Southern Corn Light Bread Recipe

Tennessee Corn Light Bread
Diana Rattray
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 60 mins
Servings: 8 to 10 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
256 Calories
9g Fat
40g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 10
Amount per serving
Calories 256
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 3g 16%
Cholesterol 7mg 2%
Sodium 366mg 16%
Total Carbohydrate 40g 14%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Protein 5g
Calcium 82mg 6%
*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.)

Corn light bread is a middle Tennessee specialty that is typically served with barbecue. From the name, you might assume it is lower in calories or fat than other cornbreads, but it isn't. The bread is more cake-like, and it is sweeter and lighter in texture than everyday unsweetened Southern cornbread. It's made with generous amounts of sugar and flour along with the cornmeal, and it is often baked in a loaf pan. There are some versions made with the addition of yeast, and it may also be baked in a hot cast iron skillet.

This version is a basic recipe baked in a loaf pan with no eggs and less sugar than most. Yellow cornmeal was used in the pictured cornbread, but you may substitute with white cornmeal if you prefer.


  • 2 cups cornmeal (yellow or white)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (4 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons shortening or lard (melted)

Steps to Make It

  1. Heat the oven to 350 F.

  2. Grease a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan with shortening or bacon drippings. 

  3. In a mixing bowl combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, soda, and salt. Blend well with a whisk or spoon. 

  4. Stir the buttermilk and melted shortening into the dry ingredients. Blend well.

  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan.

  6. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until lightly browned.

  7. Cool it in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes before removing the bread from the pan.

See Also