This gluten-free cornmeal soufflé is without a doubt the most satisfying creation I’ve feasted upon since giving up all wheat products. I baked one off as a test run for a farm-to-table event, and the whole ‘loaf’ was devoured within seconds – it’s that good. And it’s easy to make too. You can whip this up in ten minutes or less!

Spoonbread! It's a gluten free soufflé!

Spoonbread! It’s a gluten free soufflé!

One of the most frustrating parts of being wheat-free is the amount of terrible things I end up digesting in my quest to satisfy that bread craving. The gluten-free all-purpose flours on the market are expensive and mostly composed of cornstarch which is not healthy and they don’t make me feel any better than the wheat counterpart and I’m sorry but they never taste anything like wheat flour baked goods.

Pie Ranch Corm Meal grown and milled on-site

Pie Ranch Corm Meal grown and milled on-site

However, for this recipe I used organic stone ground cornmeal (milled onsite) from Pie Ranch and the flavor and texture was awesome and I didn’t feel like napping directly afterwards which is normally how I get after eating complex carbs.  The high amount of eggs (protein) in this spoonbread balances out any crazy glycemic index spikes for me.

Making Spoonbread at Pie Ranch

Chef Victoria testing Spoonbread recipe at Pie Ranch

I have some words of advice on preparation especially if you are serving this for a party: it will fall quickly just like a soufflé and there’s no Mornay sauce in this recipe to truly give it a base (like there would be in a traditional French soufflé). But, it wouldn’t be a spoonbread anyway if it didn’t collapse. I’ve added a little cream of tartar and baking powder to help with the rise of the heavy stone ground cornmeal but it will only extend the post-oven puff a little bit longer than normal and both can be left out if desired. Make sure dinner is ready to go or even plated so you can rush this to the table when guests are seated. And make extra. Your guests will have seconds and thirds – it’s just so darned light! I’ve octupled this recipe before so feel free to expand it as necessary.

I think spoonbread is great with just about anything, but being a Southern dish it seems to go best with regional fare (beans & greens, pulled pork, etc.). You could serve this with steak too as a substitute for Yorkshire pudding. And I certainly wouldn’t turn it down for breakfast with some nice glazed ham on the side and a drizzle of maple syrup. Heck Easter’s just around the corner – why not include spoonbread in your Easter feast? Whether you’ve got crown pork roast, ham, or lamb on the menu this will be a great light side dish or as part of an elegant brunch!

Spoonbread Soufflé

Spoonbread Soufflé

One more note: the middle will be pudding-like. That’s the way it’s supposed to be so don’t fuss over that. Leftovers can be reheated and drizzled with syrup and butter in the morning….but again, unless you make extra there won’t be any…don’t say I didn’t warn ya….

Spoonbread! (It's Gluten Free)


  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup stone ground organic cornmeal
  • 2 3/4 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 big three-finger pinch of sugar (up to 2 teaspoons if you like it sweeter)
  • 2 pinches nutmeg
  • 1 pinch cayenne
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Heat oven to 375˚F.
Butter a 1 1/2-quart soufflé dish or loaf pan or baking dish, making sure the sides are well greased. (Any baking dish that has at least a 3-inch straight side will do for this recipe)
Whisk together the cornmeal and 1 cup of the milk in a mixing bowl.  Scald the remaining 1 3/4 cups milk in a medium sauce pot.  Add the cornmeal mixture to the saucepan and cook, whisking constantly, over medium-low heat. When the mixture has thickened enough that you can see the bottom of the pan while whisking (about 6 minutes), remove from the heat and stir in the salt, sugar, and butter.  Add the egg yolks one at a time, whisking to combine after each addition. Sprinkle baking powder over and mix in.
In a copper bowl or a KitchenAid, add cream of tartar to egg whites and beat until stiff peaks form (not dry). Gently fold in the egg whites adding a 1/3 of the whites to lighten the batter first and then the rest.  Pour the mixture into buttered dish and bake until it is golden brown and puffed!  About 1 hour.