Growing up, cornbread was always a huge treat.
One of the dinners in my dad's weekly rotation was Dennison's chili served over buttered white rice. It was quick and easy and tasty. Seeing as how my dad worked all day, coming home to make something quick and easy was perfect. Because of this, I grew up thinking that 2 things were completely normal: 1. Chili being served on rice; and 2. That people actually buttered their rice. It wasn't until I grew up and mentioned this to someone (ok, several someones) that I found out that neither of these were even close to being normal (and don't worry- I haven't buttered my rice since probably college).
Every once in awhile, however, dad would break out the Marie Callendar's cornbread mix and whip up some cornbread to go along with the chili. I would wait, trying so hard to contain my excitement while the cornbread was baking, very similar to the way a child would wait for his or her birthday cake to come out of the oven. In fact, to me, that cornbread was like cake. Cake that you got to eat with dinner. Every kid's dream, right?
Even today, dinner cake, er, I mean cornbread is not an everyday occasion. It's a delicacy reserved for when there is a chill in the air and a pot of smoky chili simmering on the stove.
Recently, though, I've defied all rules of conduct in regards to cornbread. I've actually cooked this vegan, gluten-free skillet cornbread twice... in one week! I seriously can't get enough. Even Chris, who generally tends to shy away from cornbread, has been going a little crazy over it. It's just slightly sweet, it has just the right ratio of moist denseness and crumbliness. Plus, since it's cooked in a cast-iron skillet, the bottom and edges are a little crispier and it also has an overall more rustic flavor.
Now that there's starting to get a chill in the air (for some of you, or so I hear. It's actually 90° F in LA as a write this), you're going to want to get this skillet cornbread in the oven ASAP. And plan on making it frequently- this is an everyday (or almost everyday) sort of cornbread. And while you're at it, you're going to want some chili to go along with it so stay tuned...
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 6 tablespoons warm water
- 2 tablespoons flaxmeal
- 1 1/2 cups fine grain cornmeal
- 1 cup oat flour (use certified gluten-free, if necessary)
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 cup sunflower or grapeseed oil
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 400 F. Spray a 10-inch cast-iron pan with olive oil spray or cooking spray.
- In a 2-cup measuring cup or medium bowl, combine the non-dairy milk with the apple cider vinegar. In a small cup, mix together the warm water and the flaxmeal. Let both rest while you prepare the rest of the ingredients (at least 3 to 4 minutes).
- In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, oat flour, almond flour, baking powder, salt, cumin, and paprika.
- Once the milk and the flaxmeal mixtures have rested long enough, add the flaxmeal mixture to the milk. Add the oil and the maple syrup. Stir until fully combined.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just combined. Pour into the prepared skillet.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Serve warm. Leftovers can be chilled in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days. Enjoy!
This recipe can also be made in a round or square cake pan if you don't have a cast-iron skillet.
Cornbread: Is it bread or cake? Discuss.
Photography by Chris Miller
We always buttered our rice growing up! I also have not done this in years, but thinking about it now really makes me want buttered rice!
Wow! And all this time, I thought my family was crazy! It's good to know that it's more common than I'd thought!
I'm joining the buttered rice crew too. We always ate it that way growing up, and I still love buttered rice. I don't butter it if I'm having a stir-fry or something like that obviously, but if it's going to be a side with, say, broccoli and baked tofu, I'll totally have buttered rice with some salt and pepper. It's like the simple joy of buttered noodles. Some things just taste kind of bland but lovely.
All this talk has been making me crave buttered rice for the first time in ages! I usually just add a dash of salt but it sounds so good right now! I'm so surprised to hear that so many people did it- everyone I've ever talked to about it in the past looked at me like I was nuts!
We always buttered our white rice growing up too! Love cornbread, its a total mash up of bread + cake not quite one or the other!!!
Um...buttering your rice isn't normal?
Growing up we always served chili with rice (and if super time crunched they were cooked together with the rice on the bottom in the Crock Pot for a "casserole"). And the only way I'd touch rice was if it was buttered - that *isn't* normal??? 🙂
Sometimes growing up is tough. Good thing there's delicious corn bread to cheer us up!
Whew! It's so good to hear that not only did you do chili with rice, but that you buttered your rice too! Maybe I'm secretly Canadian... 😉
It looks like cake, so it must be cake, right? Can't wait to try making this- you totally sold it to me, thanks 🙂 btw we pretty much always eat chilli with rice over here in the UK...
Thank you! And I'm with you- dinner cake forever! And yay for chili with rice!
Meredith @ Unexpectedly Magnificent
I looooove me some cornbread. Oh my goodness. My mom used to make it growing up and I'd eat it right out of the oven with butter melting on top. My mouth is seriously filling with saliva just thinking about it. This looks so good, Kristy!
Oh my gosh- cornbread right out of the oven is one of the best. things. ever!
of course rice is buttered! how else do you serve it - without anything? i guess if one was going to top it w/ chili that butter might not be necessary but if served as a side it certainly is - at least in my book it is.
Another one for buttered rice! Yay!
Totally was a rice butterer! Perhaps it's a regional thing...
Maybe- that's a good point, Sarah. 🙂
Amy @ Parsley In My Teeth
Butter with rice was normal for me growing up as well. Rice with chili is a new one but it makes perfect sense to me. But if I had to choose between cornbread or rice with chili, the cornbread/dinner cake will win out every time!
And another one for buttering rice! I'm so surprised! But I'm totally with you- I'll always choose cornbread over rice to go with my chili. 🙂
The cornbread looks fabulous! Right now I only have a grill pan-style cast iron skillet. This may be just the push I need to get a more traditional one.
Gabby @ the veggie nook
I don't think buttered rice or eating rice with chilli sounds crazy at all! My family did the same!
I can't remember a time ever when my parents made cornbread but I've certainly fallen in love with it in the last few years. I wish I had a cast-iron skillet to make this!
Thalia @ butter and brioche
I have never made cornbread before but I am currently seeing so many great cornbread recipes that I think I'm going to have too! I especially love your vegan and gluten free version. Great recipe!
This sounds perfect! I am working on building a community of vegans and would love for you to hop over to http://www.wedigfood.com and leave a recipe or restaurant review.
Count me in the buttered rice contingent too! We used to do that as well... it tasted great!
Is there any other flour that could be used in place of almond flour?
I would just replace it with additional oat flour. Good luck!
My grocery store doesn't carry oat flour. Can you suggest an alternative?
I'm excited to try this with your chili! I haven't found a vegetarian chili that my meat-eating boyfriend actually likes yet. When we make chili, we like to serve the leftovers with different things to make the meals different. We'll do rice and mac n cheese! It's fun!
Thank you! If you don't have a problem with gluten, I would try using whole wheat pastry flour or just plain all-purpose flour. If you need it to be gluten-free, try subbing with your favorite GF blend.
Just put oats in a food processor
Tracey @ A Taste of Trace
I must admit that I've never heard of this buttered rice phenomenon, but it appears that I'm in the minority - we always had toast with our chilli!
My friend and I made this tonight (to accompany our chilli) and it was so good! It was a tad crumbly right out of the oven (we couldn't wait to eat it!), but it got better after 30 mins or so. Can't wait to dig into the leftovers 🙂
Simply wonderful! It reminds me of a great southern cornbread with buttermilk, yum! Since I will never eat dairy again I was thinking it would be vinegar or lemon juice in the almond milk. Thanks for making it easy.
I can't wait to try the spring rolls. I love that black bean pasta(I put roasted sweet potatoes with mine) but my favorite is the mung bean, what did you do with that one?
I don't like sweet cornbread or using oil.....cannot find a good vegan cornbread recipe....
Your Dad is a man after my own heart. I grew up eating buttered rice too. Cornbread looks great.
I have corn flour in hand but not corn meal.. Would that work? I know the texture will be entirely different 🙁
It might. I would give it a shot. 🙂
I used to make cornbread daily for a vegan health food store in Washington DC. Glad to see this tasty-looking vegan version. And yes, it was more like cake 🙂
I could eat corn bread every day. It doesn't sound like corn bread. This has a lot of stuff in it. Don't have a cast iron pan anymore and don't have a couple of the ingredients so can't even try it yet. Sounds pretty expensive tio make. I do so want some corn bread that tastes like corn bread. Love it for breakfast.
Hello, do you think I can omit the maple syrup?I don't like my cornbread to be sweet and I try to avoid sweetener.
I think that would be fine. I would try replacing it with an equal amount of liquid (almond milk or oil) to keep the moisture, though.
I made this recipe a couple months ago and it turned out great! We aren't gluten free but my family couldn't tell a difference between this recipe and a non gf cornbread. I don't have a cast iron skillet so just used a metal 8x8 pan. Will make again for potlucks!
I grew up buttering my rice I'm 48 years old and if I hadn't developed an allergy to rice I would butter it with vegan butter.
Just made this. It is beautiful and delicious... I will say though, that next time I will omit the cumin... I thought it was a touch overpowering.. but the maple makes it smell and taste great and the speckles of flax meal are quite pretty. Nice to have a wheat free option for cornbread. Something about it tastes very traditional.
I made this last night (New Year's Day) and for once actually had most of the ingredients on hand! I doubled the recipe and substituted applesauce for the oil with some trepidation, but it turned out great and was a big hit with my family. I'm with Tiyanna above and will probably omit the cumin next time as I didn't particularly care for the flavor and found it a bit overwhelming. Otherwise, I love the recipe and appreciate the alternative to wheat flour as my adult daughter does have gluten sensitivity.
I made this today and the only substitution I made was brown rice flour for the almond flour. Omgosh, it is delicious. Love the taste of cumin in it...brings it to another level. It was nice and moist on the inside but crumbly on the top so I may up the almond milk slightly next time ( because this will now be my “go to “ recipe for cornbread. Thank you!
This was delicious! I found your recipe today and made it for my kids with some black eyed peas. It was a huge hit! Thanks for the great recipe
Can I leave out the apple cider vinegar? Replace Maple syrup with brown sugar or agave?
Thanks .. it looks great
You can replace the maple syrup with agave. The apple cider vinegar acts with the baking soda to create a binder, and also curdles the almond milk just enough to give it a buttermilk flavor. You can leave it out but be aware that it may be more crumbly.