Cornbread Recipe from Scratch
Yeah, there are boxes of cornbread mix at the store but it’s so simple to make this cornbread recipe from scratch! Plus when you make it at home, you can amend and adjust the flavorings to your own liking. Add in corn or chilies for a more savory dinner cake. Or top with a drizzle of honey for a sweeter side dish!
Easily whip up this simple side dish and have it on the table within about 30 minutes. Minimal pantry ingredients means you can have this cornbread ready to prepare at any time. I make this cornbread recipe from scratch at least once a week for my family!
There are many ways to change up the flavor when making this cornbread recipe from scratch for your family. This homemade cornbread recipe has a tender cake-like consistency that isn’t overly crumbly. It’s slightly sweet but definitely best served with savory dishes. If you prefer a less-sweet cornbread, reduce the sugar. Like it sweeter? Make a honey butter topping.
One of the big things to consider is the type of corn meal used when making the batter. Yellow corn meal and white corn meal can be used interchangeably without significant difference to your recipe (outside of the color). It’s in the grind that you’ll find the biggest variation. Opt for a finer ground corn meal if you prefer your cornbread to be more cake-like (I use this brand of medium ground corn meal). Coarse ground meal offers a more rustic look with additional grainy texture in each bite.
Corn Bread Casserole, Skillet and Muffins
Cornbread is traditionally known as a Southern staple. But I’m from Southern California and can tell you we make this corn cake a lot!
Casserole Dish – With six in my family, I have to make a BIG serving of this cornbread when we have it with dinner! This homemade cornbread recipe from scratch fits in a greased 9 x 13″ glass casserole. Make the recipe as shown and you’ll have enough leftover cornbread for a few days.
Cast Iron Skillet – I have made this recipe in a cast iron skillet versus a glass casserole. Take note that the cornbread recipe as written is for a large batch, intended to fit inside a 9 x 13″ casserole dish. If you’d like to make this cornbread in a cast iron skillet, halve the recipe. Melt butter in the skillet before adding the batter. Adjust the timing as needed, cooking until the edges are browned and an inserted toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cornbread.
Muffins – Preparing this cornbread recipe into muffin tins is a great idea when taking this side dish to go for a potluck. Paper cupcake wrappers will stick so use foil cupcake liners instead. Or grease the muffins tins well so that the cornbread muffins can be easily removed. Timing is around 15 minutes for cornbread muffins. Cook until an toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Additions to this Cornbread Recipe
One of the best things about this cornbread recipe from scratch is the ability to make it “your own” with the addition of different options. These are a few of the things my family has enjoyed when making this large batch cornbread.
Green Chilies – Drain a can of diced green chilies before stirring into the batter. Add a few minutes of cooking time. You’ll also find that cornbread with green chilies may be a bit more moist.
Buttermilk – This homemade cornbread recipe as written includes adding vinegar to the milk to create a “mock” buttermilk. Adding real buttermilk in place of milk will add a richer flavor.
Honey Butter – Whip up softened butter with a drizzle of honey to use as a topper for your crispy-topped cornbread slice. Or just spread on a pat of butter and top with honey, either way it’s amazing!
Corn – If you love the crunch of fresh corn woven within the crumb of your cornbread, opt for adding in cooked corn to the batter. Canned corn should be well drained before stirring in. I love to cut fresh corn off the cob and fry it with a little oil on the stove top with diced onions. Cool and then mix in to the batter for a savory cornbread addition.
Cheddar Cheese – Melted cheese mixed in with the cornbread batter is oh-so-yummy. Or sprinkle the cheese on top of the cooked cornbread, then set to broil for a few minutes to let the cheese crisp on top.
Cornbread as a Side Dish
There isn’t a week that goes by that I don’t make this cornbread recipe from scratch for my family! Since this savory cake goes with so many meals, there’s no reason not to always have the ingredients on hand. Once you prepare this cornbread, cover leftovers and store them on the counter for up to 3 days.
Sourdough and Cornbread Stuffing – This holiday essential dressing uses this cornbread recipe as a base, along with savory herbs and a veggie-filled broth. Absolute must-have for Thanksgiving and Christmas (or just Sunday dinner!)
Instant Pot Pinto Beans – A bowl of savory beans and a side of cornbread is a delicious and easy dinner.
Slow Cooker Pork – Skip the burger buns and swap in cornbread instead for the traditional barbecue dish. Top with creamy coleslaw and a drizzle of BBQ sauce to put this dish over the top!