These vegan cornbread muffins are made extra sweet and flavorful with molasses and classic cornbread ingredients. They are easy to make in under 30 minutes & perfect as a side with hearty soup!
Say goodbye to store-bought cornbread mix. It's easy to make your own homemade vegan version using traditional ingredients and a few substitutions to make dairy-free and egg-free.
There is an age-old debate between sugar-sweetened and unsweetened cornbread. Let me just say that if you prefer unsweetened cornbread, this is not the recipe for you.
- Made in one bowl in just 30 minutes
- Molasses gives the muffins a deep brown color and adds an extra level of flavor
- Makes light, fluffy, and tender
These cornbread muffins are the perfect side with soup. There's nothing quite like a sweet cornbread muffin paired with mushroom barley soup or quinoa chili!
If you're looking for cornbread made without molasses, you might like my traditional vegan cornbread recipe.
- Molasses: Molasses is a dark, thick syrupy biproduct made from boiling sugar cane or sugar beets. In this recipe we will use regular or light molasses, not blackstrap molasses (that is a much more strongly flavored version of molasses).
- Cornmeal: In this recipe, we will use whole grain cornmeal. Whole grain cornmeal is simply ground corn, whereas refined or degerminated cornmeal is more finely ground. Coarse, whole-grain cornmeal yields a more richly flavored and textured muffin. My favorite cornmeal is this kind from Bob's Red Mill, but any package labeled "coarse" will work.
- All-purpose flour, baking powder, and baking soda are baking staples that contribute to the cornbread muffin structure.
- Non-dairy milk: Unsweetened, unflavored soy milk is my go-to, but any kind of non-dairy milk works.
- Vegan butter, such as Earth Balance or Miyoko's brand. An equal amount of coconut oil can be used as needed.
How to make
We will use mostly traditional cornbread ingredients and methods with the addition of a few vegan substitutes.
1. Make a flax egg by combining dry flaxseed with warm water. Let sit for at least 5 minutes. As the flaxseed sits it becomes more viscous and "egg"-like.
2. Make vegan "buttermilk" by combining unsweetened soy milk with apple cider vinegar. Let sit for 10 minutes. The acidic vinegar causes soy milk to curdle and become thicker. It may not sound appetizing, but it's a great way to add extra depth to cornbread (and vegan pancakes and biscuits!).
*If you don't have apple cider vinegar you can use regular vinegar. If you don't have any vinegar at all, just skip the buttermilk step.
3. Combine all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Whisk until just combined, careful not to overmix. It is okay if some small dry parts still exist.
5. Evenly divide the batter into twelve lightly oiled muffin tins (I use spray for this step, but you can also drizzle oil in the tins and spread it around with a paper towel).
You will use about ~⅓ cup batter per muffin tin. The batter should be about the consistency of pancake batter: not too watery, but not thick either.
Step six: Bake the muffins at 400 degrees F for 15-18 minutes. Because the molasses makes the muffins darken more than a traditional corn muffin, you will want to check for doneness using a toothpick inserted in the center. The toothpick will come out clean when the corn muffins are baked through.
Recipe FAQ and tips
- Storage: Keep for 3-4 days in a closed container at room temperature and 4-5 days refrigerated.
- Freezing: Freeze in a closed container for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw in the fridge overnight.
- Sugar swaps: If you are in a pinch and don't have molasses you can use an equal amount of honey or maple syrup.
- Corn: You can add 1 cup of thawed frozen corn if you're used to eating corn in your cornbread muffins.
- Crumble cornbread muffins into your favorite soup or enjoy as a side with Hearty Lentil Soup or Chickpea Noodle Soup.
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Vegan Cornbread Muffins
- ¾ cup unsweetened soy milk see note 1
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 3 tablespoons warm water
- 1 and ¼ cup all-purpose flour see note 2
- 1 cup coarse cornmeal see note 3
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup melted vegan butter
- ¼ cup white sugar
- ¼ cup molasses
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Stir together ¾ cup soy milk and 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar in a small bowl. Let rest for 10 minutes, until thickened.
- Make a flax egg by mixing together 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed and 3 tablespoons warm water in a small bowl. Let rest for 5 minutes before using.
- In a medium mixing bowl, mix together dry ingredients: all-purpose flour, cornmeal, white sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda.
- Pour in wet ingredients: soy milk/apple cider vinegar mixture, flaxseed egg, melted vegan butter, molasses. Whisk until just combined, careful not to overmix.
- Lightly oil a 12-cup muffin tin using cooking spray. Pour ⅓ cup cornbread batter into each tin.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes at 400 degrees on the middle oven rack, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
- Remove from oven. Let sit for 2 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack. Enjoy with a spread of vegan butter.
- Milk: Any unflavored, unsweetened non-dairy milk works.
- Flour: To prevent adding too much flour, use the spoon and level method to measure out flour. Spoon flour into a measuring cup until overflowing. Do not pat flour down into the cup. Use the back of a knife to scrape off excess flour.
- Cornmeal: Coarse cornmeal is different than unrefined cornmeal found in most baking aisles. I use Bob's Red Mill Coarse Cornmeal, but any cornmeal labeled "coarse" will do.
- Cornbread muffins last 3-4 days at room temperature and 4-5 days refrigerated.
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