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.
  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 keep it around, you can make a DIY version by adding 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice or white vinegar to a large liquid measuring cup. Then add enough regular room temperature milk to make 1 cup total. Whole milk is recommended for moistest, richest texture. Stir and let sit for 5 minutes. This soured milk can be used in the recipe.
  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!

298 Comments

  1. Delicious! Really the best ever. So good that I went to make it a second time, and instead of going to your recipe archive I just plugged “Sally cornbread” into Google. This came up underneath:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6soaEDCbAc

    So uh, just in case you’d missed that 😀

  2. Thank you for sharing and I also love honey cornbread.  This will now be on my “must cook this week” list (yum!).  Quick question, if baking in a cast iron pan would you grease it with butter or oil?  Great photos too!

  3. Ok I just made this (and ate a ton of it, I’m afraid). I wouldn’t have thought it possible for cornbread to be this amazing – hot damn, this stuff is unbelievable! No more just making my cornbread out of a mix!! 

  4. I’ve been on a cornbread kick and have tried 4 different recipes in the last week. This one was by far the best! I love the balance of corn, butter, sweetness, and texture – and the crust had such a nice crunch to it. They were so good I had to make another batch. 

  5. In the UK we do not have any product called ‘Cornmeal’ we only have cornflour and I have some in the cupboard ready to use (used before in your cookie recipes), is this the same thing? been searching online with no definitive answers.. I just do not want a ruined recipe >.<
    thanks.

  6. Dear Sally,

    I always love coming to your website! I have so many recipes bookmarked, and this is one of them, which I really want to try to make this week! I don’t have a square 8×8 pan for this, so I was pulling out my baking equipment to see what might work . . . can I use my mini loaf pan for this?

    Thanks very much!

  7. FINALLY! My search for a great sweet cornbread recipe has ended. Thanks so much! I made two days in a row. Second time I made it in a cast iron pan. Delicious!!

  8. Sally,
    Feeling inspired by your list of optional add-ins! I am determined to make this alongside my favorite chili, and though the cheddar addition would work nicely, I was wondering if you had any thoughts on adding creamed corn instead, and how the recipe might be tweaked to accommodate the extra moisture? I rarely deviate from your recipes, because you never steer me wrong, but I am a hopeless sucker for creamed corn in my cornbread… 🙂

    1. Jennifer, I think you could go ahead and add it. Maybe add an extra 2 Tbsp of flour. Otherwise, I think the cornbread will be outstanding!

  9. When I was in college in NY, the cafeteria had the best corn muffins-dense, sweet and crumbly. I have been searching for that cornbread ever since. I have tried many recipes and tried adding various things to get that same taste. I even have a cornbread recipe book and I have never come close until now. This is the best cornbread I have ever made. My husband agrees. I made one substitution-there was no buttermilk at my market when I went and I only have skim milk, so I whisked about 1/4-1/3 cup of sour cream into enough skim milk to make a cup-it worked perfectly. I will make this again and again. Thank you.

  10. Hi Sally…I’ll be making your cornbread recipe for friends this long weekend. I have a few questions…First, can I just double all the ingredients to make a 9X13 pan? Do you recommend using metal or glass pan? And lastly, how do you store the cornbread? If I prepare it earlier, can I let it cool in the pan and then cover it tightly until ready to serve? I really hope my result is as pretty as yours!
    Thanks,
    Rani

    1. Rani, you can double this recipe for a 9×13 pan. Glass or metal– either are fine. I typically use glass. See step 3 for storing.

      1. Thank you Sally! In retrospect, it came together so easily, there was no need to make this in advance. I’m looking forward to making this recipe again!

  11. Hi Sally,
    I just made this corn bread last night (alongside some buffalo chicken chili) for the 3rd or 4th time.  Just wanted to let you know how much i LOVE it!!!! Absolutely wonderful cornbread recipe & so easy to make!  I always had some shredded cheddar to it because cheese.  It paired VERY nicely with the spicy chili.  Thanks for yet another fantastic recipe!! 

  12. Cornbread turned out very dry. Fell apart as I attempted to remove from pan. Was good tasting, but totally crumbs! Disappointed!

  13. Hi Sally,

    My family is absolutely in love with this cornbread recipe and I want to make a double batch for Thanksgiving. Have you ever doubled the recipe and if so, can you tell me the size pan and adjusted baking time? Thank you in advance. 

  14. I made this tonight, it was my first time ever baking cornbread! My husband has never been a fan and he said he would be slathering his in butter to make it bearable. He took a bite without buttering it and actually liked it! No butter necessary. It was the perfect side to have with our chili. I won’t need to try another cornbread recipe because this one was perfect! 

  15. Sally, we have one thing in common for sure:

    this is also my favorite cornbread! I made this last weekend to have with chili, and it was a hit! And guess what… I’m making chili again today (trying out a different recipe), and I am making the same cornbread. But tonight I am going to try baking the cornbread in a cast iron skillet.

    This cornbread is so tasty and sweet, and the edges get nice and crispy… I’m absolutely in love with this recipe! Thanks!

  16. Just experimented using whole wheat flour, coconut oil instead of the butter and yogurt and a bit of water instead of buttermilk, and it came out amazing. Thanks for this wonderful recipe!

  17. This is hands-down the best cornbread I’ve ever made! The whole family enjoyed it. I used a mix of craisins and raisins for the mix-in, which was the perfect touch of sweetness. I actually always use kefir as a substitute for buttermilk in all recipes and it was perfect in this recipe! So moist and delicious. 

      1. Thank you, cornbread was delicious! I baked for 30 min, but probably could have done 25-27 mind for the double batch. I love the subtle sweetness!

  18. Thank you for the tip on adding lemon juice to regular milk in the absence of buttermilk! Also, I appreciate that you list things in both measuring systems. I’m American living in Dubai and usually spend a lot of time doing conversions before starting a recipe! It’s in the oven now, can’t wait for a taste! 

  19. I made this cornbread to go with “My Favorite Slow Cooker Chicken Chili.” I added one small can (8.5 oz.) of cream style corn with most of its juice. WOW!! Thank you for a wonderful website full of recipes that have helped me to earn the title of best wife / mom / cook ever which just goes to show that it never hurts to have a little help from your friends! :o)

  20. I just made this cornbread and all I can say is –WOW!
    I have tried many recipes and store bought mixes and they are never as good as my grandmother’s use to be. I will be making this often! Thank you! You’ve made a southern girl happy!

  21. Found a HUGE ham hock in the freezer (from our local butcher) and made a pot of mixed bean soup. Only needed some cornbread to go with it. Thanks for posting this recipe. I’ll agree with everyone else, it is wonderful and will be a keeper in my recipe app. 

    Used the buttermilk substitute and baked it in the iron skillet. Looking forward to lunch tomorrow 🙂

  22. I made this cornbread tonight to go with our chili. It was so delicious and addicting! I ate probably half the pan! I think I turned the boyfriend into a cornbread lover. 

  23. I had never made cornbread from scratch before, I followed your recipe and it was SO GOOD.  I reduced the sugar to 1/4 cup because I prefer a little less sweetness.  Loved the touch of honey as well, Thanks for such a great recipe!!  I so appreciate the time you take to develop your recipes, I have tried a few from your site and they always turn out delicious!

  24. Hi, it’s a tasty recipe, but you are a not sweet recipe for a cornbread? Usually, you make a version salted? a kind a focaccia salted with corn flour.
    Thanks

  25. I pre measured the ingredients and left them on the counter and in the refrigerator for my 14 year old son to put together and bake before I got home.  He did a great job and was so proud.  It was moist and just the perfect amount of sweet.  The texture was great.  This will be our go to recipe now.  We also love your monkey bread recipe.  My sister in London and I (here in the States) both made it for our Christmas morning breakfasts.  She posted hers on Instagram – giving you credit- as well.  Our kids loved it!  Thanks. 

1 2 3 4 5 7

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

With kitchen-tested quality recipes and step-by-step tutorials, my goal is to give you the confidence to bake and cook from scratch.

Recipes You’ll Love

Archives

Categories

Sally's Baking Challenge

Join the community on the 1st of every month as we tackle a new challenge recipe.

View More

Sally's Cookie Palooza

A tradition since 2013, every December we countdown to Christmas with 10 new cookie recipes in a row!

View More

Sally's Pie Week

The first week of every November is all about Thanksgiving Pies.

View More

My Cookbooks

About Sally

Welcome to my Kitchen!

I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally

×