Honey Skillet Cornbread (with corn inside!)

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Baking cornbread in a hot skillet makes ALL the difference! Here is my favorite skillet cornbread recipe. sallysbakingaddiction.com

It’s the return of my suppertime staple!

When I was in San Francisco on my book tour earlier this year, I met up with some friends who live in Los Altos. We caught up for awhile, then went out to eat. Anna and Katie assured me that no matter what I got for dinner, we had to spilt the cornbread as an appetizer. In fact, that’s the whole reason we went. I can’t even remember what I had for dinner because the most memorable part, aside from hilarious conversion and copious amounts of wine, was the cornbread.

Baking cornbread in a hot skillet makes ALL the difference! Here is my favorite skillet cornbread recipe. sallysbakingaddiction.com

The waitress dropped it off at our table in a hot skillet, alongside a ramekin or two of honey butter on the side. We let it cool for a minute, but the smell alone made the next table stop mid-conversation, look down at their menu, and say to us “we’re getting that too.” Oh my gosh, this cornbread. My friends weren’t lying. And the dinner patrons alongside our table made a stellar choice. This honey skillet cornbread was crusty on the edges. Caramelized on the top. Real corn inside. Tender in the center. Massively rich. Melting in my mouth. Done well, girls, done well.

Not to be dramatic about food or anything, oh hi have we met? but the skillet cornbread was life-changing. Ok ok, night-changing. I had to get me some more, so I set out to create something somewhat similar. Though can anything seriously ever live up to that cornbread night? This is what I came up with and I’m damn happy with the result!

Ingredients for honey skillet cornbread on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to make honey skillet cornbread on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Here’s how it all comes together.

It’s a lot like my regular cornbread, which is very much not regular and very much my favorite cornbread on the planet. Today’s version is just a simple upgrade using all honey (no brown sugar), a skillet for baking, and real corn kernels dancing around each bite. The texture is completely phenomenal with its tender center, sweet corn kernels, and sweetened crunchy edges. It’s light on the inside, but baking this cornbread in a cast iron skillet will give you that crisp golden brown crust on the edges and top. It’s the reason it’s so damn good!

More on the skillet method:

Pouring your cornbread batter into a hot skillet will help the cornbread’s crust develop quickly– and beautifully. It sears the edges, but seals the flavor and soft texture inside. The skillet should be warm before the baking even begins. Here’s what I always do: you’ll need melted butter for this cornbread recipe. Melt the butter in your cast iron skillet over the stove (hey, brown the butter while you’re at it!) then pour the butter into a bowl and let it cool for a few minutes before continuing with the remaining ingredients. The skillet should still be warm once you’re ready for the batter, but if not– you can heat it on the stove for a minute or two. I swear this hot skillet trick makes a difference.

If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, no worries. Any oven-safe skillet will do. Here is the cast iron skillet I own in a few different sizes. I use the 10.25 inch for this particular recipe.

Baking cornbread in a hot skillet makes ALL the difference! Here is my favorite skillet cornbread recipe. sallysbakingaddiction.com

Other than that, it’s just business as usual around here. We’ll throw some real corn in there because yay summer and even though it’s corn season I may have used canned. Don’t be mad. It was just easier for me! But really, any form of corn works. Frozen, canned, fresh. Obviously fresh would be best and obviously you should roast or grill it before throwing it in. F-L-A-V-O-R. Just saying.

It’s a pretty simple bread, but feel free to throw some excitement in there. I’ve done a few of these with my regular cornbread recipe in the past year and every version is just as mouthwatering as the original.

  • A handful of shredded cheese– Kevin loved the cheddar cheese version
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries– I was tempted to add raisins but the crowd coming over for dinner would 100% think that’s I’m strange, so I opted for less judge-y cranberries
  • 1-2 finely chopped jalapeños for heat– muffins!
  • A cup of blueberries for that savory & sweet treat
  • 6 strips of bacon crumbled– this was devoured in approximately 8 minutes
  • 1 Tablespoon dried rosemary + sprinkle of crushed red pepper– delish for Thanksgiving

Get creative. As long as you don’t ditch that butter, the skillet, the yummy corn kernels, and the honey. Oh my gosh and the buttermilk. I forgot to mention it! You know the deal: buttermilk for best texture, moisture, and flavor. That tangy goodness! You’ll love it here. You also need its acidity to react with the baking soda, but since it’s Monday and I’m already a few hours late on this post, I won’t get all geeky on you here. There’s more on baking soda right this way.

Baking cornbread in a hot skillet makes ALL the difference! Here is my favorite skillet cornbread recipe. sallysbakingaddiction.com

It’s just two of us and I wish I could say this cornbread lasted longer than 48 hours. It’s topped with jam for breakfast, drizzled with honey for a snack, fabulous with lunch, and even better with a big ol’ plate of BBQ chicken hot off the grill for dinner. There’s no refined sugar, so I don’t feel so bad polishing it off in 2 days. For a heartier texture, try using whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose. I don’t recommend leaving out or subbing the butter because that’s where 90% of the flavor comes from. You’ll love it too!

Honey Skillet Cornbread

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup (75g) honey
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk, at room temperature2
  • 1 cup (120g) cornmeal1
  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (175g) corn (fresh, frozen, or canned)3

Special Equipment

  • 9 or 10 inch oven safe skillet (I love this one!)

Directions:

  1. While constantly whisking, melt butter over low heat in your skillet. Pour butter into a medium bowl and allow to cool down for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).
  3. Whisk the honey, egg, and buttermilk into the melted butter. Set aside.
  4. In a separate larger bowl, whisk the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until combined. Fold in the corn. Avoid overmixing.
  5. Skillet should still be hot, but if not-- heat the stove on low and warm it up for a minute or two. You want a hot skillet.
  6. Pour batter into hot skillet. Bake for 20 minutes or until the edges and top are golden brown and the center is cooked through. Use a toothpick to test to check. Allow to slightly cool before slicing and serving. Serve cornbread with butter, honey, honey butter (do it!) jam, whatever you like. Wrap leftovers up tightly and store at room temperature for up to 1 week.

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. I always use Indian Head Stone Ground Yellow Cornmeal. Found in your regular grocery. Love this stuff.
  2. If you do not keep buttermilk 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.
  3. If using frozen corn, thaw and drain well. If using canned corn, drain well.

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Jalapeño honey cornbread muffins. Try them!

Jalapeno Honey Cornbread Muffins

Serve with my favorite slow cooker chicken chili.

Favorite Slow Cooker Chicken Chili

This post contains affiliate links.

Baking cornbread in a hot skillet makes ALL the difference! Here is my favorite skillet cornbread recipe. sallysbakingaddiction.com

75 Comments

All Comments

  1. I’m so on board with this bread, especially with some jalapenos inside for heat! I love that there are corn pieces in the crust too, that’s something I haven’t tried yet. I don’t blame you and Kevin for finishing it in 48 hours, that’s how we are with ice cream! 🙂

  2. Pretty much anything and everything is better when you can make it in a skillet (I think that’s a law somewhere)! Yumness, Sally! This cornbread would make the perfect side to so many different meals!

  3. I know right, sometimes the bread is so good you don’t even want your dinner anymore! (I kid. I love food way too much, but bread will always make me happy ;)) Love the way this looks and sounds, and such a smart tip to pour it into a hot skillet!

  4. I can’t wait to give this a try!  The problem is, I only have a 12 inch cast iron skillet.  Would it be better to increase the recipe by about a quarter so it stays roughly the same thickness or just cook it for a shorter amount of time than written?  I also have an enamel dutch oven that’s probably around 10 inches…

    1. Hey Becky! You can use the dutch oven here. I fear the cornbread would be a little too thin in the 12 inch, but you can always try spreading it into the pan. It does rise quite a bit. And yes, it would take less time.

    2. I just made this in a 12-in cast iron skillet – I multiplied the recipe by 1.5 and it worked out ok! I had to about double the cook time though, so I’d say just keep an eye on it and pull it out when the top starts to brown.

      On another note, the texture was awesome but it wasn’t quite sweet enough for me. I’m going to add some sugar (and a bit more salt) when I make it this week for Thanksgiving.

      Also also: I made your honey butter and Yes.

  5. You must have gone to Los Altos Grill.  I love that place and everything they serve is good.  It’s about 20 miles from where I live but their cornbread is so good that hubby and I would drive down there and get it to go so he could take it for lunch the next day to eat with soup or chili.  I will definitely try your recipe.

    1. Yes that’s where we went! I wish I could remember what I had for dinner. I think it was something on special that weekend. But the cornbread. Oh man. THAT was the special!

  6. Oh those crispy edges are calling my name! I can only imagine how incredible this is. And the idea about using GRILLED corn? Dying. Plus jalapeno? Girl, I’m so sold. Definitely happening this week.

  7. Is this your most favorite now?  Or still the other?  I’ve loved the other one each and every time I’ve made it.

    1. It’s hard to choose. The two recipes are pretty similar but I love the crunchier crust this version has. It’s a texture thing!

  8. I love cornbread – it’s the only thing I can eat with chili! I was just saying the other day that my standard cornbread recipe was getting tiring and I wanted to change it up a bit. I think this is the way 😉 I imagine this would taste especially good with your honey butter recipe! Saving this one for a (rainy) Summer day (although hopefully we don’t have too many of those). How was your Father’s Day weekend Sally? I took a break from baking and made your peanut butter ice cream pie recipe for my dad instead 🙂 

    1. Definitely give it a try and let me know how you like it! Weekend was good, unfortunately I couldn’t spend it with my dad but we did chat on the phone quite a bit. Spent most of the weekend getting used to the new light in my house while shooting some new recipes. Always a challenge!

  9. Cornbread.  Say it slowly – cooooornnnnbreaddddd – what is not to love about it?!!!  And crunchy on the outside, soft and melty on the inside.  O.M.G.  My mouth is watering at the thought.  I am making this tonight even though it is 92 degrees at 10:00 a.m.  I am throwing it on the grill – it can bake itself delicious outside.  Thank you, Sally!  Another true winner. ~smile~

  10. Sally, my sister Jenny would just LOVE this recipe! Cornbread is her thing–I mean seriously. When I was discussing with her what food we should eat this summer in Boston, she kept saying, cornbread, cornbread! Apparently there’s this amazing cornbread that’s caramelized and topped with ALL of the things. I’m gonna recommend this recipe to her! Btw, I love it when you taste something so wonderful at a restaurant and race home to try and figure out how to recreate it. Looks like you nailed it. 🙂 Happy Monday Sally! xo

  11. Hi Sally!
    Love the look of this cornbread!! I had just made your other cornbread recipe (LOVE it!) to go along some buffalo chicken chili for dinner last week.  Will have to try this one next time!  I have a corn muffin recipe that we also love in my house involving shredded cheese, green chilis (the ones that come in those little 4 oz cans) & corn kernels.  SO good!!  Absolutely love cornbread!! Thanks for another awesome recipe!! 🙂

      1. I made this cornbread (added diced jalapenos) along with the Buffalo Chicken Chili that Austria mentioned. Both were awesome – we loved it! I also made your “Favorite Slow Cooker Chicken Chili” recipe but that is for dinner tonight. I’ll let you know how it turned out! Thankss!

  12. Sally,

    If we made these as muffins, do you suggest using 2 TBSP of oil like your jalapeno cornbread muffin recipe? Or make no changes at all?

    Thanks!

  13. Your original cornbread recipe is the best on earth, so I can’t wait to try this version. Great way to start a new week!

  14. This looks so tasty! I’ve never tried cornbread before. Here in Lebanon, you don’t really find such foods. We make up for it with Kaak bread though 😉 Maybe I’ll try this next!

  15. It looks sooo good, I have to try it! In Brazil we would top it with guava preserves, it is a classical match-up.

  16. Los Altos Grill is my favorite restaurant in the Bay Area and it’s my go-to request for every birthday dinner. (I live in Campbell, about 20 miles away.) Always, always, always order the cornbread and if you want a good dessert, get the oreo ice cream sandwich.

  17. I recently shared a cornbread french toast on my blog but oh my heavens does this skillet beauty look amazing! It reminds me of my boyfriend’s mom’s corn pudding that is a lot like super rich and thick but also like a cornbread with corn kernels in it. I’m sure the crunchiness here is absolutely fabulous!

  18. Hey Sally. I’ve been using you recipes which excited my family. I have an idea you can make. Baleadas! They are really delicious and you can add your ideas on it. Thanks for your recipes!

  19. I’ve just made this twice in one week, it is truly delicious! The second time with diced pancetta, rosemary and cheese, yum….. I knew that skillet pan would come in handy when I bought it.

  20. OMG Sally I cannot even tell you how perfectly you have timed this recipe!! We are in the US on our honeymoon at the moment and 2 days ago we had cornbread for the first time…it had real corn in it and it blew my mind!! I’ve been thinking about how to make it since and now this!! As soon as we get home this is the first thing I’m going to make…thank you!!

  21. I used cooks illustrated “all purpose cornbread” recipe, but you gave me the idea to add blueberries and they take warm cornbread to the NEXT LEVEL. I have to try this recipe sometime! I only have a 12″ skillet, though. A 9×13 pan has similar volume as a 9″ skillet.

  22. sally, you’ve done it again! i made this over the weekend and it was – by FAR – the best cornbread i’ve ever had. one question though: is 1/8 tsp. salt a typo? i used that amount and it seemed like the bread could definitely have used more.

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