Caramelized Onion Cornbread – Vegan Style

My second vegan picnic recipe Caramelized Onion Cornbread was adapted from a combination of recipes from and Sweet Potato Soul.

I knew I wanted to use corn I had picked up at the farmer’s market and not very many recipes for cornbread actually use corn kernels. They all use cornmeal and I wanted to use a combination. I also only had vanilla soy milk and didn’t want to buy plain. My last substitution was using both agave and maple syrup. I didn’t realize that I was low on agave, so that substitution was out of necessity.

Cornbread Ingredients:

1 Cup Cornmeal
1 Cup Whole-Wheat Pastry Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
3/4 Cup Applesauce
1/2 Cup Caramelized Onions (see below)
2 Ears Fresh Sweet Corn Kernels (see below)
1 Cup Vanilla Soy Milk
1/4 Cup Agave Syrup – I used light
1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
4 Tablespoons Canola Oil


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and lightly grease baking dish. I used a 9×13 glass baking dish. You could also make muffins, the cooking time will just be less. Combine the cornmeal, flour, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Stir in applesauce, 1/2 of the caramelized onions, cooked corn kernels, Soy milk, agave and maple syrup. Slowly add the oil while stirring. I used my mixer on low.

Pour the mixture into the baking dish and gently drop the remaining caramelized onion on top of the batter. Bake in 350 degree F. preheated oven until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Mine took about 50 minutes.

Balsamic Caramelized Onions

2 Yellow Onions – cut lengthwise into thin strips
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Sugar
Salt to Taste
1 1/2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar

In a large skillet heat the olive oil on high and tilt the pan to make sure the entire bottom is coated with the oil. Add the onion and stir to coat all onion pieces. Reduce heat to medium low. Add the sugar, salt and stir. Cover the onions for about 3 -5 minutes to speed the cooking process. Remove the lid and stir a bit. Continue to stir the uncovered onions about every 10 minutes. After about 35-40 minutes, you will have a pan of  golden brown onions. Move the onions to one side of the pan and pour in the balsamic vinegar. Scrape with the spatula/spoon to deglaze, then stir the onions into the glaze.

The corn prep…

While my onions were caramelizing, I used my pampered chef corn tool to easily remove the kernels from the cob. You could just use a knife, but man does that tool work wonders. I then poured a little bit of olive oil in the pan and sautéed the kernels until they softened a bit. – about 5 minutes. I really think the fresh corn added to the overall recipe.

The house smelled delicious and it was easy to transport to the picnic. I did bring butter for the non-vegans attending the picnic, but nobody needed it, the cornbread was super moist and still warm a few hours after coming out of the oven.

Thankfully there were a few pieces left to take photos of the next day. I think I will add caramelized onions to every cornbread dish I make from here on out. What an awesome addition.

Super moist and fluffy…

Cornbread and a mug of green tea, don’t mind if I do. The lace napkin in the background once belonged to my grandma Mimi. I love incorporating family heirlooms into my photos and everyday life. Makes me still feel so connected. I miss my grandparents on both sides dearly…  I find so much comfort in surrounding myself with items that tell a story. Sure, I still shop at HomeGoods and my story might be… I scored this killer deal… but the true pieces in my home that I absolutely adore have been passed down, re-finished, re-framed, re-purposed or just left as-is. I think my grandparents would be pretty proud of how my Mom, Dad, Brother, Aunt and cousins have incorporated family heirlooms into our homes.

So that’s it for my vegan recipes. They both turned out pretty amazing and I have every intention of making them both again for vegan and non-vegan friends and family.


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    • Dave2 on September 17, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Yes please.

  1. This is the best cornbread ever! Thank you for making a vegan cornbread recipe! It definitely was a crowd pleaser. Big thumbs up.

  2. I know you’re not always going to cook vegan, but you do it really well! It looks great! And yeah, I’m really starting to get bummed about not going to Foodbuzz… with all those emails we’ve been getting. Sounds like they are stepping it up.

    • Dubu on September 19, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Oh I have to make this, it looks SO good and what a beautiful story about your treasures 🙂

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