Caramelized Onion Cornbread- Veganized

Nearly two years ago, before becoming a full-time vegan, I posted a recipe for a killer caramelized onion cornbread on the blog. While I knew a thing or two about vegan baking, I was still a bit ignorant in regards to where my eggs and buttermilk were coming from. Despite the hints from my vegan friends at Peacefood Cafe, I didn’t want to know the disturbing truth. Actually, I thought I knew everything there was to know. What happens to the dairy cows and their male offspring, I never really considered. And chickens laying eggs– well, I wasn’t eating chicken.  The inhumane conditions are far more terrifying and blood boiling than anything I could have ever imagined, but I wasn’t aware. So I continued to use animal products in my baking out of sheer laziness, and an inner voice telling me that it was okay.  Still, that inner voice had another side; a side that screamed just as loudly, but really made it’s impact on me in the form of guilt.  In the 6 months or so, before I became a vegan, each and every animal product I ate would evoke a bit of guilt. I consumed about one animal product a week, yet something didn’t sit well with me.
Fast forward, I mustered up the courage to listen more closely to my vegan friends, and do some reading of my own. Now almost 2 years later Ive created a life and career for myself as a vegan chef and nutrition counselor. I live my passion every singe day, and I feel tremendous. My digestive problems have disappeared, guilt no longer resides in me, and I am swathed in a blanket of joy almost every day.

Someone posted a comment on that old Caramelized Onion cornbread about how they thought all of my recipes were vegan. Nowadays they are, but a few from my past aren’t. It’s fine with me to leave them up, it shows my growth and I appreciate that.
I still eat cornbread, and have found that the vegan versions are just as, if not more, delicious than the traditional varieties. So if you dare to turn your oven on this summer, give this recipe a whirl. Maxx’s mom first made the cornbread for us when we were in Denver last year, and I’ve used the recipe every since, and keep it interesting by adding tasty additions like caramelized onions, which are the perfect complement for this moist and slightly sweet bread.

Caramelized Onion Cornbread
(This simple cornbread recipe is adapted from a recipes on The recipe for the onions is below. This should be made ahead. Makes 12 muffins, or a standard 9×9 baking pan.)
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 (recipe below)
1 cup soy milk
1/2 cup agave nectar or local honey
4 tablespoons canola oil
Preheat oven to 350° and lightly grease & flour a muffin pan. Combine the cornmeal, flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl; stir in the applesauce, onions, soy milk, and sweetener. Slowly add the oil while stirring. Pour the mixture into the muffin pan or baking pan. Gently drop a bit more caramelized onion on top of the batter.
Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the crown of a muffin comes out clean, about 20 minutes. 
Balsamic Caramelized Onions 
2 Yellow Onions, cut lengthwise in thin strips
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Sugar
Salt to taste
1 1/2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar 
In a large skillet heat the Olive Oil on high heat and tilt pan to make sure the entire bottom is coated with oil. 
Add the onion, and with a spatula stir to coat.  Reduce fire to medium-low.  Add sugar and a few pinches of salt, stir, and cover the onions for about 3 minutes to speed the cooking process.  Remove lid and stir a bit. Do not cover the onions.  Stir the onions lightly every 10 minutes. 
After about 30 minutes you’ll have a pan of golden brown onions reduced significantly.  Move the onions to one side in the skillet.  Pour a bit of Balsamic Vinegar onto the pan and scrape with the spatula to deglaze, then stir the onions into the glaze. 
And download one of my delicious, healthy, and nourishing vegan meal plans with recipes for free!
  • Marty

    Do you think this might work gluten-free?

  • Momma G

    Yummy! I’m going to make this.