Cornbread

This classic cornbread is made with flour, cornmeal, eggs, buttermilk, and maple syrup, is a foolproof recipe for a slightly sweet side dish.

A cake pan of golden brown cornbread with a slice removed

Adapted from Alana Chernila | The Homemade Pantry | Clarkson Potter, 2012

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.

Cornbread

A cake pan of golden brown cornbread with a slice removed
This classic cornbread is made with flour, cornmeal, eggs, buttermilk, and maple syrup, is a foolproof recipe for a slightly sweet side dish.
Alana Chernila

Prep 20 mins
Cook 25 mins
Total 45 mins
Side Dish
Southern
6 servings
66 kcal
4.83 / 17 votes
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Ingredients 

  • 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

Directions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C). Lightly butter an 8-inch square baking dish, a 9-inch round baking pan, or an approximately 9-inch cast-iron skillet.
  • 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….]
Print RecipeBuy the The Homemade Pantry cookbook

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Show Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 66kcal (3%)Carbohydrates: 9g (3%)Protein: 2g (4%)Fat: 2g (3%)Saturated Fat: 1g (6%)Trans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 20mg (7%)Sodium: 135mg (6%)Potassium: 45mg (1%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 2g (2%)Vitamin A: 79IU (2%)Calcium: 39mg (4%)Iron: 1mg (6%)

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

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Comments

  1. Can anyone suggest an alternative for fine yellow cornmeal please? I live in Switzerland and am not able to find it. I do have masa harina and very finely ground polenta or semolina flour. Would either of these work?

    Thanks for any suggestions!

    1. Tamara, we haven’t tried it with either, but I think finely ground polenta would be the closest substitute. If you try it, please let us know how it turns out.

  2. 5 stars
    I made this to go with the White Beans Stew with Tomatoes and Rosemary. It provided the perfect hint of sweet to complement the savory stew. Husband approved – he loved the combination.

  3. If I wanted to add fresh corn kernels now that we’re soon entering corn season, how many would you add and would I need to make any other modifications

    1. DanT, we haven’t tried it with fresh corn, but it’s not uncommon to add fresh corn kernels to cornbread. I’d start with 1 cup mixed into the batter in step 4 and see how that goes. You shouldn’t need to make any other changes. Do let us know how it goes!

    1. Lee, we haven’t tried them as muffins, so we can’t say. I think they would turn out nicely. I’d start checking for doneness around 15 minutes.

  4. 5 stars
    This is wonderful, my grandmother made us cornbread every morning and this is the closest I have ever found to Hers. We lived very close to her and when we would get on the bus right in front of her house she would always give us a extra piece for the driver. He loved it too. Thanks for the recipe I will be passing this on to my grandchildren now.

    1. That’s such a sweet memory, Lisa. Thank you for taking the time to share it, and I’m so pleased that you’ve found a recipe that lives up to that memory.

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