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This Southern Cornbread recipe is a favorite Southern dish. Simple heirloom family cornbread recipe that’s crispy, yet tender and ready in 30 minutes! Made with just 5 ingredients!
Southern Cornbread is a classic southern side dish that is also a must in traditional southern cooking. Generations of cooks in my family have made it this way. And without a doubt in my mind, a good cornbread recipe is essential. Delicious on its own or with a bowl of chili or vegetable soup, it is also the star ingredient in my Grandmother’s amazing cornbread dressing!
Southern Cornbread Recipe
Since watching my grandmother and mother make it and now making it more times than I can count myself, there’s a certain way to make great southern cornbread – and I believe this is it!
This family recipe only has five ingredients. And it does not contain sugar. If you want to add a pinch, I won’t stop you, but it’s not a part of my how I’ve always made it.
How to Make Cornbread Recipe
A hot, greased cast iron skillet makes the best cornbread! It gives the cornbread a crispy, golden exterior that is the hallmark of a great southern cornbread. While golden and crispy on the outside, this cornbread is tender and delicious on the inside! It is cornbread perfection!
In addition to a cast iron skillet, you’ll need:
- Self-rising cornmeal – results in a bread that rises and has a tender feel with delicious corn flavor.
- Self-rising flour – this bit of self-rising flour is essential to a soft texture inside the cornbread and gives the bread a good rise.
- Buttermilk – adds such amazing flavor and adds to the tenderness of the bread
Step by Step Instructions
- Preheat. Preheat oven to 425º Fahrenheit.
- Prep the Skillet. Coat large iron skillet with enough vegetable shortening or butter to coat the bottom and sides of the skillet. Place the coated skillet into the oven for the butter or shortening to melt. Remove the skillet from the oven once it has melted.
- Mix and Bake. Meanwhile, stir together the cornmeal, flour, eggs, buttermilk and water and pour into the hot skillet. Return to the oven and bake about 25 minutes or until bread has risen, is developing a golden brown color and the center springs to the touch. Carefully remove from oven once done and place on a heat proof surface.
- Serve. Serve directly from skillet by cutting into wedges or squares, or allow hot cornbread to stand about 5 minutes and carefully flip cornbread out onto a serving plate and slice. Serve and enjoy plain or with a bit of butter. It’s also good drizzled with a bit of honey as my husband taught me to enjoy it.
Cornbread Recipe Make Ahead Instructions
This cornbread recipe may be made in advance.
- Cool. Allow to cool prior to covering.
- Cover. Once cooled, cover tightly with wrap or foil. Store on the counter top for up to 2 days.
How to Freeze Cornbread Recipe
- Cool. Once cooked, allow the cornbread to cool completely.
- Place in Containers. Portion into airtight, freezer-safe container(s), label and freeze up to 3 months.
- Thaw. Allow frozen cornbread on counter to thaw overnight.
- Reheat and Serve. Reheat in oven or microwave until warm and serve.
What to Eat with Cornbread
Cornbread is delicious with a simple, cold glass of milk as my granddaddy enjoyed it at times – and it takes the role of the perfect southern side dish too.
It’s a must with turnip greens, black eyed peas and pinto beans and is simply perfect with chili and beef stew too. Mimi’s Cornbread Salad Recipe is a tasty layered salad that we love for family gatherings. We love it served alongside a pot roast and vegetables too. There are so many delicious ways to enjoy it!
More Delicious Bread Recipes
Here’s my family’s Southern Cornbread Recipe. It is a treasure!
Southern Cornbread Recipe
- 2 cups self-rising cornmeal
- 1 cup self-rising flour
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1/2 cup water
- Preheat oven to 425º F.
- Coat large skillet with enough vegetable shortening or butter to coat the bottom and sides of the skillet. Place the coated oven into the oven for the butter or shortening to melt. Remove the skillet from oven once melted.
- Meanwhile, stir together the cornmeal, flour, eggs, buttermilk and water and pour into the hot skillet. Return to the oven and bake about 25 minutes or until bread has risen and center springs to the touch.
- Serve directly from skillet or allow to stand about 5 minutes and flip onto a plate for serving.
Cornbread may be made in advance. Cover tightly with and store on the counter top for up to 2 days.
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What size skillet for this recipe? And is it black cast iron? I have a 12 inch cast iron.
I am looking forward to this particular recipe
I use a 12-inch black iron skillet to make this cornbread, Laurette. Hope you enjoy!
What size cast iron skillet do you use for the cornbread? Can I use another type of pan? … I have been looking for a recipe that doesn’t use sugar – finally… thank you! I love it crumbled in milk too… I grew up eating the leftovers with my dad after supper, so it reminds me of him.
Catherine, I use a 12-inch cast iron skillet for my cornbread. You could use another type pan if you don’t have a cast iron one. I just prefer my cast iron. Cornbread crumbled in milk was always so good, especially if eating it with your dad.
The self-rising cornmeal at my store is a mix of cornmeal and wheat flour plus leavening. Is that what you use?
For a really crispy treat, make half the recipe and bake short of 20 minutes. Even those who declare cornbread is not one of their favorites will like this, especially with a slice of butter.
Do you still use the 12 inch cast iron ??
Channing, if you are making half the recipe, you won’t need a skillet as large as 12-inches or you would have thin cornbread. You could use a smaller one – 8 to 10 inches.
how many eggs and hiw much water and buttermilk
The amount of each of the ingredients are listed in the recipe card at the end of the post, Teresa, as well as the instructions to make the cornbread. Hope you enjoy.
Approximately how much broth do you use on the full recipe?
I use 6 cups broth or chicken stock for the full recipe, Carla. I hope you enjoy.
For the best added flavor (and a really Southern, or at least a Texan) thing to do is rather than butter or shortening when you prep your skillet, is to use bacon grease. I always put the bacon grease in the skillet and put the skillet in the oven right when I turn the oven on and take it out when the oven has pre-heated. That way, when I pour the batter in the skillet you hear it sizzle and when it’s finished baking you have this AMAZING crunchy bottom cornbread with an incredible flavor!