This bacon cornbread is made with corn kernels, bacon, and cornmeal that’s ingeniously soaked in milk overnight to produce an incredibly tender, cake-like, almost pudding-like texture. A little sweet, a little smoky, and a lotta lovely.
- Quick Glance
- 35 M
- 1 H, 30 M
- Serves 12 | Makes one 10-inch bread
Several hours before baking (i.e., the night before or the morning of), grab a large bowl and stir together the cornmeal and buttermilk. Cover and let the cornmeal soak at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
Place the bacon on 2 rimmed baking sheets. Bake until the bacon is crisp, 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the thickness of your bacon.
Using tongs or a fork, place the bacon on a plate lined with paper towels. Drain the bacon drippings from the baking sheets into a bowl and reserve it. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (175°C).
When the bacon has cooled, crumble it into coarse pieces.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the granulated and brown sugars.
In another bowl, lightly beat the eggs. In yet another bowl, stir the honey into the melted butter and then stir the warm honey butter into the eggs.
Add the egg mixture to the soaked cornmeal mixture and stir to combine. Then, whisking or stirring by hand, add this to the flour mixture, combining it until all the ingredients are evenly distributed and the batter is blended and smooth. It should be the consistency of a thick pancake batter. Stir in the corn kernels until evenly distributed.
Place 2 tablespoons of the reserved bacon drippings into a 10-inch round cake pan, a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, or a 12-inch square pan. Place the pan in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the fat gets quite hot.
Using pot holders or oven mitts, remove the pan or dish from the oven and carefully tilt it to coat all the corners and sides. Scrape in the cornbread batter, spreading it from the center of the pan to the edges. Sprinkle the crumbled bacon pieces evenly over the batter, gently pressing them into the batter.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the cornbread is firm and springy and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The top will be a medium golden brown and the internal temperature at the center of the bacon cornbread should register at least 185°F (85°C).
Let the bacon cornbread cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes before slicing it into squares or wedges. Serve warm. Originally published August 9, 2001.
Bacon Cornbread Muffins Variation
If, like us, you swoon to the crusty corner pieces—you know, the ones with ample contrast of crunchy exterior to super duper moist interior—you may wish to consider increasing the exterior surface area of each serving by making muffins with this batter. Just fill a dozen or so buttered muffin cups and bake at 350°F (175°C) for about 30 minutes, until the center of each muffin is springy when you gently nudge it with your finger. You’re welcome.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
My husband and I thought this bacon cornbread was absolutely delicious! We had it for dinner one night—still warm—and that was all we had. And all we needed. I'm quite sure we could have eaten the whole thing, if we hadn't been trying to diet. It was very moist, tender, and satisfying. It was hefty without being dense or soggy—just a delight!
The amount of corn was very appealing and not too much at all. The sweetness was just right. I guess you can tell that we loved this!
Sweet, salty, and smoky—this bacon cornbread is scrumptious! It's not your typical cornbread, though. You’d want to use a fork to eat this super moist “cornbread.” It's quite substantial. A side salad may be all you need for a lovely lunch or light dinner.
I started soaking the polenta first thing in the morning for baking the cornbread for dinner. The cornbread could not have come out more gorgeous or delicious!