Campfire Cornbread

While camping at Crater Lake this past weekend we made this cornbread over the campfire. It was fast and easy, which is especially great when you are camping. We heated up some tortilla soup while it was cooking and dinner was ready in 20 minutes. This cornbread is designed to be cooked in a cast iron skillet over a heat source like a campfire or stovetop. If you are going to make it over the campfire I find it easiest to mix dry ingredients at home and put them into a sealed plastic bag. I also combine the soy milk, eggs and corn and put this wet mixture into a water-tight container so it can go into the cooler. Make sure you bring a bowl and a whisk to combine the wet and dry ingredients just before cooking. *Don’t ever put a cold cast iron pan onto a hot fire. Always put the cast iron onto where it will be cooking, then light the fire. Polenta, corn meal and corn flour are all the same thing just ground to a different texture. This recipe uses polenta, but you have the option of using 1/2 polenta and 1/2 corn flour if you want a smoother cornbread. If you want to use only polenta, then skip step one and move on to step two.

Makes: 4 servings

Preparation time: 10m
Cooking time: 10m
Total time: 30m


  • 1 cup polenta
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup unsweetened organic soy milk (or other milk alternative)
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 1 cup frozen corn (thawed)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt (e.g. kosher salt)

Equipment: cast iron skillet


  1. (Optional) Put 1/2 cup polenta into a blender and pulse on high about 30 times until it feels more like flour than polenta. You just made corn four. Add this to the polenta and continue with step 2.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients together in a small bowl (the polenta, baking powder, baking soda and salt).
  3. In a separate bowl mix the wet ingredients (soy milk, eggs, corn).
  4. Stir the dry mixture into the wet mixture and set aside.
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Swirl the skillet around so the oil coats the sides of the pan.
  6. Pour the cornbread mixture into the skillet, cover with aluminum foil and cook for 10 minutes. Then remove the skillet from the heat, uncover and cool for 10 minutes more. This step is really important because it allows the cornbread to finish cooking and absorb the rest of the liquid so that it doesn’t fall apart when you try to take it out of the pan.
  7. Cut and serve. This tastes great topped with a little INLINE-LINK-START title="Strawberry Jalapeño Jam" href="" target="blank">Strawberry Jalapeño Jam INLINE-LINK-END or alongside someINLINE-LINK-START title="Tortilla Soup" href="" target="blank"> Tortilla Soup INLINE-LINK-END.