This basic skillet cornbread is made with fresh corn or frozen and thawed corn kernels. The corn gives the cornbread extra flavor, texture, and moisture. It's a versatile recipe that will even work with canned corn, as long as it's drained.
Southern cornbread is usually made with no added sugar, but this one includes just a tablespoon of granulated sugar to enhance the natural sweetness of corn. Feel free to add a bit more honey or sugar if you like a sweeter bread. If you prefer a no-sugar cornbread, the sugar can be omitted.
This recipe involves heating the skillet ahead of time and melting the fat in the pan before you add the batter, which helps ensure an even, thorough bake. The buttermilk contributes moisture and a slight tanginess to the bread. Cornbread is a classic side that's served with the likes of pulled pork, collard greens, and baked beans. It's also delicious if you serve it with a hearty chili.
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (or shortening)
- 2 cups cornmeal
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 cups corn kernels (fresh, frozen and thawed, or canned and drained)
Heat the oven to 450 F.
Pour the vegetable oil or shortening into a seasoned cast-iron skillet and place in the oven. Heat until the oil is very hot.
Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Stir the dry ingredients until well blended.
In another bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the eggs and melted butter.
Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until just mixed. Stir the corn kernels into the batter.
Remove the skillet from the oven and pour off any excess oil. Place the skillet on a rack.
Pour the batter into the hot skillet and return it to the oven.
Reduce the oven temperature to 400 F.
Bake the cornbread until it's golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
Cool the cornbread on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
Invert cornbread onto a large plate, cut it into wedges, and serve.
What Is the Difference Between Cornbread Mix and Cornbread?
A cornbread mix is a product of convenience that typically contains finely ground cornmeal, wheat flour, salt, fat, and leaveners such as baking soda to make cornbread. Usually, all you need to add is egg and/or milk, depending on the mix. Cornmeal, which you can purchase in boxes or in bags usually, just contains the cornmeal itself and no salt, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, or other ingredients.
Cornbread is great as is, but it also takes well to additions. Here are a few to consider.
- Bacon, cheddar, and scallions: add 3 to 4 slices of cooked chopped bacon, 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, and 2 tablespoons sliced scallions.
- Pepper Jack: Slice a jalapeño pepper and add it along with 1/2 cup cheddar cheese.
- Maple walnut: Replace the sugar with 1/4 cup maple syrup and add 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts.
How to Store Skillet Cornbread
Cornbread keeps best if it's wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. You can store it at room temperature that way for a couple of days, or in the refrigerator for up to five or six days. You can reheat it in the toaster or a low-temperature oven to warm it through. A little bit of butter or honey is great on day-old cornbread.
To freeze cornbread, wrap individual slices tightly in plastic wrap and store in the freezer in zip-close bags.