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. 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.

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!

399 Comments

  1. Great recipe for corn bread very light and fluffy. I would cut back a bit on the sugar and honey. Plus wonder if could cut down on calories with something other than butter??

    1. I have to admit I was skeptical that one cornbread recipe could be so much better than any other. I figured cornbread was cornbread was cornbread. Boy was I wrong. This recipe is a cut above. The cornbread came out light and fluffy, with crispy edges and so much flavor. This is the only recipe I’ll ever use again!

  2. Perhaps it’s because I use blue corn but I literally have to double the amount of buttermilk in this recipe, which is otherwise good.

  3. Accidentally browned the butter in the cast iron– was having too much fun with this recipe. Had a secret hunch it was going to be bomb… Used coconut sugar instead of white. Subbed Two Tbsps of the flour for Flax meal for some extra goodness too. It turned out so so tasty! Thank you Sally!!

  4. I substituted the buttermilk with unsweetened hazlenut milk and added one more teaspoon of baking powder. It turned out so nice!!

  5. I’ve recently tried a few of your recipes, including this cornbread. I haven’t been disappointed. This cornbread has a wonderful balance of sweet and savory, is simple and quick; I’ll be keeping this one. Thanks for great recipes.

  6. I honestly didn’t think anything could top my mom’s cornbread which calls for more cornmeal than flour – and so much sugar?? No. But!! Even though it was crumbly and dry-ish because apparently blue cornmeal requires more liquid (as I learned in comments) – hubby LOVED it. Loooooved it! So looks like this is my new cornbread recipe

  7. I just made this using cornmeal mix and flour. Cut the leavening in half. All other ingredients and portions unchanged. Delicious, moist and not too sweet.

  8. I just made this cornbread to pair with my Moose (venison) sausage chili. I have a recipe that we all like, but it was too much like cake, so I searched for a different recipe and tried yours. This truly is a Perfect cornbread mix ( love the brown sugar idea, didn’t change a thing in this recipe ) and it is now my “go to” cornbread recipe. Thank you so much for sharing!

  9. I needed to say that these came out incredible.

    I dis not use buttermilk though.
    I’m lactose intolerant so I used almond milk.

    I also used country crock butter sticks with avocado oil instead of dairy butter.

    My husband , very picky autistic son, and I cannot stop eating these!

    Thankyou for a great recipe! Just perfect!

  10. I needed to say that these came out incredible.

    I did not use buttermilk though.
    I’m lactose intolerant so I used almond milk.

    I also used country crock butter sticks with avocado oil instead of dairy butter.

    My husband , very picky autistic son, and I cannot stop eating these!

    Thankyou for a great recipe! Just perfect!

  11. This is the very best hands down no bs amazing cornbread recipe . I have literally spent the past 5 days trying out different recipes and in all 7 of them would get a rating out of 10 possible points they would get a 5 to 6. Yours in my taste testing gets a solid 10 ” ” PERFECT ” ” THANK YOU

    YOUR new admirer Dean

  12. I have used this recipe several times over the last couple of years and it is amazing! Everyone loves it! I have a little guy with several food allergies so I’ve used lots of replacements and it doesn’t matter – it always turns out great. If this helps anyone, I’ve used coconut milk in place of milk, coconut oil in place of butter, and I’ve used different replacements of eggs (applesauce, aqua faba – since I usually make this alongside chili and have the extra bean liquid, and flax egg). Oh and I’ve replaced flour with gluten free flour blend too. Thanks for the great recipe!

  13. Have always been afraid of cornbread…. made it once for a potluck and it was fine, but crumbly. This is excellent and seemingly foolproof. My husband made chili and wanted us to have a cornbread side, decided just a couple of hours before dinner, and luckily this came together super easy and was quick to the table. I did have to bake for about 23 minutes but once that toothpick came out clean, it was perfect and moist. Thank you Sally! I felt like a total champ!

  14. This was so delicious! Flavorful and moist! Followed recipe except for adding some southwest corn to the batter. Maybe due to this addition did have to bake an extra 5 minutes. Perfect and lots of compliments! Thanks Sally!

  15. Can I ask if the cornmeal used in this recipe the fine ground cornmeal (like texture of flour) or the coarse kind? I live overseas and have fine and coarse – not sure which one is used here because there’s no photo showing the cornmeal you used……thanks!

  16. Hi. I might be missing it, but does the recipe call for fine, medium or course cornmeal? I cant wait to try this! Thanks!

  17. The trick my grandma taught me was to cook it in a cast iron pan. While the oven preheats put in the pan. When the oven is heated take out the pan and put butter in it. Enough to coat the bottom and the sides a bit. Then pour in the batter on the middle.

    Put it in the oven. The hot pan will fry the edges of the cornbread. You will never go back.

  18. Yes! This is the cornbread recipe I have been looking for! Perfect texture, perfect flavor! Thank you, Sally, for this and all your wonderful recipes!

  19. Would give this 10 stars if I could! Excellent directly as written. Made two batches and added a couple chopped jalapeños for some heat on the 2nd batch. Not one piece leftover!

  20. My first try making corn bread was a success!
    Thanks Sally for the recipe and tips!!!
    Definitely will bake more of this 🙂

  21. I very rarely respond to recipes, but I just had to in the case of this one. I have tried numerous cornbread recipes in the past, and I must tell you that this one is the absolute best! Moist and flavorful, delicious with or without honey butter, and, it cooks perfectly in the exact time you suggest! I’ve made it three times already and it’s consistent. Kudos to you, and thanks.

  22. Oh my gosh. So easy and so delicious. I made it just as you said, except I didn’t warm the egg and buttermilk to room temperature. Wow. It’s better than a lot of cake I’ve eaten!

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