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High-Altitude Homemade Vegan cornbread muffins stacked on a white plate

High-Altitude Homemade Oil-Free Vegan Cornbread

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Whipped aquafaba creates the heavenly texture of this crave-able Homemade High-Altitude Oil-Free Vegan Cornbread. This recipe can be made at high-altitude or sea-level and gluten-free.

High-Altitude Homemade Oil-Free Vegan Cornbread baked in an 8" x 8" glass baking pan
High-Altitude Homemade Oil-Free Vegan Cornbread baked in an 8″ x 8″ baking pan

This cornbread is fabulous on its own or served with:

When making this cornbread you have 5 quick & easy decisions to make

It’s a choose your own adventure recipe. Take that, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.

1. Gluten-free or not Gluten-free

If you need this to be gluten-free, just sub out your favorite gluten-free flour blend. Otherwise, AP or bread flour is recommended if you don’t need this to be gluten-free.

2. Muffin Tin or Baking Pan?

This recipe makes 9 muffins or can be made in an 8″ x 8″ baking pan or a 9″ round cake pan. The choice is yours, all are delicious.

3. Oil-Free or Low-Oil?

This decision about oil refers to how you prepare the baking vessel.

If you want this to be completely oil-free, line your baking pan with parchment paper. For muffins, use 9 muffin cup liners in your muffin tin.

If you are okay with a small amount of oil, then use a little Earth Balance or your favorite vegan butter to grease the pan or 9 of the muffin cups in your muffin tin.

4. High-Altitude or Sea-Level?

I live in Denver, which is a mile high, so the recipe is written for high-altitude.

To make this at sea-level, omit the teaspoon of water, bake at 400 degrees F and decrease the bake time to approximately 25 minutes, checking on them at 20 minutes and baking until the cornbread is a light golden brown.

5. Corn Kernels or No Corn Kernels

I really like the fresh texture that adding some corn kernels brings to this cornbread. If you don’t have corn around or this doesn’t appeal to you –leave it out. Either way, it’ll be fantastic.

Recently, I forgot the corn kernels. About 10 minutes into baking, I added 1/4 cup frozen kernels to the top of the cornbread. The kernels stayed on top of the cornbread and it looked and tasted delicious.

Adding 1/4 cup frozen corn kernels 10 on top minutes into baking
Added 1/4 cup frozen corn kernels on top 10 minutes into baking

Ingredient Notes

Cornmeal

You want fine cornmeal. The tricky part is that sometimes fine cornmeal isn’t labeled fine. I have used both Quaker Yellow Cornmeal and Kroger Brand Yellow Cornmeal. They both have recipes for making cornbread on the back and the grind on them is fine without anything indicating fine on the label. I have accidentally purchased Bob’s Red Mill Medium Grind Cornmeal. My plan for this cornmeal is to use it in something else or put it in my bullet-style food processor to turn it into fine grind cornmeal.

Aquafaba

I recommend chickpea brine from the can for the aquafaba in this recipe.

Do you remember the Cool Whip episode of Mad Men? Megan and Don are supposed to do some kind of cutesy husband-and-wife bit for the client with Megan saying, “Just taste it,” over and over. Megan quits advertising to pursue acting so then Peggy has to do the Cool Whip bit with Don. Poor Peggy keeps saying, “Just try it,” instead of, “Just taste it.” It’s awkward for everyone.

Anyway, if you’ve never made anything with whipped aquafaba because you think it’s going to taste like dirty bean water, just “taste it” or “try it” already. Taste it! Try it! It still blows my mind.

If you want to make a Cool Whip-like meringue just to eat with fruit, I’d use 1/3 cup aquafaba and around 1/2 Tablespoon – 1 Tablespoon sugar. Whip the aquafaba before sprinkling in the sugar gradually and whipping some more for the best results.

What to do with the leftover chickpeas?

With the remaining chickpeas, I love making Low-Oil Hummus, this Cheesy Broccoli Soup, or Oil-Free Flaked Vegan Crab-less Salad which all contain a can of drained chickpeas. You could also make a chickpea curry, i.e. Chana Masala. Also, you might like dry pan-roasting the chickpeas with salt and pepper or spices and enjoying them on your salad or power bowl.

Let’s Make Homemade Vegan Cornbread

Corn, cornmeal, water, flour, applesauce, aquafaba, salt, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, almond milk, and apple cider vinegar for making High-Altitude Homemade Oil-Free Vegan Cornbread

Preheat oven to 375° F and grease an 8″ x 8″ square baking dish or 9 of the 12 muffin tin cups with Earth Balance or Vegan Butter. For oil-free cornbread, place a sheet of parchment paper in an 8″ x 8″ baking dish or fill 9 muffin cups with liners. You can also use 9″ round cake pan.

In a cup or bowl, combine plant-milk and apple cider vinegar and set aside.

Measure flour, cornmeal, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large mixing bowl.

Whip it good

Whip the aquafaba until foamy and a little creamy, then add sugar gradually while continuing to whip. When you pull up the beaters, two peaks should form. If you can’t get the peaks, it will still be fine if you’ve got white, creamy meringue-looking stuff.

Whipped aquafaba
Whipped aquafaba

Stir applesauce into the plant-milk and vinegar mixture. If high-altitude, mix in the teaspoon of water.

Adding unsweetened applesauce to the almond milk & apple cider vinegar mixture. I'm using a 16oz mug, please make sure your container is big enough.
Adding unsweetened applesauce to the almond milk & apple cider vinegar mixture. I’m using a 16oz mug. Please make sure your container is big enough.
After stirring applesauce into the almond milk & apple cider vinegar mixture into a large mug
After stirring applesauce into the almond milk & apple cider vinegar mixture into a large mug

Then stir this mixture into the dry mixture.

Mixing the plant milk, apple cider vinegar, and applesauce mixture into the dry ingredients
Mixing the plant milk, apple cider vinegar, and applesauce mixture into the dry ingredients
Adding the aquafaba to the cornbread batter
Adding the aquafaba to the cornbread batter
Folding most of the corn into the batter
Folding most of the corn into the batter

Using a spatula, transfer the whipped aquafaba and sugar into the large mixing bowl with everything else and stir together or lightly go at it with the mixer until well combined and consistent. Please do not over mix. Fold in frozen or drained canned corn if using. If desired you can save a few kernels to sprinkle on the top.

Homemade Oil-Free Vegan Cornbread batter poured into 9 greased muffin cups with corn sprinkled on top.
Homemade Oil-Free Vegan Cornbread batter poured into 9 greased muffin cups with corn sprinkled on top.

Pour the batter into the baking dish or pan or scoop into muffin cups. The muffin cups will be full. I use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to fill the muffin cups and then I top them off with the remaining batter. If using muffin liners, you may want to make ten smaller muffins so that you don’t have to overfill them. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until golden brown.

Tip: You can turn the broiler on if you want for a more golden brown top to your cornbread or cornbread muffins. Be sure to watch carefully to avoid burning the cornbread or cornbread muffins.

Let Cool

High-Altitude Homemade Oil-Free Vegan Cornbread muffins cooling on a wire rack
High-Altitude Homemade Oil-Free Vegan Cornbread muffins cooling on a wire rack

Place on a wire rack to cool. If you made muffins they only need to cool for about 10 minutes. For cornbread as opposed to muffins, let cool about 20 minutes.

Remove oil-free vegan cornbread from the baking vessel or serve from pan

Twist the muffins with your fingers to loosen and lift them out of the muffin pan.

If you used parchment paper, just pull up on the paper and set the cornbread onto a cutting board or a plate.

For removal from a greased baking pan, run a butter knife around the edge of the pan to loosen, then slice and serve.

To remove the entire cornbread from the pan, run a butter knife around the edge and place a plate on top and quickly invert. It will be upside down so flip onto another serving platter to get it right side up.

Serve or store covered at room temperature for 2-3 days, or in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Freeze up to 1 month.

Close up of High-Altitude Homemade Oil-Free Vegan Cornbread Muffins
High-Altitude Homemade Oil-Free Vegan Cornbread Muffins
High-Altitude Homemade Oil-Free Vegan Cornbread Muffins
Earth Balance on a cornbread muffin
High-Altitude Homemade Vegan cornbread muffins stacked on a white plate
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5 from 1 vote

High-Altitude Homemade Oil-Free Vegan Cornbread

Whipped aquafaba creates the heavenly texture of this crave-able vegan cornbread. This recipe can also be made at sea level, and gluten-free.
Course Basics, Breakfast, Dipping Vessel, Side Dish, Sides, Snack
Cuisine American, Classic, Southern, Vegan
Keyword applesauce, aquafaba, Comfort Food, decadent, low oil, oil-free
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 9 pieces or muffins
Calories 157kcal

Equipment

  • Muffin tin, 8" x 8" square pan or 9" round cake pan
  • Mixer or hand mixer
  • Large and small mixing bowls

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup chickpea brine aka aquafaba, whipped until fluffy and peaks form
  • 1/4 cup sugar or substitute sweetener or your choice.
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened plant-milk I've used oat and almond, unsweetened and unflavored plant-milks for this recipe.
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup AP flour or AP gluten-free flour
  • 1 cup fine cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp water omit if sea-level, see notes below for sea level instructions.
  • 3/4 cup frozen or drained canned corn Optional/Reccommended

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375° F and grease an 8" x 8" square baking dish or 9 of the 12 muffin tin cups with Earth Balance or Vegan Butter. For oil-free cornbread, place a sheet of parchment paper in an 8" x 8" baking dish or fill 9 muffin cups with liners. You can also use 9" round cake pan.
  • In a cup or bowl combine plant-milk and apple cider vinegar and set aside.
  • Measure flour, cornmeal, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large mixing bowl.
  • Whip the aquafaba until creamy, then add sugar gradually while continuing to whip. When you pull up the beaters, two peaks should form. If you can't get the peaks, it will still be fine if you've got white, creamy meringue-looking stuff.
  • Stir applesauce into the plant-milk and vinegar mixture. If high-altitude, mix in the teaspoon of water. Then stir this mixture into the dry mixture.
  • Using a spatula, transfer the whipped aquafaba and sugar into the large mixing bowl with everything else and stir together or lightly go at it with the mixer until well combined and consistent. Please do not over mix. Fold in frozen or drained canned corn if using. If desired you can save a few kernels to sprinkle on the top.
  • Pour the batter into the baking dish or pan or scoop into muffin cups. The muffin cups will be full. I use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to fill the muffin cups and then I top them off with the remaining batter. If using muffin liners, you may want to make ten smaller muffins so that you don't have to overfill them. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Place on a wire rack to cool. If you made muffins they only need to cool for about 10 minutes. If you made cornbread, let cool about 20 minutes. Remove or serve from pan. See Notes below for removal options.
  • Serve or store covered at room temperature for 2-3 days, or in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Freeze up to 1 month.

Notes

Nutrition Information is approximate.

1. Gluten-free or not Gluten-free

If you need this to be gluten-free, just sub out your favorite gluten-free flour blend. Otherwise, AP or bread flour is recommended if you don’t need this to be gluten-free.

2. Muffin Tin or Baking Pan?

This recipe makes 9 muffins or can be made in an 8″ x 8″ baking pan or a 9″ round cake pan. The choice is yours, all are delicious.

3. Oil-Free or Low-Oil?

This decision about oil refers to how you prepare the baking vessel.
If you want this to be completely no-oil, line your baking pan with parchment paper or if you are making muffins use 9 muffin cup liners in your muffin tin.
If you are okay with a small amount of oil, then use a little Earth Balance or your favorite vegan butter to grease the pan or 9 of the muffin cups in your muffin tin if you are making muffins.

4. High-Altitude or Sea-Level?

I live in Denver, which is a mile high so I go with high-altitude, which is the elevation for which the recipe is written.
To make this at sea-level, omit the teaspoon of water, bake at 400 degrees F and decrease the bake time to approximately 25 minutes, checking on them at 20 minutes and baking until they are light golden brown.

5. Corn Kernels or No Corn Kernels

I really like the fresh texture that adding some corn kernels brings to this cornbread. If you don’t have corn around or this doesn’t appeal to you –leave it out. Either way, it’ll be fantastic. 

Baking Tip

You can turn the broiler on if you want for a more golden brown top to your cornbread or cornbread muffins. Be sure to watch carefully to avoid burning the cornbread or cornbread muffins.

Remove from the baking vessel or serve from pan

Twist the muffins with your fingers to loosen and lift them out of the muffin pan.
If you used parchment paper, just pull up on the paper and set the cornbread onto a cutting board or a plate.
For removal from a greased baking pan, run a butter knife around the edge of the pan to loosen, then slice and serve.
To remove the entire cornbread from the pan, run a butter knife around the edge and place a plate on top and quickly invert. It will be upside down so flip onto another serving platter to get it right side up.
www.planttestkitchen.com

Nutrition

Serving: 1piece or muffin | Calories: 157kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 184mg | Potassium: 160mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 1mg

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If you like this High-Altitude Homemade Oil-Free Vegan Cornbread, you might also enjoy Classic Vegan Muffin Tin Stuffing, Vegan Green Bean Casserole or Cheesy Vegan Broccoli Soup. If you are looking for more recipes that can be made Gluten-Free please click here.

Did you make this High-Altitude Homemade Oil-Free Vegan Cornbread recipe?

What did you eat it with? Did you make it as muffins? Any variations? Tell me about it in the comments below.

Moon Juice

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