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After testing 10 different variations of cornbread, I’ve come up with the BEST Homemade Cornbread recipe! It’s easy to make, sweet, buttery and perfectly moist!

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A slice of cornbread with butter and honey on a piece of parchment paper with a fork next to it.

Growing up, I wasn’t a huge fan of cornbread. I remember it being dry, crumbly and lacking flavor…unless it was lathered in butter. Since then, I’ve become a bit of a cornbread aficionado on the search for the perfect sweet cornbread recipe!

With my background in sensory food science, I enjoy testing different recipes to determine how different ingredients, amounts and temperatures change the recipe outcome. A few of my favorite tests were coming up with my favorite scotcheroo recipe (a midwest staple) and my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe.

Two squares of cornbread stacked on a wire rack with a container of honey in the background.

When I started playing around with different cornbread recipes, I looked at close to 20 recipes with decent ratings online. I noticed there were some key differences between recipes that I wanted to test.

What I Tested

  1. Butter vs. oil in the batter
  2. Cornmeal to flour ratio
  3. Adding creamed corn to the batter
  4. How the cornbread compared to two popular store-bought cornbread mixes
  5. Increased butter for increased moisture

Testing Cornbread: Butter Vs. Oil

Two slices of cornbread on a silver wire rack; one made with butter and one made with vegetable oil.

The first thing I noticed when researching cornbread was the difference in fats used. Though there were a couple times I saw shortening, butter and vegetable oil were the most common.

My Conclusion: Butter is truly better! The texture of the cornbread as well as the flavor were much preferred in the version with melted butter. It was a little more cake-like and less crumbly than the coarser, less flavorful oil version.

Testing Cornbread: Cornmeal to Flour Ratio

Two slices of cornbread on a silver wire rack; the one on the right is a bit taller than the other.

Most recipes I looked at use a one to one ratio of cornmeal and flour. Though it was most common, there were a couple very highly rated cornbread recipes (including the winner of the Pancake Princess cornbread bake-off) that used more flour than cornmeal.

My Conclusion: I actually preferred using equal parts cornmeal and flour. Though the version with more flour than cornmeal was light and fluffy, it was a little more dry and lacked the corn flavor. Therefore, I decided I’d maybe like to try a ratio in between, like 2:3.

Testing Cornbread: Adding Creamed Corn to the Batter

Two slices of cornbread on a silver wire rack.

The number one complaint about most cornbread recipes is that they’re “dry and crumbly.” So I thought maybe I could add some creamed corn to add some moisture. I did decrease the buttermilk just a bit to get the batter the same consistency.

My Conclusion: This was a very moist, yet almost gummy cornbread. Though it had great flavor, the texture wasn’t what I want in a good cornbread. It seemed more like a wanna-be Cornbread Pudding. Therefore, I scratched the idea of the creamed corn.

Testing Cornbread: Popular Packaged Cornbread Mixes

Two slices of cornbread on a silver wire rack.

I decided to grab a couple boxes of cornbread mix off the grocery store shelves. Jiffy is a very popular cornbread mix so that seemed important to test out! And Krusteaz has always been my favorite cornbread mix brand as it’s light, fluffy, moist and sweet (though I will note that it’s a “honey cornbread mix.”)

My Conclusion: I was very unimpressed with the Jiffy mix…sorry Jiffy! It was very crumbly, slightly dry and overall underwhelming. The Krusteaz mix was delicious, though I did have to cover the pan with foil halfway through as the top of the cornbread got dark before the inside was cooked.

Testing Cornbread: Increased Butter for Increased Moisture

A slice of cornbread on a wire rack.

For this version, I increased the butter (to 2/3 cup instead of 1/2 cup). My goal was to make the cornbread more moist.

My Conclusion: The cornbread looked beautiful after baking, but sunk quickly in the center. It made for a very moist, yet slightly coarse crumb. Though I was glad to give it a try, I decided this was not something I’d do in the final recipe.

The Winning Recipe

Ingredients needed for homemade cornbread on a white background.

Ingredients Needed (Amounts in Recipe Card)

  • All Purpose Flour
  • Cornmeal – Yellow cornmeal is the way to go as it gives a nice color and flavor to the cornbread. White cornmeal is just not the same!
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt
  • Butter – You’ll use most of the butter in the batter and save a little for the glaze on top of the cornbread.
  • Sugar – I use white sugar in cornbread, but brown sugar would work great too.
  • Honey – You’ll use some in the batter and some in the glaze.
  • Egg – I use “large” eggs when baking.
  • Buttermilk – If you don’t have any buttermilk on hand, you can make your own (see notes in recipe card)

How to make the Best Homemade Cornbread

This cornbread recipe is really simple!! First, you’ll mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl and the wet ingredients in a separate mixing bowl.

The wet ingredients will be poured into the dry ingredients and mixed until combined.

Then it’ll be poured into a greased baking dish and baked until a toothpick pressed into the center of the cornbread comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.

Lastly, you’ll melt together butter and honey and brush it over the warm cornbread!! YUM!

Baked cornbread in a teal baking dish.

Why This Recipe is THE Best!

Well if you’ve been around here awhile, you know I love science. And going through lots of testing brought me to the conclusion that this truly is the best recipe for homemade cornbread.

Here are the reasons this is the BEST cornbread recipe…..

  • Butter. Using butter vs oil in cornmeal results in a more flavorful, moist cornbread.
  • The perfect cornmeal to flour ratio. There’s slightly more flour than cornmeal, which keeps the great flavor from the cornmeal but a little extra flour keeps it a soft and tender crumb.
  • The optimal amount of butter, sugar and honey.  Add too much of either and it’ll create a dense, coarse cornbread. This recipe has just the right amount of each.
  • Simple ingredients.  You probably have all of the necessary ingredients already in your home except the yellow cornmeal.  Grab a container and you’ll be set!
  • A great side dish!  Cornbread is such a great side dish for many meals – casseroles, soups, stews, etc!
Two squares of cornbread stacked on a wooden board being drizzled with honey.

Easy Cornbread Variations

  • Add sweet corn! Stir in one cup of well-drained sweet corn into the batter before baking.
  • Add bacon! Stir in 1/3 cup cooked and crumbed bacon to the batter before baking.
  • Add jalapeño and cheese! Add 2 tablespoons diced fresh jalapeños and 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese to the batter.
Baked cornbread cut into squares with a pat of butter melting on top.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to serve cornbread?

I love serving cornbread warm with a little butter and a drizzle of honey!  Others prefer it with a drizzle of maple syrup, a spoonful of jam or even crumbed into their favorite soups!

How to store cornbread?

Leftover cornbread should be stored in an airtight container or covered in plastic wrap and kept at room temperature.  If stored properly, it’ll last 3-5 days.

Can you freeze cooked cornbread?

​Yes!!  You can absolutely freeze cornbread that has already been baked.  Place it in a freezer bag, remove as much air as possible and seal tightly.  Freeze for up to 2-3 months.

Gluten Free Cornbread Recipe 

Make this recipe gluten free by using an all-purpose gluten free flour blend in place of the wheat flour.

How to make cornbread with crispy edges?

​Make it a skillet cornbread!!  See the recipe notes for details on how to do this.

Can I use this recipe to make corn muffins?  

Yes!!  Simply scoop the batter into lined muffin cups and bake.  It’ll make 12-14 muffins.  Baking time will be shorter.

How to reheat cornbread?

Place a few slices on a microwave-safe plate and microwave for 15-20 seconds. Add more time if needed.

A slice of cornbread with butter and honey on a wire rack.
A slice of homemade cornbread on a wire rack drizzled with honey and a pat of butter.
4.94 from 16 votes

Homemade Cornbread

Author: Kelsey
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
16 squares
This deliciously sweet cornbread is always a hit. It's easy to make, buttery and perfectly moist!

Equipment

  • One 8×8 or 9×9-inch baking dish

Ingredients
 

Cornbread Batter

  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Honey Butter Glaze

  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375℉ and grease an 8×8 or 9×9-inch baking pan* with cooking spray.
  • In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, sugar, honey and the egg. Then whisk in the buttermilk.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry; stir until combined.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish.
  • Bake for 18-22 minutes*.

Make the Glaze

  • Combine the honey and butter in a small microwave-safe bowl.
  • Microwave just until the butter is melted.
  • Stir the mixture until combined then brush over the warm cornbread.
  • Serve warm.

Notes

Homemade Buttermilk:  Making your own buttermilk is simple.  Pour 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice in to a one cup liquid measuring cup.  Add enough regular milk to make 1 cup; stir and let sit for a few minutes.
Make the Cornbread in a Cast-Iron Skillet:  You can make the cornbread in a cast iron skillet if you prefer!  You’ll want to make sure the skillet is 9 or 10 inches in diameter and well-greased.  If using a 10-inch skillet, it may take less than 18 minutes, so start checking the cornbread around 15 minutes.
Double the Recipe:  Doubling this recipe is simple.  Double the ingredients then pour into a greased 9×13 inch pan.  The cornbread will be a little more thick and will therefore take a bit longer to bake.  If the top is browning before the center is done, cover with foil until fully baked.
Baking Pan Size:  I use a 9×9 inch metal baking dish and it took right at 18 minutes to bake.  If you use an 8×8-inch pan or use a pan that’s glass, it could take a bit longer to bake.

Nutrition

Calories: 167kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 2.3g | Fat: 7.2g | Saturated Fat: 4.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 150mg | Potassium: 45mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 247IU | Vitamin C: 0.02mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 0.6mg
“Dance Around the Kitchen” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating




33 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I love how much thought went into this recipe. Your efforts are appreciated!

  2. Just a true southerner from Tennessee. My perfect cornbread only has three ingredients: cornmeal, large egg, and buttermilk!

  3. 5 stars
    I also am a lover of the box mix you mentioned in your post. So I was excited to give your recipe a try. My mind is blown. You nailed it. This recipe is absolute perfection. So much flavor, soft and moist. I’ll never buy that box mix again!!! Thank you for an amazing recipe!

    1. Reviews like this are why I do what I do. Thank you, Tisha!!! Glad you enjoyed it as much as we do! ~Kelsey

      1. This is the cornbread recipe I was looking for! From the images I knew I would love it and after reading all the effort you put into this I just knew it would be amazing! I had another recipe I always used but wasn’t quite satisfied with. This is perfection for me ❤ Thank you for sharing!
        I made a mixture of mini muffins and regular muffins. My 5 year old foodie daughter was in love, cornbread is one of her favorites and she was enjoying this so much she had a second muffin after her meal.

        1. Hi Karen! That’s so great to hear – as a mama with littles around the same age, making food that they enjoy is always a bonus!! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
          Kelsey

  4. 5 stars
    Amazing!! Tastes so good if you melt a stick of butter and a lot of honey together and pour it on top when it comes out of the oven

  5. 5 stars
    Easy to make & my family couldn’t keep their hands off of it

    1. I love hearing this!!! Glad you all enjoyed it! Thanks for the great review, Ashley! ~Kelsey

  6. Jeff Kirk says:

    I would like to make 1/2 the size, but you don’t list the ingredients by metric weights. I didn’t know anyone still wrote recipes using volume.

    1. Hi Jeff – I’m in the US and using volume measurements (cups, teaspoons, etc) is pretty standard here. I wonder if there’s a volume to metric conversion online somewhere? Hope that helps. ~Kelsey

  7. 5 stars
    So delicious 🤤 I’m definitely going to make this again! Thank you for all your hard work.

  8. 4 stars
    Just made the cornbread. Looking forward to eating it with chili. Great recipe! I’m just sad that my oven is so bad at regulating temperature so, it might be dry! Ugh! It’s not your recipe, though. It’s a very simple and easy recipe that I love! I’ll definitely make it again!

  9. 5 stars
    This is best cornbread I’ve ever made. It was so moist and delicious. No more jiffy for me. Thank you for sharing!

  10. 5 stars
    Hands down the BEST cornbread recipe I’ve ever tried, and trust me I’ve tried MANY! Simply delicious, moist and oh, did I say delicious?! I’ll never try another recipe, this is the cornbread for me and my family. Everyone absolutely raved about it! Thanks so much for sharing this!

    1. Wooohooooo!!! So happy to hear, Charlie! Makes all the recipe testing worth it to hear everyone enjoy it! ~Kelsey

  11. I must say this is the best cornbread recipe I’ve ever came across.. I love it, I’ll forever use it. Thank you so much for sharing this!

    1. Yay!!!! SO happy to hear! Doing all the testing was fun & totally worth the end result! 🙂 ~Kelsey

  12. 5 stars
    I just tried this recipe. I made it in a cast iron skillet, let me tell you this was fabulous. I’ve tried making cornbread but could not master it. This was quick and delicious.

  13. I used a similar recipe of wheat flour and corn meal, oil or butter, sugar, egg, milk/ buttermilk for about 50 years. Then I learned about heirloom corn meal from a few companies such as Anson Mills and others. High grade corn meal is sweet enough it does not need sugar, so one can use honey or sorghum syrup. I do use about 1/4 cup of sugar due to my preferred taste. Moreover, one does not need to add wheat flour. Simply soak 2 cups of corn meal in 1 cup of milk or butter milk for 30-60 minutes, then fold in two eggs, some softened butter, baking powder, and pour into a smoking oiled or browned butter cast iron skillet. Bake at 400-425 degrees for 22-25 minutes. I will add some brands of corn meal are like eating sawdust, however inexpensive Indian Head cornmeal works fairly well using the above.

  14. 5 stars
    Loved this cornbread! The only thing I changed was instead of white sugar, I added brown. My 17-year-old NEVER eats cornbread but he ate half the pan this time! Will definitely make this again!

  15. Elizabeth says:

    5 stars
    Definitely the very BEST. Thank you.

  16. 5 stars
    This recipe is a must for anybody using cornbread. I will never not use this recipe. Amazing results everytime I’ve baked it. Thank you so much for this wonderful gift.

  17. Made this with gluten free baking flour and it turned out wonderful!

  18. 5 stars
    I have made your cornbread for a church gathering and it was gone in a flash!
    So happy all went well with your new daughter.

  19. Michele Carpino says:

    5 stars
    Yummy and easy to make. The only thing I did different was to make the butter milk I added 2tbs of vinegar to one cup of milk. Once the corn bread was baked I spread the honey butter glaze on and baked for 5 more mins, made the top a little more crispy. This is definitely a keeper. Congratulations on the baby.