Maple Cornbread

Maple Cornbread

The inspiration for this recipe came to us last summer. Heidi – our What’s So Great About contributor – packed up several pieces of maple syrup sweetened cornbread for a park picnic and Esme has not stopped asking me to recreate it. Heidi picked hers up at a farmer’s market or I would have just asked her for the recipe. I admit to being chuffed that Emse believes I can just figure out how to make things… it turns out I can! At least this time I was able to.

Poking around online looking at the millions of recipes that exist for cornbread, I learned that any kind of sweetener in cornbread makes it “Yankee.” Maybe one of our American readers can educate me – is Southern cornbread never sweet? I like it that way, too, it’s so good with a bowl of chili. But that would not have satisfied the girl. Most cornbreads call for a lot of butter, at least 1 cup, which I wasn’t so keen on. I swapped out most of the butter for applesauce and was really happy with the results. God knows what you’d have to call the absence of butter and the addition of maple syrup? Canuck? It has a certain ring to it, doesn’t it?

You can serve this in straight up squares or in little sandwiches like the ones I made here. We’ve been eating almond butter and jam cornbread sandwiches for breakfast for the last week but ricotta cheese and sliced strawberries also make a great combo. They make a great park snack or travel snack as they’re quite hearty and don’t fall apart easily.

photos by Maya Visnyei

Maple Cornbread


  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 2 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 + 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.

In another bowl, whisk the milk, eggs, applesauce, 1/2 cup of maple syrup and the butter.

Give it a really good mix.

Pour the liquid mixture over the dry and combine.

Don't over mix it! It will be the consistency of a thick pancake batter.

Lightly butter a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.

Pour the batter in and use a spoon or spatula to smooth it out to the edges.

Pop in a hot oven for about 20 to 25 minute until it is golden brown and firm to the touch.

A toothpick inserted should come out clean.

Allow the cornbread to cool a bit.

Take a tooth pick or skewer an poke holes all over the top - maybe 10 or 12 little holes.

Now take your last 1/4 cup of maple syrup and either brush it on with a pastry brush or just spread it around with the back of a spoon.

The maple will sink into the little holes.

Once the bread is really cool you can either serve it in squares or you can make sandwiches as I did. Cut a piece of cornbread out of the pan then slice it in half horizontally. Make a sandwich with almond butter and jam or ricotta cheese and sliced strawberries – really anything you like.

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  1. eila / full plate
    March 08, 10:24 Reply

    Ooooh, this looks DELICIOUS!! I’m married to a Southerner, but I can’t claim any Southern culinary knowledge. What I *do* know is we love a good cornbread around here! I usually use the Trader Joe’s mix (I know, I know– for shame! A mix!) It’s totally delicious though, and easy in a pinch. That said, it’s really crumbly so…. yours is next up in my baking rotation!

  2. Ceri
    March 08, 10:41 Reply

    Hi Eila!
    It’s my one issue with cornbread – that it can be so crumbly and messy. And honestly, this one isn’t. Because there’s quite a lot of applesauce – rather than a lot of butter – it’s really moist. So, it’s definitely not traditional but I think you’ll like it. Let me know!
    Oh, and I’ve only ever read about Trader Joe’s – it sounds pretty awesome. It’s like a more affordable Wholefoods??

  3. marta
    March 08, 13:42 Reply

    just made it this morning. it’s very good and will go great with tonight’s lentil chili. hopefully my picky toddler will eat it.

  4. Ceri Marsh
    March 08, 15:49 Reply

    Hi Marta,
    So glad it worked out for you you! Please let us know if it passes the toddler test. And I’m very curious about your lentil chili – is it your own recipe? Sounds really good!

  5. marta
    March 08, 18:08 Reply

    yes, my 2.5 year old and 9 month old ate it. he didn’t go for the lentil chili though but my little girl did. i don’t really follow a recipe, and i make it a little differently every time. it’s just onions, peppers, cumin, chili powder, canned diced tomatoes, chili sauce and corn. oh and of course lentils (dried brown ones cooked separately and added at the end).

    • Ceri Marsh
      March 11, 15:14 Reply

      Yum – that sounds really great. I’ve never thought of doing a lentil chili before but it makes sense. Will definitely try it!

  6. Lindsay
    March 10, 11:31 Reply

    This is in the kitchen cooling to make sandwiches for lunch. One detail: is it 1 tsp baking soda? Hope so, because that it what I did! Thanks for all of your great recipes. We love them.

    • Ceri Marsh
      March 11, 15:12 Reply

      Oops! Thanks for pointing that out – yes, it’s 1 teaspoon of baking soda. How did these go over with your crew? I’m so glad you’re enjoying the recipes!!

  7. marta
    March 10, 18:45 Reply

    lindsay i did the same thing with the baking soda and it worked out perfectly. i’m sure it was just a typo.

    • Ceri Marsh
      March 11, 15:13 Reply

      This is what comes of writing out recipes late at night! I’m glad it worked out for you.

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