Arguably one of the best things to come from the South is good old, traditional cornbread. This classic Southern Cornbread recipe has been a favorite export for locals, tourists, and travelers for years. Once you’ve tasted some authentic Southern cornbread, you will never look back.
My hubby was born and raised in the South, and the way to his heart is Southern cornbread.
When we first got married almost 17 years ago, there was no way I could make it for him without a box of Jiffy mix. Now, I’m a bit better in the kitchen and I have some skills, so I make it for him on my own.
What I’ve been able to tweak and improvise on has become a family favorite. It’s light and fluffy and leftovers can be used for breakfast is oh so good with butter and honey or jam spread on it.
It is also a recipe that can last to be repurposed. If you freeze cornbread, it becomes crumbly making it perfect for cornbread stuffing or dressing.
Southern cornbread has a decadent crust that is golden and crisp. The flavor? The flavor is beyond words.
This recipe requires 20 minutes of preparation time and 30 minutes baking time and serves 5 generous portions.
Southern Cornbread Recipe
- 1 1/2 cups ground cornmeal
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour you can substitute with yellow cornmeal; it's not ideal, but it is an option
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder if you use self-rising flour, you don't need to add baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk you can make your own buttermilk by adding vinegar or lemon to fresh milk
- Preheat the oven to 400°F / 205°C. While it is heating, place the butter in a cast iron skillet to melt.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients and blend with a whisk rather than with an eggbeater.
- In a separate bowl, mix the buttermilk and egg and mix well.
- Blend the wet ingredients into the dry until just moist.
- Add the melted butter from the skillet and stir it into the mix saving a bit in the pan.
- Swirl the remaining butter in the pan to coat.
- Pour cornbread batter into the skillet, a cake pan, or a baking dish
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Dot with butter on top after removing from oven.
- If you use a self-rising cornmeal mix, you do not need to use the cornmeal, baking powder, or flour.
- Optionally, you can add a cup of cheddar cheese and / or whole corn kernels, and / or minced jalapeno peppers.
What Goes Well with Southern Cornbread
Southern Cornbread is very versatile and can be served on its own or as a side dish to:
- Corn and zucchini fritters
- Pinto or red beans with or without rice
- BBQ chicken or cast-iron chicken breasts with garlic butter
- It can be paired with tomato, beef, or spicy vegan butternut soup
- Turkey and quinoa stuffed bell peppers
- Hawaiian roll turkey pesto sliders, chicken burgers, or cast-iron skillet burgers
- It is especially good with turkey chili but can be paired with any chili
- Flank steak salad or Italian salad
- Flank steak
- Collard greens
- Mustard greens
- Maple bacon Brussel sprouts
- Black-eyed peas
- It is delicious for breakfast with butter and honey or jam
Q: Is Southern cornbread the same as regular cornbread?
A: Northern (regular) cornbread is more cake like and is sweet and is made with milk in place of buttermilk. It is a very sweet cornbread. Southern cornbread is dryer and is not as sweet as its northern sibling.
Q: Is cornbread healthier than bread?
A: Yes, it has fewer calories than bread, improves digestion, and is less dangerous in terms of heart health.
Q: Can cornbread be frozen?
A: Yes, it can be frozen for up to 3 months in the freezer if wrapped properly using plastic wrap or foil once the loaf has cooled down completely. To thaw, leave the cornbread on your countertop.
Q: How can I prevent my cornbread from cracking?
A: Bake the bread in the middle of the oven and do not open and close the oven door while you are baking it. Place a container with boiling water in the oven while baking; this adds moisture to the oven and therefore the bread.
Q: How do I know my cornbread is ready?
A: Your cornbread will be ready when the edges are light brown and start pulling away from the pan. To be sure, stab a paring knife or toothpick. When it comes out clean, it is ready.
Q: Why is my cornbread so dry?
A: You may be cooking it for too long at too high a temperature, bring the heat down, or do not cook for too long.
Southern cornbread is especially delicious the next morning for breakfast if you happen to have leftovers, butter, jam, or honey.
In my humble opinion, Southern cornbread is the best thing to come from the south. It is so easy to make, store, and repurpose.
Heather’s homesteading journey started in 2006, with baby steps: first, she got a few raised beds, some chickens, and rabbits. Over the years, she amassed a wealth of homesteading knowledge, knowledge that you can find in the articles of this blog.
Learn more about Heather and the rest of the writers on this page.