Cornbread is easily one of my favorite accompaniments to barbecue or Southern cooking. It’s hearty, comforting, and adds a touch of savory-sweetness to any dish. It’s often one of the touchstones by which I judge any self-respecting barbecue restaurant. Unfortunately, it’s shocking how many restaurants don’t know how to make a good cornbread. Often, it suffers from one extreme or another such as being too sweet, too cakey, or too dry. It started me thinking that maybe cornbread is really hard to make and that’s why so many restaurants are terrible at it.
I decided to take matters into my own hands and see what all the hubbub was about by making my own homemade cornbread. As it turns out, not only is cornbread really easy to make, it’s also really easy to have it come out deliciously well-balanced. In this recipe, I make a basic cornbread with buttermilk to deepen the sweet and savory flavors. Many people will insist that true cornbread can only be made using a cast iron pan and I would agree that a cast iron pan does add some great color to the cornbread. If you have one, great. Use it. If you don’t, or you want to make cornbread for a lot of people, then I suggest that a baking dish will still work very well. No matter what, you’ll get some easy and delicious cornbread using this recipe!
Makes one tray of cornbread at 2313 calories total.
– 9 x 12 dish with 24 pieces = about 96 calories per piece.
– 8 x 8 dish with 12 pieces = about 193 calories per piece.
Country Style Buttermilk Cornbread
Easy, homemade, buttermilk cornbread.
- 1 cup yellow corn meal (about 480 calories)
- 1 cup all purpose flour (about 400 calories)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick of unsalted butter (1/2 cup) melted (about 800 calories)
Plus one teaspoon of butter to grease the baking dish/pan (33 calories)
- 1/2 cup white sugar (360 calories)
- 1 cup buttermilk (about 100 calories)
- 2 eggs (140 calories)
- Optional: If you like things spicy, try deseeding and dicing a jalapeno or two to throw in the batter mix before cooking.
- 8 x 8 or 9 x 12 baking dish or a large cast iron pan
Note: An 8 x 8 dish gives you fewer pieces, but they are thicker. A 9 x 12 dish gives you more pieces, but they are thinner. A Cast iron pan will give you irregular shaped pieces, but will also brown the bottom of the cornbread better than a baking dish.
- 2 mixing bowls
- Rubber spatula or wooden spoon
- Optional: Cooling rack
- Optional: Toothpicks
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F for an even consistency throughout each piece of cornbread or 400 degrees F for a darker outside and slightly less cooked inside.
- Place the 1 cup of cornmeal, 1 cup of flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda into one mixing bowl. Then, using a fork, mix all of the dry ingredients together.
- Melt one stick (1/2 cup) of butter and place it in the other large mixing bowl.
- Add in a 1/2 cup of sugar to the melted butter and mix thoroughly until well incorporated.
- Add in the two eggs and mix well.
- Add in the 1 cup of buttermilk and mix well. Don’t be alarmed by the smell of the buttermilk if you’ve never used it before. It smells sour as if it went bad, but don’t worry, that’s what it’s supposed to smell like. That smell won’t invade the whole batter once all is said and done.
- Start slowly adding a little bit of the dry ingredients from one bowl into the bowl with the wet ingredients. Make sure to mix well while doing so. Add a little bit, mix, and repeat until all of the ingredients are thoroughly mixed in one bowl. If you were thinking about spicing things up, now would be the time to add one or two finely diced and deseeded jalapenos.
- Use roughly a teaspoon or so of butter to grease up your baking dish or cast iron pan. Note: I used a baking dish in the photos to get uniform pieces rather than my circular cast iron pan, but the bottom color from cast iron is ideal.
- Pour the cornbread batter into the dish. Again, you can use an 8 x 8 (for thick pieces) or a 9 x 12 (thinner pieces) or a large cast iron pan.
- If using a 9 x 12 dish, bake the cornbread in the oven for 20 minutes. If using an 8 x 8 dish, bake the cornbread for about 20 – 25 minutes. Both are pictured in this recipe. When you take the cornbread out, just stick a toothpick in the middle. If it comes out relatively clean, then it’s ready. If the toothpick comes out covered in batter, then leave it in for a few more minutes.
- Remove the cornbread from the oven, let it it cool for a few minutes, and then cut it into squares while it’s still a little warm if you want to serve it immediately.
- Serve a piece with a slice of butter on top for the full effect and enjoy it as a side to almost any entree.