My Favorite Cornbread Recipe

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!

Cornbread

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.

Cornbread with honey

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Cornmeal: Cornmeal is another main flavor. Equal parts cornmeal and flour makes the BEST cornbread. With 1 cup of cornmeal, you get lots of flavor and mega crunchy edges.
  4. 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.

Cornbread

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 This is the Best 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.

Cornbread muffins

What to Serve with Cornbread:

And here’s my cornbread muffin recipe. I love adding jalapeño for heat!

Print
Cornbread

My Favorite Cornbread Recipe

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 9 servings
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

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!


Ingredients

  • 1 cup (120g) 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*

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Grease and lightly flour an 8 or 9-inch square baking pan. Set aside.
  2. 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.
  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, or whatever you like.
  4. Wrap leftovers up tightly and store at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. Cornbread Muffins: Here is the same recipe as cornbread muffins!

Keywords: cornbread

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

466 Comments

  1. Having tried many cornbread recipes, I like this one best.
    Being almost out of brown sugar, I had to make up with some white sugar but the richer flavors came through. I like that the batter is thick.
    Okay I admit one other change. 1/8 tsp salt for two cups of grain and flour is for people with heart conditions. Typically one would use 1 tsp. I split the difference.

  2. Like you, I was never much of a cornbread fan until I tried this recipe. Wow! I baked in a muffin top pan for 30 minutes instead of 20 and it was perfect. Making this again 3 days after the first batch because everyone here is obsessed with them!

  3. I am not a big fan of cornbread either, but am excited to try this recipe this week with a big pot of pintos I plan on cooking up. One question: does the honey make it sweet? I do not want a sweet cornbread.

    1. Hi Andrea! It does– feel free to leave it out and/or reduce the brown sugar. Without all the brown sugar, though, the cornbread will be extra crumbly.

  4. It turned out a little drier than I’d hoped.. I followed the recipe faithfully, only change was using brown coconut sugar. Could it be that?

  5. Christine Morley says:

    I noticed that you do not include oil in the plain cornbread recipe but it is in the jalapeño cornbread and cornbread muffin recipes. Is it an omission or is it not to be added?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Christine, In this plain cornbread the buttery flavor is front and center! Because we aren’t adding oil here we use buttermilk to make up for the moisture.

  6. This is by far my FAVORITE cornbread recipe!!! We moved to Colorado and we are at 5,000ft. Are there any adjustments needed?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Vanessa, I wish I could help, but we have no experience baking at high altitude. I know some readers have found this chart helpful: https://www.kingarthurflour.com/learn/high-altitude-baking.html

  7. Hi Sally! I’m wondering if you could easily make this a jalapeño cheddar cornbread?

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Brittany, absolutely! Add 1-2 chopped jalapeño peppers and up to a cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Or try our jalapeño cornbread muffins and add up to a cup of shredded cheddar cheese.

  8. Easy to make. Tastes really delicious. Used Semolina as it’s hard to find corn meal in the Uk. Having it with ribs tonight

  9. First experience baking with corn flour. Thank you! This is a locally eaten flour that i have never baked with before, so lots of learning and excitement for all of us at home.

    I was expecting a coarse, flavourless, rough, dense and crunchy bread that no one was going to eat.

    But I was surprised with the soft, beautiful cake (sweet) like texture.
    Baking process and method was pretty simple.
    After baking, I found it difficult to slice as it just crumbled on touch. Getting a slice out of it was difficult. Not sure what i did wrong. we let it cool in the pan….was that a mistake? When we cut it, I felt it was like a wet cake….

    It is too sweet for a bread though. Maybe I will reduce the honey and halve the sugar portion?

    I love the falvours!!!

  10. Excellent recipe. Tried for the 1stvtime and it came out really moist and fluffy.

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