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Easy Homemade Buttermilk Cornbread Recipe from Scratch

Easy Homemade Buttermilk Cornbread Recipe from Scratch

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Cornbread is a classic side dish that pairs nicely with so many meals including chili, barbecue pork, beans and stew. This moist cornbread recipe serves plenty and is a wonderful comfort food! Keep reading for the easy homemade cornbread recipe from scratch.

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This article originally posted on October 20, 2020 and has been updated and republished with a new date.

Cornbread Recipe from Scratch

Yeah, there are boxes of cornbread mix in the baking aisle of the grocery store. But it’s so simple to make this easy cornbread recipe from scratch! Plus when you make this quick bread at home, you can amend and adjust the flavorings to your own liking.

Create your own cornbread variations. Add in corn kernels or chilies for a more savory dinner cake. Or top with a drizzle of honey for a sweeter cornbread! I have more tips on mix-ins later in this article.

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 simple cornbread recipe ready to prepare at any time. I make this classic cornbread recipe from scratch at least once a week for my family!

Cornbread in a glass casserole dish

Cornbread Ingredients

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 an overly crumbly bread.

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.

Here’s your ingredient list for making cornbread from scratch:

  • Cornmeal – Read the following section about which cornmeal to use.
  • Pantry ingredients – All purpose flour, salt, and baking powder.
  • Refrigerated ingredients – Eggs and butter. Bring the eggs to room temperature before baking. The butter should be melted and cooled.
  • Buttermilk – Or substitute regular milk with white vinegar in place of buttermilk. Whole milk will give you a richer flavor, but you can use reduced fat as well (not skim milk). See the recipe for details.
Cornbread ingredients set on the counter

Choosing the Right Cornmeal for Cornbread

One of the big things to consider is the type of corn meal used when making the batter. The color, grind and flavor of the cornmeal will change the consistency of your cake.

Should I use yellow or white corn meal for cornbread?

Yellow cornmeal and white cornmeal can be used interchangeably in this recipe. The most significant difference to your recipe will be the color.

Which grind is best for cornmeal?

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. A finer grind, like in this white cornmeal, will result in a tender crumb that’s lighter.

For a moist texture that’s less crumbling, I use this brand of medium ground corn meal. Coarse ground meal offers a more rustic look with additional grainy texture in each bite. 

How to Make Cornbread from Scratch

Start with a large bowl, mixing together the dry ingredients first. In a separate medium sized bowl, whisk together the cooled melted butter, eggs and buttermilk.

Add the wet ingredients into the dry, carefully stirring. Mix only until completely combined.

Pour the batter into a greased baking dish. If you halve this recipe, it can be baked in a square pan. Cook until golden brown on top and the cornbread has crispy edges. An inserted toothpick will come out dry from the center.

Allow the baking pan to rest for about 5 minutes before cutting into the cornbread. Serve this cornbread recipe warm, with pats of butter. Cover leftover cornbread with a lid, plastic wrap or aluminum foil and eat within 3 days.

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! Here are several versions to prepare this cornbread recipe from scratch.

Bake Cornbread in a 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 baking dish. Make the recipe as shown and you’ll have enough leftover cornbread for a few days. The lid makes this an airtight container that’s perfect for storage of leftovers.

Bowl of beans on a checkered table cloth with cornbread on a plate

Making Cornbread Muffins

Preparing this cornbread recipe in a muffin pan is a great idea when taking this perfect side dish to-go for a potluck. Paper cupcake wrappers will stick so use foil cupcake liners instead. Or grease the muffin cups well with vegetable oil so that the cornbread muffins can be easily removed.

Timing is around 15 minutes for cornbread muffins. Cook until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cast-Iron Skillet Cornbread

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 to coat the pan. Adjust the timing as needed, cooking the skillet cornbread until the edges are browned and an inserted toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cornbread.

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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 crust slice of cornbread. Or just spread on a pat of butter and top with honey, either way it’s amazing!

Corn Kernels– 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.

Here’s a way to go over the top on flavor – Cut fresh corn off the cob and fry it with a little vegetable or olive oil on the stove top with diced onions. Cool, 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.

Slice of cornbread with butter and a drizzle of honey

What to Serve with Homemade Cornbread

There isn’t a week that goes by that I don’t make this cornbread recipe from scratch for my family! My favorite cornbread recipe is a great side dish, so 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.

Easy 4 Bean Chili Recipe – Our favorite cold weather dinner, this chili goes together in less than 30 minutes. This hearty soup and a pan of cornbread is our weekly quick meal go-to.

Bowl of bean chili with cornbread in the background

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!

Instant Pot Pinto Beans – A bowl of savory beans and a side of cornbread is a delicious and easy dinner.

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!)

Easy Homemade Cornbread Recipe from Scratch

Easy Homemade Cornbread Recipe from Scratch

Yield: 9 x 13" casserole
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Cake-like cornbread recipe side dish pairs well with barbecue, beans, pork, stew or in homemade holiday stuffing.

Ingredients

  • 2.5 cups flour
  • 1.5 cornmeal (I use a medium ground)
  • 1.5 Tbsp baking powder
  • 2/3 sugar
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 2.5 cups milk (or buttermilk)
  • 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup), melted and cooled
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9 x 13" glass casserole dish.
  3. OPTIONAL: If using regular milk in this recipe, add 1.5 Tbsp white vinegar to the milk. Let it sit in the measuring cup five minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar and salt.
  5. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add milk, eggs and melted butter to the center. Mix all until ingredients are just combined. Batter will be slightly lumpy.
  6. Pour batter into greased casserole.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Top will be golden brown. Allow to cool before slicing.

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