Perfect Homemade Cornbread

This cornbread recipe makes the most delicious, moist, and buttery cornbread I’ve ever made. I love it so much that I have a hard time not going back for a second slice.

Homemade Cornbread Recipe Video

It took me a while to zero in on my favorite cornbread recipe, and this is it! We add a little sugar and butter, which make it tender and extra delicious.

I love baking cornbread in my cast-iron skillet, but our recipe also works just as well in an 8-inch or 9-inch baking pan. This cornbread is perfection next to bowl of homemade chili!

The Best Homemade Cornbread

Key Ingredients

  • Cornmeal: You can use any grind of cornmeal (fine, medium, or coarse), but we prefer a fine or medium grind. I especially enjoy the flavor of Bob’s Red Mill’s stone-ground cornmeal. Note that bags labeled as polenta are likely cornmeal. If you already have polenta at home, you can use it to make cornbread.
  • Flour: I use all-purpose flour in this cornbread recipe, but this is a great time to substitute your favorite gluten-free all-purpose blend.
  • Butter and oil: We use two fats in our cornmeal recipe. Butter adds flavor and color, while oil keeps the crumb tender and moist.
  • Brown Sugar: We add some sugar to our cornbread and prefer brown sugar. The flavor combination of cornmeal and brown sugar works so well. I know sugar is a sticking point for some cornbread recipes, but I’m pro-sugar in cornbread (although I don’t add much).
  • Milk or buttermilk: Both milk and buttermilk work in this recipe, and honestly, I don’t have a preference. We assumed that we would prefer buttermilk when testing this cornbread recipe, but cornbread made with milk is still delicious and just as crave-worthy as when made with buttermilk. See what you think and try both. I’d love to see if there is a reader favorite.
  • Baking soda and baking powder: We use both to make sure our cornbread rises nicely and turns a lovely golden brown.
  • Egg: Adds some structure and flavor.

How to Make Cornbread

Cornbread is as easy to make as pancakes or muffins. Whisk your ingredients together in a bowl, and the batter will be ready. I use melted butter in my cornbread batter, which adds so much flavor, so I melt it before moving on to anything else.

While the butter cools, you can whisk your cornmeal with flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Then, whisk the milk (or buttermilk) with oil and an egg in another bowl. (Combining oil and melted butter in cornbread batter guarantees the best flavor and a moist and tender crumb.)

Adding melted butter to the cornbread batter

Combine the cornmeal mixture with the milk mixture, then add the melted butter. Set the batter aside for 10 to 15 minutes. After testing this recipe a few times, I stumbled on this trick. By letting the cornbread batter sit at room temperature before baking, the cornmeal has some extra time to absorb the flavor from the other ingredients, and the baking powder gets a head start.

Letting the cornbread batter sit before baking

I love using my cast-iron skillet for cornbread and preheat it before adding my batter. The hot skillet promotes browning and helps add a crispy, golden crust to the outside of the cornbread.

I bake cornbread in a 400°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes. You know it’s ready to come out when the center is firm, and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Storing Homemade Cornbread

Homemade cornbread lasts for 2 days in an airtight container on the counter or in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months.

What to Serve with Cornbread

I love this moist and tender cornbread by itself or slathered with butter. Honey butter or homemade jam is pretty fantastic, too. Cornbread and chili are a classic combination. Serve it next to classic chili, turkey chili, or vegetarian chili.

Cornbread is also really good with soup. I especially love it with this taco soup and my homemade black bean soup. I also love a slice with gumbo and shrimp and grits.

Easy Homemade Cornbread

Perfect Homemade Cornbread

  • PREP
  • COOK
  • TOTAL

This easy homemade cornbread has golden-brown edges and a moist and buttery center. It bakes perfectly in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet or an 8-inch or 9-inch baking pan (square or round). Tips for vegan cornbread (without butter, egg, and milk) and gluten-free substitutions are in the tips section below the recipe.

Makes 12 servings

Watch Us Make the Recipe

You Will Need

4 tablespoons (56g) unsalted butter, melted

1 cup (138g) fine or medium ground cornmeal

1 cup (130g) all-purpose flour

1/3 cup (67g) packed light or dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 cup (236ml) whole milk or buttermilk

4 tablespoons (60ml) vegetable oil, divided

1 large egg

Directions

    1Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C). 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.

    2Melt the butter, and then set aside to cool slightly.

    3Whisk the cornmeal, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl until well blended.

    4Whisk the milk (or buttermilk) with three tablespoons of vegetable oil and the egg.

    5Pour the milk mixture into the bowl with cornmeal and flour. Gently stir or whisk until the batter is mostly combined. Add the melted butter, and then stir until the batter is blended.

    6Set the cornbread batter aside for 10 minutes before baking. If you waited to preheat your oven, this is an excellent time to turn it on.

    7Two to three minutes before baking the cornbread, place a 10-inch cast-iron skillet or 9-inch baking pan in the oven to heat.

    8Carefully remove the hot skillet or baking pan from the oven. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil and swirl it around the pan.

    9Gently add the batter to the oiled pan. Smooth the top, and then bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the center is firm and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

    10Allow the cornbread to cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Gluten-free cornbread: Substitute a gluten-free flour blend for the all-purpose flour. Make sure that all other ingredients are certified gluten-free. The cornmeal, for example, may have been processed in a facility that processes wheat.
  • Vegan cornbread: Use aquafaba (3 tablespoons) or a flax egg as a substitute for the egg, unsweetened non-dairy milk, and a vegan butter.
  • The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We used whole milk in our calculations.
Nutrition Per Serving Serving Size 1 slice (12 slices total) / Calories 188 / Total Fat 9.9g / Saturated Fat 6.7g / Cholesterol 27.7mg / Sodium 169.8mg / Carbohydrate 22.9g / Dietary Fiber 1.1g / Total Sugars 6.5g / Protein 3.1g
AUTHOR:  Adam and Joanne Gallagher
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20 comments… Leave a Review
  • Chuck Welch April 21, 2024, 10:31 am

    The easy drop biscuit recipes were great. Brought back memories of when my granny used to make those big old cathead biscuits from scratch while I watched her kneeling and sitting on an early Sunday morning. Great job !!!!

    Reply
    • Adam April 21, 2024, 3:06 pm

      Love the memory and thrilled you loved the cornbread 🙂

      Reply
  • Lynne Ehrlich February 23, 2024, 11:00 pm

    Hi, Can you tell me how to cook it in a 8×8 or 9×9 on the oven – I dont like the skillet method, I dont want that crisp bottom. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Joanne May 7, 2024, 2:45 pm

      Hi Lynne, You can simple add the batter to your baking pan (I recommend lightly brushing with oil), and then bake as directed in the recipe. (If you don’t want the crisp crust, you can skip preheating the baking pan).

      Reply
  • amy January 22, 2024, 2:13 pm

    I loved this for my turkey chili. It had a moist crumb that submissed on pressure to make the right addition to sop up the extra tomato sauce. Or it could sustain being picked up once cool.

    Reply
    • Adam April 21, 2024, 3:05 pm

      So glad you loved your cornbread 🙂

      Reply
  • Ginger November 14, 2023, 9:11 pm

    For wheat free will Namesta flour work?

    Reply
    • Joanne December 6, 2023, 12:27 pm

      While we have not tried it ourselves, we do think that any store-bought 1:1 all-purpose blend will work in this recipe.

      Reply
  • Anita Sinosich October 12, 2023, 1:26 pm

    Hi Do you have a cornmeal bread without flour as i am allergic to wheat. Thank you

    Reply
    • Joanne May 7, 2024, 2:46 pm

      Hi Anita, I bet you can substitute the flour for an all-purpose gluten free flour blend.

      Reply
  • Rod Ferris June 25, 2023, 5:40 pm

    Paula Dean suggests to preheat your baking pan for the cornbread when it is rich like this. Then it cooks through better.

    Reply
    • Adam September 20, 2023, 6:08 pm

      In the recipe we do recommend preheating that pan. So glad you loved the cornbread 🙂

      Reply
  • Cheryl February 18, 2022, 6:21 pm

    This is the best cornbread!! Love it.

    Reply
  • Caria October 2, 2021, 8:14 pm

    I have a new recipe for cornbread. It is lighter and fluffier than my usual recipe. This will be the one I’ll be using for now on. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Joanne October 3, 2021, 4:14 pm

      So excited that you enjoy the recipe! The addition of brown sugar and the leaveners really do help this cornbread out. We agree that it’s a bit more tender than some of the other variations we have tried.

      Reply
    • Lisa June 23, 2023, 8:24 pm

      This cornbread is delicious. It’s perfect to use with a coarse stoneground cornmeal. It’s balanced and moist. How do you store it though?

      Reply
    • Adam September 20, 2023, 6:08 pm

      Yay! So glad you found our recipe and loved it 🙂

      Reply
  • Rick October 2, 2021, 12:31 pm

    This isn’t cornbread, the brown sugar makes this corn cake. Never in over 40 years of watching my southern grandmother make cornbread did I see her put any type of sugar in it.

    Reply
    • Joanne October 3, 2021, 4:13 pm

      Hi Rick, Depending on where you live, recipes for cornbread varies. This cornbread is our favorite since we don’t enjoy the sugar-free versions as much. If you are used to leaving sugar out, that’s fine. This recipe should still work well for you. Since sugar does add flavor and moisture, cornbread without sugar is a little more dense, but should still be delicious.

      Reply
  • Ian Slater October 1, 2021, 4:54 pm

    Hi there, Many thanks for exceptional variety of recipes. I enjoy seeing them in my inbox. Keep up the good work. Best regards and keep keeping safe, Ian Rochdale, UK

    Reply

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