Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

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!

198 comments

  1. Can’t wait to give this a try! I am huge lover of cornbread, been wanting to make a batch!

  2. YUM.  I needed a corn bread recipe.  In a pinch I used to use the box mix and it is not flavorful or moist.  Cannot WAIT to make this with some fab bbq this summer.  THanks Sally!

    – Amy

  3. Cornbread lovers will sing your praises for this. I have met several cornbreads which match your description of dry and flavorless and I want better than that. 🙂

  4. This looks amazing!  Have you ever tried it with 2/3 cup cornmeal and 1/3 cup coarse cornmeal (polenta)?  It makes it just a little bit crunchy.  I LOVE corn muffins, can’t wait to see your recipe.

  5. Love cornbread and this looks great. Can’t wait for your corn muffin recipe! Hope they are jumbo like the blueberry and raspberries ones, they are my favorites 🙂

  6. if you don’t mind me asking, what cafe in Philly inspired this??

  7. Oh cornbread is so my favorite! I think I will always reach for cornbread, it’s just too good. I love making it from scratch so I’ll have to try your recipe!

  8. Oh, I’m so going to make this soon. Trying to get over an illness and starting to get my appetite back….this corn bread is calling me.

    Here is how I’m going to cook it and I think you should give it a try:
    preheat a cast iron skillet 8 inch will probably work nicely, coat with non-stick spray and then melt four tablespoons of butter in it turning pan so the butter gets up the sides, THEN add the batter and bake. Oooooh will the crust be good and buttery.

  9. Oh I love this Sally! My go-to cornbread recipe for several years has been a vegan one – I really like the taste but it is SUPER DUPER crumbly. The next time I make it, I am definitely trying your version – it sounds divine. I have been making mango BBQ beans for dinner on occasion and this would be a great side to that! 🙂 Also…adding blueberries? What a great idea!

  10. I LOVE cornbread. I could eat it for ages, but I probably shouldn’t! I haven’t had it in awhile, so now I can’t wait to try this recipe out! 
    🙂 
    Kenzie
    Behindhazeleyes06.blogspot.com

  11. Hey Sally!  I’m just loving all this cornbreadiness!  Makes me miss my Texas home!  I actually dreamt about blueberry cornbread muffins last night, so I think my dreams are telling me I need to make this cornbread, stat! What should you wrap the cornbread in to store it?  Great recipe (as always) :)!

  12. This really looks and sounds so good, Sally!  All of your recipes are so perfect, this is no exception! 🙂

  13. I love a good cornbread and yours looks superb Sally. Love the addition of honey. All the tips you gave are fantastic. Will help me when making this recipe.

  14. I made this last night 🙂 made an unrolled layered cabbage roll dish and decided last minute that I needed a carb for the side. Threw this together in a couple minutes and into the oven it went. Oh my goodness. So so good. So crazy moist and soft. My go to recipe now. Thanks!

  15. This looks absolutely perfect Sally!!

  16. These look great! I’ve been reading your blog for a little while (well, ever since I discovered it, and I have to say LOVE looking at your recipes and learning new baking techniques!) I made your homemade pop tarts and got so many raving reviews! Thanks for al the great ideas. Typically not a corn bread lover but this definitely looks worth trying!

    • So glad you made those pop tarts! Let me know if you try this cornbread Nathalia. Thank you!

      • Reporting back: Tonight I made your “Baked Pecan Crusted Chicken Fingers” and this cornbread to go along with it! I think the smoked paprika added a nice touch! I’d never used it in baking before. And I may have more of that cornbread for breakfast…. cornbread for breakfast? Did I just say that? Is that allowed? I did make the cornbread in a 8*8 container so I wonder how it would turn out in a 9*13…

      • Totally allowed. 🙂 You can double the cornbread for a 9×13 pan!

  17. I’ve always been a fan of cornbread, but this looks amazing!

  18. These looks absolutely delicious!

    I’ve never had cornbread before – I need to change that.

  19. This recipe looks fantastic! To be honest, though, I love cornbread so much that even the mix in the box is a delicious indulgence. I’m a cornbread anti-snob. Love it!

    • My grandma made cornbread from the box from time to time and from what I remember, that’s the kind I always liked!

  20. I made your cornbread recipe yesterday afternoon in time for my 3-year-old’s snack time and he loved it – he even cleaned up his crumbs! I split the recipe (half plain, half with chopped jalapenos and cheddar cheese). My husband had the plain cornbread for breakfast this morning and also cleaned his plate (he’s always been a sweet cornbread fan). I had the jalapeno cheddar cornbread yesterday and this morning, and the savory flavors definitely developed more overnight. Your recipe has the perfect combination of sweetness, moistness and buttery-ness. But I think next time I make a full recipe with jalapenos and cheddar cheese, I will follow your tip about reducing the brown sugar to 1/4 cup so the savory flavors can come through more. I won’t adjust the original plain cornbread recipe – it’s perfect the way it is! I’ve been in search of the perfect cornbread recipe since I had the best cornbread (and clam chowder) in Boston 11 years ago – my search is now over. Thanks Sally!

  21. This looks outstanding!  I’m going to make it this weekend to go with some BBQ chicken.  We have a cast iron drop-biscuit (or mini cake) skillet I’m thinking about using.  Any idea if this recipe would work in that type of skillet, or should I wait for the muffin recipe to use it?

    • Yes! Cast iron skillet works wonders. Melt some butter in it, then pour in the batter. See my recipe note!

  22. This is the cornbread recipe I’ve been waiting for!  I don’t know whether to make the first batch with bacon and cheese or bacon and jalapeño!  I think I’ll use Ree Drummond’s method of heating up the cast iron skillet and melting some butter or shortening in it, first, then pouring the batter into the hot skillet!  Getting ready to soak a big bag of beans as I type!  Chili for this cool and rainy weekend here in the mountains!  Thanks again, Sally!

  23. I could live on cornbread! Yours looks absolutely perfect!

  24. Absolutely the BEST cornbread I have ever had! So moist and tasty. Super easy to make! Thank you for all your wonderful recipes…especially the cookies…who doesn’t love a cookie?

  25. Oh My! My husband will be so excited. He LOVES cornbread but I never make it for him because I have never found a recipe good enough. I am relatively new to your site but everything I have tried has been a huge hit! Every time I put a batch of Sky High Apple Pie muffins in the oven I end up with a lineup of neighbourhood kids at the door.  When I make your salted caramel my husband, kids and their friends will suddenly materialize in the kitchen with spoons and crazed grins. Thank You!

    • Hahahahaha I’m laughing so loud “suddenly materialize in the kitchen with spoons and crazed grins.” 😉

  26. This was amazing!!! I made it and my 3 year old loved it as well as my entire family. The flavor and texture is perfect. I didn’t even need to put butter on it! Thanks Sally!

  27. Hi Sally! This looks delicious. I have recently become gluten free which means I can’t eat all of your yummy bread recipes 🙁 This cornbread and your zucchini bread look so good and I really want to make them 🙁 is there any way I can substitute the all purpose flour for anything else that would make it GF? Thanks so much!

    • Tamar, you can try using a GF flour instead. I have never tried it so I’m not 100% sure of the outcome, but if you get one of those cup-4-cup varieties, it should be fine.

  28. Hi Sally, I am a Canadian living in Britain & I’ve been dying to try making Cornbread as you just can’t get it here but, I could only get hold of Cornflour & Polenta, NOT Cornmeal so, after doing some digging online, I read that Polenta was the best “corn” sub. Well, my Cornbread turned out very wet, greasy and very unappetising. I REALLY want to have a go at making this, yours is the best recipe I’ve found and ive had such great success with everything else I’ve tried on your site so, I’m hoping you can help me make some awesome Cornbread, please can you suggest a substitute for Cornmeal that I might have a chance of finding here in the U.K? Thanks so much! 

    • Definitely do not use Polenta instead of the cornmeal. There really isn’t a sub for this– can you search online for buying it instead?

      • Thankyou so much for getting back to me, I know you must be insanely busy! Ok well, I shall start investigating and see what I can find. I WILL make Cornbread if it kills me!  

        Thanks again, Sally, much appreciated. xoxo 

    • Reading through the cornbread comments on another site, I saw that someone used a grain mill to grind up popcorn to make cornmeal! I haven’t tried it yet, but I just might. I think a spice grinder with blades or, better yet, a burr grinder would work.

  29. This looks amazing. Could it be made into muffins?

  30. Ugh I have such a love/hate relationship with your site (99% love) because I have this tab open, the double chocolate chip zucchini bread, and the blueberry muffin open and can’t decide what to make tomorrow!!! They are all perfect. Might have to space them out this week 🙂

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