Cornbread is a type of quickbread that is popular in the USA, particularly in the southern states. The traditional cornbread recipe comes from Native American culture and can either be made to be sweet or savoury in taste. Additionally, due to its status as a quickbread and the relatively small list of ingredients, cornbread is quick and easy to make whether from a packet or from scratch. However, what if you don’t have any eggs when planning to bake some cornbread? How would you make homemade of jiffy cornbread without eggs?
Typical Cornbread Ingredients
Traditional cornbread recipes are incredibly simple and only have a small list of ingredients that can be easily found around most homes or in local stores. There is naturally some variation in the ingredients that will be used in different cornmeal recipes. However, the following are some of the most common staples.
Cornbread like pretty much all other breads and quick breads fundamentally requires flour. This is because the gluten produced when flour is mixed with the other ingredients will help your cornbread batter to stick together.
Butter serves two purposes when making cornbread. Firstly it is used to grease the baking dish or cake pan to ensure that your cornbread doesn’t end up sticking to the pan. However, more fundamentally it also provides the cornbread with a rich, flakey and moist flavour
Baking powder is the leavening agent most commonly used in cornbread recipes. This helps the dough to rise and expand. However, unlike stronger leavening agents such as baking soda, baking powder will not cause the cornbread to expand into a dome shape.
The most fundamental ingredient of any cornbread. Yellow cornmeal, in particular, will give your cornbread a nice golden-brown colour. Additionally, the cornmeal will provide the cornbread with its delicious, grainy texture.
If making a sweeter cornbread then adding sugar can counter the taste of the corn and bread flavours produced by the cornmeal and flour respectively. Additionally, this sugar can also make the cornbread more sweet than savoury.
The eggs will act as your glue, helping to bind all your ingredients together. Additionally, they will also help your cornbread to rise.
Buttermilk provides your cornbread with a rich moistness. This taste is only enhanced when using buttermilk. Additionally, when using buttermilk, your corn bread mix will have more leavening power.
A small pinch of salt can really enhance the flavour of your cornmeal. This is especially true in a more savoury cornmeal recipe that might exorcise sugar entirely,
Can You Make Vegan Cornbread?
When following a cornbread recipe, you may be wondering if it is at all possible to make it as a vegan cornbread. Solutions for vegan cornbread are actually quite simple and varied in the majority of instances.
Is There a Vegan Substitute For Milk?
The best substitute for regular milk when making cornbread is almond milk. Almond milk is quite mild in taste and won’t overpower the other ingredients of your vegan cornmeal like some other milk replacements may.
However, when making a savoury vegan cornbread it is important to use unsweetened almond milk. This is because the sweetened version will naturally make your cornbread taste sweeter. In vegan cornbread that is meant to be sweet however, this is a boon since it means that you won’t have to use as much sugar.
Whilst almond milk is a personal favourite, there are other options, however. Oat milk, soy milk and coconut milk can all make excellent substitutes in vegan cornbread. However, like with sweetened almond milk, it is best to only use coconut milk when you want your vegan cornbread to be sweet tasting.
Is There a Vegan Substitute For Butter?
With butter, your best alternative in vegan cornbread is to use an oil. Two excellent choices are canola oil and coconut oil. Both coconut oil and canola oil make excellent choices because their flavours aren’t overpowering like other oils can be.
Canola oil and coconut oil also provide the benefit of helping your vegan cornbread to maintain its moist and flakey flavour for longer. This is because butter will naturally dry out much quicker than oils will due to the butter having a higher concentration of water.
Like with coconut milk and unsweetened almond milk, however, it is recommended that you only use coconut oil in vegan cornbread you wish to be sweet. This is because coconut oil is naturally sweeter than canola oil.
Egg Substitutes For Cornbread
When it comes to replacing eggs, however, things aren’t quite as simple. You’ve got plenty of options that can be applied to making a vegan cornbread recipe or not so vegan cornbread recipe. Each of these options though has its own individual pros and cons.
Chia Gel/Chia Eggs
Chia gel or chia eggs are a staple egg substitute for many vegan variations of different recipes. As such chia gel can make an excellent substitute for eggs in cornbread.
The advantage of using chia eggs for your vegan cornbread is that they have very little noticeable taste of their own. As a result, chia eggs can be used to make vegan cornmeal without eggs that is either sweet or savoury in nature.
Chia eggs aren’t without their downsides, however. Firstly, they are pricier than using regular eggs. Additionally, they are also much harder to find as fewer stores tend to stock the chia seeds required to make chia eggs. Finally, although easy and fairly quick to do, the fact you have to make the chia eggs yourself may be off-putting for some.
If not put off, however, the process of making a chia egg is quite simple. Simply add one tablespoon of chia seeds and two and a half tablespoons of water to a bowl and mix. Then leave the mixture to thicken for roughly five minutes. This may not always be a one to one replacement for eggs but in most scenarios, it will be roughly equivalent to a single egg.
Ground Flax Seed Gel/Flax Egg
Ground flax seed is a slightly nutty-tasting seed that comes from the flax plant. Just like with chia seeds, ground flax seeds can be made into an egg substitute called flax egg or flax gel. The method of doing so works the same as it does with chia seeds.
Whilst chia egg will be relatively tasteless, however, ground flax seed egg will give your vegan cornbread a slightly nutty taste. Whether the nuttiness of ground flax seed is a boon to your vegan cornbread is ultimately up to your personal preference. It is important to note though that the flavour of ground flax seed isn’t very strong and such can be easily masked with other flavouring ingredients.
Like with chia egg, you’ll still have to make the ground flax seed egg yourself from scratch. As with a chia seed egg, to make a ground flax seed egg simply mix one tablespoon of ground flax seed with two and a half tablespoons of water. Then leave to thicken for five minutes.
Getting your hands on ground flax seed is much much easier and often cheaper than it would be to find chia seeds. This is because ground flax seed is more commonly stocked on supermarket shelves than chia seeds.
As a result, ground flax seed egg is an easy and convenient way to make vegan cornbread without eggs. When buying though, ensure you get ground flax seed as regular flax seed will not work.
If you are making a sweet vegan cornbread, then this option is ideal. This is because the overripe bananas will give your vegan cornbread recipe some extra sweetness as overripe bananas release more sugar than regular ones.
One thing to note however is that your vegan cornbread recipe will have a fairly strong banana flavour to it. However, if this sounds appetising to you, then simply mash an overripe banana as you would when making banana bread. Then for every egg, you would use, simply add one-quarter cup (60 grams) of mashed banana to the vegan cornbread recipe instead.
When using bananas however it is important to use overripe bananas as you want them to be soft and mashable.
However, if they are runny when mashed, then drain any excess liquid before adding to the vegan cornbread recipe. If they are underripe, then simply bake in the oven for roughly five minutes on medium heat to soften.
Yoghurt can make a surprisingly excellent replacement for eggs in cornbread. However, whilst this method isn’t necessarily vegan it is an incredibly simple and convenient method for when making a cornbread recipe without eggs.
To use yoghurt instead of eggs in your cornbread recipe simply add a quarter cup (60 grams) of yoghurt for every egg you would normally use.
Typically this method is used for recipes like corn muffin mix or cakes. However, it also works well in many baking recipes, cornbread included.
Using yoghurt can give your cornbread an extra taste of creaminess as well. Yoghurt can be used in either a sweet or savoury cornbread recipe.
However, what type of yoghurt you use is important. Flavoured or sweetened yoghurt will have a noticeable impact on the final taste of your cornbread. In a sweet cornbread, this could be a bonus as it adds extra flavour to the dish. However, in savoury cornbread recipes, sweetened or flavoured varieties are best avoided.
Applesauce puree is derived from cooked apples. Often, it will be sweetened with sugar or flavoured with spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon.
As such sweetened applesauce is an excellent choice to use in a sweet vegan cornbread recipe. However, when doing so, it is recommended that you reduce the added sugar you plan on adding. The reason for this is that sweetened applesauce is already very sweet due to its additional sugar, meaning it can potentially make your vegan cornbread recipe somewhat sickly.
On the other hand, if you plan on making a savoury vegan cornbread, then track down some unsweetened applesauce. This will provide an excellent substitute for eggs in cornbread that is compatible with both savoury and sweet varieties.
Like with overripe bananas and yoghurt the approximate ratio of applesauce to use is one-quarter cup of applesauce per egg being replaced. However, in certain recipes, slightly more or less may be required.
Vegan Cornbread Without Eggs Recipe
This is a basic vegan recipe for cornbread made the northern way. Due to using both unsweetened almond milk and flax seeds it may be slightly nutty if no additional ingredients are added. However, if any additional ingredients such a cheese, jalapenos, etc are added, then this nuttiness will be easily concealed.
Vegan Cornbread Ingredients
Below are the basic ingredients that you can use as a foundation for your own vegan cornbread recipe:
- One cup of yellow cornmeal
- One and a half cups of all-purpose flour
- Half a teaspoon of salt (adjust for taste)
- Three Tablespoons of Baking Powder
- Half a cup of sugar (adjust for taste). A personal preference is to use brown sugar. However, honey or any other sugar of choice should also work
- Enough of Your Egg Replacement of Choice for Two Eggs. Here I will be using ground flax seed egg
- One cup of unsweetened almond milk or your buttermilk substitute of choice
- One-third cup of your oil of choice. Here I will be using canola oil.
Vegan Cornbread Baking Method
- Preheat a cast-iron skillet, pan or cake tray in your oven at 400° Fahrenheit or 205° Celsius. This will give your cornbread a nice brown crust when you add the batter later.
- Add all your dry ingredients but sugar into a bowl and whisk together well.
- In a separate bowl mix your oil and sugar. Mix well until your sugar is completely dissolved.
- Add your egg replacement into the bowl of oil and sugar solution. Mix well until completely combined.
- Add your milk substitute of choice to the sugar, oil and “egg” solution and mix well until fully combined.
- Slowly add your bowl of combined wet ingredients to your bowl of combined dry ingredients and mix. Ensure whilst doing so that the mixture doesn’t form any lumps. If the batter looks too thick then adding an extra tablespoon of your milk replacement should resolve this.
- Remove your heated skillet, pan or cake tray from the oven and grease it with additional oil.
- Pour your batter into the skillet, pan or baking tray and smooth the mixture out on top.
- Bake for between twenty and twenty-five minutes at 400° Fahrenheit or 205° Celsius. When finished the outside should be a nice golden brown. If uncertain, insert a toothpick into the centre of your cornbread and pull it out. When you do so, only a few crumbs come with it, the cornbread is ready. Should the toothpick be damp, then it likely needs another five minutes, to prevent it from drying out, cover it in tin foil for this extra time.
- Once you’re satisfied that it is ready, remove it from the pan and allow it to cool slightly for five minutes. For the best results, serve it whilst still warm.