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!

317 Comments

  1. Your recipe sounds like the perfect accompaniment to the ribs and chicken we are having for dinner tomorrow.
    Question: What type of corn meal do you use? I have a large bag of what I would call fine ground. Do you think I can use that or does the recipe call for medium ground?

  2. I love cornbread. Can’t get enough of it. This is the best recipe I’ve used thus far! So good, I had to comment. Perfectly crisp and buttery. I use a mini loaf pan, this recipe yields 6 loaves. Delicious!

  3. Best corn bread I’ve made, and I’ve made a lot! I used a 1 to 1 gluten free flour and it turned out great

  4. Everyone loved this cornbread (including me)! Moist, flavorful and didn’t fall apart. I’ll definitely make this recipe again.

  5. Hi Sally I was wondering if I can add pieces of corn to the recipe? If yes should I change anything or just add them? Thanks.

  6. This is a delicious recipe! I made it to go with my ham and beans soup. Personally it was a bit to sweet and delicate for my soup but it was fantastic on its own. I will use this recipe again for sure … hands down its amazing!

  7. Perfect! I would not change a thing! Not too sweet and the right crunch around the edges and talk about easy!

  8. This looks great! I would love to make it but I would need a dairy free/nut free option for the buttermilk. What would you recommend?

    1. We’re dairy free.

      I’ve had good luck with adding canned coconut cream/ milk with the cream. Otherwise you can use soymilk.

      I cooked this tonight using cashew milk (which is quite thin and watery) and set the timer for 15 minutes. I checked it in 2 minute intervals after that. It didn’t brown on the top but the bottom did. I took it out at about 18 to 19 minutes.

      There was no crisp/ crunchy bits. After letting it cool 20 minutes while I finished the chili I cut it into thin, small squares. It was very soft and tender. It tastes like cake made with a bit of corn flour.

      We didn’t mind and I’ll put this in the rotation.

      Otherwise I use Jiffy mix, the 1 egg (or aquafaba), and an alternative plant milk. That gets you a dry, crunchy cornbread.

  9. I was looking for a cornbread recipe that was moist and delicious and slightly sweet – DID THIS DELIVER! I love cornbread but hate when it is way too crumbly and falls apart, and also when it’s too sweet (like I’m eating candy). My daughter (4y/o) and I made this recipe for her ‘Thanksgiving Feast’ at school and made a second batch to have for dinner so we could taste – YUM! Both of my kids (4 and 1) loved it, as did I! It was moist, not too crumbly (only slightly) and just the perfect amount of sweet. This will now be my ‘go to’ cornbread recipe and am so thankful I found it! Thank you!!!!!

  10. What would you recommend if I didn’t want the bread sweet? Simply omit the brown sugar and honey?? Your help is very much appreciated! Thank you!!

  11. This was excellent! I did substitute milk with almond milk + lemon juice due to an allergy and margarine for butter . I used bread flour instead of all purpose to experiment.
    I added cheddar and 1 jalapeno.
    I’m not sure they’re lasting until dinner, tbh.

  12. I just made this Cornbread to go with a nice split pea soup that I used my leftover ham in.
    I sub’d the buttermilk with one cup of canned full fat coconut milk, the butter with Smart Balance (margarine), as my daughter is vegetarian. Everything else exactly per the recipe. This turned out excellent!

  13. Amazing recipe! Straightforward and easy to follow – yielding a delicious and moist result. Thank you for posting this. I’ve never made cornbread before and found your recipe after my husband made a special request after sampling cornbread at an evening out. Will be saving this recipe and making again. I will also try freezing some to reduce the temptation of eating the whole pan in one day. 🙂

  14. Oh, my, this is sooooo good. My slight alteration was to use two eggs and a slightly rounded measurement of the flour to compensate. All cornbread lovers know that scratchy throat feeling when eating cornbread; Add the touch of sweetness from the sugar and honey and this is just a gorgeously tasting treat. Merci/Thank you

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