Beer Cornbread with Only 4 Ingredients!

It kind of hurts to sacrifice a beer to the making of bread when the amber liquid could slide down your throat on a hot day… but you need the beer with its yeast content to make this loaf of bread work. It takes just three ingredients – unless of course you want extra salt – then it makes four ingredients.

The great things about this bread there is no need to knead the bread, wait for the first rise, then the knocking back and waiting for the second rise – and finding a warm spot out of the wind for the dough, which could get tricky when camping.

beer corn bread
Photo by Jeanie Beales

The self-raising flour already has baking powder and salt in it, so it makes it really easy to take on a camping trip but should you not have self-raising flour, then you can use ordinary flour and 3 teaspoons of baking powder plus the half a teaspoon of salt advised in the recipe. If you are on a low salt diet then leave the salt out entirely.

You can use any type of beer that you enjoy drinking – it will impart some flavor to the bread, so don’t choose a beer you really don’t like.

Of course, the rate of rising will depend on the amount of yeast in your beer but heck when you are out camping you just want something to eat, so we are not going to get technical about the amount of yeast in different types of beer. Try to use a pilsner, as it doesn’t have too strong a taste.

Personally I would avoid some of the pale ales that have something of a fruity flavor. After all, do you really want fruit flavored bread to eat with a stew? But then I’ve never actually used a pale ale for this recipe – lager and pilsner are my go-to favorites.

When choosing your beer, you will find that some manufacturers make smaller cans of beer that are just 340 ml, while others may make the large 375 ml can, or somewhere in-between.

As a rule of thumb the majority of the beer goes into the bread with a liberal swig left over for the cook! If you are using the smaller cans it would be generous to include one whole can for the cook because the loaf will need all 340ml.

When you are pouring the beer into the batter, pour in half then mix the dough a bit so you can judge how much more you need – the mix should not be too sloppy.

If this is going into a Dutch oven, remember they are usually pretty large, so double the quantities unless you are happy with a fairly thin loaf.

If cooking for a crowd I would definitely double the quantities, as beer bread tends to get wolfed down fast with most people having two slices – one with the main course, and one as ‘dessert’.

You can use sweet corn for the beer cornbread or corn kernels. I used corn kernels in this recipe because that’s what I had in my store cupboard.

Corn kernels give a somewhat coarser loaf than using the sweetcorn. Just be careful when adding the beer as the sweetcorn is a bit sloppier than the corn kernels and you may need a little less beer. The cook may even be lucky enough to get two swigs left over in the bottle!

If you choose not to add corn, then you will need to add the sugar as described in the recipe – it works with the yeast in the beer to help with the rise. Whichever way you make it, you still only need three main ingredients, plus the optional salt.

You have the option of putting chopped chives and a handful of grated cheese into the mix, but if this is a survival bread you might want to keep it as simple and easy as possible.

beer corn bread

Beer Cornbread Recipe

Jeanie Beales
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes


Ingredients for beer bread with corn

  • 1 can or bottle beer that's one 340g or 13.2 ounces
  • 500 g self-raising flour 3 cups, or 17.6 ounces
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 can sweetcorn, or corn kernels, drained 14 ounces can or 400g
  • oil of choice or butter, for greasing the Dutch oven, or parchment paper if using a loaf pan

Ingredients for Beer Bread Without Corn

  • 1 can or bottle can or bottle of beer 375 ml or 14 ounces
  • 1 package self-raising flour 17.6 ounces / 500g, or 3 cups of ordinary flour and 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • oil of choice or butter, for greasing the Dutch oven or use parchment paper if using a loaf pan

Optional extras

  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 4 tablespoons grated cheese


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F / 176 degrees C, or if cooking outside, make sure the fire has glowing coals.
  • Use sunflower seed, coconut, olive oil or butter to grease the Dutch oven, or if using a loaf pan line it with parchment paper.
  • Empty the package of flour into a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the salt and sweetcorn, corn kernels, or sugar if you are not using corn at all, and mix.
  • Lastly pour the beer in gently, and combine to form a batter.
    pouring beer into the flour corn mix
  • If using chives and/or cheese, add them at this stage.
  • Place dough into the greased Dutch oven, or into a loaf pan.
    dough mixed and ready to go into loaf pan
  • Set aside in a warm place for the dough to rise for around twenty minutes.
  • Place in preheated oven for an hour, or set over a fire with glowing coals with hot coals placed on the lid of the Dutch oven.
  • After an hour, remove from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool.
    dough left to rise for 20 minutes
  • The bread is done when the bottom sounds hollow when rapped.
  • If it doesn’t sound hollow return to the oven/fire for a bit longer.
    beer corn bread hot out of the oven
  • Serve slathered with fresh butter to accompany a meal, or if serving after the main course spread slices with butter and apricot jam or any other jam of choice for a delicious end to a camp meal.

Beer-cornbread is easy and simple to make, adding a new bread dimension to fuss-free camping, or survival baking.

beer cornbread pin

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