Southern Cornbread Recipe – Add a Pinch


This easy family Southern cornbread recipe is delicious and crispy yet tender! Made in cast iron skillet with 5 ingredients and ready in 30 minutes!

Cornbread cooked to a golden brown is sliced into wedges in a cast iron skillet with a slice missing.

Southern cornbread is a delicious food that’s part of my Southern heritage, and when you taste this recipe, you will know why. It’s part of my heirloom Southern Cornbread Dressing, a bowl of chili, perfect with a Pinto Bean supper, the best thing to partner with my vegetable soup. And you can never go wrong with taking a slice or two, slathering it with butter, and maybe even giving it a drizzle of honey.

Homemade Cornbread Recipe

Southern Cornbread is a classic side dish that is also a must in traditional southern cooking. Generations of cooks in my family have made it this way. And without a doubt in my mind, a good cornbread recipe is an essential part of so many southern meals. But this cornbread recipe is special – no dry cornbread is accepted here.

Since watching my grandmother and mother make it and now making it more times than I can count myself, there’s a certain way to make great homemade southern cornbread – and I believe this is it!

This family recipe only has five ingredients. And it does not contain sugar. If you want to add a pinch, I won’t stop you, but it’s not a part of how I make this recipe.

Golden brown cornbread with crisp edges in a cast iron skillet on a black granite counter.

What Skillet Makes The Best Cornbread?

A hot, greased cast iron skillet makes the best cornbread! It gives the cornbread a crispy, golden exterior that is the hallmark of a great southern cornbread. While golden and crispy on the outside, this cornbread is tender and delicious on the inside.
A cast iron skillet is a treasure and can be used for generations! I’ve shared tips and information about caring for them, including how to clean and how to season them.

How to Make Cornbread Recipe

In addition to a cast iron skillet, you’ll need:

Ingredients

Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full listing of ingredients, instructions, notes, and estimated nutritional information.

Ingredients to make Southern cornbread on a marble countertop.
  • Cornmeal – This recipe uses finely ground self-rising cornmeal. If you aren’t able to find it or prefer to use regular cornmeal, see how to make this recipe using regular cornmeal in the Recipe Variations below.
  • Flour – This recipe also uses self-rising flour. The addition of flour makes for a moist, tender, soft Southern cornbread.
  • Eggs – room temperature eggs incorporate best into the cornbread batter.
  • Buttermilk – adds such amazing flavor and adds to the tenderness of the bread.
  • Water – lightens the batter for the perfect consistency in this tender and moist cornbread recipe.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Preheat. Preheat oven to 425º Fahrenheit.

Skillet with melted butter on a marble countertop.

Prep the Skillet. Coat a large iron skillet with enough butter to coat the bottom and sides of the skillet. Place the coated skillet into the oven for the butter to melt. Remove the skillet from the oven once it has melted. Swirl the skillet to make sure it is well coated. Leave any excess melted butter in the skillet.

Cornbread batter in a cast iron skillet ready to be baked.

Mix and Bake. Meanwhile, stir together the cornmeal, flour, eggs, buttermilk, and water and pour into the hot skillet. The sizzling hot butter will rise along the edge of the cornbread batter. Return the skillet to the oven and bake for about 25 minutes or until the bread has risen, is developing a golden brown color, and the center springs to the touch. Carefully remove from oven once done and place on a heat-proof surface.

Serve. Serve directly from the skillet by cutting into wedges or squares, or allow hot cornbread to stand for about 5 minutes and carefully flip cornbread out onto a serving plate and slice. Serve and enjoy plain or with a bit of butter. It’s also good drizzled with a bit of honey.

Recipe Variations

Southern Cornbread with Regular Cornmeal. If you use regular cornmeal, choose finely ground cornmeal in an equal amount used in the recipe. Add 1 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons baking powder, and proceed with the recipe as written.

Cornbread Muffins. My family loves this easy and delicious cornbread muffin recipe. It is slightly sweetened with honey, but you can adjust the sweetness or completely omit it if you prefer. For my muffins, I like to use stone-ground cornmeal, as you’ll see in the recipe.

Storage Tips

To Make ahead: Allow to cool completely. Once cooled, cover tightly with wrap or foil. Store on the countertop for up to 2 days.

To Freeze: Once cooked, allow the cornbread to cool completely. Then, portion into airtight, freezer-safe container(s) and freeze for up to 3 months.

To Thaw. Allow frozen cornbread on the counter to thaw overnight.

To Reheat and Serve. Reheat in oven or microwave until warm and serve.

What to Eat with Cornbread

It is delicious, crumbled in or eaten with a cold glass of milk, as my granddaddy enjoyed it at times, and it makes the perfect southern side dish.

It’s a must with turnip greens, black-eyed peas, and pinto beans and is simply perfect with chili and beef stew, too. Mimi’s Cornbread Salad Recipe is a tasty layered salad that we love for family gatherings. It’s delicious served alongside a pot roast and vegetables. There are so many ways to enjoy it!

Cast iron skill holds browned cornbread with crisp edges.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does your cornbread recipe include sugar?

No. My southern cornbread recipe does not include any sugar. You can add it if you like.

What size cast iron skillet should I use for this recipe?

Use a 12-inch cast iron skillet to make this recipe.

More Favorite Bread Recipes

Here’s my family’s Southern Cornbread Recipe. It is a treasure!

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 8

Prevent your screen from going dark

  • Preheat oven to 425º F.

  • Coat large (12 inch) skillet with enough vegetable shortening or butter to coat the bottom and sides of the skillet. Place the coated oven into the oven for the butter or shortening to melt. Remove the skillet from oven once melted.

  • Meanwhile, stir together the cornmeal, flour, eggs, buttermilk and water and pour into the hot skillet. Return to the oven and bake about 25 minutes or until bread has risen and center springs to the touch.

  • Serve directly from skillet or allow to stand about 5 minutes and flip onto a plate for serving.

Storage Tips

To Make ahead: Allow to cool completely. Once cooled, cover tightly with wrap or foil. Store on the countertop for up to 2 days. To Freeze: Once cooked, allow the cornbread to cool completely. Then, portion into airtight, freezer-safe container(s) and freeze for up to 3 months. To Thaw. Allow frozen cornbread on the counter to thaw overnight. To Reheat and Serve. Reheat in oven or microwave until warm and serve.

Recipe Variations

Southern Cornbread with Regular Cornmeal. If you use regular cornmeal, choose finely ground cornmeal in an equal amount used in the recipe. Add 1 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons baking powder, and proceed with the recipe as written. Cornbread Muffins. My family loves this easy and delicious cornbread muffin recipe. It is slightly sweetened with honey, but you can adjust the sweetness or completely omit it if you prefer. For my muffins, I like to use stone-ground cornmeal, as you’ll see in the recipe.

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 264kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 53mg | Sodium: 83mg | Potassium: 241mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 165IU | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 1.5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Enjoy!
Robyn xo


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