Michelle's Vegan Northern Cornbread Photo

Michelle’s Vegan Northern Cornbread.

Also known as Yankee Cornbread, some folks get fired up about differences between cornbreads in the North and South! I don’t fuss about which one is “real” cornbread, because they’re two different breads. In the North most people use yellow instead of white cornmeal, and this recipe yields a softer crust because it uses a pan instead of a preheated cast iron skillet. The flour and sugar, which are no-no’s for many Southern cornbread cooks, result in a slightly sweet, well-binded vegan Northern cornbread.

Original Source

I adapted the Johnny Cake recipe from a free EBook offered by The Project Gutenberg, called Pennsylvania Dutch Cooking. It’s a nice collection of old Pennsylvania Dutch recipes. The name Johnny Cake here isn’t quite correct, because Johnny Cakes are unleavened and pan-fried instead of baked. However, I have heard people use the word Johnny Cake to refer to any type of cornbread that uses sugar and flour.

How I Made it Vegan

I replaced the 2 beaten eggs with 1/2 cup vegan sour cream, which is a nice egg substitute that adds moisture to quick bread recipes. Beaten eggs have leavening properties, so I also added a pinch more baking soda to help it rise.

I replaced the sour milk/buttermilk with a vinegar/soy milk mixture. This is a common way to make vegan sour milk.

Other Changes

I changed the directions to say that the batter should only be mixed until just moistened. I also added tests to see when it’s done baking, and I shortened the stimated baking time.

Vegan Northern Cornbread

Prep Time: 12 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 42 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings

Vegan Northern Cornbread



  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Combine the vinegar with enough soy milk to yield 1 and 1/4 cup, and set aside. Make sure it sits at least 5 minutes before you use it in step #5.
  3. Grease an 8x8x2 inch pan with shortening.
  4. Sift the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar together into a large mixing bowl.
  5. Combine vegan sour cream and the soy milk/vinegar mixture in a small mixing bowl, then add to the cornmeal mixture.
  6. Mix with a spoon just until the dry ingredients are moistened (batter will be lumpy).
  7. Stir in the melted shortening.
  8. Pour into pan and bake. You'll know it's done when the edges turn golden brown and begin to pull away from the sides of the pan, and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean (about 30 minutes).
  9. Serve warm, with vegan butter. Will keep well for a couple of days stored at room temperature.