My Favorite Cornbread Recipe - Sally's Baking Addiction (2024)

This is my very favorite cornbread recipe, because it’s the perfect balance of everything there is to love about this easy quick bread. Follow this recipe and you’ll be rewarded with soft, moist, buttery sweet cornbread with crisp-crumbly edges.

One reader, Lia, commented: “This is the best cornbread I’ve ever made. I go back to it over and over again. It has the approval of my husband and my hard to please 13yo son. It’s delicious. ★★★★★”

My Favorite Cornbread Recipe - Sally's Baking Addiction (1)

Have you ever had the experience of biting into a piece of cornbread, only to be disappointed by how it crumbles apart and tastes bland, sandy, and dry? I know I have.

Which is why I spent years testing and tweaking recipes in order to hit on the right ratio of ingredients to achieve perfection. Think: thick squares of buttery moist cornbread with a touch of sweetness, and just the right amount of crumbliness. It’s become such a popular recipe around here, that I use a variation of it to make my beloved cornbread stuffing.

Why You’ll Love This Cornbread

  • Quick and easy to make
  • No mixer required
  • Slightly sweet, extra buttery flavor
  • Crunchy-crisp edges
  • Moist and tender, not too crumbly

One reader, EL, commented: “I am Southern. I have tried SO MANY cornbread recipes and none have tasted like home like this one. It’s now my go-to recipe and is always a hit!! ★★★★★”

My Favorite Cornbread Recipe - Sally's Baking Addiction (2)

What I Learned From Recipe Testing

Cornbread is likecoconut macaroons. Random comparison I know, but hear me out. Bothare very easy to make, but their success depends on theratio of ingredients. When done wrong, cornbread (and macaroons!) can be dry, crumbly, and flavorless. But when done right,this quintessentially American quick bread is moist, tender, and flavorful.

While testing batch after batch, I played around with butter vs. oil, regular milk vs. buttermilk, the ratio of flour to cornmeal, and different sweeteners.

Here are the key ingredients you need:

  1. Butter: Butter is one of the main flavors here. While oil can make cakes and quick breads luxuriously tender, I find the cornbread lacks flavor if butter isn’t present. Because butter doesn’t make the bread as moist as oil does, I pair it with buttermilk.
  2. Buttermilk: Buttermilk makes cakes, muffins, and breads extra moist. It also adds flavor, and you’ll notice that flavor in my no-yeast bread and biscuits recipes, too.
  3. Cornmeal & Flour: Equal parts fine cornmeal and all-purpose flour makes for the BEST cornbread. With 1 cup of cornmeal, you get lots of that delicious corn flavor, and those crisp-crunchy edges.
  4. Brown Sugar & Honey: There are two opposing camps when it comes to how cornbread should taste: sweet vs. not sweet. This particular recipe falls more towards the sweet end of the spectrum. While it’s not as sweet as cake, it does have some sugar and a hint of honey to balance out the savory buttermilk flavor, and enhance the natural sweetness of the cornmeal. Regular white sugar is fine to use here, but I especially love this made with flavorful, moist molasses-spiked brown sugar.

And the rest:

My Favorite Cornbread Recipe - Sally's Baking Addiction (3)

Baking cornbread is as easy as mixing the wet and dry ingredients separately, and then combining them into 1 thick batter.

My Favorite Cornbread Recipe - Sally's Baking Addiction (4)

Spread into a greased or lined square 9-inch baking pan. And try it in a cast iron skillet! My skillet cornbread is a forever favorite recipe, too.

My Favorite Cornbread Recipe - Sally's Baking Addiction (5)

What Is Cornmeal?

A lot of readers ask about cornmeal. What is cornmeal? Is cornmeal the same as cornstarch/cornflour? What about polenta and grits? It can certainly be confusing. Cornmeal is dried and ground corn. It’s typically found in the baking aisle of most grocery stores. If you’re curious, here’s an article I found about the differences between many dried corn products, including cornmeal, polenta, and cornstarch.

More Cornbread FAQs

What Kind of Cornmeal Is Best for Cornbread?

I usually use fine cornmeal to make cornbread, but if medium-ground or coarse is all you can find, you can use that, too. Yellow cornmeal is the most common, but if you have white cornmeal, that’s also fine to use.

Can I Bake This in a Skillet?

Baking cornbread in a skillet gives it an even heartier, crunchier crust. Bake this in a 9- or 10-inch oven-safe greased skillet at the same temperature for the same amount of time.

What Can I Add?

Feel free to stir in a little something extra if you wish! Try adding in 1 cup of corn or a can of creamed corn, 1 or 2 chopped jalapeño peppers, 1 cup blueberries, 1/2 cup each dried cranberries and walnuts, 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, or 1/2 cup crumbled bacon.

How Do I Make Cornbread Muffins?

Here is the same recipe baked as cornbread muffins!

My Favorite Cornbread Recipe - Sally's Baking Addiction (6)

What to Serve With Cornbread:

  • Slow Cooker Chicken Chili
  • Homemade Minestrone Soup
  • Honey Chipotle Salmon
  • Crab Cakes
  • Southwestern Chopped Chicken Salad
  • Skillet Apple Cider Chicken

And here’s mycornbread muffin recipe—I love adding jalapeño for a little kick. You can also bake it directly on top of chili when you make cornbread chili casserole.

Cornbread Favorites

Cornbread Chili Casserole


Cornbread Stuffing Recipe


Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins

Honey Skillet Cornbread (with corn inside!)



My Favorite Cornbread Recipe - Sally's Baking Addiction (11)

My Favorite Cornbread Recipe

5 Stars4 Stars3 Stars2 Stars1 Star4.8 from 318 reviews

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 9 servings
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
Print Recipe

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I was never a fan of cornbread until this recipe! After lots of recipe testing, I found the perfect ratio of ingredients for soft, moist, and buttery cornbread with crisp-crunchy edges. I guarantee this is the best cornbread recipe you’ll try!


  • 1 cup (120g) fine cornmeal
  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour()
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/3 cup (67g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) honey
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk, at room temperature*


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Grease and lightly flour a 9-inch square baking pan. Set aside.
  2. Whisk the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, and honey together until completely smooth and thick. Then, whisk in the egg until combined. Finally, whisk in the buttermilk. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until combined. Avoid over-mixing.
  3. Pour batter into prepared baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown on top and the center is cooked through. Use a toothpick to test. Edges should be crispy at this point. Allow to slightly cool before slicing and serving. Serve cornbread with butter, honey, jam, or whatever you like.
  4. Wrap leftovers up tightly and store at room temperature for up to 1 week.


  1. Freezing Instructions: For longer storage, freeze baked cornbread for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then warm the cornbread in the microwave or in a 300°F (149°C) oven for 10 minutes.
  2. Special Tools (affiliate links):9-inch Square Baking Pan | Glass Mixing Bowls | Whisk
  3. Buttermilk: Buttermilk is required for this recipe. If you don’t have any, you can make a DIY sour milk by adding 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice or white vinegar to a liquid measuring cup. Then add enough whole milk to make 1 cup total. Stir and let sit for 5 minutes before using. Whole milk is strongly recommended for moistest, richest texture, but you can use lower-fat or nondairy milk in a pinch.
  4. Optional Add-ins: 1 or 2chopped jalapeño peppers; 1 cup blueberries; 1/2 cup each dried cranberries and walnuts; 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese; or 1/2 cup crumbled bacon
  5. Skillet Cornbread: Baking cornbread in a skillet gives it an even heartier, crunchier crust. Bake this cornbread in a 9-inch or 10-inch oven-safe greased skillet at the same temperature for the same amount of time.
  6. Cornbread Muffins: Here is the same recipe as cornbread muffins!
My Favorite Cornbread Recipe - Sally's Baking Addiction (2024)


What does adding an extra egg to cornbread do? ›

The extra egg which is increased protein and binder makes the cornbread denser and heavier in texture.

What's the difference between Southern cornbread and regular cornbread? ›

Northern cornbreads tend to be more cake-like, on the sweet side, with a finer crumb due to more flour in the mixture. Southern cornbread is flavored with bacon grease, and cooked in a cast iron skillet, a perfect side for barbecues, or chili. It also tends to be rather crumbly.

What is the best cornmeal for cornbread? ›

As for the best cornmeal for cornbread, either fine- or medium-grind cornmeal is a great choice. Medium-grind cornmeal will bring slightly more texture and grittiness to the batter, which you may or may not want (it's up to you!). You can use fine or medium cornmeal in these extra corny muffins.

What ingredient keeps cornbread from crumbling? ›

Adding about 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of extra butter or vegetable oil can increase the moistness of your cornbread. You can do this even if your recipe doesn't call for butter or oil. Replace milk or water with creamed corn. If your recipe calls for milk or water, try replacing it with creamed corn.

What happens if I use 1 egg instead of 2? ›

Half the recipe and make half as much. Eggs are important in adding “loft” and lightness to the finished product. As they batter cooks, the eggs heat up and release steam, and the steam is what makes the air bubbles in the final product. Half as many eggs as the recipe calls for CAN make a dense unpleasant product.

Can I use half-and-half in place of milk in cornbread? ›

Cornbread FAQ

Yes, you can, but it may result in a less rich flavor. If you're out of milk, try using cream or half-and-half, evaporated or powdered milk, or even plain yogurt. If you have dietary restrictions, try soy milk or oat milk.

Why do Southerners not put sugar in cornbread? ›

The most common theory is a change in cornmeal itself. Until early in the 20th century, Southern cornmeal was made with sweeter white corn and it was water-ground. When industrial milling came along, that changed. The steel-roller mills used yellow corn that was harvested before it was ripe, so it had less sugar.

Which makes better cornbread white or yellow cornmeal? ›

Southerners, on the other hand, tend to prefer white cornmeal. Many people believe that it is because, in the old South, families used white cornmeal as it more closely resembled “fancy” European wheat flour. In any case, today it remains a main component in traditional Southern buttermilk cornbread.

What is cornbread called in the South? ›

It is commonly called "cornbread" in the Southern United States and is not known by a different name in this region. Cornbread is a simple bread that is made by mixing cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder, and milk to form a batter, which is then baked in the oven.

What is the difference between Yankee cornbread and Southern cornbread? ›

Northern cornbreads tend to be more cake-like, on the sweet side, with a finer crumb due to more flour in the mixture. Southern cornbread is flavored with bacon grease, and cooked in a cast iron skillet, a perfect side for barbecues, or chili. It also tends to be rather crumbly.

What is the difference between New York cornbread and southern cornbread? ›

While both styles generally use the same ingredients -- cornmeal, flour, eggs, and baking powder -- the variance lies in the flavor and texture. Northern-style cornbread tends to be sweeter, moister, and cake-like compared to its Southern counterpart.

Can I substitute mayo for milk in cornbread? ›

As shocking as it may seem, mayonnaise is a perfect substitute for milk when making cornbread for the lactose intolerant.

Should you let cornbread batter rest? ›

Note: We recommend allowing cornbread batter to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before baking, so if you prefer, you can delay heating the oven until you make the batter.

How can I enhance my Jiffy mix? ›

24 Things To Add to Jiffy Cornbread Mix to Make It Even Better
  1. ⅓ cup white sugar + ¼ cup brown sugar + ⅓ cup sour cream + 4 tablespoons melted butter + 1 tablespoon vanilla.
  2. 1 tablespoon oil, melted butter, or browned butter.
  3. ½ cup mayonnaise.
  4. ⅓ cup plain Greek yogurt.
  5. 3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup.
Dec 18, 2022

Why does my cornbread always sink in the middle? ›

Cornbread, or any baked good, will fall in the middle if it is not completely baked, or if you add too much leavening, which causes it to rise more than the structure of the batter can sustain. Always use a tester inserted in the center of your cornbread to make sure it's done.

Can you put too many eggs in cornbread? ›

Eggs are responsible for giving baked goods structure, which means the amount you use directly affects the resulting texture. Using too few eggs will make your desserts dense, but using too many will make them rubbery. The explanation for this lies in the fact that eggs are made up of protein.

Can you put 2 eggs in cornbread mix? ›

Just follow 2 & 2 & 2 rule and you'll have cornbread.” So the definition of “2 & 2 & 2” is: 2 eggs, 2 cups cornmeal (self-rising), and 2 cups buttermilk.

How does an extra egg affect baking? ›

When eggs are balanced with liquids and fats like water, oil, and butter, they ensure that your cake doesn't turn into a soupy mess, but adding too many of them adds too much structure, leaving you with a cake that's rubbery and dense.

What does adding an extra egg do to baked goods? ›

Adding too many eggs may not be a good thing

The site says that adding too many eggs will also give your cake a noticeably eggy flavor, which will make it taste more like a custard or a bread pudding and less like a cake. Fine Cooking goes on to clarify that eggs and flour work as protein ingredients when baking.


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