Gluten-Free Southern Skillet Cornbread

Tomorrow marks the fifth anniversary of the last time I published a recipe that features corn, so I figured it was about time to share another.

We don’t eat corn often in our house – usually only popcorn on movie nights, and maybe corn tortillas or tamales when visiting our local Mexican restaurant, or sometimes a bowl of grits on cold mornings. Corn is not a particularly nutrient-dense food, but I think it’s a fine ingredient in the context of a nutrient-dense diet filled with all sorts of other good stuff – much like my take on eating rice.

As I develop recipes for cookbook #3, I’ve been experimenting with other corn dishes, and this Southern-style cornbread recipe is far and away my new favorite. First, I like to cook with the same stone-ground grits I use for making my own grits, so that I don’t have a million varieties of corn taking up space in my cupboard. I also love the heartiness, and slight grittiness, of grits-based cornbread – this is a far cry from the muffin-like cornbread you’ll find in the North.

But my favorite aspect of this skillet cornbread is its fleeting nature; right out of the oven, this cornbread is divine, but after an hour or so, its beauty wanes. This is the perfect dish to enjoy amongst friends, with big knobs of butter, and generous drizzles of honey.

Skillet Cornbread (Gluten-free)

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Easy

dry ingredients:
2 cups (11 ounces, 315g) stone-ground yellow grits
1 tsp kosher salt
1 ¼ tsp baking soda
¾ tsp cream of tartar

wet ingredients:
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk, whole-milk buttermilk preferred (see note below)
1 tbsp honey, more for drizzling

1 stick (8 tbsp) butter, more to serve

1. Place a 10” cast-iron skillet in the center of the oven, then preheat the oven to 400F. As the oven preheats, combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl; in a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients and whisk until uniform.

2. Once the oven has come to temperature, add the butter to the skillet and bake until the butter is melted and a little browned, about 3 minutes. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients, whisking until just mixed (don’t overmix). Carefully remove the skillet from the oven and pour all but 1 tbsp of the browned butter into the cornbread batter, then whisk until just combined.

3. Pour the batter into the skillet then carefully transfer to the oven. Reduce heat to 375F and bake until the cornbread is golden brown and a knife comes away clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes then slice and serve warm with drizzled honey and more butter.

** Whole-milk buttermilk is easy to find in the South, but hard to find elsewhere. If you do not have access to whole-milk buttermilk, replace ½ cup of low-fat buttermilk with whole-milk sour cream.

** If you have a larger (12″ or so) skillet, the portions of ingredients will work just fine – your cornbread will be just a bit thinner.

** This cornbread will keep for a couple of days, stored in a re-sealable plastic bag. Be sure to reheat it before serving.

** Pairing suggestions: Southern Fried Chicken and Mixed Greens.

Note: In the year leading up to my new cookbook’s release, I will be regularly releasing these recipes to 1) maintain a continuing conversation with my readership and 2) give visitors to this site an opportunity to test and provide feedback before editing. For more information on this new approach, read my post here.

17 thoughts on “Gluten-Free Southern Skillet Cornbread

  1. How did you know that I was looking for a gluten-free cornbread recipe just this morning? What are your thoughts on making buttermilk (adding vinegar to milk) or subbing yogurt? I can do goat dairy, but cow dairy seems to be a problem and I don’t thing goat buttermilk would be easy to find.


  2. FYI: this was much too big for a 10-inch skillet! There was overflow and the final product was flat as a pancake after over-flowing.


  3. I do a similar recipe, but to up the nutrition, I add a quarter cup of freshly ground golden flax seed, and about a 1/3 cup of freshly ground almonds or pecans (in a coffee grinder). I use 4 teaspoons of baking powder (rumford) and no cream of tartar. I preheat the skillet with a wallop of ghee or bacon grease from uncured bacon that I’ve saved (better with the bacon grease). I mix 1 cup whole milk, a big heaping wallop of sour cream and the 2 eggs. I don’t mix the wet with the dry until I remove the skillet from the oven, then pour it all in. I bake at 425 for 17-20 minutes. My family loves this version of cornbread. Just some ideas to up the nutrition.


  4. Thank you for another great recipe! I made this for breakfast this morning and it’s delicious. I have all of your cookbooks, and must admit you’re my favorite Paleo/GF cookbook author. Keep up the great work.mlooking very forward to your new book.


  5. This is the closest I’ve seen to my Great-Grandmother’s skillet cornbread! No flour! No sugar! No eggs! Baked in cast iron and the crust is to die for! We always had it with bean soup. (Mom would accuse me of washing the seasoning out of the skillet when the cornbread didn’t come out in one piece! lol )


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