my kitchen with the warmth and aroma of this baby!

question: did you bake or boil your sweet taters? (or use canned)?


karina said...

Hi Nancy!

I used canned; they were a very smooth puree.


nancy said...

i have to admit, i'm so glad you used canned! because that's what i was going to do, and would have felt like a slacker. :)

SusanV said...

The recipe looks delicious. The movie I could live without. ;-)

Pat said...

I've been hesitant to see that movie despite all those great actors anticipating what you've described. Thanks for saving me the pain (and the nine bucks).

If gluten's not a problem can self-rising flour be substituted for the gluten-free baking mix or should it be something like Bisquick? I've been wondering.

karina said...

Hey Susan~ I wish I'd stayed home, honestly.

Hi Pat~ It just may be the most violent movie I've ever seen - and on multiple levels.

As for the baking mix ;-)...

If gluten is not an issue, I'd use an all purpose self-rising flour in place of Pamela's mix. [Her mix has buttermilk in it; but I don't think wheat flour needs the added buttermilk for my recipes.]

If you experiment, please post.

Take care.

Kathy said...

Hey, Karina - thanks for the movie review! I know exactly what type of movie it is by your description and I, too, have a major problem sitting through all that kind of manly violence! It's torture.

Glad you were able to enjoy the rest of the evening, though. Your cornbread looks delicious!


michelle said...

Thanks for the update on the movie - doesn't sound like its for me. But the cornbread? Definitely my style!

Michelle said...

Do you think that this recipe would work substituting the Yankee cornbread mix with the 2 flours and keeping the rest as is? I have a box of Yankee cornbread that I'd like to use up before purchasing stone ground corn meal (which I plan on doing next time)? Alternatively, would it work to substitute the corn meal with a fine polenta (a friend bought me some Alpina Savoie at Whole Foods)? Or is there a big advantage to stone ground corn meal in this specific recipe? Also, it'd be great to see some recipes with blue cornmeal (I know Arrowhead Mills makes it). Thanks!

Catherine said...

thanks for the movie tip! From the title, I was thinking Sixth Sense, but sounds like this movie ain't for me. Cheers!

Jennifer said...

Hi Karina,

I'd like to add my thanks to you for having the courage to tell the
truth about that movie and its effect on you. I remember vividly going
to see The Gangs of New York and feeling so sickened by the violence.

Your cornbread reminded me of a recipe I modified from a gluten-free
recipe from Australia and haven't made for some time. I know you like
coconut, so I think you'll really like it. (I think I doubled the
recipe when I made it last.)

Sweet Potato Cake


1 c sweet potato, precooked
3/4 c sugar
3/4 c gluten-free flour
1/2 c chopped almonds
1/8 c coconut flakes
1/2 c olive oil
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
2 eggs, separated

• Precook the sweet potato until soft, then drain and peel.
• In a food processor, beat in all the ingredients except for the
egg white.
• Beat the egg white separately until stiff.
• Fold the egg white into the cake mixture.
• Place the mixture into a deep 8” cake pan lined with baking
• Bake in a preheated oven at 350F for 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 hours.
• Cool in pan before turning out and removing parchment

Bon Appetit!


peabody said...

Mmmmm sweet potato and cornbread...excellent.

Suzanne said...

I really like this idea, because otherwise most GF cornbreads seem to be so high on the sugary carbs, and so low on the fiber. Can't wait to try this with the addition of sweet potato. Am also happy to see that Arrowhead Mills is now offering GF stoneground cornmeal -- I quit using them a few years ago, because they were not actually labeled GF and I had a reaction several times.

karina said...

Hi Kathy! It was torture. Exactly. :-0 And thanks!

Michelle~ Excellent.

Hey Michelle~ Well, I cannot say for sure, as I don't know how much flour mix is in the Yankee Cornbread mix; my recipe calls for two cups of flour total [1 cup cornmeal and 1 cup Pamela's Baking Mix]. You could certainly experiment. Or just use up the mix another way. ;-)

Polenta [if it is not instant [many are, so read the package carefully] is stone ground cornmeal, basically. The finer the grain, the softer it will be.

And yes, I want to experiment with blue cornmeal!

Hi Catherine! Not a Sixth Sense kinda movie. Nope. ;-)

Hola, Jennifer! Thanks for the recipe - wow - it sounds delicious.

Peabody~ You betcha.

Suzanne~ Yes, me too. So few mills are willing to label cornmeal "gluten free" [because so many also process wheat]. I'm uber sensitive to gluten and did not react at all to this new GF labeled package of Arrowhead Mills. Yay!


Anonymous said...

I loved this recipe--I made it into sweet potato corn muffins, and it filled 12 muffin cups and needed about 20 min in the oven. Delicious! Thank you for so many wonderful ideas!

Heather Rene said...

I made this recipe the other night with a couple alterations; I used pumpkin instead of sweet potato (although I DO adore sweet potatoes, I just happen to have a can of pumpkin on hand), and because I don't require GF, I used a honey/whole grain baking mix I had in the pantry. It was absolutely perfect! We placed buttered slices in the bottom our bowls and spooned homemade vegetarian chili over the top with sour cream and fresh cilantro. Let me just say that our dinner guests were happy, warm and full by the end of the evening. So delicious!

Karina said...

Hi Heather! Wonderful. Thanks for posting your changes to make this a non-gluten-free recipe. My non-GF readers will appreciate it.

I'm always pleased to hear that the recipes I post can go "both ways". [I start with my old tried-and-true pre-GF recipes and convert them; so this makes sense!].


ByTheBay said...

That looks simply amazing!

The Departed was intense. I thought the acting was great and I really liked the cast. That said, when I left the theater and was standing on the street corner waiting for a bus every time I heard a loud noise I jumped. It was excessively violent and I think I'm less of a fan of violent movies than I used to be.

Karina said...

By The Bay~ This cornbread is the best. And different.

As for movie violence, I don't have the stomach for it since 9/11.

We just watched the latest version of Pride & Prejudice, and I loved it. I thought the fluid camera work and direction were so dynamic and kept the story moving. Really excellent film. Not to mention, absolutely gorgeous [a far cry from The Departed, so brutal and ugly].

Christine said...

Just wondering if you would be able to do this recipe in a bread machine or not?
I'm not much of a baker and am looking for gluten free bread machine recipes. Set and forget type ones lol Thanks a bunch!

Karina said...

Hi Christine- I don't think this bread would be a good candidate for a bread machine.

Quick breads like this are the easiest breads to make- you mix your batter, spoon it into a cake pan and bake. You'll get the hang of it quickly.

Bread machine baking with gluten-free flours can be tricky (depending upon your exact machine and the recipe or mix). My best luck, hands down, for a fab tasting gluten-free bread is Pamela's Amazing Wheat Free Bread Mix.

The trick is to match the mix with the right cycle so that it bakes all the way through. You need a cycle that accommodates a 2 pound loaf.

For tips on bread machine baking- see my post on My First Loaf- linked in my sidebar. Very helpful discussion with readers offering advice.


Cheryl said...

I know that it's totally not the sweet potato season now, but I just made this for a cook out and got rave reviews. what a great idea! as always, thanks for providing delicious, innovative and reliable recipes. yahoo!

Karina said...

Cheryl- Yay- rave reviews = nice. ;) Love 'em. Thanks for stopping back to let me know.


Hänni said...

This looks great! But 3/4 C brown sugar is an awful lot--have you ever tried an agave version?

Karina Allrich said...

Hänni - You could either cut down on the sugar, to your taste, or try agave nectar. I'd start with 1/3 cup perhaps. It will change the density of the batter a bit (sugar imparts structure and agave adds moisture).

Good luck and let me know how it works for you!


Hänni said...

Karina I made the agave version of this recipe and it's delicious. Instead of brown sugar i used 1/3 C agave, and i also cut the oil in half. I added 1/3 C rice milk at the end because the batter looked too thick. Even with the extra milk and liquid sweetener, the cornbread was still very crumbly--i prefer a more moist bread, so this agave version was perfect; the bread would've been too crumbly for my taste using the original recipe.

Great flavor for the fall. Thanks!

Karina Allrich said...

Hänni- Glad you liked it- but I would like to clarify that my original recipe is not crumbly.

The olive oil and brown sugar work together to give it a boost of moisture, along with the sweet potato. My version (as you can see in the photograph) is moist and holds together well.

Brown sugar gives gluten-free baked goods structure and flavor. Agave adds moisture, but it also sounds as if your version may have needed more fat (rice milk is akin to water, basically).

When you remove gluten, sugar and fat from a recipe, it's definitely going to remove much of the structure and pleasing texture.


sailingGF said...

Made this on Saturday with the weather taking a serious downturn. Made it into muffins and I loved them. Very good! I'd love to try the agave version next.
I also agree with your movie review. I tried to watch it on DVD and didn't make it through.
Thanks for the recipe, which is a real keeper!!

Karina Allrich said...

Sailing GF- Yum- this would be fab as muffins. Thanks for sharing. And I do think it will work with agave- just adjust the liquid; cut back by 2-3 tablespoons. Let me know how it goes.


Yael said...

Given my wheat allergies and lactose intolerance, I was delighted to find your recipe online yesterday to go along with a chili dinner. I zapped the sweet potatoes, and used a combo of Deby's rice flours (from Denver). It was unbelievable - everyone raved. Said the sweet potato made it taste like honey! Delicious! Thanks and kudos!

Shawna said...

Hi Karina!

You are my new hero. I have known for a while that I am sensitive to gluten and even moreso to dairy, but I just found out that I am super sensitive to eggs. Boo. And yeast. And sugar cane. I'm inspired by how well you manage (rather, thrive) despite your allergies and am ready to do the same.

So. Can this recipe be successfully made without eggs? I've been promising my husband I would make this, but then I found out about the egg allergy.

Thanks, Karina!

Karina Allrich said...

Yael- Yay- I'm glad this cornbread was a hit. Thanks for stopping back to let me know!

Shawna- I'm sorry to hear about your allergies- but happy you found us. Yes, you can make this without eggs; it doesn't rise quite as high- but it is still quite tasty. Use Ener-G Egg Replacer if you can; it works in most of my recipes; I've been egg-free since June 2007.

I'm experimenting now with adding a tablespoon of either honey or agave to these recipes without eggs to help with binding.

Good luck!


libranmoonlover said...

I generally use 1/4 c pureed tofu with 1/2tsp baking powder to substitute for 1 egg. I've found tons of other substitutes all over the internet. This is my go-to list. Enjoy!

For Baking: (1 egg)

* 2 tbsp liquid & 2 tbsp flour & 1/2 tbsp shortening & 1/2 tsp baking powder
* add 1 tsp canola oil to improve texture
* 2 tbsp water & 1 tbsp oil & 2 tsp baking powder
* 2tbsp flaxmeal & 1/8 tsp baking powder & 3 tbsp water
* 1 tbsp ground flaxmeal simmered in 3 tbsp water
* 1 tbsp cornstarch & 3 tbsp water
* 1/2 ripe mashed banana & 1/4 tsp baking powder (for desserts & sweet baked goods ... Will add some flavor so make sure it's compatible)
* 1/4 c applesauce (for desserts & sweet baked goods ... Will add some flavor so make sure it's compatible)
* 1/4 c pureed silken tofu (great for "eggy" dishes like quiches or custards...will not fluff up like eggs though)

To Bind ingredients: (1 egg)

* Ener-G Replacer
* 2-3 tbsp potato starch, arrowroot powder, whole wheat flour, mashed sweet potatoes, instant potato flakes, or 1/4 c tofu pureed w/ 1 tbsp flour
* 1/4 c mashed potatoes
* 1/4 c canned pumpkin or squash
* 1/4 c pureed prunes
* 1 tbsp Agar powder dissolved in 1 tbsp water whipped, chilled & whipped again


* if a recipe calls for 3 or more eggs it is important to choose a replacer that will perform the same function (i.e. binding or leavening)
* if u wqnt a lighter texture & using fruit purees, add 1/2 tsp baking powder. Fruit tends to mke final product more dense than the original recipe
* recipes w/ more than 3 eggs are hard to replicate. Try a recipe w/ a similar taste, but fewer eggs

Warm_Veganette said...

I made a vegan version of this tonight and it is YUMMY! For the eggs I used flax and warm water (3 TBS freshly ground flax seeds and 8 TBS warm water. Mix and let it sit for about 5 mins; stir again). I did whisk them like you said to do for eggs.
For the flour I used 3/4 C brown rice flour and 1/4 C soy flour (what I had on hand) and the baking powder and soda.
I baked it in a bread pan and it rose up nicely! Next time I will wait a few more mins before cutting into it as it fell apart just a little. ;)
My boys (7 and 4)LOVED it! They had it with peaches, applesauce and a handful of raw cashews. I had it with a bowl of aduki beans with 1/2 and avocado chunked in it. SO GOOD!

Sorry for the novel and thank you so much!

Patti said...

Hi Karina, I make these with canned pumpkin and bake into mini muffins for 10 min. The kids LOVE these. (They'll eat anything made into mini muffins) For me these uses half a can of canned pumpkin. What can I do with the other half of the can? Will canned pumpkin freeze? -Patti

Jessica said...

This cornbread was fantastic! I used baked mashed sweet potatoes (I had a bag of them on hand) a little less than 1/2c agave in place of the brown sugar, and it was amazing! Nice and moist with just the right amount of sweetness. I think this might be my new favorite cornbread recipe--thanks!!

Karina Allrich said...

Patti- Sorry I missed your question about freezing leftover canned pumpkin. I suppose you could freeze it- but the taste and consistency would most likely suffer. You could always use it in an autumn flavored soup, or one of my other recipes calling for pumpkin- like my chocolate cakes.


Rachel said...

Hi Karina!

I just made this recipe today, a little out of season, but I stumbled across a can of pumpkin in the pantry, so I figured I'd give it a try. Delicious! As always, your recipes are fantastic. Thanks!

cherryflute said...

This was very good- my family enjoyed it. I couldn't find the Pamela's, so I used Arrowhead Mills GF Baking mix and it worked very well. Trader Joe's also has sweet potato puree in a can, so that works well, too!

brooklyn_177 said...

Awesome recipe. Love love love these. I made them into muffins today and they are great! If you feed them to your family & friends don't even tell them they are gf...they'll never know!

Debra said...

I am new to GF and was pretty upset at the idea when my Dr. informed me of the foods I had to avoid. I am a foodie through and through.Finding your site has made things a lot more manageable! Thank you for all the wonderful ideas and recipes. I made this sweet potato cornbread tonight and everyone loved it! Not just me who HAS to eat this way :) I had to tell my husband to save me some for tomorrow! That's a great sign. I will be trying many more of your recipes. ~Deb

Guest said...

If I wanted to use this recipe but make it without eggs what would work best, if anything? My son has multiple food allergies so it is always a challenge to modify recipes that have already been modified from the "norm". Thanks for any help.

Karina said...

I have not made this recipe without eggs; I plan to, soon. That said, I've had pretty decent luck making egg-free corn breads. Check my corn bread recipes for more info.

Recent blog:=- Italian Pasta Frittata with Goat Cheese, Portobellos, Olives + Sun-dried Tomatoes

Karina said...

Thanks for the feedback about making this batter as muffins. Excellent! xox

Recent blog:=- Italian Pasta Frittata with Goat Cheese, Portobellos, Olives + Sun-dried Tomatoes

Karina Allrich said...

Thanks for the feedback about making this batter as muffins. Excellent! And good to know that other gluten-free baking mixes work. xox

Jenna said...

I know you posted this a long while ago - but I made this with dinner tonight and had to let you know how wonderful it was! (Gone already, sadly. I've been rather ill for over a month, so this was the first real cooking I've done, and the first real food either I or my husband have had! We demolished it rather like ravenous wolves. I think another one is in the plans for tomorrow)

Just wonderful, top to bottom. I used the arrowhead mills mix (while I love Pamela's cookies, as long as her mix is made with almonds - I'm out) and it worked just fine.

As it is, I'm going to try this in the morning using some red popcorn meal instead of the yellow cornmeal - perhaps give myself a rosy snack to munch on with my tea. Thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

Hi Karina,
Thank you for having incredibly edible recipes! I am GF, but my daughter and partner are not. Many times I have fed them one of your versions of their favorites (usually with a twist or two) like the sweet potatoe cornbread. I have yet to hear anything but praises and wonder.
Thanks for putting on the best out here!
Many Blessings,

peggysue said...

This was a wonderful cornbread, everyone in the family enjoyed it. I like adding sweet potatoes to recipes, helps bulk up the veggie content. I did substitute buttermilk for the oil simply because I like buttermilk in cornbread and figured it wouldn't affect the texture and it came out just fine.

Dana said...

Hi Karina,
Thank you so much for your wonderful recipes. Now that I am a stay at home mom with our little scoop of heaven I've been cooking up a storm, and I always go to your blog first. Everything is so delicious :) We love your sweet potato cornbread and I was thinking about making it for Passover (for my husband's family), but I am not sure if would it would be kosher for the holiday. What do you think???
Thanks a bunch!

Many blessings to you and yours,

Beccy said...

Yum! Just made it to go with a sweet potato soup.

I used polenta .. I couldn't find corn meal.


Lizzy said...

Wow, Thanks! So good!!! I made this vegan with Ener-G egg replacer, and it worked great. Thanks!

Grace said...

What do you think about using butternut squash in place of sweet potatoes? Would the recipe lose some of its starchy bind?

Karina Allrich said...

Grace, I'd only use it cooked down and thickened as in canned squash puree. You don't want it thin or watery. It will lose a bit of that starch-binding quality, yes; but if you are using eggs, it should be fine. If it's a bit thinner (than canned pumpkin thickness), I'd use a little less, perhaps. Karina

Jocelyn said...

I know this is an older post, but I was wondering what you thought about subbing egg beaters for the eggs and applesauce for half the oil to take down the fat content of it? I know someone tried to sub rice milk which did not do enough to return moisture or carry flavor, but with the canned sweet potto and applesauce I was hoping it could keep it moist enough.

Karina Allrich said...

Jocelyn, beaten egg whites (aka Egg Beater style products) will work. That gets rid of the cholesterol. A half cup of olive oil could be trimmed to maybe 1/3 cup- but I wouldn't add applesauce. It might really change the texture to gummy. As I've mentioned before- changes like this can be unpredictable. It's a great recipe as is. Karina

Rachel said...

Hi Gluten-Free Goddess. You are amazing. I am a newly diagnosed celiac and discovered your website. I made this delicious cornbread tonight and it was a huge hit with my husband and father as well as myself. I ended up using Bob's Red Mill cornbread mix as I didn't have the other flours, and it turned out fantastic. You are saving my life. Thankyou Rachelxoxo

Mercedes said...

I have some baking in the oven now! It smells so good, and i cant wait to eat it.

Tasty Eats At Home said...

Karina, this speaks to my heart. I love all things sweet potato (okay, well minus that canned syrupy marshmallow-topped version) and this is really delicious. Thanks for linking to gf holiday!

Saretta said...

Hi Karina, I know this might be an odd question, but I live in an area of southern Italy where sweet potatos are hard to come by. Is there anything that could substitute for them?

Thanks as always for your wonderful site! I use it almost daily!

Oasismom said...

I baked this recipe is a sided cookie pan, then cubed and dried it out over night and made the most delicious savory cornbread stuffing for Thanksgiving! Thank you for this recipe.

Anonymous said...

I have a friend who is gluten-free, so I'm always watching for new recipes so I don't poison her when she comes over for dinner. She said this was the best food she's had in five years!!

I had a hard time finding sweet potato puree, so I used three small jars (1/4 cup each) of Earth's Best sweet potato baby food. It worked beautifully.

Thank you very much for a wonderful recipe. (We decided this is such a yummy, almost dessert-y bread, that we may add chopped pecans next time!)


Sandy S. said...

This is absolutely amazing!!!!!

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