I was never a fan of cornbread until this recipe. After lots of recipe testing, I found the perfect ratio of ingredients for soft, moist, and buttery cornbread with crisp-crunchy edges.
If I’m being honest, I’ve never been a huge fan of cornbread. However, my husband and I went out to lunch the other day and I was quickly converted. I had the best cornbread EVER. We’re talking thick slices of buttery yellow cornbread with sweet honey served on the side. From the delicious corn flavor to the moist texture and crunchy crust, this was a recipe I had to recreate at home.
Cornbread was never my thing UNTIL NOW.
My Favorite Cornbread Recipe
Cornbread is like coconut macaroons. Random comparison, but I promise it’s true. Both classics are very easy, but their success depends on the ratio of ingredients. When done wrong, cornbread (and macaroons!) is dry, crumbly, and flavorless. But when done right, this comfort food staple is rich, tender, moist, flavorful, and very buttery.
I used my mom’s cornbread recipe as a starting point. I played around with butter vs oil, regular milk vs buttermilk, and the ratio of flour to cornmeal. Here’s what I learned:
- Butter: Butter is one of the main flavors in this cornbread recipe. While oil leaves the cornbread luxuriously tender, I find the bread lacks flavor if butter isn’t present. Since butter doesn’t make the bread as moist as oil, I pair it with buttermilk.
- Buttermilk: Buttermilk makes cakes, muffins, and breads extra moist. It adds so much flavor and you’ll notice that flavor in my no yeast bread recipe, too.
- Cornmeal: Cornmeal is another main flavor. Equal parts fine cornmeal and flour makes the BEST cornbread. With 1 cup of cornmeal, you get lots of flavor and mega crunchy edges.
- Brown Sugar: A little brown sugar and honey complements the corn flavor. Regular white sugar is fine, but why use flavorless white sugar when you can used molasses-spiked brown sugar? Because it makes a difference.
What is Cornmeal?
A lot of readers ask about cornmeal. What is cornmeal? Is cornmeal the same as cornstarch? What about polenta? It can certainly be confusing. Cornmeal is dried and ground corn. It’s found in the baking aisle of grocery stores. If you’re curious, here’s what I found. You learn the differences between many corn products including cornmeal, polenta, and cornstarch.
Why You’ll Love This Cornbread
Let us count the ways!
- Easy to make
- 10 simple ingredients
- No mixer required
- Sweet corn flavor
- Crunchy crisp edges
- Moist, not too crumbly
- Extra buttery
After 1 taste, you’ll wonder why you don’t make homemade cornbread more often. And try it in a cast iron skillet! My skillet cornbread is a forever favorite recipe too.
What to Serve with Cornbread:
- Slow Cooker Chicken Chili
- Homemade Minestrone Soup
- Honey Chipotle Salmon
- Crab Cakes
- Taco Spice Chili
- Southwestern Chopped Chicken Salad
- And you can use it in this Cornbread Stuffing
And here’s my cornbread muffin recipe where I love adding jalapeño for heat. You can also bake it directly on top of chili when you make cornbread chili casserole.Print
My Favorite Cornbread Recipe
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 9 servings
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
I was never a fan of cornbread until this recipe! After lots of recipe testing, I found the perfect ratio of ingredients for soft, moist, and buttery cornbread with crisp-crunchy edges. I guarantee this is the best cornbread recipe you’ll try!
- 1 cup (120g) fine cornmeal
- 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 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 or dark brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons (30ml) honey
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk, at room temperature*
- Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Grease and lightly flour a 9-inch square baking pan. Set aside.
- Whisk the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, and honey together until completely smooth and thick. 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 over-mixing.
- 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, or whatever you like.
- Wrap leftovers up tightly and store at room temperature for up to 1 week.
- Freezing Instructions: 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.
- Buttermilk: Buttermilk is required for this recipe. If you don’t have any, you can make a DIY sour milk by adding 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice or white vinegar to a liquid measuring cup. Then add enough whole milk to make 1 cup total. Stir and let sit for 5 minutes before using. Whole milk is strongly recommended for moistest, richest texture, but you can use lower fat or nondairy milk in a pinch.
- 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
- Skillet Cornbread: Baking cornbread in a skillet gives it an even heartier, crunchy crust. Bake this cornbread in a 9-inch or 10-inch oven safe greased skillet at the same temperature for the same amount of time.
- Cornbread Muffins: Here is the same recipe as cornbread muffins!
Reader Comments & Reviews
This recipe really is perfect and works great! Don’t overmix and you will be thrilled at how this sweet, savory cornbread turns out. Make it in muffin tins and bake for less time! So good !
How much oil should I use if I want this to be nondairy and do any other ingredients need to be adjusted if I use the oil instead of butter? Tyvm:).
Hi Elka, You may want to try using a dairy free buttery stick instead, but if you want to test it with oil you can use the same amount as the melted butter. It will of course taste different. Let us know what you try!
If I have a medium grind cornmeal can I just put it in the food processor to make it finer?
Hi Yvonne, medium grind should work fine here, though you can try pulsing it a few times before using.
I am southern. I have tried SO MANY cornbread recipes and none have tasted like Home like this one. It’s now my go to recipe and is always. Hit!!
This was so easy and came out so well. I added jalapeños and cheddar, and topped the warm bread fresh out of the over with some homemade cheddar+pepperjack macaroni and cheese my bf made while the cornbread was baking. ♡ such a tasty combination! The bread was nice and soft on the inside with a slightly crunchy crust.
Love it! Moist but it crumbles. Made it into muffins (used the muffing baking times from your recipe). Why could it be crumbling?
Hi Lurdes, if it’s a bit too crumbly, try decreasing the bake time by just a minute or two. It sounds like it could be over baked just a bit.
My husband said it was the best cornbread he has ever had … and I even forgot to add the egg.
Would the banking time and temperature change much if I was to bake this in a 9 x 5 loaf pan?
My mom used to make a cornbread loaf called Johnny Cake, but I can not find the recipe.
Hi Claire, a loaf pan should work well for this recipe. We’re unsure of the exact bake time, but keep a close eye on it and use a toothpick to test for doneness.
Hello! Would corn flour work as an adequate sub for fine cornmeal? It’s hard to find where I live.
Hi Rebekah, that substitution should likely work but we haven’t tested it to be certain. Let us know if you give it a try.
Hi! Could you use sec rising corn meal mix for this recipe? Walmart delivery gave me the wrong thing
Hi MeKenzie, you’ll really want plain cornmeal for this recipe. The corn meal mix may come with a recipe on the box that would be formulated for that mix!
I assumed. Thanks so much for responding!! This is why we love Sally’s! My friend and I have aprons we had made that say “Sally Never Fails”
This cornbread is very moist and yet crunchy. The best one that I’ve made. Thank you for sharing your recipe.
I’d like to make a 13×9. Do I double all ingredients ? FYI. You are my “ go to “ site for good recipes
Hi Denise, thank you so much for making our recipes! Yes, you can double this recipe for a 9×13 inch pan. We’re unsure of the exact bake time, but use a toothpick to check for doneness.
This recipe is amazing. I tried it and we all love it. Thank you so much for sharing!
Made this tonight ! Added cheddar chopped jalapenos and cooked bacon and it turned out amazing !! All your recipes are spot on. Thank you again !
Wow! Absolutely the best! I had to make a substitution for the buttermilk and decided to do some research on alternatives to buttermilk. One source suggested yogurt! I had some vanilla yogurt in my frig that needed to be used, so I gave it a go. It is scrumptious! My husband only likes sweet cornbread, so he has insisted this be our go-to recipe. No objections from me! Thanks, Sally.
This recepie reminds me of my grandmother
Hi Sal, I’ve been loving this cornbread to death but find mine is coming out a bit too crumbly. Would an extra egg hold this together a bit better? Thanks!
Hi Larissa, if it’s a bit too crumbly, try decreasing the bake time by just a minute or two. It sounds like it could be over baked just a bit. Glad this has been a favorite for you!
Why does the egg and buttermilk need to be at room temperature?
Hi David, room temperature ingredients help batters and doughs to come together smoothly. Especially in recipes like this, where we’re using melted butter, we don’t want the eggs and buttermilk cold as it could cause the butter to solidify. Here is more about the importance of room temperature ingredients, if you’re interested.
This is a great, consistent recipe. Made it multiple times. Delicious.
This is the best corn bread I’ve ever made. And I go back to it over and over again. It has the approval of my husband and my hard to please 13yo son . It’s delicious.
This is the best cornbread recipe I have made. Thank you Sally!