Gluten-free Upside-down Heirloom Tomato Cornbread

I have always felt that subscribing to a magazine can be quite indulgent, so I have treated myself to only a few during my adult years, usually justifying them as a birthday gift. Most recently, because of un-redeemed airmiles or “once in a lifetime” offers, I have been able to enjoy the anticipation of a monthly magazine more often. My favorites are usually baking and pastry magazines.

A few years ago I subscribed to Pastry and Baking North America Magazine. It was a fun year, even if many time I didn’t have access to the ingredients listed in their recipes. But reading about the latest trends, and discovering new flavors or new combinations of classics was incredibly interesting to me.

More recently I have found that Bake from Scratch has a lot of great recipes and ideas I can draw from. So in the last couple of years I have subscribed to it. The only regret is that it’s only published 6 times a year…

In the last issue there was a whole section on quick breads made with summer ingredients. The upside-down heirloom tomato cornbread recipe caught my attention. First of all, I do love heirloom tomatoes. I had never tasted or seen them before moving to western Massachusetts. They are absolutely delicious and so pretty in their colorful combination. Second, the recipe asked for a cast-iron skillet.

You need to know that a couple of years ago I went through a cast-iron skillet phase. I bought two 12″ skillets and a scone pan and experimented with savory and sweet recipes. I even taught a gluten-free class at the Baker’s Pin using cast-iron skillets. I absolutely love baking with it, and I get excited every time I can use it. So I decided that for dinner I would make the Bake from Scratch recipe for upside-down heirloom tomato cornbread, gluten-free. I had to make some adjustments, since I didn’t have all the ingredients, but the result was very colorful and delicious.


Gluten-free Upside-down Heirloom Tomato Cornbread

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Recipe by Simona Gluten-free Course: EntreeDifficulty: easy
Prep time


Cooking time




  • 370 gr 370 Heirloom tomatoes – 3 medium

  • 240 gr 240 Yellow cornmeal – 2 cups

  • 156 gr 156 Simona’s Flour Mix – 1 cup

  • 1 Tbsp 1 Baking powder

  • 2 tsps 2 Salt

  • 2 tsps 2 Smoked paprika

  • 255 gr 255 Smoked cheddar, divided (I used regular cheddar and added a few drops of liquid smoke to the batter)- 2 1/4 cups – see notes

  • 7 gr 7 Fresh basil leaves, finely sliced – 1/4 cup

  • 420 gr 420 Buttermilk – 1 3/4 cups

  • 84 gr 84 Unsalted butter, melted – 6 Tablespoons

  • 2 large 2 Eggs

  • 24 gr 24 Granulated sugar – 2 Tablespoons


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line the bottom of a 10″ or 12″ cast-iron skillet with parchment paper. Spray parchment and sides with cooking spray.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with paper towels. Slice the tomatoes into 1/2″ thick rounds and place them on the prepared pan.
  • In a large bowl whisk together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and smoked paprika. Stir in 170 gr (1 1/2 cups) of cheddar cheese, basil and liquid smoke if you are not using smoked cheddar.
  • Add buttermilk, eggs, and melted butter. Mix well.
  • In the bottom of the prepared skillet place the tomato slices, overlapping if needed. Sprinkle with sugar, and top with 57 gr (1/2 cup) of cheese. Spoon the batter on the tomatoes and smooth the top.
  • Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes – depending on the diameter of the skillet.
  • Let the cornbread cool in the skillet for 10 minutes, then invert onto a serving platter. Top with the remaining 28 gr (1/4 cup) of cheddar cheese, and garnish with basil.


  • I used a 50% reduced fat cheddar and the cornbread was still delicious. You can also add 1 cup (154 gr) of corn kernels to the batter if you’d like.

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