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.

Cornbread cut into squares

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.

piece of 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.

squares of 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 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.

Cornbread muffins

What to Serve with Cornbread:

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

Print
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Cornbread cut into squares

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

599 Comments

  1. So easy to make and utterly delish! My 14-month baby loves this. 🙂

  2. Laura Welti Ferber says:

    I found it too buttery for my taste, and bland even though I added jalapeño. Next time I will cut the cut the butter in half and triple the salt.

    1. I agree. Not enough salt, too much butter and, for me, too sweet. I reduced the butter and sugar and omitted the honey.

  3. Hi..quick question..Can I substitute milk or something else for the buttermilk in this recipe?

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Valerie, for best results I recommend using buttermilk. If you don’t have any, see recipe note #2 to make a DIY buttermilk using regular milk (like whole milk, skim, etc.).

  4. Catherine Norris says:

    Very good. Sweet. Don’t think I would add cheese and/or jalapeños cause it’s quite sweet.

  5. Beth A Bashara says:

    It was a hit. My brother inlaw even complimented me.

  6. The best ever! Everyone said it was the most delish cornbread and fighting over the last piece. Thanks for this recipe!!

  7. This is a fantastic recipe and I am so happy I found your site. My mouth started watering as the delicious smell filled my apartment. I am very excited for Thanksgiving to arrive because I will be making your cornbread stuffing recipe!

    1. This took far longer than 20 minutes. I followed the recipe exactly. Mine took 35 minutes. Still delicious though!

  8. I’ve made this a couple of times now and this recipe is a permanent part of my rotation. I make a lot of barbecue, smoked meats, etc. and this is a great accompaniment to that style of cooking. Paired this up with some Tex Mex meatballs I made last night and the family was thrilled.

  9. I just wanted to say thank you very much for including metric weight measurements in your recipe. I live in Japan, and with the metric measurements, I was able to replicate this very easily. This recipe was exceptional. Not too sweet, just the right amount of texture, and crumbly, but not dry. 10 of 10, will make this again.

  10. My love for brown sugar led me to try this recipe (not that I had to debate with myself that much as EVERYTHING I’ve tried from your blog is really exceptional). This cornbread is perfect! Nice and rich with the perfect crumb. Being that it is sweet, I like to add chilis (serrano, or hatch/anaheim), but even without, it went well with the big pot of chili we had for dinner this week.

  11. Made this in the skillet to go with the Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili, pairs really well together. Very easy recipe, definitely recommend. Also just looks so good in a skillet, hah!

  12. if i want to eat this with chilli do i still need to add the honey and sugar

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Debbie, They both keep the cornbread moist but it’s really not too sweet as written. However, you can skip the honey if desired.

  13. Hiii, I do not have honey, Can i leave it out or substitute it with something else?

    1. You can simply leave it out.

  14. Do you use self rising cornmeal or plain?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Shannon, It’s plain!

  15. YUMMMMMM. My first time making cornbread from scratch, and this turned out great! I did use salted butter instead of unsalted (it’s all I had, plus I like things a bit more savory anyway). Mmmmmm.

  16. I love cornbread and this was delicious and an easy recipe to follow and I had all the ingredients. Soft, moist and the crumb was perfect. I only used 1 tablespoon of honey and it was just enough sweetness for my tastes. I figured people could add honey if they wanted-and I tried a bite with honey on top and that was amazing too. I would make this again except I am afraid I would eat all of it! Another great recipe Sally! Thanks!

  17. This is the easiest and tastiest cornbread I have ever made. Each time I use your recipe exactly as written and it’s perfect every time. Beautiful colour and crispy yummy edges. It is delicious with the pumpkin chili and as a little snack (with honey) after dinner.

  18. This really is the best cornbread I’ve made! I’ve tried so many different recipes but this is definitely a keeper!

  19. Let me tell you what I like about this recipe.
    1. It’s the perfect size for a small household. A lot of cornbread recipes use 3 eggs, a lot more butter, etc… I don’t want to use all my ingredients to have a few pieces of cornbread.
    2. It’s a good base. If you don’t like sweet cornbread, cut down the sugar. The flour to cornmeal to leavener & liquid ratio is still good. It has a nice texture, it’s moist. You can still add hot peppers or cayenne, or whatever you like if you prefer it savory. I made it with no sugar at all, just the honey, and doubled the salt, still turned out great.
    It’s a good, versatile base recipe that can be tweaked to suit your taste. To me, that’s exactly what I want in a recipe!

  20. I like all kinds of cornbread for the most part, but this was a cut above all of them. Sweet w/o being too sweet, and wonderful flavor. Many thanks for sharing this!

  21. Love this cornbread recipe! It’s so moist, buttery, delicious! This time I added a teaspoon of vanilla and a half teaspoon of cinnamon, just for fun. It is baking now and the kitchen smells heavenly! Hubby loves it too. We eat it plain or I have eaten it with just a smear of peach or apple butter.

  22. Delicious. I didn’t have enough butter so I used vegetable oil, worked out great. Made with whole wheat flour, also fine substitution. I loved that it was moist and not dry like others I’ve made. Nice crust. Yes a little sweet; might change the sugar/salt ratio next time but the base recipe is just great. Unfortunately the bread was so good my 2year old wasn’t interested in trying the chili.

  23. Hi Sally!
    Maybe this has been addressed somewhere, but I wondered if you could double this recipe and use a 13×9 pan. Having a party this weekend and would like to have more than one batch. Thank you! Have tried so many of your recipes and I always love them! And PS my daughter’s name is Sally. 🙂

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Shannon! Yes, you can double this recipe for a 9×13 inch pan. I’m unsure of the exact bake time, but use a toothpick to check for doneness.

  24. Wow, this was so delicious. I followed the recipe exactly and wouldn’t change a thing. I spread a little honey on the finished product which put it over the top. Fantastic recipe, Sally!

  25. Claudia Lynch says:

    My family loved it. I used regular milk and it was excellent!! I’ll have to try it with buttermilk to compare.

  26. I tried the recipe and it turned out great! Thank you for the recipe !

  27. The flavor is fabulous but mine falls apart easy. What can I add to stop this. I followed recipe exactly

  28. Hi I don’t have buttermilk and don’t really want to purchase a litre just to use one cup, so am wondering if I could use yogurt instead?

    1. Hi Angela! See recipe note about the best alternative.

  29. Decided to make this for Thanksgiving and accidentally got yellow self-rising cornmeal:( Is there a way I could change the recipe to accommodate it? Been to the store 4 times. Also have regular white cornmeal. Thanks can’t wait to (hopefully) try it!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kate, The use of self rising cornmeal would require additional recipe testing for us to give you a confident answer. You can use your white cornmeal, but the flavor will of course be different (it will have a more mild corn flavor).

  30. I made this today for Thanksgiving. So many comments about it being sweet but I didn’t think it was at all. It’s a beautiful color & consistency but it is a bit bland. If you add butter to it, it’s perfect! This would be great with BBQ.

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