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Brown Butter Pumpkin Cornbread

This vegetarian Brown Butter Pumpkin Cornbread recipe is the perfect fall or winter side to serve with chili and soup.

Course Bread
Cuisine Vegetarian


For the cornbread:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter + more for greasing the pan
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree (<-- make sure the only ingredient is pumpkin and there aren't any additional spices or sugar)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs

For the topping:

  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter melted
  • 1/3 cup pepita / pumpkin seeds


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a 9 inch circle cake pan.

  2. In a small saucepan or skillet, warm the 1/4 cup unsalted butter over medium heat. Swirling the butter around the pan slightly, watch it closely and after about two minutes, it should start to bubble. Let it bubble for a minute or two or until you start to see small flecks of brown form on the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, baking soda, and salt until well combined.

  4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add in the canned pumpkin, sour cream, eggs, and cooled butter. Whisk the wet ingredients together until combined (it's okay if some of the dry ingredients get in) and then fold the dry ingredients into the wet just until everything is combined (try to avoid overmixing by only mixing right up until there are no more dry pieces).

  5. Transfer to the prepared cake pan and smooth the batter so that it's even in the pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the center clean.

  6. While the cornbread is baking, toast the pepita seeds in a small dry skillet over medium heat for about four minutes, tossing often, or until they start to darken slightly and become fragnant. Remove from heat and set aside.

  7. While the cornbread is cooling, use a pastry brush to brush the remaining 1 Tbsp melted butter over the top and sprinkle the pepita seeds. Serve the cornbread on it's own with more butter or alongside your favorite soups or chilis.