non-intentional pumpkin cornbread

No recipes were made this week that I intended on.

This week was also my 2 year blogiversary, which I intended on talking about, but forgot.  Or got lazy.  I can’t remember.

And another year went by, with no festive Halloween cookies or treats.

Despite my best intentions, this is all I have for you.  I’m blaming it on the snow.

It’s not a cookie, it’s not a comforting Halloween meal, it’s just cornbread.

(1 of 1)-2

But it’s damn good cornbread.  Two ways.

(2 of 11)

I’ve been on a cornbread kick this fall.  There really is no reason not to be on a cornbread kick, but I think my reasoning is because it’s really easy to make gluten free.  While I don’t eat too many sandwiches/bagels/bread products, with the ridiculous cost of GF bread, there is no lack of carbs in my diet.

(1 of 4)
I was hesitant to make this cornbread, because I was out of eggs.  While vegan baked goods are delicious, vegan + gluten free baked goods can be quite disastrous.  I’ve heard of pumpkin cornbread before, and thought the combination sounded like a winner.  I also thought the pumpkin would help thicken + smooth out the texture, which is oftentimes gummy when vegan + GF.

(2 of 4)
I wanted this cornbread to have a traditional consistency.  Thick, cracked on top, and not too crumbly or airy.  So I kept things simple with 3 types of flour.

  • cornmeal
  • masa harina
  • raw buckwheat flour

No potato starch, xanthan gum, or rice flour needed.  Just a little bit of ground flax to hold things together.  But no “flax-egg.”  As previously mentioned, I’m almost positive that I’ll never make a flax egg again.

(3 of 4)
Flax eggs may work with vegan baking when using gluten flours, but I just haven’t had good results when you throw gluten-free flours into the mix.  The flax-egg is gummy and it causes baked goods to be, well, gummy.  And who wants that?  I want a baked good that you bite into and have no clue that it’s gluten free or vegan.  In the past few weeks, I’ve started to figure out the technique in making that possible.  Maybe you already know this, but maybe not.

#1 technique that has helped: Using plain ground flax meal, instead of a flax egg.

  • What I’ve noticed – The flax egg makes it much harder to tell when your baked good is done baking.  It always leaves things a bit of the gooey/gummy side and more dense than I like.  This makes me want to go back and re-create every single vegan + gf buckwheat bake that I’ve made.  I know I can improve the texture a lot, now that I know this.

#2 technique that has helped: When baking gluten free and vegan, you want the dough texture to be much thicker than in plain gluten free or wheat flour baking.

  • This is a tricky one, and so far only applies to things like cornbread, zucchini bread, and heavier type baked goods.  I haven’t tested this more delicate baked goods, like cake.  If you look at the very first photo, you will see a very thick batter.  It’s not even pourable.  The ground flax absorbs a lot of the moisture, which you want.  If there is too much liquid added, you’ll encounter the same result as when using the flax egg.  Gummy + tough.  In breads like zucchini/banana/etc the dough will be slightly more pourable.
  • The other tricky part about the dough, is that you can’t just add a little liquid at a time and keep stirring until it’s the right consistency.  When gluten free baked goods are over stirred, the texture goes south, quickly.  It’s kind of a guessing game.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

Lucky for you, I did all the guessing for this recipe, and now all you have to do is follow along!

(1 of 1)

Pumpkin Cornbread [vegan + gluten free]

  • 1/2c raw buckwheat flour [ground from raw buckwheat groats, not Kasha]
  • 1/2c med/fine cornmeal
  • 1c masa harina [or corn flour]
  • 3/4c pumpkin puree
  • 6T brown rice syrup [or maple/honey]
  • 1c unsweetened nut milk
  • 2T ground flax meal
  • 2T sunflower oil + 1T [for the pan]
  • 1T baking powder
  • 1/2t baking soda
  • 3/4t fine grain sea salt

  1. Preheat your oven to 375*.
  2. Place your baking pan in the oven [9” cast iron, 9” round or square pan] to heat.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients and stir until mixed thoroughly.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together all of the wet ingredients [except for the 1T of oil], until thoroughly combined.
  5. Remove pan from the oven + add 1T of oil to it.  Place back in the oven.
  6. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry bowl and mix with a large spoon until just combined.  The dough will be thick.
  7. Remove the pan from the oven, and with a pastry brush or carefully turning the pan, spread the oil around the bottom and all sides.
  8. Scrape the dough out into the pan, and gently push the dough to the edges of the pan + smooth the top, with a spatula or butter knife.
  9. Bake for 30-35min, and test with a toothpick.  It should be moist, but not gooey or bone dry.  The top should be golden brown + cracked, which the edges being slightly darker.
  10. Let the pan cool for at least 15min before cutting.  The cornbread will have a better texture once fully cooled.  Reheat when serving if desired.
*Updated version as of 12/7/11*  Both versions work + taste great!  However, I think I prefer this 2nd version.  The oat flour lets the corn flavor come out more, as does lowering the amount of sweetener.
  • 1/2c gluten free oat flour [bob's red mill packages this, or grind your own from GF oats]
  • 1/2c med/fine cornmeal
  • 1c masa harina [or corn flour]
  • 3/4c pumpkin puree
  • 2T brown rice syrup [or maple/honey]
  • 1 c +3T unsweetened nut milk
  • 2T ground flax meal
  • 2T Earth Balance/sunflower oil + 1T [for the pan]
  • 1T baking powder
  • 1/2t baking soda
  • 3/4t fine grain sea salt

High Altitude: oven at 400*, decrease baking powder to 2.5 teaspoons

*Feel free to sub gluten free oat flour [ground from GF oat groats/steel cut/rolled oats] for the buckwheat flour.  Wheat flour should also work in this recipe.
*While this recipe does not taste like pumpkin whatsoever, feel free to sub well mashed banana [will take on a banana flavor], butternut squash puree, sweet potato puree, or 1/2c + 2T unsweetened applesauce instead.
*2 eggs can be substituted for the flax, but the liquid will have to be decreased.  I would guess, by 4T, but don’t hold me to it!  Let me know if you come up with the right ratio.

(1 of 2)-2
To have a gluten free + vegan baked good that doesn’t crumble when you cut it, isn’t gummy, and doesn’t use 5 different flours, makes this girl incredibly happy.

(2 of 2)-2
And now moving on to another cornbread recipe, that has a warm, pumpkin spice flavor, while still holding on to that familiar cornbread texture.

(2 of 2)

Pumpkin Spice Cornbread [vegan + gluten free]

Using the same recipe + method as above, add in the following ingredients.  The molasses should be added in with the wet ingredients and the spices to the dry.

  • 1T molasses
  • 1.5t cinnamon
  • 1/2t ginger
  • 1/8t nutmeg

(1 of 2)
Both recipes were made and demolished within 2 days.  They’re easy to throw together and you can always tightly wrap + freeze the extra.  Eat this with your dinner, as breakfast, or an afternoon snack.

I chose all three options and now we’re out.

(5 of 5)
Maybe next week will go a little more as planned?

But I’m not too concerned…


Hey guys!  Just curious who all is heading to San Francisco for the Foodbuzz Festival next week??  I would love to know who all is coming to my photography breakout session on Saturday!  I’m very excited [and nervous!] to be presenting, and may sound like a blubbering fool for the first 5 minutes.  Just a warning. ;)