Surprise favorite recipe of the month. I can’t tell you how much we love this pumpkin cornbread!! ♡
Turns out that the sweet and earthy flavor of pumpkin purée complements the classic flavor and texture of cornbread absolutely beautifully. And when made with a rich and nutty browned butter batter, lightly sweetened with honey, and baked up until perfect light and fluffy, this pumpkin cornbread recipe will likely steal the show at your next dinner. We can’t stop making it here in our kitchen!
You’re welcome to customize yours with any additional mix-ins that you might love, such as nuts, dried fruit, or a handful of cheese. I’ve included notes for how to easily make this recipe gluten-free, if you prefer. And while the cornbread is delicious on its own, I’m going to highly recommend that you make a quick batch of honey butter to serve with it. Because melted into a slice hot out of the oven? Oh my goodness, there’s nothing better.
Let’s make some pumpkin cornbread!
Pumpkin Cornbread Ingredients
Here are a few brief notes about the pumpkin cornbread ingredients you will need to make this recipe:
Pumpkin purée: In addition to helping keep the cornbread nice and moist, pumpkin purée adds a delicious earthy sweetness to the cornbread that beautifully complements the cornmeal flavor.
Cornmeal: Always the starring ingredient in a batch of cornbread, cornmeal adds delightful corn flavor and a slightly gritty texture to the bread that’s always so nostalgic. I recommend a fine- or medium-grind yellow cornmeal for this recipe.
Butter: We will brown a stick of unsalted butter to add to the cornbread, adding an irresistible hint of nutty, caramelized, rich flavor.
Honey: Honey is my favorite sweetener to use in cornbread, as its flavor always enhances the naturally earthy and sweet flavor of the cornmeal.
Flour: We typically use basic all-purpose flour to make this recipe, but you could also opt to use a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend.
Eggs: Eggs serve as the binding agent in this bread to hold all of the ingredients together and also add moisture and richness to the cornbread.
Baking powder and baking soda: These two leavening agents work together to keep the bread light and fluffy.
Seasonings: Finally, I like to add just a tiny touch of ground cinnamon to the bread, plus fine sea salt to bring out the best of all of these delicious flavors.
How To Make Cornbread
Full instructions for how to make pumpkin cornbread are included in the recipe below, but here is a quick overview with a few additional tips!
Brown the butter. This simple step adds an irresistible depth of nutty, rich flavor to the bread. As always, keep a close eye on the butter once it begins to brown so that it does not burn.
Mix the dry ingredients, then add the wet ingredients. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Then create a well in the center and add the browned butter, pumpkin puree and honey, followed by the eggs, until everything is combined. Avoid overmixing!
Bake. Press the batter evenly into the parchment-covered 9 x 9-inch baking pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cornbread comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let it cool for at least 15 minutes, if you can wait that long. ;)
Serve. Slice, serve and enjoy!
Here are a few additional variations that you’re welcome to try with this brown butter pumpkin cornbread recipe:
Cook in a cast-iron skillet: Brown the butter in a 9-inch cast-iron skillet, then transfer the butter to a separate bowl. Briefly wipe down the skillet then transfer it to heat up in the preheating oven. Remove and add the prepared batter to the hot skillet, which will help to create an extra-delicious bottom crust to the cornbread, then bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Add extra herbs or spices: Add additional herbs (such as rosemary, sage, thyme or chives) or spices (such as dried ginger, nutmeg, cloves or allspice) to taste.
Add dried fruit or nuts: Add 1/2 cup chopped nuts (such as walnuts, pecans or almonds) or dried berries (such as cranberries or cherries).
Add cheese: Add 1 cup freshly-grated cheese, such as sharp cheddar, gouda, fontina or Parmesan.
More Easy Bread Recipes
Looking for more simple and delicious homemade bread recipes to try? Here are a few of our favorites:
Prep the oven and pan. Heat the oven to 400°F. Line a 9 x 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
Brown the butter.Melt the butter in the medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Continue cooking until the butter begins to foam, stirring frequently to ensure that the butter cooks evenly. Once the butter solids begin to turn golden brown and the butter smells toasty, immediately pour it into a heat-safe bowl. (Keep a very close eye on the butter while it is browning so that it does not burn, since it can go from golden to burned very quickly.)
Mix the dry ingredients.In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and sea salt until combined.
Add the wet ingredients.Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add the browned butter, pumpkin puree, honey, and briefly whisk the wet ingredients until combined. Add the eggs and whisk with the wet ingredients, then stir the whole mixture together until evenly combined, taking care to avoid over-mixing.
Bake.Press the batter evenly into the prepared pan, using a spatula to spread the top so that it is more or less even. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cornbread comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let it cool for at least 15 minutes.