Southern-Style Cornbread

Southern style skillet corn bread

The Spruce


  • Total: 39 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 24 mins
  • Servings: 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
306 Calories
14g Fat
38g Carbs
8g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 306
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 6g 32%
Cholesterol 100mg 33%
Sodium 1104mg 48%
Total Carbohydrate 38g 14%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Protein 8g
Calcium 176mg 14%
*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 a staple in the South, and it is absolutely essential with bean dishes, black-eyed peas, greens, hearty stews and, of course, country-style ribs. Hoe cakes, corn pone, spoon bread, hush puppies, corn sticks, muffins and corn dodgers are some of the many ways Southerners have enjoyed their cornbread through the years.

Southern-style cornbread rarely contains sugar, though some regions and many people do like to sweeten their cornbread a bit. To add sugar or not can be a hot topic, and it's often the subject of discussion and debate on forums and in chats. And if you have Northerners and Southerners to cook for, you might have to look for compromise. Or make two pans! This cornbread is made with 3 eggs, making it a bit richer than most, and very tasty. The optional sugar may be omitted or replaced with honey or cane syrup.


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  • 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening (for skillet)
  • 2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 eggs (beaten)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup butter (melted)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Southern style corn bread ingredients
     The Spruce
  2. Preheat oven to 425 F.

  3. Put the oil or shortening in a 10-inch iron skillet and place in the oven to preheat while making the batter.

    Melting butter for corn bread
     The Spruce
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar, if using.

    Whisking corn bread ingredients
     The Spruce
  5. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and butter.

    Whisking eggs, bread and milk for corn bread
     The Spruce
  6. Combine with dry ingredients and stir until all ingredients are moistened. The batter will be similar to a thick pancake batter.

    Combining wet and dry ingredients for corn bread
     The Spruce
  7. Carefully, with heavy oven mitts, lift skillet out and turn to coat the bottom and sides with oil.

    Melted butter for corn bread
     The Spruce
  8. Pour the cornbread batter into the skillet and return it to the oven.

    Cornbread in skillet
     The Spruce
  9. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, until browned. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.

    Southern style corn bread
     The Spruce
  10. Serve and enjoy.


  • Baking powder starts acting quickly, so have the skillet ready and the oven preheated before you combine the wet and dry ingredients. As soon as the batter is combined, pour it into the skillet and get it into the oven.
  • This same recipe can be used to make cornbread muffins.
  • The hot iron skillet makes for a crispy bottom and side crust; a greased 8-inch or 9-inch baking pan may be substituted.

Recipe Variations

  • Dice 3 or 4 strips of bacon and cook it in the skillet. Use 1 tablespoon of bacon grease instead of the oil or shortening and replace some of the butter with the rest. Add the cooked diced bacon to the batter, if desired.
  • Add 1 cup of well-drained cooked corn kernels to the batter.
  • The salt may be reduced to 1 teaspoon.
  • Brown about 1/2 pound of crumbled sausage in the skillet. Add the cornbread batter and bake. As soon as the cornbread comes out of the oven, run a knife around the edge to loosen and invert it onto a plate. 
  • Add 1 to 2 cups of Mexican-style cheese and green chile peppers for Tex-Mex flavor.