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Perfectly moist, fluffy, and slightly sweet this easy cornbread is the perfect side dish for any meal, including holiday gatherings.

A close up shot of 3 stacked cornbread.
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Healthy Cornbread Recipe

Let me start by saying, in our crazy lives, there is always a place for convenience items (especially if it means saving your sanity) – hello jiffy cornbread mix!

However, if you want to try making cornbread from scratch, THIS is the recipe to try!

This moist cornbread is made with simple, wholesome ingredients you probably already have on hand, and if not, they are easily accessible.

There are two unexpected ingredients in this recipe – Greek yogurt and unsweetened applesauce. Both help make this healthy cornbread moist, while the applesauce adds natural sweetness and the Greek yogurt a protein boost.

I use these ingredients a lot in my baked goods, like Yogurt Muffins, Blueberry Muffins, 4 Ingredient Pumpkin Cookies, and Creamy Broccoli Pasta,

This is a tried-and-true favorite in our house, and I hope it will be for you as well! 

Ingredients

All the ingredients laid out on a white background.

I am highlighting just the ones that need further explanation. The complete list is in the recipe card below.

  • Yellow cornmeal – for that signature golden color and crumbly texture. Be sure to use cornmeal and NOT polenta, corn flour, or masa.
  • White whole wheat flour – necessary to help bind the cornmeal together so the bread doesn’t fall apart. I love baking with this flour because It’s the same nutritionally as whole wheat flour but is lighter in texture and a little sweeter in flavor.
  • Egg – helps bind the cornbread and give it a lift.
  • Greek yogurt and milk – adds richness and moisture to cornbread.
  • Unsweetened applesauce – can use store-bought or homemade applesauce.
  • Olive oil – NOT extra virgin olive oil as its flavor is overpowering for this recipe. You can also use melted butter for extra richness.
  • Baking powder and salt – to help the cornbread rise and bring out the sweetness.

Step-by-Step Instructions

A four image collage of how to make cornbread step-by-step.
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.
  2. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold until just combined. Be careful not to over mix! The batter will be lumpy.
  3. Pour the batter into a lightly sprayed or lined 9 inch square (or round) baking dish. Cast-iron skillet will work too.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Slice and dig in!

Substitutions and Variations

  • No white whole wheat flour? You can substitute with all purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, or a combination of 1/2 cup all purpose flour and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour. I don’t recommend using all whole wheat flour as the texture will become too dense.
  • Dairy-free? Swap with any dairy-free alternative.
  • Looking for a sweeter cornbread? You can add up to 1/3 cup of honey or maple syrup.
  • Desire a savory cornbread? Add half a cup of shredded cheddar cheese to the batter before cooking.
  • Want more corn-y flavor? Add in a cup of fresh corn (canned or frozen works too!).
  • Want to make it more festive? Add some dried cranberries for Thanksgiving or Christmas

Tips for Success

Baked and sliced cornbread on a wooden board.
  • Use a spoon to scoop the flour into the measuring cup rather than scooping the flour out of the container or bag with your measuring cup. Using the latter method, you could end up with a lot more than what you need.
  • Be sure to use 1:1 cornmeal to flour ratio. Using too much cornmeal will result in a dry and super crumbly cornbread.
  • Be careful not to over mix the cornbread batter. Otherwise you will end up with dry cornbread.
  • I personally love using a combination of Greek yogurt and whole milk, but if you want to save yourself an extra ingredient, feel free to use just milk (or buttermilk if you prefer).
  • Allow the cornbread to cool a little before cutting. If it’s hot, it’s going to crumble.

Serving Suggestions

A cornbread slice with fork and topped with butter and honey.

Warm cornbread with a pat of butter and a drizzle of honey – Yes and Yes! My kids really love it with some peanut butter and/or jelly as well.

Serve a slice of cornbread alongside chili, hearty soup, salad, roasted chicken, or any family meals.

How to store leftover cornbread

First, cool completely! Line an airtight container with paper towel. Add the cornbread slices, place another paper towel on top, close the lid, and store at room temperature for 24 hours. You can also refrigerate or up to 4 days.

To reheat, warm in the microwave or toaster oven.

To freeze, I recommend flash freezing. Will keep for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best corn meal to use for cornbread?

While both the yellow and white cornmeal will work in this recipe, I encourage you to grab the yellow one.

Can I turn this recipe into cornbread muffins?

Yes! Simply divide the batter equally into a muffin tin and bake for 12-15 minutes.

More Quick Breads to Try

Did you make this recipe? Leave a rating below and let me know how you liked the recipe! Your feedback means so much to me!

5 from 8 votes

Healthy cornbread

Perfectly moist, fluffy, and slightly sweet this easy cornbread is the perfect side dish for any meal, including holiday gatherings.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 16 Slices
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Ingredients 

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 cup (145g) yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup (130g) white whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4-1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup (130g) unsweetened applesauce
  • 3/4 cup (175g) plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice
  • 1 egg, room temperature

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease or line a 9 inch square (or round) baking pan. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold until just combined. Be careful not to over mix! The batter will be lumpy.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Slice and dig in!

Notes

  • I’ve provided a range for the maple syrup amount so you can decide how sweet you want the muffins to be. Personally, I’ve found ⅓ cup to be the sweet spot, but if you want to keep added sugars to a minimum, using just ¼ cup is still delicious! You can also add fruits for additional sweetness.
  • Dairy-free? Swap with any dairy-free alternative.
  • Desire a savory cornbread? Add half a cup of shredded cheddar cheese to the batter before cooking.
  • Want more corn-y flavor? Add in a cup of fresh corn (canned or frozen works too!).

Nutrition

Calories: 124kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 5g | Sodium: 99mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Min

Thank you so much for stopping by! I am Min, a Registered Dietitian, a Christ follower, a wife, and a mom to our two miracle babies! Currently, I’m having a ton of fun feeding their tummies and sharing our baby led weaning journey! Follow me on Instagram if interested in seeing daily menu as well as tips and tricks.

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Recipe Rating




12 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Love your recipes so much! I didn’t have applesauce on hand, so I substituted pumpkin puree and it came out pretty good! Just had a somewhat overpowering olive oil flavor, which may have been because of this? I’ll try with applesauce and a little less olive oil next time to see how it comes out. Also used regular AP flour and the texture was still great!

  2. Love all your recipes. They are very healthy and delicious.
    For this cornbread, can I use whole wheat flour as where I live, I can’t seem to get white whole wheat flour?

    1. Hi! I recommend using a combination of all purpose flour and whole wheat flour. Refer to the “Substitutions and variations” section!

  3. Can you leave out the honey/maple syrup all together? Wanting no added sugar for 9-month-old doing baby led weaning.

  4. 5 stars
    This has been prefect to serve alongside soups and stews over this winter. We’ve also just enjoyed on its own. After following your recipe a couple times I deviated, using what I had on hand. I used 1c buttermilk in place of yogurt and milk, and 1 can cream style corn, but no applesauce. Turn out delish and moist. Definitely prefer the addition of corn as you suggest.