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Cornbread is not usually the star of the meal, but it’s always up for the supporting best role. The hearty bread is the best accompaniment to chili, ham and beans, and Thanksgiving. My nieces and nephew love it with maple syrup and I love it with just plain butter. I’m not southern at all, having grown up in Iowa. I would never claim to be the source for cornbread, but over the years, I’ve taken our family recipe and tweaked it just slightly.
Cornbread does not need too many adjustments. The outcome should be straightforward: plenty of corn flavor from a good cornmeal. The end result can really depend on the grind of the cornmeal. A slightly coarser grind, as opposed to a fine ground, will be less processed and retain more texture and flavor. This is the grind I prefer to use for my cornbread.
I’m not one to overly sweeten the batter. Honey or syrup can be added after it’s baked, so why make the determination for the consumer? In my opinion, a good cornbread needs to be ready to carry other flavors and not be like a dessert. In this recipe, just a few teaspoons of sugar balance out the cornmeal and help the corn flavor remain visible.
I don’t consider it to be a true cornbread unless it’s baked in a cast-iron skillet. Heating the skillet with the butter in the oven during the preheating ensures the skillet will be greased well. Also, the butter begins to brown and adds even more flavor to the finished bread. A well-seasoned skillet gives the bread a wonderfully deep golden-brown crust, which also adds flavor.
This is my go-to cornbread: simple and perfect!
Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 ¼ cups stone-ground cornmeal
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 ¾ tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp white granulated sugar
- 1 ½ cups buttermilk (or mix 1 ½ tbsp vinegar with 1 ½ cup milk)
- 2 large eggs
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Add butter to a 9-inch cast-iron skillet and place in the oven while preheating. Once the butter has completely melted and browned, remove from the oven, 10-15 minutes.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar. In another bowl, whisk the buttermilk and eggs. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk until combined. Pour immediately into the hot skillet.
- Bake until the cornbread is golden brown and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes before slicing.
I love cornbread in an iron skillet.
Hi Kaleb, I like a sweet corn bread. Can I add sugar to this and if so, how much? Thanks!
2 tsp per his instructions. Mix with dry ingredients.
this was sooo very good! I took it to a friends get together and it was loved by all
The recipe states 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk or add vinegar to 1/2 cup. Is the total liquid still 1 1/2 cups? Making this for dinner tonight!! Super excited!!
Hello! Yes the total milk needs to equal 1 1/2 cups! Hop you enjoy!
I loved the simplicity of the recipe. Thank you for the copycat buttermilk idea.
My only desire when I make this again is to have a sweeter cornbread. Can you advise how much sugar to add to the recipe? My mother made cornbread in the iron skillet and it brought back memories. Yummy
Love your viedos. You make cooking look so enjoyable and easy. Thank you
I made your cornbread and the white bean recipe……delicious.
Making the ham and bean recipe with skillet cornbread for the 2nd time and I wouldn’t change a thing; it is delicious! Just a great cold weather supper so wanted to prepare again before Spring weather sets in! Thank you Kaleb for your amazing recipes!
I’ve made this cornbread twice now. Once served with the Ham and Beans recipe also here and once alone.
This is my second time making Ham and beans and corn bread. We enjoyed it so much the first time that I went out and bought a ham just so I could make Ham and beans with the bone and left over ham!
The flavor from the Parm rind makes this dish so good.
Can I use a metal loaf pan or a round 9 inch cake pan? I don’t have a 9″ cast iron
I enjoy your videos and recipes
Perfect cornbread. And what a great accompaniment to soup on a subzero Vermont day!
I forgot to include that I added chopped jalapeños once and various herbs, like sage and thyme, on other occasions. Jalapeños are wonderful in cornbread.
I love your recipes! Can I use a round cake pan for your cornbread recipe?
I don’t have a cast iron skillet.
Do you use white corn meal or yellow. I do know both are good but one would be better to make. I am making it to use in your cornbread apple dressing thank you
Super delicious!! I cut back on the sugar to 1 tsp..perfect..mostly savory with an hint of sweet. BTW, love your low kitchen cabinet color….name? Benjamin Moore? And, does your kitchen have southern exposure.
made the ham and beans with black eye peas…turned out great. Can I use self rising cornmeal and self rising flour and omit the baking powder/soda. and can it be baked in a loaf pan I don’t have a cast iron skillet?
Liked it very much . I personally prefer a sweater corn bread . I will tweak it next time . I did make your tomato soup, very ,
very good .