Brown Butter Pumpkin Cornbread is a fluffy sweet and savory holiday side dish perfect for sharing. With gluten-free and vegan options available!
With the holiday season rapidly approaching, I'm already thinking about my menus. And you can bet that this sweet and savory pumpkin cornbread is going to be a staple. The whole family loves this baked treat, and it's easy to make gluten-free or vegan if you have guests with dietary preferences. The texture is perfectly moist and fluffy, with a crisp golden crust. And you can bake the cornbread right in your skillet for a classic dish that's best shared right at the table.
How to Make Pumpkin Cornbread
To make this cornbread, you'll start by making the browned butter. Make sure to keep an eye on the butter as it's on the stove, as butter can burn quickly. Stay safe by keeping the heat pretty low. When the butter is a nice caramelized color, remove it from the heat and let it cool before you make the rest of the cornbread batter.
The rest of the batter comes together in a mixing bowl. It's a straightforward baking recipe with ingredients you probably already have on hand.
Here's what you need to market his Thanksgiving side dish:
Cornmeal. Use yellow cornmeal from Bob's Red Mill if you can. Most cornmeal is already gluten-free, but if necessary, double check that yours is certified.
All-purpose flour. I like organic flour from Bob's Red Mill.
Pumpkin spice. You can find this special blend in the spice aisle.
Dried parsley. This adds nice little specs of green and herby flavor throughout the brad.
Butter. Use unsalted butter to control the flavor of your bread. Choose vegan butter to keep things dairy-free.
Pumpkinpuree. Make sure you're not using pumpkin pie filling!
Maple syrup. You could also use agave, but maple adds a delicious flavor.
Almond milk. Any vegan milk will work!
Tips for Success
Follow these tips to make your cornbread:
Avoid overmixing the dough, which can cause the bread to become dense.
The cornbread is done baking when the center is set and the top is golden brown.
Spread the batter evenly into the pan before you bake it. The batter is thick, so it needs a little help to spread into the pan.
Make sure your pan is well-greased so it's easy to remove the bread after baking.
Store leftover pumpkin cornbread in an airtight container or tightly wrapped in plastic wrap for up to 3 days in the fridge.
It's best the day you make it, but you can always warm the bread in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes before serving.
What to Serve with Brown Butter Cornbread
This cornbread recipe is a must have for my Thanksgiving menu. Here's what I'll be serving it with this year:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and generously grease your cast iron skillet and line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a medium 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter, stirring occasionally and letting it cook for 3-4 minutes, until dark bits begin to form and the entire butter becomes fragrant and darker. Set aside and let cool.
In a large mixing bowl, add the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, pumpkin spice, and parsley, whisking them together until well combined.
Add the pumpkin puree, milk, maple syrup, and cooled brown butter, stirring everything together using a rubber spatula until well incorporated and the batter becomes thick yet easy to stir.
Scoop batter into prepared skillet and evenly spread around.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the center is fully cooked through. NOTE: I usually check the middle after 25 minutes with a sharp knife to test how clean it comes out. Once fully done, the center will come out entirely clean.
Remove cornbread from oven and let it cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.
Tips & Tricks
STORAGE: You can store your leftover cornbread in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days for optimal freshness. Simply reheat cornbread in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit when ready to serve again. In addition, you can freeze leftovers for up to 3 months. Just thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and reheat in the oven when ready to serve.