Easy Gluten Free Cornbread- A Bette Hagman Recipe

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This naturally gluten free cornbread pairs wonderfully with soup or our favorite chili. Serve it with your next family meal! If you’ve been missing Jiffy mix, you can make this cornbread from scratch just as fast.

bob's red mill gluten free polenta new packaging

Polenta, Corn Meal and Corn Flour

To make this gluten free cornbread, I use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Corn Grits, aka Polenta. We eat polenta porridge for breakfast, so I simply use this instead of buying additional cornmeal. Please be aware that Bob’s Red Mills sells two difference bags of “polenta / corn grits,” and one is gluten free and one is not.

So how are these three “types” of corn meal different. As Epicurious explains their post about the difference between polenta and cornmeal, polenta is more coursely ground than cornmeal. In addition, true cornmeal for polenta is made from flint corn instead of dent corn. It is traditionally milled differently as well.

Technically, this recipe calls for corn flour. However, I use corn masa flour. The difference? Corn masa flour, per Brass Brasserie, is cooked in a lime solution, and then ground. I use Maseca corn masa flour for making tortillas. Corn flour is not cooked, but simply ground.  (Also, Corn Flour in the UK is what we would call “corn starch” here in the United States.) For more on the differences between corn meal, flour and grits, see this post from Epicurious.

gluten free cornbread in skillet

Bette Hagman – My First Gluten Free Cookbook

I’ve been making this easy gluten-free cornbread recipe by Bette Hagman for over a decade. Her cookbooks are an amazing gluten-free resource for those who are newly diagnosed. Through her I learned to make banana bread and spice cake. Her cookbook, pictured above, still has Post It tabs from all my favorite recipes.

This gluten free cornbread uses no special “gluten-free flour.” Just cornmeal & corn flour, some fat, moisture and a bit of leavening. And just a touch of sugar. My husband loves its deep, rich corn flavor. Bette’s original recipe calls for buttermilk. However, I never have that on hand, and simply use milk mixed with vinegar.

gluten free cornbread in waffle iron

Cook Your Gluten Free Cornbread in the Waffle Maker!

You can make this easy gluten-free cornbread in any vessel you choose. I’ve made it in regular muffin tins, mini muffin tins, and a cast iron skillet. If you choose to use a skillet, make sure to oil and preheat the skillet in the oven. Doing so not only prevents it from sticking, but gives the most beautiful golden brown color on the bottom.

However, my favorite way to prepare cornbread is in my waffle maker. It sections the cornbread into individual servings. In addition, if you’re preparing a large meal, it’s one less thing in your oven. Cooking the gluten free cornbread in the waffle maker only takes 4 minutes per waffle. Fast and delicious!

gluten free cornbread interior

Other Uses for Gluten Free Cornbread

I use this recipe as the base for my gluten free cornbread stuffing. However, my husband’s favorite use for this batter is my gluten free corn dog waffles. It also pairs nicely with my Cozy Comfort Chili. Cut the recipe in half and use it to top this Mexican Beef & Cornbread Bake from Five Heart Home! Or turn it into breadcrumbs to coat chicken!

Want cornbread, but have additional dietary restrictions? Introduce those on a corn / grain free diet to this Paleo Cornbread from Gluten Free Palate. Avoiding eggs and dairy? Try this Top 8 Free Cornbread from Allergy Awesomeness. She uses applesauce as a replacement for eggs, just like my basic gluten free donut recipe.

Easy Gluten-Free Cornbread Recipe (from Bette Hagman’s The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cookbook)

gluten free cornbread in skillet

Easy Gluten Free Cornbread

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Recipes


  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup corn flour can use gluten free all purpose flour, also
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 cup whole milk or 1 cup buttermilk, and leave out the vinegar
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 4 tbsp butter melted


  • Preheat oven to 350. If using iron skillet to bake cornbread, lightly coat it with oil and place in oven to warm. Otherwise, line muffin tins (or mini muffin tins) with liners - or grease and flour them well.
  • Combine milk and vinegar to as a buttermilk substitute. Allow to sit for at least 5 minutes. (You can just use buttermilk if you have it, and leave out the vinegar.) 
  • If using polenta, grind it in spice grinder 10-15 seconds to break it down finer into cornmeal. Combine cornmeal, corn flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in bowl. Whisk together well.
  • Whisk in beaten eggs, melted butter, and milk + vinegar. Batter will not be runny, but not incredibly thick either.
  • Pour into heated skillet or spoon into prepared muffin tins. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the top starts to turn a golden brown. (I would check on it after 20 minutes.)
Keyword cornbread, gluten free cornbread
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
What’s your favorite use for corn bread? Do you use is it in recipes for just enjoy it as is? Do you have any mix-ins you like to add? Please leave me your suggestions, below! 

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  1. Hi. I don’t know if you realized that you didn’t include the 4 TB melted butter in the instructions. I added them in at the end when I checked to make sure everything was in the bowl. I guess it’s good I checked! It hasn’t come out of the oven yet, so I can’t report on how it came out. But thank you. I can’t eat rice as well as gluten, so this was perfect for me.

  2. Okay! It is delicious! And it’s perfect for my Thanksgiving cornbread stuffing. I’ve always made it with gluten free flour blends plus cornmeal, but that won’t work for me now because of rice being in most blends. Thank you! So easy and fast. By the way, I made it in a 8×8 pan, well greased.

    1. So glad it turned out well for you. It’s something i make in our home very often. (Usually cut the recipe in half and make it in a 5×5 pan.) I also have a cornbead stuffing recipe on my site, should you want to try it.

  3. I made this substituting the dairy milk with 2%lactose free milk
    (still added the vinegar) and the butter with Country Crock plant butter. Same measures. Baked in my oiled cast iron pan. Def start checking at the 16min mark. Pan size matters!!
    It Was So, Sooo Gooood!!!
    Thank you so very much for this easy-peasy recipe😁

  4. Absolutely delish and oh so easy!! This will be my go to recipe from now on. I baked it in cast iron and used buttermilk. Thank you for sharing.

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