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Cornbread: the best recipe for tender, moist homemade cornbread

Total time: 30 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 8 people
By Cookist

Cornbread is a classic quick bread that's a staple in Southern cooking. No barbecue or cookout is complete without a plate of homemade cornbread. This tasty bread is popular all over the US, thanks to its wonderfully buttery, rich corn flavor and fluffy, moist texture.

Cornbread goes with just about anything, and it's especially popular as a side dish during the summer at picnics, barbecues, and potlucks, but you can serve it with stews, roasts, chilis, and soups all year round. It only takes about 20 minutes to make cornbread from start to finish, and it's one quick bread recipe you're sure to come back to over and over again.

What is Cornmeal?

If you're wondering what cornmeal is, we'll break it down for you here. Cornmeal is made from dried ground corn. It's very similar to polenta, however, polenta is more coarsely ground.


Cornbread Ingredients

You only need a handful of ingredients at room temperature to make this amazing cornbread, and you probably have most of them in your kitchen already!

Cornmeal is the most important ingredient for your cornbread. Look for whole-grain or stone-ground cornmeal. Southern cooks all agree the coarser the cornmeal, the better the flavor. Either white or yellow cornmeal work for this recipe.

You'll also need all-purpose flour (or a gluten-free alternative), baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Brown sugar and honey give the cornbread a little sweetness, which helps make it such a great side dish for so many dishes.

You'll also need an egg and some buttermilk to make the cornbread tender and moist.

How to Make Cornbread

To make homemade cornbread from scratch, start by mixing the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Grab a second bowl and beat the butter, sugar, and honey together until smooth. Add in the egg, then mix in the buttermilk. Don't overmix the batter. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

Transfer the batter to the baking dish greased with cooking spray. You can use a normal baking dish, a cast-iron skillet, or an enamel-coating cast iron dish. Pretty much anything works. Bake the cornbread at 400F for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Take the cornbread out of the oven and let it cool slightly before slicing. Serve it with your favorite summer dishes, and enjoy!


Tips for Homemade Cornbread

Your cornbread has finished baking when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and free from crumbs.

To avoid making crumbly cornbread, measure the ingredients precisely. The number one cause of crumbly cornbread is too much flour or cornmeal in the batter.

You can make gluten-free cornbread by swapping out the all-purpose flour for your preferred gluten-free flour.

Use flax egg, margarine, and plant-based buttermilk to make vegan-friendly cornbread. Use agave nectar in place of honey.

You can mix additional ingredients into your cornbread batter. Bacon, sausage, grated cheese, chopped green onions, and pickled jalapenos are all delicious in cornbread.

You can also make your cornbread into cornbread muffins. Bake cornbread muffins for about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on your oven.

For a richer flavor, use bacon fat or lard instead of butter.

Cornbread Topping Ideas

Serve your cornbread with a side of butter, jam, preserves, nut butter, or any of your favorite spreads. Flavored butter, like honey butter, herb butter, and garlic butter are all amazing when spread over freshly baked warm cornbread.

What to Serve with Cornbread

Cornbread is a fantastic side dish with a huge variety of delicious meals. Serve it with homemade chili, hearty vegetable or chicken soups, stews pot roasts, grilled meats with barbecue sauce, fried chicken, baby back ribs, pork chops, or even beans.

You can even crumble it over dishes like mac and cheese to add flavor and texture. There's no wrong way to enjoy cornbread!


How to Store Homemade Cornbread

Put your cornbread in an airtight container and keep it at room temperature. It'll last up to one week.


fine cornmeal
1 cup
All-purpose flour
1 cup
Baking powder
1 tsp
Baking soda
1/2 tsp
1/8 tsp
butter, melted and slightly cooled
1/2 cup
packed brown sugar
1/3 cup
2 tbsp
1 cup


Preheat your oven to 400F. Spray a baking pan with cooking spray, then lightly dust it with flour.

In a large bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a medium bowl, add butter.

Beat butter and sugar, and honey until smooth.

Beat in the egg.

Pour in the buttermilk.

Mix the butter mixture into the flour mixture until just combined.

Transfer the batter to the baking dish.

Spread it evenly.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the cornbread from the oven.

Leave to cool, then slice and serve.


Bake your cornbread in a 9×9-inch pan.

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