Moist Buttermilk Cornbread

Buttermilk corn bread cut into squares and stacked

Valerie Hinojosa / Flickr

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 35 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 9 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
298 Calories
16g Fat
34g Carbs
6g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 9
Amount per serving
Calories 298
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 20%
Saturated Fat 8g 41%
Cholesterol 131mg 44%
Sodium 300mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 34g 12%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Protein 6g
Calcium 71mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Cornbread is so easy to make from scratch, but there's nothing more disappointing than cutting into a cooled cornbread to find that it's dry and crumbly. However, there is a secret to moist cornbread, and that secret is buttermilk.

You can thank the buttermilk (and, let's be honest, the sugar) for this sweet, moist, and tender cornbread. This recipe is easy to make, and it's foolproof—and it's tastier and fresher than anything you can make out of a box. You can mix this together in just five minutes or so on a lazy Sunday afternoon while a savory beef and bean chili simmers away on the stove, or a chicken chili cooks in a crock pot. By the time it bakes and cools, dinner's ready.

Don't have buttermilk, or can't find it in the grocery store? You can make your own substitution for buttermilk at home by adding 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice per 8 ounces (1 cup) of milk (whole is best, but any will work). You can also substitute plain yogurt, too, on a 1-to-1 basis, as you would with the acidified milk.

Cornbread takes well to additions, and mixing in more corn, adding cheese, or using some yogurt will guarantee a more moist and flavorful result.


  • 1/2 cup butter (melted)
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk (shake the container before pouring)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup yellow ​cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Heat the oven to 375 F.

  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the melted butter and sugar. Add the eggs and whisk until combined. Add the buttermilk and baking soda, and whisk to combine. Add the flour, cornmeal, and salt. Using a spatula, stir until just blended. Do not overmix.

  4. Pour batter into a greased 8-inch square pan or similarly sized cast-iron skillet. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before trying to cut it.


It's easy to jazz up plain cornbread if you'd like to vary the tastes based on what you're serving it with, or if you're just feeling experimental. Here are some ideas for what to mix into the batter.

  • Substitute honey for some or all of the sugar.
  • Add two slices of chopped, cooked bacon and 2 tablespoons chopped scallions.
  • Add 1/4 to 1/3 cup cheddar, Monterey jack, along with sliced green chile pepper such as a jalapeño.
  • Take it in a sweeter direction with chopped fresh cranberries and orange zest.

How to Store Cornbread

Cornbread is delicious, but its shelf life is a bit short. It's best the day you make it. However, you can keep it at room temperature, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, for a day or two. It takes well to reheating gently in the toaster or in the oven, wrapped partially in aluminum foil. Add a pat of butter or a drizzle of honey, or serve as is.

You can also extend the shelf life of cornbread by freezing it. It is especially convenient to freeze individual chunks of it, wrapped tightly in plastic and then stored in zip-close storage bags for the freezer.