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!


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.


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!


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


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) 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*


  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.


  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!


  1. Truly, the best cornbread I’ve ever had. Tip: in my experience, you can sub white whole wheat flour for 100% of the all-purpose flour, with no difference in flavor. The only difference I’ve noticed is that the cornbread is slightly more crumbly right after it’s baked, but that goes away once it’s cooled.

  2. Hi Sally, I cannot wait to try out this recipe! I’m making chili for dinner and feel this cornbread would be perfect. Would I be able to add some corn in as well, or would that totally ruin the recipe?? I’ve tried cornbread somewhere with corn in it and loved it. But if it isn’t recommended in this recipe, heck, I’m still making this!

  3. This cornbread is so good! My teenager said it’s the best cornbread she’s ever had! I’ll definitely make this again.

    1. Hi Mae! My recipes are written for conventional ovens. Good rule of thumb if you bake on convection is to lower the oven temperature since it’s fan-forced surrounding heat. IF you notice the top browning too quickly, loosely cover with foil.

  4. Bob’s Red Mill medium grind cornmeal for more health (we keep it refrigerated because of the essential oils in it), unbleached flour instead of white flour, sea salt, Rumford’s baking powder for better health, and just 1 T. brown sugar plus the honey as you listed (not a fan of too sweet cornbread). I like your tips to also use to make corn muffins. Thank you.

  5. The best cornbread i found on the internet 2 years ago and i wished i had saved it cause now i can’t find it back. It included cream of corn with pieces of green onion in the batter mix. It was absolutely moist and tasty. I have not seen a recipe like it since.

  6. I used Bob’s Red Mill medium grind corn meal, and only 2 TB brown sugar. The milk + vinegar substitution for buttermilk worked fine. This was excellent!

    I’d like to make this again using white whole wheat in place of the AP flour as another reviewer suggested. And I’d consider reducing the butter….subbing oil and/or apple butter for part of it. Thanks for the yummy recipe!

  7. I made this recipe exactly, and it turned out beautifully. Moist, soft and buttery! Thank you Sally!

  8. Hi Sally, Love your recipes! I live in Europe where semolina is a more popular ingredient and subbed the flour with it – fabulous texture! You should give it a try! 🙂

  9. I made a batch of another “best cornbread ever” recipe earlier today. I I didn’t want a too-sweet cakey type of cornbread I thought I’d give it a try, it was supposed to be a mix between a northern style and a southern style. It was dry and bland.

    My craving for cornbread remained, and fortunately I found your recipe next. It was super easy to make, and very moist and flavourful. In spite of the sugar and very minimal salt, it was not too sweet. I’m bookmarking the recipe, definitely a keeper, and took the time to write this review because it was that good.

  10. We made your cornbread recipe and baked in a cast iron skillet. OMG. So good. You can taste the butter and the texture was perfect. I’ll make another batch tomorrow since we have left over buttermilk. PS I was never much of a cornbread fan before using your recipe because it was usually too sweet and/or too dry.

  11. Hey Sally, looking to make this for a cookout this weekend. If I wanted to make a double batch in 9×13 baking dish would I just want to double the ingredients and how long should I expect the bake time to be extended by? Thanks!

    1. Hi Michaela! Yes, you can double this recipe for a 9×13 inch pan. The bake time will be a little longer, though I’m unsure of the exact time. Keep your eye on it and use a toothpick to test for doneness.

  12. I doubles the recipe and baked in 9×13 for 23 minutes, smells so buttery. I made it before in a 8×8 square but taking it to a party this time because I loved it so much the first time around.

  13. Best cornbread ever! It took 27 minutes to bake thoroughly. I kept checking the interior of the cornbread with a tooth pick until it went from wet at the 20 min mark to firm at the 27th minute mark at 400 degrees. This is my favourite cornbread recipe thus far! Thank you so much Sally for sharing!

  14. I just made this for company from abroad. Everybody had seconds and thirds and the kids loved it too. This is hands down the best conrbread recipe. Thanks

  15. Followed recipe exactly. Best cornbread!!! Also made mini muffins which I cooked for 13 minutes and they were perfect too.

  16. My first attempt at cornbread. Day before payday so I went through the freezer till i found something that looked like chili. Now, what to have with it? The only thing I didn’t have was honey, made a fake buttermilk. Excellent !!! So good I gave some to the neighbour. Definitely will be making again

  17. Yes, thanks Sally! I baked in 9×12 for about 25min. (doubled recipe)
    I used cassava (yucca root) flour for a gluten free cornbread and turned out fine. I used less sugar and used (natural birch) xylitol sugar which is the same equivalent in amounts as sugar. Like the added honey as well.

  18. Best cornbread my husband and I have ever had! Puts every other cornbread recipe to shame. Thank you Sally!

  19. Great cornbread! I tend to make a different recipe every time I make cornbread, but I think I’ll be coming back to this one. I like it sweet so I added a little extra sugar and increased the salt by 1/4 teaspoon. I baked it in a mini loaf pan from William Sonoma and it made 6 small loaves. They were done in 14 minutes. I like the loaves for portion control, but I went ahead and ate 2 of them anyway lol.

  20. Once I added milk (milk and vinegar mixture, was cool to the touch) to the wet ingredients it became clumpy – is that normal? All was at room temperature except milk mix was a little cool to the touch.

    1. Make sure the batter is nice and smooth before adding the milk and it should come together nicely with a few extra stirs! Next time it should be smoother if your milk is at room temperature.

  21. My first time doing any recipe from online and this was as great as mine!
    I use 1/4 c french vanilla coffee creamer +1/4 coffee creamer powder vs buttermilk and raw honey w/brown sugar…’s to crave for! Thanks for a sharing!

  22. Delicious! I doubled this recipe in a 9×13 pan and baked for 23 minutes, but probably should have left it in for 25. A huge hit with chili! Then, made it again as written in 8×8 dish for another dinner party with beef stew. Perfectly crumbly and tasty without being dry. Why do people use box mixes when this is so simple and way better?! Thank you, Sally!

  23. Best cornbread I’ve had in some time. The sweetness was subtle enough to pair beautifully with the butter and cornmeal for creamy goodness. I went back for more. Reminds me of the memories of grandma’s cornbread from my childhood. Satisfying and real.

  24. Can this recipe be made in a loaf pan? Can it be frozen? Im helping my twin brother move into a new apartment and I want to get him started with only the bare minimum of kitchen equipment, since he would most likely be using the bread pan for pound cakes and quick breads ect. let me know! thanks so much! I love your recipes Sally!

  25. I had friends over to watch the election and we made chilli – and made this cornbread. People couldn’t stop commenting on how good it was. None left at the end of the night. I used a muffin tin and cooked for 15 minutes.

  26. Hands down BEST cornbread I’ve ever made! Even baking at high altitude here in Kenya (almost 7,000 ft) and ut came out perfectly! Went really well with tonights beef stew. I had a tried a true recipe I used for years but wanted to try one with honey init. Won’t be using that old recipe again! Well done Sally!!!

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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