There has been a convenient package of gluten-free, dairy-free cornbread mix lingering in my pantry for months. Every time I spot it sitting patiently on my shelf, I head to the internet and google “pamela’s cornbread mix egg-free” and “pamela’s cornbread mix vegan.” And every time, the results have disappointed. I needed to make it egg-free, and was afraid to “waste” the mix on a potential failed trial. But finally I said enough is enough. My job is to create and test recipes, so it was time to shed my fears and just go for it. Plus, I needed something pumpkin for the holidays. So Sweet Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins it was.
How I Made Pamela’s Cornbread Mix Egg Free
My biggest egg-free concern was the how cohesive these pumpkin cornbread muffins would turnout. When you cut out eggs in a gluten-free blend, the results can be a crumbly mess. I could have used one of my favorite egg substitutes. But why not go with the gluten-free flow? I decided to use what gluten-free bakers add as the “glue” in flour blends: xanthan gum. The mix already has some xanthan gum, but I added just a wee bit more to perfect the consistency and mimic the cohesiveness that the eggs would provide.
I live at high altitude (above 6000 feet). The lower oxygen here allows baked goods to rise more easily (too easily sometimes), so I didn’t need to add any leavener to replace the lift of eggs. But I have included optional baking powder in the recipe for all of you who are baking at sea level.
So how did these gluten-free and vegan pumpkin cornbread muffins turn out? The texture was spot on, and there wasn’t a crumble in sight. They weren’t light and fluffy like a cakey cornbread, but rather rich and flavorful. I loved the taste, which was definitely sweet enough to eat plain or indulge with a pat of buttery spread.
Recipe Options: Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins
For Less Sweet Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins, you can substitute 1/2 cup coconut sugar or 1/3 cup honey or agave nectar for the brown sugar. You can also use unsweetened vanilla milk beverage.
For Plain Egg-Free Cornbread, omit the pumpkin spice, substitute white sugar for the brown sugar or use one of the “less sweet” options above, and substitute unsweetened applesauce for the pumpkin puree. For banana-influenced cornbread, you could use banana in place of the pumpkin instead of applesauce.
Special Diet Notes: Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian.
But Pamela’s Cornbread mix does have the following allergen note: Produced on equipment that also makes products containing tree nuts, soy, eggs, and milk. Contact the company directly to learn about their manufacturing processes if potential cross-contamination with a food allergen is a concern for you.
- 1 (12-ounce) bag Pamela’s Cornbread & Muffin Mix
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking powder (omit above 3000 feet altitude)
- ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1 cup vanilla dairy-free milk beverage
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- ⅓ cup oil (I used coconut oil)
- Preheat your oven to 375ºF and lightly grease or line 12 muffin cups with cupcake liners.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the mix, spice, baking powder (if using), and xanthan gum.
- Add the milk beverage, sugar, pumpkin, and oil and stir to combine.
- Scrape the batter evenly into your prepared muffin tins.
- Bake for 17 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
- Let cool for a few minutes, then carefully remove the muffins to a wire rack to cool completely.
I tried these out as I was looking for a vegan/gluten free option. They were yummy! The texture was a bit dense and not a fluffy as I would have liked but still great flavor. Thanks!
Glad you enjoyed them Kristen and thank you for the feedback!
Made these for Thanksgiving and they were a HUGE hit. I couldn’t find Pamela’s, so I used 12oz of Bob’s Red Mill mix. I also swapped 2 T of honey for maple syrup. They were fantastic. A bit dense and rich, but oh so good! Thank you for the recipe!
Hi Kim, so glad it worked with Bob’s! I’m assuming you used their mix with chickpea flour since you said a bit dense – with Pamela’s or a rice flour blend that doesn’t have too much gum, they should be medium-density – a bit on the light side. Thanks for your feedback!
You can use chia seed gel as an egg substitute for vegan baking. Works well. make a nice chia seed gel and use the approximate volume of gel that equals the volume of an egg. It works very nicely and the xantham gum, well, I resist it for some reason.
I don’t use agave. I do eat very small amounts of honey because honey is such a miracle food but by small amounts I mean a teaspoon daily in a cup of tea, or even hot water and cinnamon. I sweeten my cornbread and corn muffins efforts with frozen kernels of organic sweet corn — they get high fructose corn syrup from corn for a reason. Corn is sweet! Plus it adds moisture when you are missing eggs.
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