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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
    Absolutely the best cornbread we have had. My husband and I devoured the whole pan in three meals. I wanted to make another batch right away, then talked myself into waiting maybe a week. Thanks so much Kelsey
    Congratulation to you and your husband on the birth of your beautiful new daughter.

  2. Rick Emerson says:

    Trying your recipe for the 4th of July with a few minor tweeks. Out of honey so using maple syrup. Aded a bit extra salt. About a 1/8 tsp black pepper for some depth, a pinch of nutmeg to round it out, ad a light dusting of paprika on the surface for color and harmony. Thanks, I think it’ll be terrific.

  3. My husband loved this recipe!! & he is not a fan of cornbread. It was super moist, super delicious & super easy! Thanks for all your testing for all us to enjoy! It will go right into my favorites.

    1. I’m so happy to hear this, Margie!!! Glad you and your husband enjoyed it! 🙂