Cornbread ~ Soft, Sweet and Buttery

by Lynne on October 10, 2011

Post image for Cornbread ~ Soft, Sweet and Buttery

Cornbread ~ Soft, Sweet and Buttery

You wouldn’t think a thing as wonderful as cornbread would be something people would be ready to get in a fight over. But I have heard it said that there is something called Real Cornbread, that has no wheat flour or sugar and is baked in a cast iron pan. That is Southern Cornbread and it is made from cornmeal, egg, milk or buttermilk, and bacon drippings or lard. If it has wheat flour and sugar, these guys call it “light cornbread” or Northern Cornbread, and they scoff. There is no sugar in cornbread below the Mason Dixon Line. Period.

Cornbread 2

Well, my cornbread has wheat flour and sugar, so I guess it would be considered Northern Cornbread. However, it is baked in a cast iron pan, so maybe it could be called a hybrid. My cornbread also has more butter than any other recipe I have ever seen. It is baked at a higher temperature and for a shorter length of time than any other I’ve seen. It is also, I have to say it, better tasting than any other cornbread I have ever eaten. You can beat me up now.

Cornbread  3

If you don’t believe me, then let me tell you a true story. I took this cornbread to a potluck and put it out on the table with all the other dishes. A little while later I saw a lady pick up my platter and start going around to all the other guests at the party. She would stop by each one and whisper in their ear, “You have to try this cornbread…”  Ok, enough of my own horn blowing. Moving on.

Cornbread 5

When I decided to write about cornbread, I did some research on-line. Did you know if you google cornbread there are over 8 million results? I had to laugh. My recipe will be like a piece of straw in a haystack. I also found that there aren’t really any great photos of cornbread. It just isn’t photogenic. It has no sharp edges, it is a uniform light color and looks like yellow blocks that do not reflect light. My photos fit in perfectly with everyone else’s – fuzzy dull yellow rectangles. Sorry. But I was thinking what else I could do with it, like serve a creamed shrimp sauce over it, or cut it up in cubes and bake it into salad croutons. Or dry it out and crumble it up to make cornbread stuffing for turkey. I have a bunch frozen in my freezer, so stay tuned.

Cornbread 4

Print Recipe Print Recipe

Soft Buttery Northern Style Cornbread

10-inch Cast Iron Skillet

450 degrees F

1 ½ cups yellow cornmeal (I use Albers)
½ cup AP flour
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg beaten
1 ½ cups buttermilk
½ cup salted butter melted in a small bowl, cooled slightly
¼ cup salted butter melted in a 2nd small bowl

1. Put a 10-inch well-seasoned cast iron skillet in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients together.

3. In a medium bowl, mix together the egg, buttermilk and ½ cup melted butter.

4. ***Take skillet out of the oven.***

5. Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients and quickly stir together.

6. Pour the 1/4 cup melted butter into the skillet and tilt to coat the bottom.

7. Pour the batter into the skillet. Do not tilt. Some butter will be on top of the batter.

8. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Tester will come out clean.

9. Using a long metal spatula partially under cornbread to guide, move the pan slowly into a nearly vertical position while you are sliding the cornbread out onto a cutting board.

Note: This cornbread freezes beautifully. Cut it into serving-size pieces and wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Place all wrapped pieces in a large ziplock freezer bag and freeze up to 3 months. To reheat in microwave, partially unwrap plastic from each piece, leaving only the top of the cornbread exposed. Do not reheat on high. Use medium or low setting, heating until cornbread is hot throughout but still soft. Too high heat or for too long will make a hard dry area in the middle of the cornbread.

{ 2 trackbacks }

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September 13, 2012 at 5:13 pm
The Best Cornbread I’ve Ever Made
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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Lentil Breakdown October 10, 2011 at 7:50 am

Ok, I’m ready to beat you up for even making cornbread look photogenic. Nice job!

Michael / South Bay Foodies October 10, 2011 at 12:53 pm

My mom — a true Southern Belle — always puts sugar in her corn bread and uses a cast iron skillet. I guess we’re allowed to mix it up if needed! 😀

I my opinion, though, the skillet is what makes the difference. And we always cut our slices in triangles like a pie. Yay cornbread! LOL

Ann Kendall October 10, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Lynne, I thought you would like to know that Linda Steidel’s 3rd cookbook, “For Every Season There is a Dessert” is available now, and her 4th cookbook, “For Every Season There are Hors D’oeuvre” will be released in November.

I have been attending Linda’s classes for over 10 years and have learned so much. I hope to see you in class sometime. I love your blog!

Ann Kendall

Beth October 11, 2011 at 5:10 am

I don’t know the proper way to make cornbread, but yours definitely looks great!

Donna October 11, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Check out the Butternut-Squash-and-Corn-Bread Stuffing Muffins in the November issue of Food and Wine Magazine. It sounds great. I’m going to try it with your cornbread recipe.

Mel October 11, 2011 at 5:44 pm

I am going to bookmark this….. I am sure it is very delicious and by the look of the texture it must be soft and moist. Wish I could have a piece now.

Kim October 11, 2011 at 8:28 pm

You can make ANYTHING look photogenic.

I used an Ina Garten recipe when I made the jalapeno cheddar cornbread over the weekend. I wasn’t impressed with it. Maybe it’s because I didn’t cook mine in a skillet? Now YOUR version… this one, I can sign up for.

Bookmarked for my next batch of chili.


polwig October 12, 2011 at 8:25 am

This looks so beautiful and airy… love sweeter corn breads… btw I made one just two days ago but very spicy/savory

Tara October 18, 2011 at 10:04 am

Please continue to toot your own horn! This is the best cornbread I have ever tasted! We made it in the Traeger and it was wonderful immersed in chili!

Monet October 18, 2011 at 8:05 pm

Lynne, did you know that cornbread is one of my favorite foods? This looks so good…and I’m so glad that my arm is better and I can visit and comment again! Thank you for being such an inspiration. Your words, recipes and photos…yum, yum, yum! Blessings from Austin

Vanessa October 31, 2011 at 4:44 am

Hi, Amazing photos and looks like a lovely moist cornbread recipe. If I don’t own a skillet pan, what else could I cook this in? Would muffins work? Or a cake tin? Thanks!

Lynne October 31, 2011 at 11:29 pm

Hi Vanessa ~ This recipe is formulated for baking in a pre-heated heavy skillet. Muffin or cake tins would be too thin and unable to be pre-heated properly, plus they might need a different temperature and baking time. Maybe you could get a cast iron skillet to use. I only use mine for this cornbread and I’ve felt it was money well spent. I would love to hear how your cornbread turns out, whatever pan you use. Lynne xo

Jo November 19, 2011 at 7:02 am

I love your pictures and recipes. We would love
to invite you to register with and upload your pictures.

Hope to see you there. 🙂

Kim January 5, 2012 at 10:09 am

I have lived my whole life in the deep south and yes, some people do add sugar to cornbread, but only a tablespoon or so. I add a little if I am cooking for my step-kids because they like it that way. If I am cooking it for myself, I don’t. One big difference I see in the way I was taught to make cornbread opposed to your recipe is the use of butter. I have never seen butter added to cornbread. Here, we add vegetable oil. It is, of course, always cooked in a skillet. The skillet is first greased liberally with shortening and placed in the oven at 425-450 degrees during the preheating process. When the oven and skillet are heated, the mix is poured into the pan and starts to cook immediately.The grease in the skillet should almost be hot enough to smoke. This gives the top of the bread (which starts out as the bottom) a very, nice brown crust. Your cornbread looks delish!

Dorothy at Shockinglydelicious January 6, 2012 at 10:13 am

Girl, that is some fabulous looking cornbread. And with a stick and a half of butter, I think we need to call it CAKE! Regardless, this needs to get made at my house, and pronto!

Michelle January 19, 2012 at 6:48 pm

Been looking for a sweet cornbread for a 10 inch skillet, and this came out delicious. I especially like the crispy edges. Does take a lot if butter, but I guess that’s a price I had to pay for yummy cornbread!

Mindy January 29, 2012 at 7:34 pm

Omg I’m so glad I found your recipe!! Best cornbread ever!! All my people loved it!

Ashlee March 20, 2012 at 2:50 pm

This recipe has become a staple in our house. Thanks for providing this 🙂

carr2d2 May 30, 2012 at 11:21 am

I don’t have a skillet, but I thought I’d try this, anyway. I used a 9 x 9 cake pan, decreased the heat to 400, and increased the bake time to 20-25 minutes. It came out just fine, and very delicious.

Elaine Woitaszewski July 31, 2012 at 10:37 am

Love cornbread, grew up without sugar in cornbread, but when I got married a hundred years ago, to get my husband to eat cornbread I had to put sugar in. It has since stayed in and love it now. My question is this (I know a dumb one but just the same) what is AP flour?? I know the answer will be, but of course why didn’t I think of that. Thanks for your help in this. Have several of your recipes copied down, thanks for sharing.

Christina November 21, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Lynne, this is the cornbread recipe I’ve been searching for!!! Amazing! My daughter and her friend went crazy over it. Just the right amount of sweetness and great texture. Will cut down on the butter which goes in the pan the next time to see if it still turns out as well; the girls loved it, but not my arteries! 🙂

tina January 21, 2014 at 2:50 am

It is the best recipe I have found so far. Many times my corn bread has turn dry, but this one came out soft and light. It can be baked in glass baking dishes, and adding some corn can enrich it.

Christina February 1, 2014 at 2:35 pm

Just have to tell you that I am making this for the umpteenth million time and the recipe has never failed me yet! Love it!!

TT July 19, 2014 at 9:26 pm

My family truly enjoyed this recipe. I tweaked it with 2eggs and 1cup of sugar. It was delicious fresh out of the oven with syrup!!!

Dee October 4, 2014 at 4:01 pm

In the oven smells divine.
My family and I try a different recipe for cornbread every week my grandson has become quite the critic.
I did add jalapenos to the recipe and will let you know what we think.

RobynB November 27, 2014 at 11:29 am

Thank you for this recipe! My husband requested cornbread for Thanksgiving this year, so I tried a few recipes ahead of time, and yours was the best by far. It is the only cornbread I’ve ever enjoyed completely plain, no need for additional butter or honey or anything – it’s perfect just the way it comes from the oven. I just finished mixing the dry and wet ingredients into two different vessels, and have the butter and skillet sitting out, ready for the last-minute bake before our Thanksgiving meal. Thanks so much!

Christine December 30, 2015 at 3:15 pm


Luisa Bellissimo November 23, 2017 at 7:15 am

Just making this now!
Smells yummy!
Thanks for the great pictures and easy to follow instructions!

darlene specks November 21, 2019 at 12:34 pm

my first to doing it

darlene specks November 21, 2019 at 12:35 pm

my first time trin it

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