This classic cornbread is made with flour, cornmeal, eggs, buttermilk, and maple syrup, is a foolproof recipe for a slightly sweet side dish.
This moist, ever-so-slightly sweet, faintly maple-y cornbread can be tossed together almost as quickly as it disappears. But before you start gathering ingredients, allow us to share our theory about how folks tend to have very specific expectations about what they want from cornbread. We think it has everything to do with what you experienced growing up. (Yes, just like your therapist, we’re taking this back to your childhood.) If your grandma made you cornbread that was spare on the sweetness, be forewarned, this isn’t it. If your momma made something sufficiently sweet and with a cakey enough crumb to pass as dessert, this ain’t it either. If you crave something smack in-between that’s versatile as heck and goes equally well with fried chicken, ribs, a crock of beans, chili, and a tall glass of cold milk, well, now we’re talking. This slightly sweet cornbread is inspired by a recipe from The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion (Countryman Press, 2003). In the words of cookbook author Alana Chernila, “It’s entirely risk-free, quick to make, and will never fail you.” And who couldn’t use more of that?–Renee Schettler
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN CORNBREAD?
This particular cornbread recipe is neither a Northern or a true Southern recipe but it happens to straddle both. We know, we know—the only true cornbread is the one passed down through your family. But in very generalized terms, Northern cornbread is generally sweeter and more cake-like. A Southern-style cornbread isn’t sweet at all (some say there should be absolutely no sugar in the batter) and has a denser, more crumbly texture.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk either low-fat or full-fat
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 4 tablespoons (2 oz) unsalted butter melted, plus more for the pan
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt and whisk together until thoroughly combined.
- Break the eggs into a large measuring cup or a medium bowl and whisk them to combine. Add the buttermilk, maple syrup, and melted butter and whisk again until thoroughly combined.
- Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and gently stir just until combined, using only a few strokes. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cornbread is lightly browned, pulling away from the sides of the pan, and a cake tester or butter knife comes out clean when inserted into the center. Serve the cornbread warm, preferably with butter. [Editor’s Note: Or with ribs. Or fried chicken. Or a tall glass of cold milk. Or, well, you tell us….]
Recipe Testers' Reviews
This recipe produced a no-fail, trusty cornbread that I could make over and over again. The crumb was perfect, and the man of the house thought it was perfect served warm with butter. I prefer a sweeter cornbread, as this one had a slight tang (probably from the leavening agents), but a honey butter balanced it nicely.
I think this cornbread is foolproof! I like that the maple syrup gives it a slight sweetness. It also gives it a unique flavor, but not so much that it overpowers the apple butter my family likes to put on the bread.
I added the liquids to the dry ingredients and whisked for about 15 strokes. I also baked mine in a dark round 9-inch cake pan, whereas normally I would use cast iron, which I think would work for this. The bread was done right at 20 minutes and popped right out of the pan.
Originally published August 27, 2012