Pumpkin Cornbread with Whipped Butter
Sides | Published Sep 22, 2022 | Updated Sep 21, 2022 | By Tawnie
This Pumpkin Cornbread with pumpkin spice whipped butter will blow your mind. It’s so dreamy and guaranteed to be a hit!
It has a delicate, moist, cake-like texture and slightly sweet subtle flavors of pumpkin puree. The warmth of pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon are key to taking it to the next level.
With the change in seasons, I have naturally been craving pumpkin (from pumpkin cinnamon rolls to pumpkin pancakes) so I thought what about Pumpkin Cornbread? Serve it warm right out of the oven and you can enjoy however you like it but I highly recommend enjoying it bathes in this whipped butter. Or with a big ol’ scoop like you see in these photos!
Table of contents
At first look, the exterior has the best, crisp golden crust. On the interior, it has an unbelievably moist, fluffy, cake-like texture that I know you’ll love.
The creamy pumpkin puree, eggs, buttermilk and melted butter and oil all contribute to this super moist, slightly sweet Pumpkin Cornbread.
In each bite you’ll enjoy plenty of buttery, earthy notes, and the warm, spicy-sweet flavors of cinnamon and ginger. This pumpkin cornbread has become a favorite in my home, and hopefully a holiday and year-round favorite in yours too.
You’ll love this cornbread because…
- I mean, do we really need reasons?! 😉
- It can be served at breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. The perfect compliment to all meals, especially my Pumpkin Chili.
- Have I mentioned how much you’ll enjoy the cake-like texture?! It’s super moist and fluffy which is what I personally crave in cornbread.
- The creamy pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice add subtle earthy, sweet, warm flavors.
- Finished with sweetened whipped butter that is a nonnegotiable.
- Quick and easy to make and is a total swoon-worthy side dish!
- Yellow cornmeal: I like using a fine cornmeal to create a more dense crumb but you can use a medium grind too which will give the cornbread a bit more texture. Coarse cornmeal will give the cornbread a more gritty texture, so if that’s your thing or you crave the Southern-style cornbread, use that variety.
- Flour: All-purpose flour allows the bread to rise a bit and give it a cake-y consistency.
- Pumpkin pie spice: a delicious mixture of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and allspice
- Brown sugar: You can use light, or dark. And be sure to pack the brown sugar in the measuring cup. Packing brown sugar is a crucial measuring requirement because the packing presses out all of the small pockets of air that get trapped between the sticky sugar granules.
- Large eggs: Be sure to use room temperature eggs because they break up more easily than cold eggs, plus they give you a smooth, evenly mixed batter.
- Buttermilk: It takes about 7 to 10 minutes to get buttermilk to room temperature. When at room temperature, eggs, butter, and buttermilk form an emulsion which traps air. While baking in the oven, that trapped air expands and produces a fluffy, tender and moist Pumpkin Cornbread.
- Pumpkin puree: be sure to use 100% pure pumpkin puree, and not the canned pumpkin pie mix.
- Melted butter: this adds to the density and softness of the bread
- Other ingredients: vegetable oil, baking soda, baking powder, kosher salt, softened butter
Step by Step Directions
The process is really straightforward, and takes less than 30 minutes to make!
- Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- Combine the wet ingredients in another bowl.
- Add the wet ingredients into the dry, and fold until combined.
- Pour the batter into a prepared 8×8 inch baking dish.
- Bake at 375°F until golden brown on top, ~23 minutes.
- Make the whipped butter and serve with the warm cornbread.
Tips and Variations
- Cornbread is really best the day of! You can store the cornbread on the kitchen counter for 1-2 days or up to 5 days in your refrigerator properly stored but I really enjoy it the same day it’s made.
- Use a cast iron skillet or an aluminum metal pan. Glass or ceramic pans take longer to conduct heat so the outer edges of the cornbread will be done and the middle pieces aren’t so those pan options are not usually my first choice.
- For a different twist, simply top with whipping cream dusted with cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice.
- For a citrus flavor to your cornbread, add in grated zest from one orange.
- Preheat the pan (cast iron or metal 8×8 pan) you are using and melt a little butter in it. This helps to create a nice crispy, sturdy crust on your cornbread and it ensures even baking.
If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice you can make it at home: 3 Tbsp. cinnamon, 2 tsp. ground ginger, 2 tsp. ground nutmeg, 1 ½ allspice and 1 ½ cloves. Simply mix together and use as needed.
Yes, just substitute a gluten free flour, like Bob’s Red Mill, or King Author’s for the all purpose flour.
Of course! Just portion our the batter into your muffin tin. Bake at 400°F for ~15 minutes, keep an eye on them.
Sour cream or Greek yogurt are great options.
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Pumpkin Cornbread with Whipped Butter
For the cornbread
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 cup 100% pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 1/4 cup melted butter + 2 Tbsp. for greasing the pan
- 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
For the whipped butter
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 Tbsp. sweetened condensed milk or honey
- 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- pinch kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- In a mixing bowl combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice and brown sugar.
- In another bowl whisk together the pumpkin, eggs, buttermilk, 1/4 cup melted butter, and vegetable oil.
- Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and fold the batter just until combined. The batter will be thick, but easy to stir by hand.
- Place the remaining 2 Tbsp. of butter in an 8×8-inch square baking pan or cast iron skillet. Place the pan in the preheated oven for about 2 minutes or until the butter is melted.
- Take the pan out and pour the cornbread batter over the melted butter. Smooth the top and place back in the oven until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 23 minutes.
- While the cornbread cools, make the whipped butter. Using a hand mixer, beat all ingredients until smooth and creamy. Serve with the cornbread and enjoy with your favorite Fall meals!
- Recipe inspiration and adapted from: Delish
Hi, I’m Tawnie!
Welcome to my tiny “korner” on the Internet! I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who loves cookies as much as kale. (OK, maybe I like cookies a little bit more but shh, don’t tell anyone). I am so glad you’re here! Follow along for hassle free, realistic and approachable recipes.More about Tawnie