How To Make Cornbread Without Baking Powder?

Last Updated on January 18, 2022

Today, we’re going to be looking at how to make cornbread without baking powder. Some baking powders can contain gluten, which can be really frustrating when you’re trying to make delicious foods like cornbread at home. But making cornbread with no baking powder couldn’t be easier! There’s a variety of alternatives you can use to keep the rise the same, but without the use of baking powder. Let’s take a look.

What Does Baking Powder Do?

Baking powder is a leavening agent. You’ll most often use baking powder when making baked goods that need some rise. Baking powder and baking soda are not the same product. Baking soda does not have the acid component that baking powder has.

When you add water to baking powder, this causes a reaction and whatever you’re baking will expand. This is great when making foods such as cake or bread.

Substitutes For Baking Powder In Cornbread

If you’re all out of baking powder or simply want to use something different-  there are quite a few alternatives you can use. Most of which you’ll already have in your pantry.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is the obvious choice to use to replace baking powder. However, you will need to pair it with an acid component such as buttermilk. Cornbread usually already uses buttermilk, but if not, swap out the regular milk for buttermilk.

As for the baking soda, if your recipe is using one teaspoon of baking powder (for example), you will need to use 1/4 of a teaspoon of baking soda – a little goes a long way!

cornbread with no baking powder


Another handy replacement is cornstarch – which you probably already have in your pantry as gluten intolerant. You’ll need 2 parts cornstarch, 1 part baking soda, and 1 part cream of tartar. It’s a 1-1 replacement for baking powder, so very easy to navigate how much you’ll need. For example, one teaspoon of baking powder will need one teaspoon of the cornstarch mixture.

Other Substitutes

There are a range of other alternatives to try in place of baking powder, including;

  • plain yogurt
  • molasses
  • cream of tartar
  • sour milk
  • vinegar
  • lemon juice
  • club soda
  • self-raising flour (gluten-free, of course)
  • whipped egg whites

Homemade Cornbread Without Baking Powder Recipes

Cornbread is super easy to make and is a great addition to any gluten-free meal. Let’s take a look at two gluten-free recipes that require no baking powder whatsoever!

Easy Homemade Cornbread Recipe (Without Baking Powder)

The first cornbread recipe is from Peas and Crayons. And while it needs quite a few ingredients, it takes just 10 minutes to prep!

The ingredients you’ll need for this recipe are:

  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1 tablespoon of vinegar (ensure it’s gluten free)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 cup of yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup of gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt

To make this delicious recipe, all you need to do is follow these simple steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375F
  2. Rub a square pan with coconut oil or butter
  3. Get the yogurt, milk, and vinegar and combine. Mix well and leave to one side
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside when mixed well
  5. Melt your butter in a large pan over medium to high heat
  6. When the butter has melted, add the sugar and remove it from heat. Mix well
  7. Add your eggs to this mix and whisk until combined
  8. Add in the milk mixture from step 3 and stir well
  9. Now add the cornmeal mixture from step 4 and stir well. The less lumps there are, the better
  10. Pour into the square pan (with the coconut oil/butter) and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes. A toothpick will come out clean in the center of the cornbread when it’s done
  11. Allow to cool on a wire rack and enjoy!

Southern Cornbread Recipe (Without Baking Powder)

This recipe from Feast and Farm contains very few ingredients and the prep time is just 7 minutes. So if you’re looking for a quick, easy recipe – this may be the one for you.

The ingredients you’ll need for this recipe are:

  • 2 cups of self-rising cornmeal mix (ensure the mix is gluten-free – Stone Ground Old School is a good option)
  • 2 medium sized eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil (for the skillet/large pan)
  • 1 3/4 cups of buttermilk

To make this cornbread, all you need to do is:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F
  2. Get the 1/4 of oil and place into (preferably cast iron) a skillet over high heat while you prepare the batter
  3. Grab a bowl and add the cornmeal mix, oil, egg, and buttermilk
  4. Mix well until there are few lumps remaining
  5. Place a small amount of the mixture into the skillet – if it sizzles, it’s hot enough to use
  6. Pour the batter into the skillet, as thick or thin as you require. No more than one inch from the top as it needs space to rise
  7. Place the skillet into your preheated oven
  8. Bake for around 30 minutes (or until golden)
  9. Leave to cool after taking out of the oven and your cornbread is ready!

The cast-iron skillet will give your cornbread a golden, crispy crust – so it’s definitely worth using it if you have one. It makes the cornbread taste even more delicious than usual.


I hope this article has helped you learn how to make cornbread without baking powder. While there are many substitutes for baking powder, you’ll usually need to combine a few of them to make up for the lack of baking powder. But it’s super easy to do, and the substitutes are all gluten-free, which makes it all the easier for us.

Do you know any other ways of how to make cornbread without baking powder? If so, please feel free to leave any suggestions in the comments below. Sharing is caring!