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. The first time I made this, I used a light, 9-inch round and it turned out fine after about 23 minutes but the second time, I used an 8-inch dark cake pan and had to put it in for about 38 min. It browned quickly, so I covered it in foil. I also added a bit of sugar, as I like my cornbread sweeter.

    Hope this helps others!

    It’s the best cornbread recipe I’ve ever used.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Lola. The cornbread needed extra time in the small pan because there was less surface area so it took longer for the interior to cook. Darker pans are notorious for turning out darker baked goods.

      How much extra sugar did you add?

  2. This corn bread looks wonderful, however, it would be extra special if two things were added: bacon fat and jalapeno’s.

  3. Strangely enough, for as much as I love corn bread, I only make it once every several years because my Frenchmen don’t eat it. They think it is too sweet– like eating cake with a meal. Too bad! Since I have a bag of cornflour in my pantry brought back from a trip to the UK I must try this recipe. I love the King Arthur recipes but haven’t tried their corn bread yet.

    1. Jamie, this corn bread is only very slightly sweet, so they may be surprised. Still, quite simply, their loss is your gain. Bake a pan as soon as you can. There are soooo many things you can do with leftover corn bread other than eat a hunk straight from that pan. Crumble it into a glass of milk. Slice a thick chunk and sizzle it in a skillet with some butter and serve alongside ham or eggs. (Need I go on…?)

  4. I’ve never made corn bread with maple syrup before, so will have to give this a try. I grew up eating grit bread, which is basically non-sweet cornbread made with stone ground grits to give it crunch. It’s great smushed into a glass of buttermilk, which is the way my father always ate it, although perhaps an acquired taste! Kendra

    1. Thanks for your willingness to consider something this side of sweet, Kendra. We know lots of Southerners who wouldn’t even glance at a corn bread recipe with sugar or syrup in it. Trade you recipes?

      1. You bet Renee! This is my dad’s recipe, Kent Graybeal Bailey, hence the K.G. in the title 🙂 It’s a denser cornbread with a little crunch from the grits. It’s awesome sliced open and pan fried in butter in a cast-iron skillet or with buttermilk like I mentioned.

        By the way, I believe I still owe you a funeral cake recipe 😉 Haven’t forgotten. Trying to get this book out of my hair first!

        Kendra

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