Gluten-free Buttermilk Skillet Cornbread


Buttermilk Skillet Cornbread

A couple of weeks ago, I invited my friend Dane over for chili and cornbread, but instead made him cook the whole meal himself. I’m an excellent host.

Let’s back up. You see, that night, Angi and I let her boyfriend Dane crash our weekly dinner date while Lucas was in China. Nine times out of ten, I have no plans for what to cook and I’m not even wearing real pants when Angi shows up for dinner. (You know it’s become a thing when Angi says “you’re wearing pants!” when she sees you wearing jeans.) Anyway, this was one of those days, and when Angi got here, Dane and I were already 15-minutes deep in a youtube marathon…not planning dinner.

Oat Flour

This particular night, I had to work picking up our friend’s dog, going on a quick walk, and delivering him to his weekend dogsitter into the night’s activities. Angi, an avid dog-lover and SPCA volunteer, had no choice but to come meet Lucky with me. So we made a plan for chili and cornbread. A quick trip to the market for supplies and we’d get the chili stewing on the stove and pop cornbread in the oven just in time to head out to pick up the pup.

Then, of course, we dawdled at the grocery store (i.e. I decided to fill up my cart with all the pantry staples I’d let run dry while Lucas was gone). And when the time came for us to pick up the pooch, the onions were the only thing sweating in the pot.

CornbreadSkillet Cornbread

Let the record show, I was in charge of cornbread and it was already well on its way in the oven. Dane was in charge of chopping, but I’m pretty sure he still hasn’t taken the knife skills class Angi gave him for Christmas last year. For reference, I once asked Dane to chop the vegetables for a salad and put them in a bowl, and while I cooked the entire meal, he’d spent the same amount of time cutting all the vegetables into exactly the same size pieces and arranging them by color in the bowl. He’s nothing if not precise and detail-oriented.

Gluten-free Skillet Cornbread

With only the onions in the pot, someone had to stay behind. And it couldn’t be me. Or Angi. So we pulled out all the spices he’d need and left him with a measuring spoon, a can opener, and my chili recipe pulled up on the computer.

And when we got home? The chili was nearly done simmering, the cornbread had just emerged from the oven, and ALL OF MY DISHES WERE DONE. 

Not only had Dane finished dinner, but he cleaned up the entire kitchen, leaving no trace of cooking behind. He’s welcome for dinner any time he wants.

With Lucas gone, I ate the leftover chili and cornbread two meals a day for the rest of the week, and I swear it tasted so much better than if I’d made it myself.

Gluten-free Cornbread

This is the gluten-free upgrade of the buttermilk skillet cornbread I alluded to when I shared my Healthy Turkey & Veggie Chili and promised a forthcoming cornbread recipe over two years ago. Oops.

This version is even better than the original, replacing the all-purpose flour with a combination of sweet rice flour and oat flour for a more moist cake that’s nearly impossible to over cook. Even without any starch, the cake is lightly dense and holds together well, with a slightly chewy crumble bursting with the aroma of sweet corn. Make no mistakes, this is a sweet corn cornbread that’s got more sugar than many other recipes; I find the sweetness bounces off the savory in my chili and stuffing and it’s what I prefer.

This batch is fated for my annual Sausage Apple Cornbread Stuffing coming up next on the blog just in time for Thanksgiving.

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Gluten-Free Buttermilk Skillet Cornbread
Yields: 1 10-inch skillet, 8-10 servings
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • ½ cup sweet rice flour (also called "glutinous rice flour." For a non-gluten-free version, substitute the sweet rice flour and oat flour for 1 cup all-purpose flour)
  • ½ cup gluten-free oat flour (I make my own by grinding gluten-free rolled oats in a food processor or blender until fine)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk*
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ cup frozen corn
  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together cornmeal, sweet rice flour, oat flour, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Melt the butter in a medium skillet.
  4. Combine the melted butter, sugar, and vegetable oil in the bowl of an electric mixer on low speed.
  5. Add eggs and beat on medium-low until combined.
  6. Combine buttermilk and baking soda in a cup and pour the mixture into the bowl, mixing on medium-low speed until combined.
  7. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on medium speed until just combined.
  8. Add the corn and stir until scattered throughout.
  9. Pour batter into the same skillet you used to melt the butter.
  10. Bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, or with just a few crumbs and the top is lightly browned.
If you don't have buttermilk - which happens often in my house - you can substitute with scant 1 cup milk mixed with 1 tablespoon white vinegar. The cornbread will still turn out just as flavorful!


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  1. I am so making corn bread this year for thanksgiving. . was torn . and I might even do rolls and cornbread because after seeing this and all the other fabulous cornbread recipes, it so needs to happen!!! love this!!! and Dane rocks by the way.

  2. Cornbread should always be baked in a skillet. It’s so much better! This looks fantastic, Sarah!

  3. This cornbread looks to die for! I’m a huge sucker for skillet cornbread. This needs to happen soon! Pinning!

  4. I must say I would love to see Dane’s salad :) I am going to show your post to my hubby.. hint hint hahaha

    Love this healthy version, Sarah. They also look so delicious. Yummmm

  5. There is just something about cornbread that makes me want to just ignore the chili in my bowl and make my meal solely on cornbread. :D I LOVE that this is gluten-free and that you used buttermilk! I’ll bet that makes for one unbelievably moist and fluffy cornbread! Pinning. :)

    • Ha – I just had a conversation with Angi while eating chili and cornbread about whether you should eat the cornbread separately or throw in into the chili. Sounds like maybe you’d be in eat them separately camp! Thanks for sharing it, Sarah!

  6. Okay…you’ve convinced me…I definitely need to make cornbread in a skillet! Your meal sounds fabulous!

  7. Can Dane come over to my house for dinner?! Sounds perfect! And this cornbread? I have been dying to make a gluten free one that doesn’t contain 17 eggs. This is it!

  8. Yum! (1) How come WE never have dinner dates? (2) Will Dane come teach Dan how to cook?

    • 1. Because you live far away. Move to Cali already.
      2. Unless you want Dan to spend an hour chopping an onion, I think you’re better off teaching him yourself. (No offense, Dane;)

  9. Hahahah, putting on pants is a big event. I put on pants every day unfortunately, but they’re always just workout pants so I can teach fitness classes. Then I’m right back in pajamas. Cornbread is one of those things I don’t make or buy or even think of, but I LOVE to eat. Great recipe as always. Happy Friday!

  10. Ah! Totally on the same page. On Tuesday I came home to Nick, aka questionable housewife, having finished the laundry, cleaned the kitchen, and made chili and cornbread!

    Miss you!

    xx Katie
    lovely letters

  11. I should be ashamed of myself — I make cornbread from a box. Yep. The one from Trader Joe’s which I love. But I would love nothing more than to make it from scratch and now I’m going try it with your recipe as soon as I can get my hands on some sweet rice flour and oat flour. Thanks Sarah!

    • I’ve heard that TJ’s one is pretty good! It’s actually so so easy from scratch – it just takes a couple of minutes to toss it all together, then a bit of patience while it bakes. If you don’t have sweet rice or oat flour on hand, you can sub it out for all-purpose flour and it’s also quite tasty! See you tomorrow:)

  12. I need to get a cast iron skillet asap so I can make this! PS I posted a recipe today about buttermilk cornbread. We had the same ideas!! This looks delicious! How fun your night sounds too!! :) Pinned!

  13. I still haven’t cooked cornbread in a skillet yet (probably because I finally bought a skillet a few months ago). Like you, I always add some corn kernels in there because that’s half the fun. I’ll need to give this one a go!

  14. DANE!!!! Are you there? Come to my house!!!
    PS gluten free never looked so good. Love the photos!

  15. Christie says:

    Um. This sounds amazing. And I love anything served in a skillet! CANNOT wait to see the recipe for your Sausage Apple Cornbread recipe. #drool.


  16. This looks so delicious that it’s hard to believe it is gluten free! Pinning!

  17. Lovvvvve cooking cornbread in a skillet! It’s definitely cornbread season, with the temperatures in the low 20’s! I could totally dig this with chili! Pinned!

  18. Mmmmm beautiful golden tan on this cornbread, Sarah! And I have yet to try baking it in a skillet, which I almost did this week working on my version of cornbread and i’m sooo glad I didn’t. I’m actually going to post it on Monday but I promise it’s done and done! And totally different! LOL, sometimes I feel bad to post because it seems like I copied off a blogger friend’s idea, but I would never do this to you my lovely Sarah. I guess it’s one of the woes of food blogging during the holiday season, eh? :D Now that that’s out of the way, I love how you use sticky rice. I’m getting really into it these days and I’m afraid for my waistline. Very afraid.

    • Haha I would NEVER think you’d copy me – you always have such creative and unique ideas. But funny enough, I had the EXACT same conversation with Alanna (below) a few weeks ago when I discovered her cornbread recipe that is very similar to the one I’ve been making for years! I was so worried she’d think I copied her! ANYWAY, I can’t wait to see yours! xoxo.

  19. Alanna says:

    Yum! This looks perfect Sarah! And I love that you made your own oat flour. I agree – food always tastes better when someone else makes it… so make this for me, k? ;)

    • Deal. I’ll make it after sushi and oboro tofu night, k? I feel like we have a running list of things to make. Since we’re assigning things, can you make me some fresh mozzarella?

  20. This skillet cornbread looks incredible, Sarah! I love that it’s gluten free and with buttermilk! It looks so moist and fluffy! I can’t wait to try this and oh my gosh!! Dane is awesome!!! Pinning!

  21. Hahaha, I remember hearing this story in person not to long ago! Dane for this win! This cornbread looks absolutely lovely. I can’t believe you make your own oat flower! SO FANCY!

  22. What beautiful cornbread! I love making cornbread in my skillet – it makes the crust unbeatable. Pinned!

  23. I tried making corn bread once in a skillet and I loved the crispy/crunchy texture outside. Your corn bread looks REALLY delicious!!! I’m inspired to give it a try soon.
    p.s. So jealous you live close to Tsukiji! :D I go back home in Yokohama every year, but I’ve never been to tsukiji even once growing up.

  24. I’ve been hosting dinner parties all wrong it sounds like! I should be having the guests do the cooking and the cleaning, while I enjoy the wine. haha! That’s so great. This cornbread sounds like perfection!

  25. This cornbread needs to be in my stomach immediately… I’m such a sucker for all things corn. It’s a problem. really (actually no its not, b/c corn is awesome)!

  26. This looks like the perfect corn bread. I am sure my boyfriend would love for me to make him a gluten-free corn bread!

  27. SanDiego92128 says:

    I had to make a few changes – I didn’t have an ingredient and my daughter is lactose-free, in addition to gluten-free.

    So, I substituted potato flour for oat flour and added a teaspoon of xanthum gum. I used a cup of unsweetened almond milk with a tablespoon of vinegar as a substitute for the buttermilk.

    This is a very tasty cornbread!! I am super happy with it!!

    Thanks tons for the recipe!

    • Wow – Thank you so much for sharing your substitutions! So glad to know I can make this lactose-free easily; I always have lots of friends looking for dairy-free recipes. Thanks, Sandie!

  28. Lauren says:

    I made this for Thanksgiving dinner using all oat flour in place of the sweet rice, olive oil, and brown sugar – Delish!! Thank you!

    • So great to hear that it worked out with all oat flour – thank you so much for sharing your substitutions, Lauren! I love how versatile this recipe is with all the substitutions I’m hearing people have had success with using.

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