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Gluten-Free Cornbread with Green Chiles + Cinnamon

Tender gluten-free cornbread, Santa Fe style
Tender moist gluten-free cornbread you can bake in a skillet or a cake pan.

One of the first recipe conversions I attempted in my brand spanking new gluten-free life (begun six short years ago, December 19th, 2001) was my tired-and-true favorite cornbread recipe. Lucky for me, it converted to gluten-free rather easily. As a tender, fragile newbie to life sans gluten it gave me hope. The will to live. After all, when your beloved world of cooking, baking- and eating- is flipped upside down, a modest success in the kitchen can perk up your day. Maybe even, your week.

So when I recently discovered I needed to give up dairy and eggs as well, I flipped through recipes once again and decided to reprise my skillet cornbread- this time as an egg-free vegan version. And wouldn't you know it?

It worked.

Skillet Cornbread Recipe with Green Chiles and Cinnamon

This cornbread is moist and tender. You can top it with ground cinnamon before you bake it (shown in the first photo) or leave the top plain (though if you haven't tried the flavor combo of green chiles and cinnamon- give it a whirl!).

We love leftover wedges grilled in a little olive oil. If you like your cornbread really spicy try using chopped jalapeños instead of the mild roasted green chiles. See other substitution ideas- including subs for a sweet vanilla cornbread in Notes below.

Dry ingredients:

1 cup stone ground gluten-free cornmeal
3/4 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch or potato starch (not potato flour!)
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon chili powder or cinnamon- or my fave: both
1/2 cup organic light brown sugar

Wet Ingredients:

1 tablespoon Ener-G Egg Replacer whisked with 1/4 cup warm water* 
1/2 cup plus two tablespoons light olive oil, or grapeseed oil
1 cup very warm water or rice milk
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
2 extra tablespoons water, if needed- the batter should be like cake batter, and not too thick


1/2 cup chopped roasted green chiles- mild or spicy, as you prefer
A sprinkle of chili powder and cinnamon, for topping


Preheat your oven to 375ºF.

Lightly oil a 10-inch iron skillet.

Combine the dry ingredients (cornmeal through brown sugar) in a bowl and whisk.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the Egg Replacer with the olive oil and beat for one minute.

Add in the dry ingredients and beat by hand just until a smooth batter is formed, about one minute. Add in the chopped roasted green chiles. (If your batter seems a little dry, add a tablespoon more liquid at a time until you achieve a smooth consistency.)

Heat the prepared skillet over medium-high heat.

Pour the batter into the heated skillet and sprinkle a little chili powder and/or cinnamon over the top of the batter.

Bake the cornbread in the center of a pre-heated oven for 25 to 35 minutes (depending upon your altitude), until firm to the touch in the center, and slightly golden around the edges.

A wooden pick inserted into the center should emerge dry.

Place the skillet on a wire rack and allow the cornbread to rest 15 minutes before cutting. This helps keep the slices from crumbling apart.

Serve warm.

Grill leftover slices in a little olive oil for a savory winter treat.

Yields 8 to 10 slices.

Karina's Notes:

  • Not vegan? Use two organic free-range eggs instead of the egg replacer, and change out the water/rice milk for buttermilk.
  • I started out making this cornbread with rice milk, but now I use warm water for the liquid. It seems to rise better, and develops a lighter texture.
  • If you have a plain rice or soy yogurt you like, whisk it to liquify and use it in place of the water/rice milk as a richer alternative.
  • Note- for egg replacer you need a replacer that binds and leavens for best results.
  • I have also baked this cornbread using a deep 9-inch Chicago Metallic cake pan. Watch baking time.

Recipe Source:

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  1. Katrina, this looks fabulous. I'm gluten and dairy free, and I can make it. I felt understood when I read about your whole world turning upside down. I wrote about this on my blog in a couple of posts. I made cupcakes, pies and fudge this week. It was so fun to be able to partake in the festivities.

  2. I love skillet cornbread...well at least I did before I became gluten free and had to get rid of my iron skillet. You've given me the inspiration to buy another one. Thanks Karina!

    Happy Holidays to you and your family!

    Sheltie Girl @ Gluten A Go Go

  3. Heidi12:21

    Dear Karina,

    As one who eschews wheat gluten (because it makes me look and feel like the Hindenburg), I was thrilled to chance upon your blog. Not only do you offer fun, interesting and doable recipes, but your writing is witty, fun, and oh so readable. I regularly scour the web for gf sites, but often hit the escape key before even glancing at the recipe index, simply because the accompanying writing is so poor. Yours, in marked contrast, is a pleasure to read.

    Thanks so much!



  4. Happy holidays! Coincidentally, I made some pre-Xmas cornbread, too--we needed something solid and not sweet after too many tast-tested cookies. It was the perfect antidote to too much sweet.

  5. Can't wait to try this out tonight with some no-bean chili featuring lovely, melted Rice Vegan soy- and casein-free cheese on top.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. Hi Dee- Thanks- and double thanks for understanding how tough it can be! (hugs)

    Hey Sheltie Girl- Oh- do try it! I love how it makes the bottom and edges deliciously crispy. Happy New Year to you, too!

    Dear Heidi- I appreciate your comment so much! More than you know.

    Hello Lucette! I didn't indulge at all this year, truth be told- but I still appreciated the earthiness of this skillet bread. It just hit the spot.

    Amber- This cornbread would rock with chili! Yes.

    Have a safe, healthy New Year, Everyone!



  7. Thank you for this recipe Karina, we had it last night with chili poured right over the top of a generous wedge. Delish! Oh comfort food, I do love thee!

    Happy New Year Karina and all.


  8. Hey Julie!

    Oh my- does that sound fabulous. I love cornbread and chili. Thanks for stopping by- and happy new year to you, too! :)


  9. lara12:06

    yum! this looks great.

  10. Caitlin16:33

    Hi, Karina!
    I made this and your roasted tomato soup... Fantastic together!

    I'd like to give this recipe to one of my gluten tolerant (therefore lacking all of our funky flours) and was wondering how much flour he'd use? If you know. lol.

    Keep up the great blogging!!

  11. Caitlin, You're in luck- I do know. ;) I based this recipe on my own pre-GF Cinnamon Cornbread recipe.

    Tell your friend to use 3/4 cup unbleached flour instead of the rice and tapioca- and omit the xanthan gum (it's not needed).

    If he can use real eggs- do that. And for the liquid, use buttermilk (or plain milk with a teaspoon of lemon juice to sour it a bit).



  12. Hi Karina,
    I found your recipe while googling GF cornbread recipes.
    I bought some of Pamela's Ultimate baking mix and wondered if I would still need to use xanthum gum, or can I omit it when using this product?
    I now have 5 friends that have celiac's and figured I might as well explore this arena of baking~ I love to bake for friends~
    Thank you,

  13. Hi Ursula- What a good friend you are!

    Yes, you can eliminate the xanthan gum. I might also cut the baking powder- use a half teaspoon less. Other than that- the recipe should work fine.

    Use 1 1/4 cups Pamela's Baking Mix to sub the white rice flour and tapioca.



  14. Hi! Posting a little late, but I *love* this corn bread, gluten free or otherwise, ever! Thanks to the links back to my blog, I post this recipe on my gluten free weekly menu every time I make corn bread. Love it!

  15. Rissaroo- I'm glad you like this recipe. It's hard to believe it's gluten-free, isn't it? Don't ya love that? Yay.


  16. Caroline15:23

    Hi Karina, I made this recipe with jalapenos and it was marvelous. I'd like to make it for Thanksgiving but will need to make 2 or 3 batches -- have you tried making it in muffin tins? And did it work well? (I don't have three cast iron skillets, lol!)

  17. Caroline- Yum- I bet the jalapenos were fantastic in this cornbread. Love 'em.

    You can make this recipe into muffins- absolutely. It makes a dozen. Bake for about 18 to 22 minutes- or whatever works for you in your oven- for muffins.


  18. Caroline23:38

    Karina, thanks so much for the muffin tip. I made 36!! What a wonderful thanksgiving we had with those muffins and your vegan pumpkin pie, amongst other dishes. My son is dairy, peanut, egg and fish allergic and I avoid gluten, so finding your blog has helped us eat so much better. Even better than before our dietary restrictions, because now I am really learning how to cook. THANK YOU. I hope your thanksgiving was lovely.

  19. You asked if anyone might know why using water instead of rice milk would make your corn bread rise better. With the rice milk you are raising the percentage of solids in the corn bread in relation to the gum matrix that allows the bread to rise. This makes the final product heavier. The same would happen if you were using gluten in the corn bread instead of xanthan gum.
    As a former baker, it was a shock to find myself gluten intolerant and only be able to have friends and relatives enjoy the fruits of my labors. Your web site has been a huge help for me and this recipe looks fantastic.

  20. Anonymous21:29

    Wow, this sounds great and I have been wanting to make it but do you really need over a half a cup of oil for this? Seems like alot! Any suggestions on cutting that down?
    Thanks, Jill

  21. Caroline- Yay! Thanks for letting me know- I appreciate it. Happy New Year.

    Stewart- Interesting. Thank you.

    Jill- This is a large cornbread- without eggs or butter, remember. It's delicious, moist and flavorful. If you can't live with the olive oil per serving, you can attempt to make it with less olive oil- but. I do not guarantee it will be as delicious.


  22. Tracy20:59

    Thanks for this recipe! The anticipation killed me as it was baking last night... the smell... and it looked so pretty sitting in the oven as it turned golden brown... then when we tasted it... DELICIOUS!!! we've enjoyed many pieces with honey butter since dinner last night.
    Thanks again. All the best. :)

  23. Tracy- I know- the aroma of it baking can make you crazy. :) Glad you enjoyed it. And with honey butter? Wow.


  24. Dear karina -

    I just made this cornbread and it is delish. My celiac husband will be so happy. :)

  25. Hi Karina,

    What brand of cornmeal did you use? Bob's Red Mill has a medium and coarse stone-ground versions (though I can't tell if they're gf).

  26. ~M - Right now I'm using Arrowhead Mills brand because I feel it's the safest. But Bob's Red Mill is now producing cornmeal and polenta that is certified gluten-free... I just haven't found it yet. It may be available on-line. (If the Bob's package does not have the GF symbol on it, it is not produced in the new GF facility.)

  27. I made this cornbread sweet vanilla style with honey instead of brown sugar and baked it in a smaller rectangular glass pan. I've never had a better-tasting gluten-free cornbread. I can't wait to try it green chile style.

  28. Hi again, Karina,

    I see that you have non-vegan instructions to add 2 eggs and buttermilk. My question is what to do if I can have eggs but no dairy? Do I just replace the egg replacer + warm water with the 2 eggs, or should I decrease some of the oil (since eggs contain fat)? Thanks!

  29. Hi ~M, I have not made this particular cornbread with eggs, but here's what I'd do. I'd use two aggs, beaten. Keep everything the same (use warm water). The fat is fine (but if you want to, you could use a tablespoon less oil).

    Karina xox

  30. I was going to make the wholefoods cornbread recipe, but I wised up and realized Karina was the woman to consult on all things Southwestern. Delish! I just went back for thirds ;)

    I had some soy yogurt to use up, so I added that to the water to make 1 1/4 c, then cut back the oil to 1/2c. I also used a wee bit of Smart Balance for some of the oil. But mostly, I stuck to the recipe for once in my life, with excellent results.

    As a note, the Bob's Red Mill GF cornmeal is yummy, but some of the grit is really course. It's not unpleasantly gritty, but it might not please everyone (we liked it). It could just be because I used a convection oven which cut the cooking time down to about 19-20 minutes, so it didn't have much time to soften. You could also just remove the largest bits by sifting, but I just threw them back in, so I guess it's my own fault ;)

  31. Jackie Gabb12:36

    I had my first gluten free baking experience with this recipe. Thanks you, Jackie

  32. Thanks for helping me make my first gluten-free Thanksgiving. Just went gluten-free right before Thanksgiving and your site made it possible. Your cornbread recipe (sans chiles or cinnamon) allowed me to still make my grandmothers cornbread stuffing and your almond crust allowed for a gluten-free pumpkin pie.

  33. Thank you so much! This is delicious. My sister made cornbread stuffing for Thanksgiving and she found this recipe so I would be able to eat it too. Isn't that sweet?

    I'm very excited about the fluffy (FLUFFY!!!) cornbread and can't wait to try more of your recipes.

  34. Super good! It's so light and fluffy. My husband said it's the best cornbread he's ever had. Then I told him it was GF:)

  35. Hi Katrina - hunting around for gf/cf cornbread recipes, I started first with your site (as always!). (I'm gf, my son is dairy free - what fun). This sounds yummy, but I'm jonesing for a cornbread with corn kernels in it, and wondering how to adapt this recipe - whether to just add the kernels or whether I need to change something. Thanks so much.


  36. Anne, I don't see why you couldn't add corn to this recipe. You could substitute the green chiles with a half cup of corn. Actually, you could add a little more, too- if you like a lot of corn; add 3/4 cup. Just make sure it is drained corn- no liquid.


  37. Karina,

    Thank you. I made this on Monday to go with bean-veggie soup. I omitted the cinnamon and used a finely diced jalapeno but otherwise followed the recipe (well, with eggs since I'm not allergic). Baked it in my cast iron skillet. Cut a sliver, took a bite, then beckoned my husband over to try it. I told him that I was pretty sure I preferred this cornbread to the stuff I made when I still ate gluten. He took a bite, paused, and said "Honey, this is GOOD cornbread." It's Wednesday now and it's still moist and delicious. Seriously, all of your recipes so far have been winners and a few of my gluten-eating friends are now fans of yours on Facebook.

  38. Thanks, GFGrad- I love stories like this! You made my day. xox Karina

  39. Karina,
    You are the best!
    I made this and of-course I loved it, but my kids did too!
    I made it with corn insted of chiles, my daughter doesn't eat anything with the slightest hint of pepper. I did put chile powder in it though thinking she wouldn't be able to detect it...and it worked :-)
    Thanks for everything!

  40. This is seriously the best cornbread I've ever made...gluten free or not. I find that to be true of so many of your recipes which make gluten free into a chance to expand and improve our cooking. Thanks for all that you do.

  41. Karina, I am recently gluten free and finding the transition much easier because of your amazing site and amazing recipes. I will be baking up a storm this weekend. Thanks so much. Mallory

  42. What you suggest for the gluten free, vegan and SUGAR free folks? Due to an ongoing condition, sugars (even trop fruit) are not allowed. Stevia?
    Thanks and let me know.

  43. I have a post about baking sugar-free :: Hope that helps! Cheers, Karina

  44. Hi, this sounds really good. BUT where I live do not find sorghum flour. Any idea what can I use instead?
    Thank you.

  45. Anna, Sorghum flour is also known as jowar flour. Does that ring any bells? If not, you could sub your favorite gluten-free flour blend for the 3/4 cup sorghum flour. In a pinch, you could use a mix of brown and white rice flour- but I'm not a fan of rice flour; the texture/taste is not as tender/sweet.


  46. Thank you for your reply. Maybe I wasn't clear enough, I do know what that flour is made of, we just don't have it. :-(
    But I did manage to get sweet rice flour, would that be better to use than plain white rice flour, do you think?

  47. Anna, I was hoping you might have jowar flour in your area, and mentioning it just in case you didn't know that jowar is the same as sorghum.

    Sweet rice flour is very moist and sticky so it can only be used sparingly in a blend with other gluten-free flours. You could try blending it with your rice flour, no more than 20% of the total amount. If it was me- I'd use no more than a tablespoon or two.

    Sweet rice flour is good for thickening soups and gravy/sauces.


  48. I shall tell Dad to plant more sorghum next year! That is what we make our own broom of. Sounds exciting to make flour out of it too...
    We grow our wheat too, but that is no good to me now. :(
    I shall try your suggestion then with the amounts. Thanks a lot for your help!

  49. Anonymous04:39

    Thanks for the great cornbread recipe. My daughter who is allergic to more things than i can count thinks you're great and the whole family (some of whom are avid wheat munchers) loved this with sunday breakfast. I used 1/2 and 1/2 course polenta and fine cornflour and super fine brown rice flour for the flours, EV sunflour oil and 2 whole eggs and still with the adaptation this turns out great. P.S if you sub for english cup and spoon measurements you fill a 10inch round cake tin.
    Thanks again

  50. Thanks for this recipe. I am Gluten Free and so are 2 of my kids, 3 of my kids are dairy free (but they are able to tolerate a bit of has been a long process to get them to that point) so I followed your recipe but for part of the oil, I used butter and melted it in the skillet on the stove before pouring in the batter and popping it in the oven. I used eggs since we can have them and it was awesome!! My husband said it was better than the Gluten Cornbread and my kids all had 3 servings!! I made a batch and a half cooked most of it in my skillet but did the rest in a "corn" stick cast iron pan that is for cornbread, the kids thought the sticks were so fun and actually they held together better because more of the surface gets crunchy than in the skillet. Either way it was a real winner and I havne't had cornbread in over 2 years so it was a great treat to be able to make it and have it be so good. I did it plain without the cinnamon or chilies. Thanks so much for a great recipe.

  51. I made this cornbread to accompany your squash chili recipe (which was absolutely delicious and I am eating while I write this). I really enjoy your website, blog, and especially the beautiful photos. I'm always more attracted to a recipe when I can see what it should look like!

  52. I forgot to mention that normally I can't resist cutting down on the oil in a recipe, but this time I put it all in, and followed the recipe exactly (I NEVER do this). It turned out beautifully, and did not taste oily at all. The dots of green from the chili look very pretty!

  53. Thank you for this recipe! My husband, myself and our 5 kids loved it!! We are all on a gluten, egg, dairy, soy and almond free diet right now and the simplicity of the recipe and the ease in which I can prepare it makes a it a hit in my book. It's versatility is exciting and I'm looking forward to experimenting with flavors. The texture, a big deal for me, was spot on fantastic. It'll be a staple in our house for sure. Thanks again!!

  54. I've made this recipe as called for in a 9-inch cake pan and I just made them as "vanilla corn muffins" and they are absolutely perfect!! Thank you so much for your always amazing recipes!

  55. I made this tonight to accompany a nice big pot of chili. I did bake it in a skillet, and it turned out nice and crispy. Instead of green chilis, I used a teaspoon of hot chili flakes, and the kernels of one fresh cob of corn. I don't like my cornbread too sweet, so left out the brown sugar. I was so easy to make and delicious.

  56. Is there any way to replace the brown sugar with agave nectar? I gluten/dairy/sugar-free (when I can).

    And would it be 1/3 a cup (since Agave Nectar is sweeter)?


  57. Thanks for your recipes, I am super appreciative. This one I did with regular Cornmeal and it turned out grainy but with wonderful texture and flavor. Next time I will try it with Blue Corn Meal. I'll let you know how it goes:)

  58. Since Dr. Esselstyn says No Oil!, I've substituted soy milk for the oil with good results. I plan to see if another milk works in place of the soy milk. Thanks for posting this recipe! It's the only cornbread recipe I need.

  59. Hi - Can you clarify the exact wet ingredients if I am making with eggs and buttermilk per your tips? Do I just substitute the 1 tablespoon Ener-G Egg Replacer whisked with 1/4 cup warm water* for 2 eggs, keep the oil the same and substitute the 1 cup very warm water with 1 cup buttermilk? This will be my first gluten free recipe.

  60. Yes- skip the Ener-G Egg Replacer instruction. Use two beaten eggs. Use 1 cup buttermilk instead of warm water. Oil is the same. Good luck!

  61. Thanks Everyone for all your thoughtful comments. xox Karina