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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Healthy Cornbread

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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!

quick healthy cornbread recipe cut into cubes

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!

🥘 Ingredients

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!

ingredients for healthy cornbread recipe
  • 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.

🔪 Instructions

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.

dry ingredients combined in a bowl

Combine Wet Ingredients: In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, lemon juice, honey, eggs, and oil. Whisk until combined.

wet ingredients mixed in a bowl

Mix Ingredients: Next, pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and stir until the batter is smooth.

wet and dry ingredients combined in a bowl

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.

batter being poured into a baking diwh

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.

ultimate healthy cornbread in baking dish

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!

healthy cornbread with honey cut into squares

💭 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.

📖 Variations

  • 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!

low calorie cornbread on a wire rack

❓Recipe FAQs

Is cornbread healthy?

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.

Is cornbread healthier than bread?

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.

How many calories in a piece of cornbread?

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!

Why is my cornbread dense?

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.

How do you store healthy cornbread?

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.

healthy cornbread (with vegan option) on a wire rack

🍞 More Delicious Recipes!

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!

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📋 Recipe Card

🎥 Watch How to Make It

https://youtu.be/ZBJKyIeGgow
quick healthy cornbread recipe cut into cubes
Print Recipe
5 from 24 votes

Healthy Cornbread

You're going to love this 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!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Appetizer, Baking, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 125kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup low fat milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ cup honey or maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup oil

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1piece | Calories: 125kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 161mg | Potassium: 143mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g

Posted In…

Vegetarian Side Dishes ·

These vegetarian side dishes are tasty enough to be the star of the show! Here you’ll find easy, healthy plant based side dishes that are packed with veggies, and are bursting with flavor. 

Some favorites include this vegetable au gratin, my roasted broccoli with potatoes, this jalapeno artichoke dip, and these healthy whole wheat vegan dinner rolls!

Try any of these veggie side dishes for the perfect accompaniment to your main entree, or pair them with a soup or salad to turn them into a light main meal.

32 responses to “Healthy Cornbread”

  1. This is a very good recipe! The cornbread was moist, slightly sweet, and had a nice texture. I followed the recipe closely, only swapping the low-fat milk for plant-based flax milk. One thing to note, the cooking time was incorrect. I started at 15 min and slowly added time in 5 min increments until the toothpick came out clean. It took approximately 25 minutes to bake.5 stars

    • Thank you so much Suz!! I’m so glad you liked this recipe! One thing I’ve found is that this recipe can be very finnicky when it comes to baking time. If you use a plant based milk, the baking time tends to be longer, and if your oven is calibrated slightly differently, it will also change the baking time. I updated the recipe to note that — so that people know to check it at the 15 minute mark and that it may take as long as 25 minutes to bake! Thanks again for letting me know!

  2. Looks so hearty and delicious and I love that you just use a few simple tweaks in order to make this healthy! Love that photo of the honey dripping down the side, YUM!!
    Can’t wait to try this out!5 stars

  3. Can you use regular all purpose flour for this recipe? I love the whole wheat flour idea, just don’t have it at hand right at the moment.

    • Hi Althea! I honestly haven’t tried almond or coconut flour – but I’d guess that almond flour would work better than coconut flour just based on the texture/consistency. If you’re trying to make this gluten free, you could also use a gluten free 1:1 baking flour or gluten free oat flour!

  4. I absolutely loved this healthy cornbread recipe! So much better than buying boxed and I love that it only required a handful of ingredients. It’s the perfect guilt-free snack for the family!5 stars

  5. My family is going to love this recipe! I’m so glad there’s a vegan option too, so excited to make this tomorrow night! Looks so moist and very yummy!5 stars

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