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You’re going to love this easy healthy cornbread recipe! Just like Jiffy, but way better, this southern cornbread recipe is delicious, has the best crumbly texture, and is subtly sweet. This traditional cornbread is the perfect addition to any dinner and is a great side dish or snack for the whole family!
Soft and versatile, sweet cornbread is one of my absolute favorite side dishes. But traditional cornbread recipes calls for a ton of butter, sugar and white flour, making it more like a cake than a healthy side! With a couple of simple swaps, I was able to turn this classic quick bread recipe into the ultimate healthy cornbread that is just as delicious as the original version!
With a hint of sweetness, tons of corn flavor, and a crumbly texture, you can pair this healthy yummy cornbread with all types of foods such as soups, casseroles, main courses, easy lunches, veggies, and so much more! It is the perfect addition to any meal!
The best part about this recipe is that it’s super versatile! There is an option for vegan cornbread, and you can easily make this healthy cornbread gluten free too! So those with different lifestyles will definitely be able to enjoy this classic cornbread.
Easy recipes make appearances in our houses quite often because they’re perfect for those busy weeknights when you just need something delicious and healthy on the table. Since this cornbread has the perfect texture, this recipe is a crowdpleaser. Everyone loves it!
The next time you need some whole-grain cornbread, be sure to save this family-friendly recipe because it is just so delicious and simple to make!
👩🏽🍳 Why This Recipe Works
- Family friendly
- Super simple recipe
- Healthy makeover of classic cornbread
- Perfect texture
- Can be made vegan and gluten free
- No refined sugar
- Best healthy cornbread recipe ever!
Latest Recipe Video!
You can easily find these healthy ingredients at most grocery stores, or you may already have most of these ingredients in your kitchen. This healthy honey cornbread recipe makes one big batch of cornbread, but you can always double it if you are making this for a crowd!
- Flour: Regular whole wheat flour is used for this recipe, which is a healthier alternative to all-purpose flour thanks to the fiber and whole grains. You can also use other whole grain flours like white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour.
- Corn meal: Ground cornmeal is the main ingredient in this recipe! You easily find this at grocery stores in the baking section.
- Baking Powder & Salt: To help this low calorie cornbread rise, and bring out the sweetness more.
- Milk: You can use any kind of milk in this recipe! Dairy or dairy-free milks such as oat or almond work.
- Lemon Juice: You can use freshly squeezed or bottled lemon juice.
- Honey: For a hint of sweetness. You can also use granulated sugar, maple syrup, or agave syrup for a vegan option. Leave out the honey altogether for a healthy cornbread without sugar!
- Eggs: Use organic eggs if you can. Use applesauce or flax eggs for a vegan version.
- Oil: Any type of oil will work in this great recipe for healthy cornbread. We like melted coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, or any type of vegetable oil.
Here’s how to make healthy cornbread at home! See the complete list of ingredients and detailed instructions in the recipe card below.
Preheat Oven, Prepare Pan: First, preheat the oven to 338 degrees Fahrenheit or 170 degrees Celsius. Line a square pan with baking paper and set it aside.
Mix Dry Ingredients: Next, in a medium mixing bowl, add the flour, whole-grain cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Whisk until combined.
Combine Wet Ingredients: In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, lemon juice, honey, eggs, and oil. Whisk until combined.
Mix Ingredients: Next, pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and stir until the batter is smooth.
Transfer to Pan, Bake: Transfer the cornbread batter to the prepared pan. Bake for 15-25 minutes, checking for done-ness at the 15 minute mark.
Remove and Cool: Finally, remove the low cal cornbread from the oven and allow it to cool in the pan for five minutes before moving to a cooling rack.
Cut and Serve! Cut in 16 equal pieces. Serve this healthy homemade cornbread warm or at room temperature, with an optional drizzle of honey on top!
💭 Expert Tips
- Don’t overcook! Overcooked cornbread will be dry and dense. Make sure to cook until just golden brown, and pull it out of the oven immediately, as the cornbread will continue to cook in the pan once it’s removed from the oven.
- Do not overmix the cornbread batter or the cornrbead will be rubbery.
- Use the spoon & level method for measuring: Don’t scoop out the flour and cornmeal using your measuring cup, instead spoon the flour into your measuring cup and level it off with the back of a knife. Too much flour or cornmeal will dry out this excellent cornbread.
- Make sure to use finely ground cornmeal for this recipe. Cornmeal comes in a variety of different textures, and the type of cornmeal you use will affect the texture of this recipe.
- Healthy Vegan Cornbread Recipe: Substitute the milk for non-dairy milk such as almond milk, or soy milk, remove the eggs and substitute with ½ cup of apple sauce, an additional teaspoon of baking powder (3 tsp total), and ¼ cup of sugar instead of honey. You can use use flax eggs instead of applesauce by mixing flax meal and water together and letting sit for five minutes.
- Gluten-Free Option: Make this recipe gluten-free by substituting 1:1 gluten-free flour for whole wheat flour. Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Flour should work, as will any gluten free flour that includes xanthan gum. I haven’t tried almond flour as a gluten-free option, but I think that might make this recipe a little too dense and not as fluffy.
- Sugar Free Cornbread Recipe: Omit the honey, or use 1-2 tablespoons of a liquid monk fruit sweetener instead to make this already low sugar cornbread recipe totally sugar free.
- Healthy Cornbread Muffins: If you want to make healthy corn muffins, simply transfer the batter to a muffin tin and bake at 340 degrees F. You will have to adjust the baking time, checking every 5 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of each muffin comes out clean.
- Add In Whole Corn Kernels! Add 1/2 cup of fresh corn kernels into the batter for additional texture!
👨👩👧 What To Serve With Cornbread
Serve a slice of cornbread alongside any delicious vegetarian stew or salad, with this Instant Pot vegetarian chili, or with other quick meals. Feel free to spread on some regular butter or vegan butter, fruit preserves, or honey when you’re serving this quick healthy cornbread.
It also is delicious with main dishes like this vegan turkey, this vegetable au gratin, or this roasted broccoli with potatoes. Feel free to serve it as an appetizer on its own, or along with a variety of appetizers or other side dishes!
Cornbread is made from corn right? So is cornbread good for you? Unfortunately, most traditional cornbread (or pre-packaged Jiffy cornbread) is not healthy, as it’s packed with calories, fat and sugar. It’s more like a cake than a healthy side dish.
But you can make cornbread healthy by changing out the type of flour used, reducing the oil and sugar in the recipe.
This healthier cornbread recipe has just 4 simple swaps!
1) Using whole wheat flour instead of white flour
2) Choosing heart healthy fats instead of butter (we used olive oil!)
3) Reducing the sugar and use a natural sweetener like honey or agave syrup (you can also omit the sugar altogether!)
4) Using low fat milk instead of whole milk (you can also use a plant based milk!)
This healthy honey cornbread is low in fat, low in sugar, and low in calories making it much better for you than classic cornbread.
The answer is, it depends! If you’re comparing traditional cornbread to white bread, both are pretty unhealthy, but white bread is probably a little bit healthier than classic cornbread. If you’re comparing traditional cornbread to whole wheat bread, then whole wheat bread is healthier. Our heart healthy cornbread is just as healthy as a slice of whole wheat bread as both are low in calories, low in fat, low in sugar, and high in fiber.
The amount of calories in homemade cornbread is similar to the amount of calories you’d find in a homemade muffin or small piece of cake. One piece of traditional homemade cornbread will typically have about 200-300 calories per piece.
But our recipe has only 125 calories for one piece of cornbread, making it the perfect healthy low calorie cornbread recipe!
There are a few reasons why cornbread might turn out to be too dense: 1) You overbaked the cornbread 2) The batter was overmixed 3) Not enough baking powder was used.
This low fat cornbread recipe stores really well. Before storing, let the cornbread cool completely. Transfer to an airtight container and store in a cool place. It will keep at room temperature for 2-3 days, or in the fridge for up to 7-8 days. You can also freeze the cornbread in the freezer for up to two months. To reheat, warm in the microwave or toaster oven until fully heated through.
🍞 More Delicious Recipes!
- Gluten-Free Bread Recipe
- Garlic Cheese Buns
- Healthy Vegetarian Recipes
- Gluten-Free Stuffing
- Vegetable Polenta
- Mashed Potatoes
- Sweet Potato Casserole
Love this vegetarian side dish? Please leave a 5-star rating 🌟 in the recipe below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page!
📋 Recipe Card
🎥 Watch How to Make It
- Preheat the oven to 338 degrees Fahrenheit or 170 degrees Celsius. Line an eight-inch square baking pan with wax paper. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl add the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Whisk together until combined. Set aside.
- In a separate mixing bowl whisk together the milk, lemon juice, honey, eggs and oil. Whisk until well combined.
- Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and stir until the batter is smooth with no lumps.
- Fill the prepared cake tin with the cornbread batter.
- Bake the cornbread for 15-25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Note: Depending on what type of milk you use, you may need to start checking around the 15 minute mark to see if your cornbread is done. Typically, regular milk will cause the cornbread to cook more quickly, and a plant based milk will cause the cornbread to cook less quickly.
- Remove the cornbread from the oven and allow it to cool in the tin for five minutes before moving to a cooling rack.
- Cut into sixteen equal pieces.
- Be careful not to overcook the cornbread. But depending on your oven calibration and your altitude, you may need to bake this at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes to get this to turn out properly and not be undercooked. (higher altitudes will need longer baking time/higher temps).
- Cook until the cornbread is golden brown.
- Do not overmix the cornbread batter or the cornrbead will be rubbery.
- Store in an airtight container in a dry place for up to three days.
- Freeze the cornbread in the freezer for up to two months.
- To make this recipe gluten free substitute gluten free flour 1:1 for whole wheat flour.
- To make this recipe vegan, substitute the milk for unsweetened almond milk or soy milk, remove the eggs and substitute with ½ cup apple sauce and an additional tsp of baking powder (3 tsp in total) and ¼ cup sugar instead of honey.