Easy Cornbread Recipe - Handle the Heat
Filed Under: Bread | Savory | Side Dish | Thanksgiving

Easy Cornbread Recipe

By Tessa Arias
  |  
July 13th, 2022
4.80 from 5 votes
4.80 from 5 votes

This Easy Cornbread recipe is moist, buttery, fluffy, and so delicious. Topped with jalapeño honey butter. Your friends and family will love this recipe at any summer BBQs or as a side dish for Thanksgiving!

Yield: 10 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook: 40 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Rich, buttery, slightly sweet, and oh-so-corny 😉
Texture: Moist, fluffy, yet crumbly.
Ease: Extremely easy. It’s almost impossible to mess this up.
Appearance: Just about perfect.
Pros: Super easy and great as a side dish for any BBQs or potluck. And perfect for Thanksgiving recipes like stuffing and/or dressing too!
Cons: None.
Would I make this again? Yes, probably for Thanksgiving.

This is truly the best easy cornbread recipe I’ve EVER tried.

The texture of this cornbread recipe is ultra moist, tender, and buttery. The taste is perfectly sweet thanks to the honey.

I’ve even included a recipe for jalapeño honey butter. You just can’t enjoy cornbread without honey and butter in my opinion!

You may never buy pre-made cornbread or a box mix again after you see how simple and quick it is to make cornbread from scratch.

This recipe is also a perfect base for Thanksgiving stuffing and dressing.

In the meantime, you’ll just have to serve this cornbread on the side with some soups or hearty, warming chili.

How to Make the Best Cornbread Recipe

What is Cornbread?

Cornbread is a fairly simple combination of basic kitchen ingredients, plus cornmeal, but it’s always an impressive, delicious side to bring to any gathering, family dinner, or potluck. This moist, flavorful cornbread contains buttermilk and sour cream for so much moistness and flavor. It also uses real corn for an extra pop of flavor, extra sweetness (without too much sugar), as well as extra moisture. Serve with a side of butter (or flavored butter – recipe below!) or honey, and people will be asking you to bring it to every gathering for years to come.

What’s the difference between Northern-Style Cornbread and Southern-Style Cornbread?

This recipe is for a Northern-Style cornbread. It’s sweetened with both honey and sugar and contains lots of rich ingredients like eggs, buttermilk, milk, and sour cream. This makes it ultra rich and more cakey, not crumbly. It stands out all on its own… but with a dollop of flavored butter and/or a spoonful of honey, it’s simply amazing.

Many southerners would say sugar has no place in cornbread. That’s likely because the first versions of cornbread were made with just cornmeal, salt, and water as a part of many daily diets. Southern-style cornbread tends to be more crumbly.

Ingredients for Northern-Style Cornbread:

  • Eggs – binds the ingredients to avoid a cornbread that crumbles apart.
  • Buttermilk – helps to thicken the batter, provide extra flavor, and activate the baking soda so every square of cornbread stands tall and proud.
  • Milk – the ratio of equal parts buttermilk and milk provides the best texture!
  • Sour cream – adds richness and a bit of a tenderizing tang.
  • Honey – lends sweetness and a hint of floral flavor.
  • Yellow cornmeal – preferably stone-ground cornmeal. More on this ingredient below!
  • All-purpose flour – measured correctly, so you don’t end up with chewy or dense cornbread.
  • Baking powder & baking soda – helps the cornbread rise. Learn more about the differences between these two leaveners in my Baking Soda vs. Baking Powder article!
  • Granulated sugar – sweetens and moistens the cornbread.
  • Fine salt – brings out all the other flavors.
  • Butter – always use unsalted butter in baking so you’re in control of the amount of salt.
  • Fresh or canned corn – the star ingredient! This boosts the corn flavor and provides a slight contrast of texture.

What Type of Cornmeal Should I Use?

I prefer stone-ground cornmeal for cornbread, as it’s generally a slightly coarser product, and typically boasts a corn-forward flavor – which is exactly what we’re looking for in cornbread. If you don’t have stone-ground cornmeal, or can’t find it at the supermarket, then any yellow cornmeal will work just fine. Just be sure not to accidentally use cornstarch or corn flour, as these are not the same thing and cannot be used interchangeably!

How to Make Cornbread:

  1. Whisk the wet ingredients. Whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, milk, sour cream, and honey.
  2. Whisk the dry ingredients. Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt.
  3. Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Make a well and add the wet to the dry, then stir. Add the melted butter and corn. Stir until just combined.
  4. Bake. Pour into a prepared 9×13-inch baking pan and bake until the top is golden brown and the edges have pulled away from the sides of the pan.

How do I Make My Cornbread Moist? How do I Prevent Cornbread from Being Dry?

Buttermilk and sour cream are my secret weapons here! Buttermilk is used primarily for its pleasant tangy flavor, but it also helps to tenderize and leaven baked goods. I always recommend using real buttermilk for this reason. You can read more about my buttermilk experimentation in my Buttermilk 101 article. The sour cream’s extra fat content, combined with its creamy consistency, means it brings another level of moistness to this cornbread. I recommend using a full-fat sour cream for the full textural and flavor benefits.

Is Cornbread Gluten-Free?

Most cornbreads, including Jiffy Cornbread Mix, contain at least some flour (often whole wheat flour). My recipe contains all-purpose flour, for added structure, so this recipe is not gluten-free.

Can I Use this Recipe to Make Cornbread Muffins?

Sure! Pour the batter until three-quarters full into about 24 muffin tin cavities and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes.

How Long will the Cornbread Stay Fresh?

Wrap leftovers in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container for up to 2 days at room temperature.

Can I Freeze Cornbread?

Yes! Full slabs of cornbread, or sliced portions of cornbread, can be wrapped well in plastic wrap and stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

What to Do With Leftovers of Homemade Cornbread Recipe?

  • Make Cornbread Stuffing
  • Cornbread Dressing – crumble or dice the cornbread to make dressing/stuffing.
  • Cornbread Croutons – to make croutons, brush cubed cornbread with butter and season with a little salt and pepper, and bake in a low oven until crispy.

More Recipes You’ll Love:

4.80 from 5 votes

How to make
Easy Cornbread Recipe

Yield: 10 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Inactive Time 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
This Easy Cornbread recipe is moist, buttery, fluffy, and so delicious. Topped with jalapeño honey butter. Your friends and family will love this recipe at any summer BBQs or as a side dish for Thanksgiving!

Ingredients

For the cornbread:

  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (237 ml) buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (237 ml) milk, at room temperature
  • ½ cup (114 grams) sour cream, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons (42 grams) honey
  • 1 1/2 cups (274 grams) yellow cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
  • 1 1/2 cups (191 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 4 tablespoons (57 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 8 ounces (227 grams) fresh or canned, drained and rinsed sweet corn

For the whipped jalapeño honey butter (optional):

  • 1 stick (113 grams) unsalted butter, divided, at room temperature
  • 2 fresh jalapeños, diced (remove seeds for less spice)
  • 2 tablespoons (42 grams) honey

Directions

Make the cornbread:

  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 375°F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish with butter or cooking spray.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, milk, sour cream, and honey. Set aside.

  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt. Push the dry ingredients up the sides of the bowl to make a well, then pour in the wet ingredients. Stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. Gradually stir in the melted butter. Fold in the sweet corn, being careful not to overmix.

  4. Pour the batter into the greased baking dish. Bake until the top is golden brown and the edges have pulled away from the sides of the pan, 30-40 minutes.

  5. Transfer the baking dish to a wire rack and sit for 30 minutes-1 hour, until just warm. The cornbread is best served warm. Place leftovers in an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Make the whipped jalapeno honey butter:

  1. While the cornbread is baking, in a small sauté pan on medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon (14 grams) of the butter. Add the diced jalapeños and sauté for 1 minute. Set aside to cool.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, whip together the remaining room temperature butter with the honey until fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Fold in the cooled, sautéed jalapeños. Serve with cornbread. If making ahead of time, remove to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Recipe Video

Course : Side Dish
Cuisine : American
Keyword : cornbread recipe, how to make cornbread

This post was originally published in 2011 and was updated in 2022 with new photos and recipe improvements. Photos by Joanie Simon.

Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Find Tessa on  

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Recipe Rating




  1. #
    Elsie S. Stewart — November 17, 2022 at 10:19 am

    I tried this recipe and it’s really good.

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — November 17, 2022 at 12:49 pm

      So glad you enjoyed it, Elsie!!

  2. #
    Lisa — November 15, 2022 at 8:53 am

    Tessa, can you use cake flour instead of all purpose to get a slightly lighter cornbread? If so, would it be the same amount as the AP flour, or does the amount need to be adjusted.

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — November 17, 2022 at 12:47 pm

      Hi Lisa! We haven’t tried that, but we think that would give the cornbread a really cakey texture and odd flavor, so we wouldn’t recommend it.

  3. #
    Fatima — October 6, 2022 at 3:01 pm

    hey Tessa ! can i use white cornmeal instead of yellow cornmeal?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — October 7, 2022 at 11:04 am

      Hi Fatima! We haven’t tried this cornbread with white cornmeal, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work! The flavor might be a little more delicate, as white cornmeal has a more subtle flavor. Let us know what you think once you’ve given it a try! Happy baking 🙂

  4. #
    Josafina — September 14, 2022 at 8:15 pm

    My tenth month old can’t have honey yet even if it’s baked into something. Can I omit the honey? Should I add more sugar?

    Thank you!

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — September 15, 2022 at 11:47 am

      Hi Josafina! I would just skip the honey! It shouldn’t make too much difference to the sweetness, but feel free to add a tiny bit more sugar if you prefer a sweeter cornbread. Let us know how you like it! 🙂

  5. #
    Jennifer — September 8, 2022 at 8:14 pm

    Made this for work and first time overbaked it at 40 minutes but it was still good. I added a drizzle of honey on top. I do prefer mine sweeter so second time I added another tablespoon of sugar and will add honey drizzle on top. Also will bake for 30 minutes. Thank you for a great recipe

  6. #
    Raj V — August 29, 2022 at 8:13 pm

    Can I make this without eggs Tessa? I am allergic… Any good egg substitutes?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — August 30, 2022 at 12:40 pm

      We haven’t tried that, sorry, so I really can’t say Raj! Feel free to experiment and see what works for you 🙂

  7. #
    Emily Larsen — July 15, 2022 at 10:40 am

    Excited to try this recipe as I had recently just said I needed to learn to make cornbread from scratch rather than from a box! Turned out tall, fluffy, moist, and lightly sweetened with a full corn-forward flavor – so yummy! My family was mixed on having whole corn in it, so I might try without next time, but I personally like having the whole kernels in there Definitely will make again!

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — July 15, 2022 at 12:09 pm

      YAY! So happy to hear that you and your family loved this cornbread so much, Emily!!!

  8. #
    Cindy Diehl — July 13, 2022 at 4:20 pm

    Made this tonight… it’s so good. I sautéed the jalapeños for the honey butter but opted to leave them out (knowing my family’s tastebuds and they would love the honey butter without the extra spice). Will definitely save this recipe and make it again. It came together easily and tastes great.

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — July 15, 2022 at 10:19 am

      So excited you and your family loved this cornbread so much, Cindy!!

  9. #
    Karen Gray — July 13, 2022 at 11:15 am

    I am not a fan of corn in cornbread. How will it affect the structure if I leave out the corn?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — July 15, 2022 at 9:21 am

      Hi Karen! We have not tried omitting the corn in this recipe, so I can’t tell you for sure! We like the corn for an extra pop of flavor, extra sweetness, and extra moisture – and it does provide more stability for a thicker structure. If you don’t prefer the corn, feel free to experiment with omitting it and let us know how it goes!! 🙂

  10. #
    MARGUERITE STERLING — November 14, 2021 at 1:36 pm

    Can I make this recipe into muffins?

    • #
      Emily — November 15, 2021 at 2:09 pm

      Hi Marguerite! We haven’t tried that, but it should work fine! You’ll need to decrease the baking time to about 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. Let us know how it goes!

    • #
      MARGUERITE STERLING — November 21, 2021 at 6:41 am

      I made this recipe into muffins. I sprayed the pans with olive oil spray and they released beautifully. I got 22 muffins and baked them for 15 minutes. The corn flavor is very good and the texture is outsatnding. I would have preferred a bit more sweetness to my corn muffin. I will make these again!

  11. #
    Allida Webb — December 11, 2018 at 5:44 pm

    Pjcamp, girlfriend you cracked me up! I hadn’t made cornbread in a long time and just wanted to make sure I wasn’t forgetting baking powder or soda amounts. My mother never put sugar in her recipe. I never hadn’t either till the hubby came into my life. I’m a Texan, and he’s a Nebraska cornhusker. So he’s not really a Yankee except some of his food preferences. I just make him Jiffy mix, rather than desecrate my Mother’s Cornbread recipe. I’m going to use the leftovers in dressing so I dont want sugar in that either! I’ll have to rate this later, but the recipe looks perfect yummy.

  12. #
    Aggie — January 4, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    Love this recipe thank you! My husband likes it sweeter so I added 1/4c sugar and he says it’s not sweet enough. Do you think if I add a 1/2c or 1c it would mess with the baking texture? I also added frozen corn and it was so good! Super easy!

  13. #
    pjcamp — January 28, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    Damn. Y'all Yankees always wreck the cornbread. Allow me.

    Leave out the flour and double up the corn meal. About two cups. What you've got there is a giant corn flavored biscuit.

    Leave out the sugar. Corn is already plenty sweet. It doesn't need help. We're not makin' johnnycake here.

    Heat the oven to 450 with a cast iron skillet in it containing about 1/4 cup of oil.

    You only need the one egg.

    Milk and/or buttermilk until it looks like quicksand. Between 1 and 2 cups but eyeball it.

    When the skillet is blazing hot, pour the batter in. Yes, it will start to fry on the bottom. That's how you know you did it right.

    Cook for roughly 20 minutes. You're really going for something that looks like cornbread, not a specific time. It looks like cornbread when it is (a) dry in the center and (b) pulling away from the sides of the skillet.

    Invert on a plate, slice in wedges, serve hot with lots of butter. Nobody likes cold cornbread.

    If you want it extra crispy, sprinkle some cornmeal into the skillet before pouring in the batter.

  14. #
    kiri — January 23, 2012 at 9:11 am

    cute pic

  15. #
    Sandhya — November 3, 2011 at 9:31 am

    aah looks perfect..
    I just cant believe we are in Nov already!!

  16. #
    mattwrench — November 3, 2011 at 5:20 am

    Can I throw some jalapenos into this recipe or is the cornbread too sweet to make that combo work?

    • #
      handleheat — November 3, 2011 at 5:30 am

      That would work perfect! Yum!

      • #
        mattwrench — November 3, 2011 at 5:49 am

        Thanks!

  17. #
    Purabi Naha — November 3, 2011 at 2:37 am

    This basic cornbread recipe is so useful!! Loved this.

  18. #
    stawojo — November 3, 2011 at 12:32 am

    Wow. That looks great. You have a nice blog. Glad I stopped by.

  19. #
    Jessica — November 2, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    This looks delicious Tessa! All I need is a big bowl of chili to go with!

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