Healthier Honey Cornbread

Updated: Jan 31st, 2023 · By Bethany Kramer
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Learn how to make my favorite honey cornbread recipe! Even though this cornbread is healthier than most, it is one of the best I’ve tried. It’s perfectly sweet, super moist, and best of all – everyone LOVES it.

A white oval dish on a wooden background with slices of honey cornbread baked in the dish.

After trying many different cornbreads over the months, I confidently say this recipe was my absolute favorite! And the best part is, it’s made with healthier ingredients such as white whole wheat flour, honey as the sweetener, and using plant-based buttermilk to create the perfect moist texture.

When I served this alongside chili for my husband and parents, we all said it was the best cornbread we’ve ever had! We all could not stop eating it.

Cornbread is known as a quick bread that has a cake-like texture. The flavor of this recipe is a little buttery, perfectly sweet, and the texture is slightly crumbly with a super moist inside! We also use a medium-ground cornmeal that has a little bite of corn texture to it and the most delicious, authentic corn flavor.

The end result is true perfection and we hope you think so too!

Key Ingredients

Below you’ll find the full list of ingredients needed to make this cornbread!

Ingredients for honey cornbread arranged on a dark background in different sized bowls.

Cornmeal: most importantly, you’ll need cornmeal. We recommend using stone-ground cornmeal for an authentic texture and taste.
Flour: to make this recipe healthier, I like to use white whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour! Both results mirror regular all-purpose flour perfectly, so you’ll never know that it’s healthier when using either of these flour.
Eggs: to bind the ingredients together!
Honey: for the sweetness, we like to use raw wildflower honey.
Butter: add moisture and buttery flavor to the cornbread! See the tips below for dairy-free options.
Almond milk: I like to use dairy-free milk like almond milk, but you can also use regular milk too.
Apple cider vinegar: this vinegar is used to mix into the milk and create homemade buttermilk! Trust me on this one.
Baking powder & baking soda: to help the cornbread rise properly!

Step-by-Step Recipe Instructions

First, preheat oven to 375F.

(1) First, make the “buttermilk” – Stir the apple cider vinegar with the almond milk and allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes for the milk to slightly curdle.

(2) Stir dry ingredients – In a large mixing bowl, add the cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder & soda.

(3) Mix wet ingredients – in a separate bowl, mix together the milk and apple cider combo, eggs, melted butter, and honey.

(4-5) Combine wet & dry – Then add the wet ingredients into the bowl of dried ingredients and whisk together, making sure the lumps of flour are mixed through.

(6) Transfer batter & bake – Grease a baking dish and transfer the batter to the baking dish. Bake for 30-35 minutes, and test with a toothpick until it comes out clean.

Tips For Success

Use this cornmeal for perfect texture and flavor – for this cornbread I really recommend using medium ground cornmeal for authentic texture and taste (I use this brand). The texture is not as fine as most cornmeals, so it has a little bite to it and I find it to be more flavorful than other cornmeals I’ve used.

Try it dairy free – This recipe uses butter as the fat, but I’ve also made this recipe dairy-free using equal parts melted coconut oil. You can also use dairy-free butter too!

How to make it gluten-free – to make this recipe GF-friendly, you can swap white whole wheat flour for a gluten-free flour blend – I like to use Bob’s Red Mill blend! I have not tested this recipe with any other gluten-free flour, so I cannot promise how the results will be.

Tips for using plant-based buttermilk – in this recipe we use a simple method of apple cider vinegar with almond milk to create a plant-based buttermilk. It’s incredibly simple to make! But one step that’s needed is letting the acid sit with the milk to help it thicken and curdle. Using this simple ingredient creates the perfect, moist cornbread! If you do not have apple cider vinegar, you can use equal parts lemon juice.

Other natural sweeteners you can use – this is a honey cornbread, so honey is the main sweetener! But we also love doing half honey and half maple syrup for a slightly sweeter taste. If you swap honey completely for maple syrup, just keep in mind the recipe will turn out a little bit sweeter than it would with honey (but that’s okay in our opinion).

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use regular buttermilk instead of plant-based buttermilk? Of course! I like to use plant milk to lessen the dairy in this recipe, but you can swap it for a one-to-one measurement of regular buttermilk.

How long does it keep for? This bread keeps for about 3-5 days. We recommend keeping them in an airtight container at room temperature to keep them moist!

Can I substitute the eggs? I’ve only tested this recipe with eggs. If you were to try this recipe with apple sauce or flax egg as an egg replacement, I can’t promise how the results will turn out. But, if you do try this recipe with an egg replacement I would love to know how it turned out and what worked for you in the comments!

Slices of honey cornbread arranged on a plate. One of the pieces of cornbread has a slice of butter and honey drizzled over top.

What to Serve with Cornbread

Chili. One of the best things to serve cornbread with is chili! Our favorites are this three-bean turkey chili, sweet potato black bean chili, or this slow-cooker chicken chili.

Soup. If you want another option for soup other than chili, we love to serve this with our vegetarian black bean tortilla soup!

Even though we love to serve this cornbread with cozy soups and stews, we know it would pair perfectly with so many other dishes such as roasted chicken, ham, or even alongside ribs!

Healthier Honey Cornbread

5 from 1 vote
Learn how to make my favorite honey cornbread recipe! Even though this cornbread is healthier than most, it is one of the best I've tried. It's perfectly sweet, super moist, and best of all – everyone LOVES it.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Serves 10

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cup white whole wheat pastry flour see notes for gluten-free options
  • 1 cup medium-ground cornmeal
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, melted and cooled see notes for dairy-free options
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 2/3 cup honey

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375F
  • Make the buttermilk: combine the almond milk and apple cider vinegar, stir together and set aside for 5 minutes or until the milk has slightly curdled.
  • Mix dry ingredients: in a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornbread, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Mix the wet ingredients: in a separate bowl, mix together the melted butter, eggs, honey, and milk that's been set aside.
  • Combine wet with dry: gently pour the wet into the dry ingredients and whisk together until the ingredients form a batter. Use the whisk to break up any flour clumps, but be careful not to overmix the batter.
  • Bake: grease a 10-12 inch baking dish with a little butter, then pour the batter into the dish. Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean with no batter. Remove from the oven when finished and let cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving!

Notes

Try it dairy free – This recipe uses butter as the fat, but I’ve also made this recipe dairy-free using equal parts melted coconut oil. You can also use dairy-free butter too!
How to make it gluten-free – to make this recipe GF-friendly, you can swap white whole wheat flour for a gluten-free flour blend – I like to use Bob’s Red Mill blend! I have not tested this recipe with any other gluten-free flour, so I cannot promise how the results will be.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword healthy cornbread, honey cornbread
Freezer Friendly Yes

Nutrition

Serving: 1cornbread slice | Calories: 229kcal | Carbohydrates: 40.2g | Protein: 4.1g | Fat: 6.4g | Saturated Fat: 3.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 49.4mg | Sodium: 370mg | Fiber: 1.4g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 7IU | Vitamin C: 0mg

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