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!

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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

600 Comments

  1. I meant as in did you use stone ground or fine ground cornmeal?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Amy, we usually use fine ground. Enjoy!

  2. Cheryl Dumais says:

    Very tasty but was sweeter than expected. I think more of a muffin taste but yummy just the same. Next time going to do as a muffin.

  3. Michelle Kalinoski says:

    Something is wrong with this recipe.
    I’ve been making cornbread for years, and never had this happen.
    The edges and top were lightly browned, and edges pulled away.
    The toothpick came out clean but yet the whole middle part was partially doughy.

  4. I always put the butter in the skillet and heat it up in the oven before pouring the batter on top. I never add the butter to the wet ingredients. I did that here like usual and it turned out amazing.
    Do it. Crispy edges, slightly sweet, very delicious.
    Made my own buttermilk too.

  5. Unsure how. I followed the recipe and my inside was crumbly just like normal

  6. I have a cornbread recipe I am known for. This recipe might be better. It’s the crunch. Texture is wonderful. Bravo.

  7. Patricia Finney says:

    I have the same comment as Michelle on Apr 22. I JUST had the same failure with at 20 min.baked, the toothpick came out clean so pulled it from oven. 15 min later when i went to remove from 9″ alum pan, the whole center was RAW. Now making again as I promised to bring for a potluck. Going to bake it at least 30 min. Please comment as to why this happened. Otherwise, love the flavor.

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Patricia, We are so glad you loved the flavor! If the center wasn’t cooked thought you can bake it longer next time. If you notice the top browning too quickly, loosely cover with foil and continue baking.

  8. So, sooooo good, but not at all heart healthy. Next time I will make some adjustments and though it won’t be quite the same I’m sure it’ll still be great. Sub. healthy oil/applesauce for the butter, 1/2 whole wheat flour/1/2 white, non-fat yogurt thinned slightly with whatever…and a bit of lemon juice added to replicate the acidity of buttermilk. For tonight, though, I’m going to enjoy the version that contributes to coronary artery disease.

  9. Amy Wonder says:

    Can I skip the sugar or reduce it to 1/5 cup?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Amy, feel free to leave it out and/or reduce the brown sugar. Without all the brown sugar, though, the cornbread will be extra crumbly.

  10. Fantastic. I too put most of the butter in the skillet and the crust was perfect with the bread nice moist inside. Used almond milk with lemon as a substitute but everything else per the recipe. I love that it lifted right out without a bit sticking. Cooked 25 min at 375 convection but we are at 7000ft.

  11. I made this in a 9 inch square pan and baked it about 15 minutes longer. It was so delicious. Thank you!!

  12. Really love it the result was fantastic .

  13. Delicious! Came out absolutely perfect and so moist! Will definitely make again.

  14. I been making this amazing recipe for months. The best one I have found as well as simple. I never buy butter milk. It would go to date. I use the milk and lemon or milk and cream of tartar (11/4 tsp) . only issue I had is when I made it with added cheese it tasted funky after a day on counter, I had to toss it out. Next time it will go in frig. Sally your my go to baker so ty. Wish I could leave review for your. Chewy chocolate. Chip cookies. I replace that yolk with half mashed ripe banana. it’s perfect less cholesterol

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Thank you so much for making our recipes, Denise! We’re thrilled you enjoyed this one.

  15. Linda Green says:

    This was a good recipe, a hit at a potluck and with my husband. I added jalapeños which he likes.

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