Homemade Cornbread Recipe: How To Make An Essential Side For Your BBQs From Scratch

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The best things in life are sweet and savory, versatile and comforting, and southern cornbread is a homestyle culinary gem that hits all of those notes. Sweet corn and a touch of saltiness make it perfect for pairing with creamy butter, savory gravies, or fresh berry jams. Like many baked goods, achieving perfection isn’t only about richness or creaminess, but about the texture. Cornbread is no exception. The best versions of this comfort food are moist and dense, yet cakey. If you’re a novice baker and getting the right texture seems daunting, fear not: The ingredients for cornbread lend to perfection, and you’re likely to get it right on the first try. 

A common misconception is that making bread is time-consuming. While some breads can take hours or even days to make, cornbread isn’t in this category. In fact, this perfect side dish comes together in just 25 minutes, meaning that if you’re craving it now, you can easily have it with your dinner tonight. While cornbread traditionally involves buttermilk, some recipes – like this one – allow you to bake it with regular milk. Also, you can make this cornbread recipe in a skillet or a cake pan, so if this is your first time making this dish, you likely have all the kitchen equipment you need. 

How to make cornbread from scratch (without buttermilk)

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Total time: 25 minutes

Servings: 8


Preparation instructions 

  1. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan or cast-iron skillet by taking a bit of butter or cooking oil on a paper towel and spreading it around the surface.

  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

  3. Whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, and baking powder) in a large bowl. 

  4. Make a well in the dry ingredients by pushing the mixture out toward the sides of the bowl. Then, add the wet ingredients (oil/melted butter, milk, and egg) to that well. 

  5. Stir all of the ingredients until combined. 

  6. Pour the batter into the baking pan or skillet. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the side of the bowl to make sure you get all that sweet, buttery goodness into the pan. 

  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes in the oven or until the top of the cornbread is golden brown. You can check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the bread; it should come out clean. 

Feeling creative? Try this same recipe in muffin tins, and you’ll end up with a batch of delicious cornbread muffins. The only difference in preparation is the cooking time; small muffins take less time to cook (around 15 minutes), and large muffins, made with a double-batch of batter, take 35-40 minutes.

Recipe adapted from Bless this Mess Please

Lisa – stock.adobe.com

Nutritional values per serving

Calories: 172.7

Fat: 1.1 grams 

Cholesterol: 19.1 milligrams

Sodium: 516.8 milligrams 

Carbohydrates: 37 grams

Sugar: 15.1 grams 

Protein: 4 grams

Pair it: food that goes with cornbread

  • BBQ pork: Sweet cornbread pairs well with barbecued meat and is the perfect vessel for soaking up the spicy juiciness. Pulled pork is a great main dish for this side, but ribs won’t hurt either. 

  • Eggs: Serve cornbread with your favorite breakfast eggs, scrambled or sunny side up, and add a touch of sweetness to your plate by spreading a layer of fruity marmalade or a drizzle of honey on the bread. Don’t forget the butter pat, either. 

  • Mac and cheese: Don’t listen to anyone who tells you this is too many carbs; the sweet, saltiness of cornbread combines symphonically with the sharp, rich profile of cheesy mac. 

  • Chili: Cornbread gives sweet relief to hot, spicy chili, and pairs well with other soups and stews, too. Plus, the bread itself can act as a spoon, and what could possibly be better than that? 
Lynne Ann Mitchell – stock.adobe.com

Cornbread FAQs

How long does it take to cook cornbread?

Both pan and skillet cornbread bake up in about 25 minutes, but be sure to check the cooking times if following another tutorial. That said, you can always tell when cornbread is done by making sure that the top is golden and a toothpick comes out clean. 

What’s the best cornmeal for cornbread?

The experts have spoken: coarse, stone-ground cornmeal gives cornbread restaurant-level texture and bite. 

How to get super moist cornbread?

Use high-quality corn meal, like the stone-ground type, and don’t skimp on the butter. Finally, overmixing can thwart even the finest ingredients, so be sure to stir just until the ingredients in your batter are combined. A few small lumps aren’t a problem, and they’ll get ironed out during baking.

Is cornmeal the same thing as polenta?

Not exactly. Polenta grains are a bit larger than cornmeal. There are different kinds of polenta that may also affect the success of your cornbread, like the quick-cooking varieties.

Is cornbread gluten-free?

Despite the name implying that cornbread contains corn flour, cornbread isn’t actually gluten-free. It contains a blend of cornmeal and all-purpose flour—the latter of which contains wheat. However, you can adapt the recipe above by substituting the all-purpose flour for a GF 1:1 flour.
If you’re looking for the perfect cornmeal, Gopuff is here to help. You can order everything you need in seconds and have it at your door in a matter of minutes. Preheat your oven, because you’ll be enjoying fresh, hot cornbread sooner rather than later.

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