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Traditional Cornbread Recipe

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  • Prep 10 min
  • Total 35 min
  • Servings 12
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There's something truly comforting about a piece of warm cornbread fresh from the oven. Classic, delicious, and filled with sweet and savory corn flavor, cornbread has a special place in American cuisine. But even if you’ve been eating it all your life, you might not actually know what cornbread is.

Cornbread is quick bread, which means it uses a leavening agent like baking powder instead of yeast to make the bread rise. Also, it starts with a batter instead of a dough, meaning it has a high liquid content, making it quick and easy to bake (no kneading!). This recipe creates a unique texture that differentiates it from traditional yeast breads.

Traditional cornbread is a quintessential feature on holiday tables, from Thanksgiving spreads to Christmas feasts, but a plate of comforting cornbread doesn’t have to be confined to holidays – it’s a weeknight favorite, too! Cook up our classic Betty Crocker cornbread recipe and discover the joy of baking by serving this beloved American classic at home.

Updated Jun 27, 2024
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How To Make Cornbread

Cornbread comes together quickly and easily with ingredients you probably already have in your fridge and pantry. Check out the full recipe below, but here’s the general idea:

Mix the Wet Ingredients

Whisk melted butter, milk, and egg in a large bowl.

Add the Dry Ingredients

Stir in cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt, just until moistened. Adding the dry ingredients after the wet ones will ensure the batter is mixed evenly.

Spread Batter in Pan

Pour the mixture into a sprayed or greased pan and spread with a spatula to make sure the thick batter goes all the way to the edges of the pan and is the same thickness throughout.

Bake

Bake 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown for a perfectly crispy exterior and still-tender interior.

Top

Lather with softened butter, or drizzle with honey. Toppings like jalapeños, shredded cheese, or crispy crumbled bacon pieces can transform cornbread into a delectable side dish or a filling meal by itself.

How To Keep Cornbread from Crumbling

Cornbread is naturally a little crumbly, but to avoid too-crumbly cornbread, try these tips:

Don’t Forget to Spray the Pan: Thoroughly spraying your pan ensures the cornbread will release cleanly and effortlessly from the pan without breaking.

Measure Carefully: Fat, egg, flour, cornmeal, and baking powder are all key elements in a perfect cornbread recipe, but even more important is knowing how to measure accurately. Too little or too much of any of these can affect flavor and texture, so measuring accurately can make or break a recipe.

Bake to Perfection: If cornbread is overbaked, it will be dry, crumbly, and tend to fall apart when served. To avoid overbaking, set a timer for the shortest time in the baking range and start checking for doneness then. As soon as a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, remove the cornbread from the oven. If it isn’t done, continue baking for an additional minute or two and check again.

Use a Serrated Knife and a Slow Hand: Cut cornbread with a serrated knife, using a light sawing motion.

Storing Leftover Cornbread

Cornbread can be eaten warm, straight from the oven, but it also refrigerates and freezes well.

To Store at Room Temperature: Wrap completely cooled cornbread tightly in plastic wrap or foil and store up to 1 day at room temperature.

To Store in Refrigerator: Remove cooled cornbread from pan. Tightly wrap completely in plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate up to 1 week.

To Store in Freezer: Remove cooled cornbread from pan. Tightly wrap completely in plastic wrap or foil and place it in resealable freezer plastic bags and freeze up to 3 months.

Popular Cornbread Variations

This classic cornbread recipe serves as a jumping-off point for endless variations. Experiment to your heart’s desire!

Variations with Toppings:

Make it Sweet: Drizzle baked cornbread with honey or serve with honey butter for a sweet and savory delight.

Make it Savory: Stir shredded cheese or fresh herbs like thyme, parsley, or cilantro into the batter.

Make it Spicy: Stir in chopped jalapeño peppers or chili garlic sauce, or serve with hot sauce.

Try any of these variations on the classic version in our Best Cornbread Recipes collection, or check out some of our other favorites.

Flavor Variations:

Looking for Buttermilk Cornbread Recipes? Try our Buttermilk Cornbread recipe featuring corn and onions for a savory variation on the original.

Need Gluten Free Cornbread Recipes? With pork, cheese, and jalapeño, our Gluten Free Cornbread recipe. is packed with flavor.

Craving Mexican Cornbread Recipes? Try our Mexican Cornbread recipe or Southwestern Cornbread Casserole that’s loaded with black beans, salsa and cheese.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/4 cups yellow, white or blue cornmeal
  • 1 cup Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Make With
Gold Medal Flour

Steps

  • 1
    Heat the oven to 400°F. Spray the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square pan or 9-inch round cake pan with the cooking spray.
  • 2
    In a large bowl, beat the melted butter, milk and egg with a fork or wire whisk until well mixed.
  • 3
    Add the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt all at once; stir just until the flour is moistened (batter will be lumpy).
  • 4
    Pour batter into the pan; use a rubber spatula to scrape batter from bowl. Spread batter evenly in pan and smooth top of batter.
  • 5
    Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm with butter and honey, if desired.

Tips from the Betty Crocker Kitchens

  • tip 1
    Ground cornmeal is available in different grinds, from fairly fine to very coarse. A finer grind is preferable for making cornbread, while coarser grinds are more appropriate for grits or polenta that are often cooked into a spoonable hot cereal.
  • tip 2
    Not all cornmeal is yellow; switch things up with a white or New Mexican blue cornmeal in our easy cornbread recipe.
  • tip 3
    Mix a spoonful of clover honey or grated orange peel into softened butter to slather on the warm bread.
  • tip 4
    Bake the batter in a round or square baking pan or try a small cast-iron skillet, muffin tin, or in a heavy corn stick pan. Like for all quick breads, just grease the bottom of the pan or muffin cups so the bread can climb up the sides easily as it rises. For a corn stick pan completely grease the grooves so the sticks slide out without sticking.
  • tip 5
    Save time and avoid dirtying a pan by melting butter in the microwave. Place butter in a small microwave-safe bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Microwave on Medium (50%) power 30 to 90 seconds, until melted. Using a lower power setting prevents butter from splattering.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does Cornbread Take to Cook?

This quick and easy cornbread recipe bakes for just 20 to 25 minutes at 400°F. You will know your cornbread is done when the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The crispy sides of the cornbread will also pull away from the edges of the pan.

What Keeps Cornbread from Being Dry?

While many factors contribute to a moist, tender cornbread, the top three most important players are fat, liquid, and sugar.

Fat:This recipe uses butter for the main fat source. Having the right proportion of fat to other ingredients ensures a soft crumb and tender finished product.

Liquid: For the best texture, the liquid to flour and cornmeal ratio really matters. Be sure to measure accurately.

Sugar: A little sugar can go a long way to create a beautiful, soft cornbread interior. (Just don’t tell the southerners! Check out the differences between northern and southern cornbread styles below.)

What is the Difference Between Northern and Southern Style Sornbread?

There are two primary categories when it comes to cornbread: sweet northern-style and savory southern-style. Whether you have a sweet tooth or favor savory, there’s a version of Cornbread out there for you.

Northern cornbread recipes lean towards the sweeter side, flaunting a tender, cake-like texture. On the other hand, southern cornbread recipes offer a more savory flavor profile, often including add-ins like corn or bacon, creating a slightly crumblier consistency that's akin to traditional quick breads.

For sweet cornbread-eaters, a savory, southern-style cornbread might seem odd. But for staunch savory-loving southerners, sugar in your cornbread is downright sacrilege!

Also, southerners often prefer to bake their cornbread in cast iron skillets and pans. Sometimes these well-used pans are passed down as heirlooms from one generation to the next. Northerners tend to opt for baking dishes and cake pans for their cornbread-baking needs.

Nutrition

180 Calories, 5g Total Fat, 4g Protein, 29g Total Carbohydrate, 10g Sugars

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories
180
Calories from Fat
45
Total Fat
5g
8%
Saturated Fat
3g
14%
Trans Fat
0g
Cholesterol
30mg
10%
Sodium
260mg
11%
Potassium
70mg
2%
Total Carbohydrate
29g
10%
Dietary Fiber
0g
0%
Sugars
10g
Protein
4g
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
4%
4%
Vitamin C
0%
0%
Calcium
10%
10%
Iron
8%
8%
Exchanges:
1 Starch; 0 Fruit; 1 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 0 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 1 Fat;
Carbohydrate Choice
2
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

More About This Recipe

  • One of the longest-running food festivals is the National Cornbread Festival that’s held each April in South Pittsburg, Tennessee. Every year, tens of thousands of attendees converge on this quaint southern town to celebrate a cornbread, a staple food that’s often called “the cornerstone of Southern cuisine.” The event features a homemade cornbread cookoff, a cornbread pancake breakfast and even a Miss National Cornbread Contest pageant. Even if you can’t attend the festival, you can make your own at-home celebration of all things cornbread-ian with this easy cornbread recipe that tastes great served fresh from the oven, topped with a pat of butter or complemented with a drizzle of honey . And if you’re inspired to try more bread baking, check out Betty's best breads and rolls recipes.
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