My Favorite Cornbread.

With its full flavor, tender texture, and crunchy/honey/buttery edges, it’s easy for me to say that this is my favorite cornbread recipe!

With its full flavor, tender texture, and crunchy/honey/buttery edges, it's easy for me to say that this is my favorite cornbread recipe!

Aka the cornbread of my dreams.

Let me explain.

With its full flavor, tender texture, and crunchy/honey/buttery edges, it's easy for me to say that this is my favorite cornbread recipe!

Kevin and I had lunch at the cutest little cafe the other weekend in Philly. It was one of those few and far between weekends where you have no plans, the weather’s perfect, and the hardest decision to make all day is craft beer or wine with lunch?

????

Life is hard today.

Wine - Lunch

The waitress brought out a basket with warm slices of raisin walnut oat-y bread and thick pieces of golden cornbread. Ordinarily I would choose the hearty looking raisin bread (c’mon, you know me), but the smell alone of that sweet cornbread had me reaching for a slice faster than you can say pinot noir, please.

Omg.

It was so full of flavor and texture. From the unmistakable corn flavor and the subtle notes of honey to the moist interior and slightly crunchy texture, this was a recipe I had to recreate at home. Cornbread isn’t usually my thing, but I am now converted FOREVER.

With its full flavor, tender texture, and crunchy/honey/buttery edges, it's easy for me to say that this is my favorite cornbread recipe!

My cornbread is kind of like my recent coconut macaroon recipe. Both classics are extraordinarily simple, but it really depends on the ratio and combination of ingredients in order for the baked goods to impress. When done wrong, cornbread can be dry, blah (technical terms), and flavorless. When done right, this comfort food staple can be rich, tender, moist, flavorful, crunchy-edged, and buttery. In other words, this favorite cornbread is a side dish that will steal the show at your table.

I got to work in my kitchen and churned out 4 different batches of cornbread. I used my mom’s trusty recipe as the base and I played around with butter vs oil, the ratios of cornmeal to flour, regular milk or buttermilk, white or brown sugar, honey? no honey?, 1 egg, 2 eggs, and should I add more salt? Is that cornmeal in my hair? What?

My entire day was…that. Here’s what I learned.

Butter is key for flavor. While oil left the cornbread luxuriously tender, I found the bread was lacking flavor. Since melted butter won’t make the bread just as moist as oil, I paired it with buttermilk. It’s my little secret weapon in cakes, muffins, breads, and other baked goods. I found that my ideal cornbread texture comes from equal parts cornmeal and flour. Not more flour than cornmeal or vice versa. With this amount, you get so much corn flavor and little bites of crunch here and there. And don’t get me started on the slightly crunchy, honey buttery edges. (!!!!)

It should come as no surprise to you that I preferred the batch of cornbread made with brown sugar as opposed to the batch made with granulated sugar. Why use flavorless white when you can used molasses-spiked brown? That 1/3 cup of brown sugar adds a small touch of molasses in every piece. Likewise, a very scant 2 Tablespoons of honey adds even more flavor. I loooooove honey and cornbread.

With its full flavor, tender texture, and crunchy/honey/buttery edges, it's easy for me to say that this is my favorite cornbread recipe!

Oh! And stay tuned for my cornbread muffin recipe!

Oooooh! And check out all of my optional add-ins listed in the recipe like cheese, jalapeño, cranberries, blueberries, and more. And the notes for SKILLET cornbread.

It’s dreamy.

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. 

My Favorite Cornbread

With its full flavor, tender texture, and crunchy/honey/buttery edges, it's easy for me to say that this is my favorite cornbread recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (120g) cornmeal1
  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (measured correctly)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/3 cup (67g) packed light brown sugar2
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) honey
  • 1 large Eggland's Best egg, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk, at room temperature3
  • optional add-ins: 1-2 chopped jalapeño peppers, 1 cup blueberries, 1 cup total dried cranberries and walnuts, 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, or 1/2 cup bacon crumbles

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Grease and lightly flour an 8 or 9-inch square baking pan. Set aside.
  2. Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the cooled melted butter, brown sugar, and honey together until completely smooth and thick. There should be no brown sugar lumps. Then, whisk in the egg until combined. Finally, whisk in the buttermilk. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until combined. Avoid overmixing.
  3. Pour batter into prepared baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown on top and the center is cooked through. Use a toothpick to test. Edges should be crispy at this point! Allow to slightly cool before slicing and serving. Serve cornbread with butter, honey, jam, whatever you like. Wrap leftovers up tightly and store at room temperature for up to 1 week.
  4. Make ahead tip: For longer storage, freeze baked cornbread for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and heat up in the microwave or bake in a 300°F (149°C) oven for 10 minutes.

Recipe Notes:

  1. My preferred cornmeal is Indian Head Stone Ground Yellow Cornmeal.
  2. For less sweet cornbread, reduce brown sugar to 1/4 cup. You can use dark brown sugar instead, for a slightly stronger molasses background.
  3. Buttermilk is required for this recipe. If you do not keep it on hand, you can make a DIY version by adding 2-3 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice or white vinegar to a large liquid measuring cup. Then add enough regular room temperature milk (whole, skim, 1%, 2%-- whole milk is strongly recommended for moistest, richest texture) to make 1 cup total. Stir and let sit for 5 minutes. This soured milk can be used in the recipe.

Skillet Cornbread: Baking cornbread in a skillet gives it an even heartier, crunchy crust. Bake this cornbread in a 9-inch oven safe greased skillet at the same temperature for the same amount of time.

Here is the same recipe as muffins!

Did you make a recipe?

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

Here are more bread recipes for you!

With its full flavor, tender texture, and crunchy/honey/buttery edges, it's easy for me to say that this is my favorite cornbread recipe!

A couple other recipes you’d love:

Crispy Baked Onion Rings

How to Make Crispy Baked Onion Rings

Pretzel Crusted Chicken Bites

Super crunchy Pretzel Crusted Chicken Bites on sallysbakingaddiction.com. These are SO easy and delicious!

Eggland’s Best provided me with eggs to bring you this recipe.

I tested several cornbread recipes and it ALWAYS comes back to this one. Best cornbread ever!

194 comments

  1. Has anyone tried this as a larger recipe in a 9×13? And could you please share your ratios?

  2. Delicious! Really the best ever. So good that I went to make it a second time, and instead of going to your recipe archive I just plugged “Sally cornbread” into Google. This came up underneath:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6soaEDCbAc

    So uh, just in case you’d missed that 😀

  3. Thank you for sharing and I also love honey cornbread.  This will now be on my “must cook this week” list (yum!).  Quick question, if baking in a cast iron pan would you grease it with butter or oil?  Great photos too!

  4. Ok I just made this (and ate a ton of it, I’m afraid). I wouldn’t have thought it possible for cornbread to be this amazing – hot damn, this stuff is unbelievable! No more just making my cornbread out of a mix!! 

  5. I’ve been on a cornbread kick and have tried 4 different recipes in the last week. This one was by far the best! I love the balance of corn, butter, sweetness, and texture – and the crust had such a nice crunch to it. They were so good I had to make another batch. 

  6. Made this today, and it was delicious!!  Thanks for the great recipe 🙂

  7. In the UK we do not have any product called ‘Cornmeal’ we only have cornflour and I have some in the cupboard ready to use (used before in your cookie recipes), is this the same thing? been searching online with no definitive answers.. I just do not want a ruined recipe >.<
    thanks.

  8. Dear Sally,

    I always love coming to your website! I have so many recipes bookmarked, and this is one of them, which I really want to try to make this week! I don’t have a square 8×8 pan for this, so I was pulling out my baking equipment to see what might work . . . can I use my mini loaf pan for this?

    Thanks very much!

  9. FINALLY! My search for a great sweet cornbread recipe has ended. Thanks so much! I made two days in a row. Second time I made it in a cast iron pan. Delicious!!

  10. Sally,
    Feeling inspired by your list of optional add-ins! I am determined to make this alongside my favorite chili, and though the cheddar addition would work nicely, I was wondering if you had any thoughts on adding creamed corn instead, and how the recipe might be tweaked to accommodate the extra moisture? I rarely deviate from your recipes, because you never steer me wrong, but I am a hopeless sucker for creamed corn in my cornbread… 🙂

    • Jennifer, I think you could go ahead and add it. Maybe add an extra 2 Tbsp of flour. Otherwise, I think the cornbread will be outstanding!

  11. When I was in college in NY, the cafeteria had the best corn muffins-dense, sweet and crumbly. I have been searching for that cornbread ever since. I have tried many recipes and tried adding various things to get that same taste. I even have a cornbread recipe book and I have never come close until now. This is the best cornbread I have ever made. My husband agrees. I made one substitution-there was no buttermilk at my market when I went and I only have skim milk, so I whisked about 1/4-1/3 cup of sour cream into enough skim milk to make a cup-it worked perfectly. I will make this again and again. Thank you.

  12. Hi Sally…I’ll be making your cornbread recipe for friends this long weekend. I have a few questions…First, can I just double all the ingredients to make a 9X13 pan? Do you recommend using metal or glass pan? And lastly, how do you store the cornbread? If I prepare it earlier, can I let it cool in the pan and then cover it tightly until ready to serve? I really hope my result is as pretty as yours!
    Thanks,
    Rani

    • Rani, you can double this recipe for a 9×13 pan. Glass or metal– either are fine. I typically use glass. See step 3 for storing.

      • How did I miss that line? Lol.  Thank u for super quick reply!

      • Thank you Sally! In retrospect, it came together so easily, there was no need to make this in advance. I’m looking forward to making this recipe again!

  13. Hi Sally,
    I just made this corn bread last night (alongside some buffalo chicken chili) for the 3rd or 4th time.  Just wanted to let you know how much i LOVE it!!!! Absolutely wonderful cornbread recipe & so easy to make!  I always had some shredded cheddar to it because cheese.  It paired VERY nicely with the spicy chili.  Thanks for yet another fantastic recipe!! 

  14. Cornbread turned out very dry. Fell apart as I attempted to remove from pan. Was good tasting, but totally crumbs! Disappointed!

  15. Hi Sally,

    My family is absolutely in love with this cornbread recipe and I want to make a double batch for Thanksgiving. Have you ever doubled the recipe and if so, can you tell me the size pan and adjusted baking time? Thank you in advance. 

  16. What recipe adjustments would you make if adding canned pumpkin?  would you cut down on the liquids or skip the honey?

  17. I made this tonight, it was my first time ever baking cornbread! My husband has never been a fan and he said he would be slathering his in butter to make it bearable. He took a bite without buttering it and actually liked it! No butter necessary. It was the perfect side to have with our chili. I won’t need to try another cornbread recipe because this one was perfect! 

  18. Sally, we have one thing in common for sure:

    this is also my favorite cornbread! I made this last weekend to have with chili, and it was a hit! And guess what… I’m making chili again today (trying out a different recipe), and I am making the same cornbread. But tonight I am going to try baking the cornbread in a cast iron skillet.

    This cornbread is so tasty and sweet, and the edges get nice and crispy… I’m absolutely in love with this recipe! Thanks!

  19. Absolutely delicious! Went perfectly with your chicken chili recipe–which was super yummy as well.  

  20. Just experimented using whole wheat flour, coconut oil instead of the butter and yogurt and a bit of water instead of buttermilk, and it came out amazing. Thanks for this wonderful recipe!

  21. I’m totally going to use this as a crust for my BBQ pulled pork and cheddar pizza! 

  22. This is hands-down the best cornbread I’ve ever made! The whole family enjoyed it. I used a mix of craisins and raisins for the mix-in, which was the perfect touch of sweetness. I actually always use kefir as a substitute for buttermilk in all recipes and it was perfect in this recipe! So moist and delicious. 

  23. Can this be augmented for a 13×9 size pan?

    • You can double the recipe for a 9×13. I am unsure of the bake time thought.

      • Thank you, cornbread was delicious! I baked for 30 min, but probably could have done 25-27 mind for the double batch. I love the subtle sweetness!

  24. Thank you for the tip on adding lemon juice to regular milk in the absence of buttermilk! Also, I appreciate that you list things in both measuring systems. I’m American living in Dubai and usually spend a lot of time doing conversions before starting a recipe! It’s in the oven now, can’t wait for a taste! 

  25. I made this cornbread to go with “My Favorite Slow Cooker Chicken Chili.” I added one small can (8.5 oz.) of cream style corn with most of its juice. WOW!! Thank you for a wonderful website full of recipes that have helped me to earn the title of best wife / mom / cook ever which just goes to show that it never hurts to have a little help from your friends! :o)

  26. I just made this cornbread and all I can say is –WOW!
    I have tried many recipes and store bought mixes and they are never as good as my grandmother’s use to be. I will be making this often! Thank you! You’ve made a southern girl happy!

  27. Found a HUGE ham hock in the freezer (from our local butcher) and made a pot of mixed bean soup. Only needed some cornbread to go with it. Thanks for posting this recipe. I’ll agree with everyone else, it is wonderful and will be a keeper in my recipe app. 

    Used the buttermilk substitute and baked it in the iron skillet. Looking forward to lunch tomorrow 🙂

  28. I made this cornbread tonight to go with our chili. It was so delicious and addicting! I ate probably half the pan! I think I turned the boyfriend into a cornbread lover. 

  29. I had never made cornbread from scratch before, I followed your recipe and it was SO GOOD.  I reduced the sugar to 1/4 cup because I prefer a little less sweetness.  Loved the touch of honey as well, Thanks for such a great recipe!!  I so appreciate the time you take to develop your recipes, I have tried a few from your site and they always turn out delicious!

  30. Hi, it’s a tasty recipe, but you are a not sweet recipe for a cornbread? Usually, you make a version salted? a kind a focaccia salted with corn flour.
    Thanks

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