It’s gluten-free and dairy-free, but still full of flavor.
In Elite Daily's I Tried series, we put celebrities’ favorite products, recipes, and routines to the test to show you what living like your fave star is really like. In this piece, we try to recreate Kourtney Kardashian’s gluten-free, dairy-free cornbread recipe.
Whether you’re a fan or not, you don’t really need to keep up to know Kourtney Kardashian is super into sharing recipes. Since around 2016, she’s famously followed a gluten- and dairy-free diet, so naturally, she’s come up with a ton of unique takes on classic dishes. This means, of course, her holiday recipes might look a little different than mine — someone who famously does *not* consistently eat gluten- or dairy-free. Still, since I love baking and am always up to experiment in the kitchen, I decided to try making Kourtney Kardashian’s cornbread recipe to see if it was good enough to replace one of my family’s usual holiday dishes.
Thanks to her highly publicized eating plans, widely shared recipes (like her avocado pudding and Keto smoothie), and her Poosh website, it’s long been known that Kourt is pretty serious about what she eats. However, she’s eased up on her restrictions in the past few years. “Lately, I’ve been less strict about avoiding gluten and dairy,” she wrote on her website back in 2018. “I noticed my tummy would hurt when I occasionally treated myself to ice cream or pizza, so I’ve switched things up. I’m trying to keep small amounts of both dairy and gluten in my system, so my body is used to it when I do have a little.”
That said, she still primarily sticks to dairy- and gluten-free foods, so chances are, her Thanksgiving table will probably have at least a few gluten- and dairy-free dishes. Enter: the cornbread recipe she shared with InStyle. The relatively simple recipe doesn’t have any preservatives and is full of organic ingredients all while being free of — you guessed it — gluten and dairy. A Thanksgiving miracle indeed.
Since I’d never take a new recipe to the Thanksgiving table without testing it out first, I whipped up some of Kourtney's cornbread to see if the Southern comfort dish can really be good if it lacks the usual pound of butter and cream my grandma’s recipe calls for.
While the recipe is pretty simple, it does call for some pricier ingredients. Cornbread on its own is fairly cheap to make (you can buy a box of regular cornbread mix for $1 at the grocery store), but when you purchase organic, vegan, gluten-free, and free-range ingredients, the price tag definitely gets a little steeper. In total, it cost me close to $35 to purchase everything needed. But I now have leftover ingredients for future baking experiments, so I count that as a win.
Here’s what you need to make Kourt’s dish:
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/4 cups organic yellow cornmeal (fine to medium grain)
- 3/4 cup gluten-free flour
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/3 cup almond milk
- 1 cup vegan buttermilk (1 cup coconut milk, 1 tablespoon lemon juice)
- 8 tablespoons vegan butter
The first step in baking Kourt’s cornbread is to preheat the oven to 425 degrees. While my oven did its thing, I mixed the dry ingredients together in my KitchenAid on the lowest setting. Next, the recipe says to “whisk in almond milk, buttermilk, eggs, and add melted butter.” Feeling like David Rose being asked to “fold in the cheese,” I was at a loss. Normally when baking, you mix your wet ingredients together before adding them to the dry stuff, so I wasn’t sure how to proceed.
Since I couldn’t exactly call Kourtney up to ask for pointers, I decided to just wing it and lean on my years of baking expertise (which mostly consisted of putting pre-made cookie dough on a cookie sheet). First, I pulled out a small bowl and made the vegan buttermilk, which is essentially just a can of coconut milk and some lemon juice. Then, I whisked in my eggs and almond milk. Finally, I melted a stick of vegan butter on the stove (you could easily do this in a microwave, too) and poured it into my eggy milk mixture.
Once all of my wet ingredients were mixed together, I poured them into my bowl of flour and cornmeal and let my KitchenAid go to town. While the batter churned, I had to grease the dish I would cook the bread in. The recipe says to use coconut oil for this, but I didn’t want to buy yet another expensive ingredient, so I used a hack my mom taught me: I simply took the butter’s paper wrapper and rubbed it around my casserole dish so the bread wouldn’t stick to it. Nope, it’s not the Kardashian way, but ya girl is on a budget.
After my batter was sufficiently mixed, I poured it into my prepared pan. As I was watching the ingredients combine, I caught a whiff of the concoction. Instead of the sweet and delicious scent I was expecting, the batter smelled distinctly like wheatgrass juice, which I personally find repulsive. It was decidedly not a good sign — and, unfortunately, the bad omens didn’t stop there. Since my oven has a mind of its own (sometimes it runs too hot, sometimes it runs too cold, and sometimes it doesn’t run at all), it only got to about 350 degrees — 75 degrees cooler than I needed it to be for this recipe. But it’s not like I can just go out and buy a new oven, so I tossed the dish in set a timer, and hoped for the best.
I was still hoping for the best when, 25 minutes later, the timer went off. After putting a toothpick in the center to see if it was cooked, however, I was bummed to see the batter was still runny. Another 30 minutes and multiple toothpick tests later, the bread was finally cooked and my house smelled like Southern comfort food.
The Taste Test
As the cornbread cooled, I inspected the final product. Even though it was less yellow than the cornbread I usually make, I figured that was a good thing — less artificial coloring and all that. The top looked nice and crunchy and I imagined the inside to be soft and decadent. The best part was, instead of smelling like lawn clippings, it actually, finally, smelled like cornbread.
After waiting a few minutes, I ran a butter knife around the edge of the bread and cut two generous portions. My husband and I took a moment to stare at our steaming slices in appreciation before digging in with our fingers.
Just as expected, the outside of the bread had that hardened, crust-like coating while the inside was doughier. The corn flavor was definitely more prevalent than in other cornbreads I’ve had, which is good if you’re a fan of corn and bad if you’re not. Since I used a medium grain meal, it was a bit coarser than I would prefer, which in turn made the whole dish seem somewhat dry. After adding a slab of (non-vegan — sorry, Kourt) butter to the tops of our slices, however, the dish instantly changed. It was moist and rich and seemed like something your grandma would make... assuming your grandma shops organic, of course.
Even though this cornbread seemed for a while like it might be a fail, it actually came together in the end. On its own, it was a little dry and bland, but after adding some more butter, it ended up being really tasty — and versatile. The next morning, I had a piece topped with a fried egg for breakfast; the following day, I served it with some chili. Both options actually hid the graininess of the meal while highlighting the subtle sweetness of the bread. The best part is, I didn’t find myself feeling bloated or sleepy after eating a slice, which is a nice change from the usual dairy- and carb-induced coma I often find myself in during the holidays.
While I don’t think I would make this exact recipe for my fam on Thanksgiving, a little tweak here and there, some extra time in the oven, and a whole lot more butter has the potential to turn this recipe into a dish even the pickiest of eaters will want seconds of... without making you fall asleep at the table. Nana’s cornbread could never.