Pumpkin Cornbread – vegan

A few weeks ago, I boldly promised to keep this a “pumpkin-spice-anything-free zone,” and I’m proud to say that’s still true. I will admit, however, that I noticed a loophole and decided to take advantage of it. You see, I didn’t outlaw actual pumpkin. Sneaky, you accuse? Yep. But, in my defense, loopholes are a proud American tradition, and it is technically fall now, so pumpkin is actually appropriate.

I came across a recipe for a honey pumpkin cornbread, started making it, realized my cornmeal was not-so-good, ran and got a new bag, finished the recipe, and after all of that, was supremely disappointed. It was dry. It was boring. It tasted like pumpkin but not at all like cornbread. Or honey, particularly, come to think of it. I knew I liked the idea in general, so I basically tore the recipe up (well, virtually tore it up. and by “tore it up” I mean I no longer have it Pinned) and started all over.

I switched from honey to maple syrup and reduced the volume. I got rid of an egg and some pumpkin-y spices. I introduced creamed corn to the ingredient list and reduced the milk. A few other tweaks, and I was ready to try again.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner. This pumpkin cornbread blends and balances both flavors so that you can really tell each is there. It’s moist (even the next day) and not too sweet. In short, it’s all the good things that cornbread should be.

Pumpkin Cornbread – vegan

If you make this when there is still fresh corn available, I think a handful of fresh kernels would be a tasty addition. I see no reason why you couldn’t make either mini or jumbo muffins and adjust the bake time accordingly. Also, I haven’t tried myself, but they should freeze just fine if well-wrapped.

If you are looking for a breakfast treat, drizzle some maple syrup over a warm muffin. It’s fabulous on a fall morning. Otherwise, I recommend pairing these with black bean sweet potato chili or red bean chili. Or, if you want to go pumpkin-crazy, pumpkin chili.

3/4 C non-dairy milk
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 C yellow cornmeal
1 C whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp vegetable oil (or melted coconut oil or vegan butter)
3/4 C canned pumpkin
3/4 C creamed corn
1/4 C maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)

In a medium-sized non-reactive bowl or large glass measuring cup, combine non-dairy milk and vinegar. Set aside for at least 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400F. Grease a standard, 12 cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray or line with paper liners.

In a large bowl, stir flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt together. Whisk oil, pumpkin, creamed corn, and maple syrup into the milk+vinegar mixture. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Divide batter evenly among muffin tins. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached.

Cool for 5 or 10 minutes in the pan, then remove and serve immediately or allow to cool completely on a wire rack. In an airtight container, muffins stay moist for 3-4 days.