How to Make Self-Rising Cornmeal

Ear of corn, corn grains inside a sack and cornmeal, upon a rustic wooden table.
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Self-rising cornmeal is used in a variety of recipes, but it can be difficult to find outside of the Southeastern United States. If you can't find it in your grocery store or simply prefer to make it yourself, this easy recipe has you covered. It requires just a few common ingredients and can save you money and help you avoid the hassle of finding the right cornmeal.

Ingredients for Self-Rising Cornmeal

If you have cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in your pantry, you can make your own self-rising cornmeal. The cornmeal can be either yellow or white.

This is the same trick used to make self-rising flour. There's no need to hunt down these specialty ingredients, especially if you don't use them often.

The key ingredient is the baking powder, which acts as the leavening agent that makes baked goods rise. Make sure it's fresh, though. Baking powder has a shelf life of 9 to 12 months and it's easy to test for freshness. Simply add a teaspoon to a cup of hot water and if it fizzes, it's still good. If you don't get that reaction, it's time to buy a replacement.

Preparation

To make one cup of self-rising cornmeal, mix 1 cup cornmeal, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt together in a bowl. Use it right away or store it in an air-tight container until you need it.

Make a Large Batch

This recipe is a cinch to double, triple, or even quadruple. Whip up a big canister of self-rising cornmeal and you will always have it on hand.

Here are the measurements you'll need to make a bigger batch:

  • For 2 cups cornmeal: add 1 tablespoon baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt
  • For 3 cups cornmeal: add 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • For 4 cups cornmeal: add 2 tablespoons baking powder and 2 teaspoons salt
  • For 5 cups cornmeal: add 2 1/2 tablespoons baking powder and 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • For 6 cups cornmeal: add 3 tablespoons baking powder and 3 teaspoons salt

Self-Rising Cornmeal Mix

Self-rising cornmeal is different from self-rising cornmeal mix. The difference is that the mix includes flour. Double check to see which one your recipe calls for. 

If your recipe does require self-rising cornmeal mix, you can make that as well. Simply add 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour to the recipe above. If you're making a larger batch, remember that 3 tablespoons flour are added for every 1 cup cornmeal.

Storage Tips

Self-rising cornmeal will keep for at least six months in the refrigerator. You can also store it at room temperature in the pantry, but you'll probably need to use it up sooner. Yet, that is the nice thing about making it yourself. You can prepare it as needed for your cornbread, corn dogs, or hush puppies and not worry about it going bad or cluttering your kitchen with an extra ingredient.​​