This amazing cornbread doesn't get its namesake from vegan butter or oil. Nope, all the rich, buttery taste comes from a magic secret ingredient: pecans! These amazing nuts are ground into a flour and mixed with cornmeal to make a supremely moist, nutty, and luscious cornbread – without any added oils.
‘Buttery’ Skillet Cornbread [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
- 1 1/4 cups canned light coconut milk, shaken well first
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups coarse grind cornmeal
- 3/4 cup raw pecan halves
- 1/4 cup oat flour
- 1/4 cup tapioca starch
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- First, add your coconut milk to a medium bowl and let sit until the temperature of the milk is lukewarm. Add the cornmeal and apple cider vinegar and stir until well mixed. Set aside to soak for 10 minutes. This step is crucial, so don't skip it. It helps to soften the grittiness of the cornmeal and make the cornbread more moist and flavorful.
- Meanwhile, you will need to add your pecans to a food processor and grind into a coarse meal. This will only take a few seconds, because if you go too long, it will very quickly turn to paste. Just go until it is ground and crumbly and there are no big pieces left. You will likely have a little extra, so make sure to measure out just 3/4 cup of pecan flour. Scoop out with your measuring cup, lightly pat the pecan flour down and then level off. Add to a large bowl and set aside.
- Next, preheat an oven to 400°F and place a well-seasoned 10-inch iron skillet on the center oven rack to heat up. If you are unsure if your pan is well-seasoned, then make sure to spray it well with non-stick spray to ensure your cornbread doesn't stick.
- To the large bowl of pecan flour, add the oat flour, tapioca starch, baking powder, and salt. Whisk until well incorporated.
- To the wet cornmeal mixture, after the 10-minute soak, stir in the syrup. Pour that over the dry ingredients and stir until smooth.
- Remove the hot skillet from the oven and pour the batter in it. Place back in the oven to bake for 15-17 minutes. It should be a light golden color, firm top and the edges have pulled away from the pan slightly. Do not over-bake or it can turn dry. Make sure to spray the pan well with nonstick. The edges won't get as crispy as the skillet, but it will still be good.
- Let sit for 20 minutes before slicing, as it will firm up a lot while sitting. Slice and serve. It will still be wonderfully warm. Eat alone, top with a sweet syrup, or do whatever you like.
If you don't want to bother with a skillet, then you can still make this cornbread in a regular 8x8-inch square pan. The cooking time should be similar.