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Homemade Simple Cornbread Recipe Without Milk

This moist and sweet homemade simple cornbread recipe without milk is perfection! Made with nutty whole grains, honey, and coconut oil, it happens to be dairy-free, which I know many people appreciate. I guarantee this recipe is the best, softest cornbread you’ve tried. Your whole family will go nuts for it!

removing slice of simple cornbread recipe without milk from cast iron

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I had a pretty good go-to traditional cornbread recipe that I had made for ten years. However, one struggle I have with it is that it calls for buttermilk and that’s not something I routinely keep on hand. While I often can do the “buttermilk hack” using regular milk and lemon juice, one day I found myself in dire straights having run out of regular milk, too.

They say necessity is the mother of invention, right? I had chili on the menu, and the kids were demanding cornbread. I decided to make a few tweaks to the recipe based on what we had on hand to see if it would work, and not only did it work, but it was even better than our OG recipe.

My first version of this recipe used butter, and that was super tasty, too. Over time, I started subbing in coconut oil instead, and the texture it created was absolutely incredible. It’s now my favorite way to make this cornbread, and now it happens to be a dairy-free cornbread recipe (as long as eggs aren’t a problem, as I know some dairy-free people also avoid eggs).

Ingredients

To make this homemade simple cornbread recipe without milk, you need a handful of simple ingredients:

  • Cornmeal – It wouldn’t be cornbread without cornmeal, would it? Choose whole grain if you can, but just use what you’re able to find. Sometimes I’m beholden to whatever my grocery store carries, and there usually isn’t as much cornmeal selection as other things. I always buy yellow cornmeal, but white cornmeal should also work.
  • Soft White Wheat Flour – Also known as Whole Wheat Pastry Flour. This has a lower protein content, meaning it is softer and fluffier than typical whole wheat flour. However, regular whole wheat flour can also be used if it’s all you can find, or all-purpose flour if needed.
  • White Sugar – I use organic cane sugar for all my white sugar recipes, but regular white sugar works just the same.
  • Honey – This adds softness, richness, and depth to the sweet cornbread flavor.
  • Eggs – Two regular grade A large eggs.
  • Coconut Oil – This adds moisture and deepens flavor.
  • Baking essentials like baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Water – We replaced the milk/buttermilk with plain water. It doesn’t sound fancy, but just trust me. This is a great recipe!

The only equipment you need is a cast iron skillet, a couple of mixing bowls, a whisk, and a mixing spoon.

simple cornbread recipe without milk ingredients on wooden cutting board

Measuring Tips

I use a kitchen scale for all of my baking. For whole wheat flour, I go by 130 grams = 1 cup of flour. However, when you measure by scooping, you will end up with varied amounts of flour, usually much more than 130 grams per cup.

If you don’t have a kitchen scale, you can still use measuring cups but make sure you measure by spooning the flour and cornmeal into the cups, don’t use them as scoops. This typically measures more accurately.

Instructions

To make this delicious and simple homemade cornbread, follow the instructions below:

whisking dry ingredients for cornbread

1. Combine Dry Ingredients

Whisk together the whole wheat flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. Set aside.

Black and Silver Film Camera on Brown Wooden Surface

2. Melt Coconut Oil

In a medium or large microwave-safe bowl, add the coconut oil and microwave it in 30 to 60-second increments until melted. Try not to let the oil get too hot, but just hot enough to melt.

mixing sugars with melted coconut oil in glass bowl

3. Prep Wet Ingredients

While the oil is melting, crack two eggs into a small bowl and beat them. When the oil is done melting, remove the bowl from the microwave and add the white sugar and honey to it. Stir to mix, then add your beaten eggs and water. Whisk to combine.

mixing cornbread dry ingredients into wet in glass bowl

4. Add Dry Ingredients to Wet Ingredients

Add your bowl of dry ingredients to your bowl of wet ingredients and whisk until the batter is smooth with few lumps.

putting simple cornbread recipe without milk into oven

5. Bake

Spray a light layer of cooking spray or wipe some olive oil onto a 10-inch cast-iron skillet and pour in the cornbread batter. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes or until a fork comes out clean and there is light browning on top.

removing slice of simple cornbread recipe without milk from cast iron

6. Cool & Serve

Allow cornbread to cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing & serving. Then it’s ready to enjoy!

Tips & Variations

If you don’t have coconut oil (or don’t like the coconut flavor), this delicious quick bread recipe has been tested with melted butter and that works great in place of coconut oil. However, if you would like to reduce the saturated fat and keep it dairy-free, I would use avocado oil as an alternative.

While I have not tried making this recipe with coconut milk or coconut sugar, I believe they would also work very well in place of the water and white sugar if needed. I would not use brown sugar–this is not the right type of recipe for that ingredient.

If you don’t have a cast iron pan, bake this in an 8×8 baking pan. You will need to slightly increase the baking time. Start with 25 minutes and then check on the cornbread by poking it with a fork to make sure it comes out clean. If you’d rather use a muffin tin, they also make great muffins that bake up in just 16-20 minutes.

If you would like to make this a vegan cornbread recipe, you could try subbing in maple syrup for the honey and replacing the eggs with your favorite egg substitute that does well in baking. But for best results, I recommend following the recipe as written.

Serving Suggestions

Serve this simple cornbread recipe without milk while warm or at room temperature. It’s delicious as is, but even better with a pat of butter and a drizzle of honey!

This tasty, easy recipe is great to serve with my Healthy Bison Chili recipe. It’s also a great side for smoked meats like my smoked boneless pork loin, my easy smoked whole chicken, and even for a tasty holiday side with my Traeger spatchcocked turkey!

overhead shot of simple cornbread recipe without milk in cast iron with slice missing

Nutritional Information

This recipe makes 12 servings. For one serving of this recipe, the nutritional info is as follows:

  • Calories: 205
  • Protein: 3.2 grams
  • Fat: 10.4 grams (7.8 grams saturated)
  • Carbs: 26.4 grams
  • Fiber: 1.8 grams

Recipe Notes

Store leftover cornbread in an airtight container or plastic wrap. It will last for 3-4 days.

FAQ

What can I use in place of milk for cornbread?

This recipe uses plain water in place of milk to make our delicious cornbread. However, you could also try a nut milk or coconut milk.

Can you use water instead of milk for cornbread?

Yes, you can use water instead of milk for cornbread. Water still contributes to a moist and fluffy bread!

Did You Make This Recipe?

Please leave a comment and review! It means the world!

removing slice of simple cornbread recipe without milk from cast iron
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Homemade Simple Cornbread Recipe (without milk)

This delicious homemade cornbread recipe used whole grains, honey, and coconut oil to create sweet and nutty flavors.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cornbread, cornbread without milk, dairy free cornbread, whole grain, whole grain cornbread
Servings: 12 slices
Calories: 205kcal
Author: Holly Lee
Cost: $5

Equipment

  • 1 10-in Cast Iron Skillet or other baking vessel

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Yellow Cornmeal
  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour (130 grams) see notes for substitution
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 8 tbsp Coconut Oil unrefined
  • 2 Eggs large
  • 1/3 cup White Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Honey
  • 1 cup Water

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Into a large mixing bowl, add the cornmeal, whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine, then set aside.
  • Into a separate large microwave-safe bowl, add your coconut oil. Microwave it at 30 to 60-second intervals to melt it. Try just to heat it just enough so it melts, but don't let it get too hot.
  • While the coconut oil is melting, crack two eggs into a small bowl and beat them. Set aside.
  • When the coconut oil is done melting, add the white sugar and honey and stir together. Then add your beaten eggs and water. Whisk to combine.
  • Add your dry ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients. Whisk to combine until few lumps remain.
  • Lightly grease a 10-inch cast iron skillet. Pour your batter into the skillet. Bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes.
  • Let cool for about 10 minutes and then serve. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

For 1 cup of whole wheat pastry flour, I use 130 grams. If you do not have a kitchen scale, measure your flour by spooning the flour into the measuring cup and keep the measuring cup light and fluffy. Too much flour in this recipe will make the cornbread dry.
If you do not have whole wheat pastry flour, you can use regular whole wheat flour (I prefer white whole wheat, but red wheat is great, too). You can also use all-purpose flour. 
You can also baking this cornbread in an 8×8 pan by slightly increasing the baking time to about 25 minutes to start.
If making these in a muffin tin, bake them for about 16-20 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 205kcal

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