I have a lot of respect for kitchen fails.

Seriously. I mean, I know (of) a lot of people who have had more than their share of disasters in the kitchen. I can totally relate and sympathize with the horrifying feeling of having your precious ingredients and time and patience and sanity completely OBLITERATED like that. Leaving you standing in the wake of a tray full of overdone, pooled-together cupcake tops, nudging you ever closer to the tempting eventuality of ripping your hair out.

Can you tell that I get easily stressed?

I mean what the heck. I’m not saying I have respect for these kinds of situations. (because how can anybody have respect for that??) I have a ton of respect for people who can sigh and maybe be sorely disappointed by their kitchen fail, but shrug their shoulders and just be like “Oh well,” then whip out their camera and snap a few photos of the disgrace, so at the end of the year they can put together a “kitchen fails of 20whatever”. And all their blog readers can laugh at the insanity.

I have a lot of respect for you. Because I would not be able to do that. Just not. ever.

Why? because I can’t stand messing things up. I’m a bit of a perfectionist. And it is not a good thing, people, believe me. This is the girl who will go into a little mental conniption if an egg doesn’t flip exactly right, rendering a patched-up omelette.

I’m pretty insane when it comes to cooking. But that’s just one of those things I’m working on learning, right? To not cry over spilled milk? (I have. legit.) Right.

So why am I talking about this? Well because this cornbread was almost a fail. Keyword almost. Of course, mom saves the day. As always. 

Because there was no sugar called for in the recipe. None. I suppose that is how it’s supposed to be, and maybe that’s how some fancy their cornbread, but we are New Englanders. And New Englanders, as far as I am aware, like their cornbread sweet. (see Durgin Park, Boston? Best cornbread evah? Yellow cake with cornmeal. I kid you not. It is so good.)

So I try it and I’m like, “Hm. Not sweet.” My mom tries it and is like, “Hm. Not sweet.” Enter sugar on top. Yeas on top. This is how it is done.

How come I’ve never done this before? (probably because I’ve never made cornbread without sugar before?) Wow, it is pretty awesome. There’s like this warm, wholesome / sweet crunchy collision in your mouth. And toasted with butter should be illegal but it’s not so that is good.

So hmm, how do I sum up this bread? It is wholesome with a perfect touch of sweetness. And it’s easy, healthier than most cornbread recipes, moist (YES MOIST) tender and light. Like perfect.

Just do it, okay? Nobody is a believer until they put it in their mouth.

healthier skillet cornbread (dairy free)

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yields: 12 servings

This healthier, dairy free cornbread is both wholesome and perfectly sweet. Tender, moist and practically begging to be toasted and smeared with anything from butter to jam. A perfect side for pretty much any dish.


1 cup yellow cornmeal (preferably non-GMO)

1/2 cup white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk + 1 tablespoon vinegar

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 + 2 tbsp cup coconut oil

2-3 tablespoons pure cane sugar


Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, stir together cornmeal, white whole wheat flour, salt, and baking powder until well combined. In another bowl or a large measuring cup, combine coconut "buttermilk" (coconut milk + vinegar) and milk, then add the egg and whisk together with a fork. Mix in the baking soda. Pour the milk and egg mixture into the dry ingredients and mix together with a fork until combined.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, melt 1/4 cup of coconut oil. Pour the melted coconut oil into the batter and stir until just combined. Be careful not to over-mix.

Heat an iron skillet on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in the skillet. Pour all the batter into the hot skillet and spread out to even the surface. The batter should sizzle when it hits the pan and bubble a bit on the edges. Sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons of sugar on top of the bread.

Cook on stovetop for about 1 minute, then transfer to the preheated 450 degree oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before slicing and serving.


Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman.