The Best Ever Southern Cornbread

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.

Southern cornbread
Southern cornbread

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.

cornbread in skillet

Southern Cornbread Recipe

A light and fluffy cornbread that is perfect for spreading honey, butter, or jam on!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 5


  • 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
  • 1 egg large


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F / 205°C. While it is heating, place the butter in a cast iron skillet to melt.
    butter melting in cast iron skillet
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients and blend with a whisk rather than with an eggbeater.
    mixing the dry ingredients
  • In a separate bowl, mix the buttermilk and the egg, and mix well.
    mixing milk and buttermilk
  • Blend the wet ingredients into the dry until just moist.
    mixing cornbread ingredients
  • Add the melted butter from the skillet and stir it into the mix saving a bit in the pan.
    cast iron skillet coated with butter
  • Swirl the remaining butter in the pan to coat.
    adding butter to mix
  • Pour cornbread batter into the skillet, a cake pan, or a baking dish
    pouring mixture to skillet
  • 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
  • Fish
  • 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
  • Gumbo
  • It is delicious for breakfast with butter and honey or jam
cornbread in skillet
Cornbread in skillet. This one is not as crispy, but a good alternative for those who prefer it


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.

Southern cornbread pin image

10 thoughts on “The Best Ever Southern Cornbread”

  1. Yeah … that is it. This sounds like the perfect combo. I am been making mine with a bit of sourdough starter and it is very good, but occasionally it comes out too dry. I am going to try this one. I also struggle with from- scratch cornbread. We like ours with ham & bean soup. If you have not tried that, you should. Yummy!

  2. Sounds good, I will try this as soon as I can use my oven again. 😉 I love me some good homemade cornbread. I used to use the Jiffy box too, back when I didn’t know any better. LOL

  3. I’m from the south too. I don’t know where your hubby is from so it must be like Mississippi. My grandmother came from Tenn.
    when young, & my granddad from Arkansas. I was born and raised in Texas. My grandmother “mama” taught me how to cook
    corn bread and we never put sugar in it. With sugar we called it corncake. However, I never thought about using wholewheat
    flour. It sounds good though & I thank you. I’ll have to try it and I thank you for it! I enjoy your blog very much. Somewhere online I read about an easy way to cook brown rice. I stopped by to see if it was you. Thanks again for the recipe, It sounds delicious but I’ll make
    it sans sugar. Have a very blessed week!

    1. My hubby is from South Carolina 🙂 his mother made it without sugar, but he much prefers it to be the “corn cake” sweet stuff. Thanks for stopping by!

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