Vegan Southern Cornbread

I love cornbread – so much so, that I can eat an entire pan fresh out of the oven. I try to lead a healthy lifestyle, but with something this good, it’s hard to! Cornbread goes well with lots of things and is great anytime of day. My favorite way to pair cornbread is with pinto beans and greens. It’s also fantastic on New Year’s Day with vegan Hoppin’ John and greens.

However you eat cornbread, I hope you share with your closest friends and family.

While I’ve already written an ode to Mamaw, I have to also thank her for inspiring this cornbread recipe. She made really good cornbread – with bacon drippings, of course. I don’t remember eating it with anything other than butter when I was a child and before I was plant-based. Honestly, she wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between this version and hers.

I grew up in Nashville, TN and spent lots of time in south central Kentucky, where my mom’s family is from. Classic southern cooking is in my heart, and it’s sometimes difficult for a southern girl to live a plant-based lifestyle. This vegan southern cornbread is perfect for days when I’m missing home and my childhood.

The key to making the perfect vegan southern cornbread is the right ratio of cornmeal to flour. I prefer slightly more cornmeal than flour. You also want to make sure you grease and preheat your cast iron skillet. The hotter the oil, the better to ensure you get a nice, crispy crust.

The buttermilk replacement is another crucial component to making this the best vegan southern cornbread. My family has soy allergies, so I try to avoid using soy milk when baking, but truly it works the best. Adding vinegar to your milk alternative helps to ‘sour’ the milk so it reacts better with the baking soda, making your cornbread nice and fluffy.

Lastly, you need a good egg replacement. Applesauce works perfectly in baking. Make or use unsweetened applesauce so your cornbread doesn’t come out too sweet.

I hope you enjoy this cornbread recipe. Tell me about it in the comments below.

vegan southern cornbread

Vegan Southern Cornbread

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins


  • 1/2 cup Earthbalance
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup oat milk (I prefer Oatly) Soy milk works best, but any unsweetened milk alternative works fine.
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp canola oil


  • Preheat oven to 400.
  • Rub oil in 9-inch cast iron skillet with canola oil and put in oven as it preheats. Make sure to spread the oil evenly on the sides and bottom – this will make your cornbread nice and crispy.
  • Measure milk alternative and add 1 tbsp of white vinegar. Adding vinegar will help to 'sour' the nut milk (think buttermilk) and react with the baking soda in the dry ingredients. Let sit 5 minutes, or until ready to combine ingredients.
  • Melt butter on the stovetop (or microwave). Let cool before mixing into wet ingredients.
  • Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk gently.
  • Add milk with vinegar and applesauce. Stir to combine. Applesauce is the egg replacement in the recipe. It will not make your cornbread sweet – just make sure to use unsweetened applesauce.
  • Add melted butter to mixture, making sure not to overmix.
  • Once oven is preheated and cast-iron skillet is hot, remove cast-iron from the stove using an oven mitt – it will be very hot.
  • Pour cornbread mixture into cast iron skillet.
  • Bake for 25 minutes, or until your cornbread is golden brown.