Classic Southern Buttermilk Cornbread

Southern buttermilk cornbread

The Spruce

  • Total: 32 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 22 mins
  • Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
273 Calories
12g Fat
34g Carbs
9g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 273
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 4g 19%
Cholesterol 119mg 40%
Sodium 501mg 22%
Total Carbohydrate 34g 12%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Protein 9g
Calcium 171mg 13%
*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.)

This is an excellent cornbread to serve freshly baked in wedges with beans or greens or a big bowl of chili. It makes great stuffing, too!

This cornbread is the classic buttermilk cornbread you'll find throughout the South. There's generally no sugar added to Southern cornbread, but if you prefer sweeter cornbread, add a few tablespoons of sugar or honey.


Watch Now: Traditional Southern Buttermilk Cornbread Recipe


  • 2 cups white or yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons melted shortening (plus more for the skillet)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Southern Buttermilk Cornbread Recipe ingredients
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  2. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Position the rack in the center of the oven.

  3. Put about 1 tablespoon of shortening in a 9- to 10-inch cast-iron skillet and put the skillet in the oven.

    grease cast-iron skillet
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  4. In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. Whisk to blend thoroughly.

    combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, soda, and salt
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  5. In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, and shortening. 

    whisk together the buttermilk, egg, and shortening
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  6. Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry mixture and stir just until blended. Carefully remove the hot cast iron pan from the oven and set it on a metal rack. Pour the batter into the sizzling shortening in the hot skillet.

    Add the buttermilk mixture to dry mixture
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  7. Return the skillet to the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 375 F, and bake for about 20 to 24 minutes, until golden brown. 

    return skillet to oven and bake
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  8. Cut the cornbread into wedges and serve hot with soups, stew, chili, beans, or greens. Many people like to crumble their cornbread in a glass and fill it with cold milk. A pan of cornbread also makes a great dressing to go with chicken, pork, or turkey.

    Southern Buttermilk Cornbread Recipe
    The Spruce
  9. Enjoy!

Recipe Variations

  • For a little extra flavor, add some bacon drippings to the cast iron skillet, or duck fat, if you have it. 
  • For sweeter cornbread, add a few tablespoons of sugar or honey.