Cinco de Mayo Special: Norma’s Spiced-Up Corn Bread Recipe–Gluten Free

It’s Cinco de Mayo. What better way to celebrate than with CORN. Native to Mexico and first hybridized right up the road from where I live in Teotitlan del Valle, corn has traveled around the world and become a food staple for many. Of course, Cinco de Mayo was invented in the USA. Read more about it HERE.

Now, for the RECIPE. What some of you have been asking for: the cornbread recipe I created and modified over many recent bakings. I think I’ve perfected it to the point that I’m ready to publish it. It is much better than the original recipe I made and posted a few months ago from Oaxaca.

Finely textured cornbread using almond flour and Gold Mine brand corn meal

The recipe uses almond flour instead of gluten-free white flour and a finely ground cornmeal, giving it a texture more like a cake than the traditional dense, gritty cornmeal one usually encounters in cornbread. If you want something more dense, use a different flour and a stone ground meal.

Assemble the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup gluten-free almond flour
  • 1-1/2 cups finely ground corn meal
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 T. ground turmeric
  • 4 T. fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 T. dried oregano leaves
  • 1-1/2 cups almond, coconut, rice or soy milk (for lactose free) or cow milk, if you prefer
  • 1 T. white or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Prepare a baking dish. Use any one of the following:

  • Cast iron 8″ skillet, OR
  • 8″ aluminum springform pan, OR
  • 8″ x 8″ pyrex baking dish

Grease baking dish with grape seed oil. Grape seed oil can take a high temperature without burning. If you use the springform or pyrex pan, cut a piece of parchment or wax paper in a circle 1″ larger than the circumference. Oil the paper, too. I like to use cast iron because it gives a crunchy exterior.

After removing the cornbread from the springform pan

Steps to Prepare the Batter:

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour and cornmeal with all the spices, oregano, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Stir until thoroughly mixed.

Combine milk and vinegar and let sit 10-15 minutes until clabbered.

Melt butter in microwave — in three 30 second increments so it doesn’t splatter or overheat.

Beat the 2 eggs with the sugar until blended, about 2 minutes.

Make a well in the flour mix. Add the milk, butter and egg mixture into the well. (A well is a deep indentation in the middle of the dry ingredients.) Mix until all the flour is absorbed into the liquid ingredients. Beat until smooth.

Pour mixture into the greased baking dish.

I grate the peeled ginger with a microplane — my new essential kitchen tool

Put on the middle rack of a pre-heated 425 degree oven. Bake 30-40 minutes until done. Test doneness with a toothpick. If it comes out clean, the baking is finished. If there are particles of batter on the toothpick, continue baking, checking every 10 minutes.

Remove. Let cool. Cut into squares. Can be stored refrigerated in a sealed container for up to 5 days, or freeze. I doubt it will last 5 days and you’ll find yourself making this recipe at least weekly.

Note: you can cut down or add to the spiciness by adjusting these ingredients. I like a lot of turmeric and ginger. To me, this tastes reminiscent of pumpkin bread.

Let me know if you have any questions. norma.schafer@icloud.com

P.S. In years past, I owned and operated a gourmet cookware shop and cooking school in South Bend, Indiana. Just a little tidbit to affirm my competence in the kitchen.

This is the corn meal I love
You can also use this brand, made in Mexico–also excellent for nicuatole

4 responses to “Cinco de Mayo Special: Norma’s Spiced-Up Corn Bread Recipe–Gluten Free

  1. (Ms.) Marlis Cambon

    Dear Norma Schaefer,
    off and on I have followed your blog, to rekindle my interest in Oaxaca and its culture where I have spent the better part of the last 3 winters. Not this past winter, because I had planned to return to my old home in Italy in March, but of course that plan was aborted as well by the early arrival of the Covid-19 in February.
    I wish to express my compliments on the spiced-up corn bread, which I prepared yesterday because the unusual ingredients tickled my culinary curiosity. Generally, everything having to do with corn, I try to avoid. It just wakens bad memories from growing up in post WWII Germany. Cornmeal was the only flour the allies distributed in their rations for the civilian population, and not until living in the Italian Veneto did I learn to appreciate polenta, especially the white variety.
    In your recipe I found the combination of spices very unusual and liked it very much. I made a few changes in this first try-out of a new recipe: I replaced the Almond flour with Almond meal, liking very much the crumbly result, and I reduced the quantity of sugar by half. Instead of clabbered milk I used buttermilk, because I had it at home. Otherwise I followed the recipe, even baking it in an iron skillet for 30 minutes at 425 F. You are right: it does make a beautiful crust. Thank you for inspiring me in these sad times.

    • Dear Marlis, I’m touched by your message —— so heartfelt and real. Thank you for writing and for sharing your life and memories. Food memories, especially, evoke a history of family and experiences that are irreplaceable. I am also happy that the spiced up part attracted you to try the recipe and make adaptations to suit your taste. WhT a wonderful tribute to your creativity, too. I’m so happy you enjoyed making and tasting. Con abrazos fuertes, Norma

  2. Thank you Norma! Can’t wait to try this recipe.

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