The best Cornbread Recipe! This homemade cornbread is soft, fluffy, extra moist and delicious. It’s the perfect side dish to serve with soup or chili!
I’ve been making this cornbread recipe for years. It’s one of those tried and true favorite recipes that I keep coming back to because it always turns out perfect.
This sweet cornbread is moist and fluffy, with a tender crumb and delicious crispy edges. It’s made with buttermilk and honey for the best rich flavor. You can bake it in a square baking dish or in a cast iron skillet. I’ve done both and the cornbread turns out amazing either way. Spread with some whipped Honey Butter, it is completely irresistible!
The flavor of this homemade cornbread is so much better than cornbread made from a store-bought mix. Once you give this recipe a try and see how easy it is to make cornbread from scratch, you won’t want to use a mix again. The batter for this cornbread is mixed up in just one bowl. It’s super fast and super easy!
- Butter: Butter makes the cornbread especially moist and gives it rich, buttery flavor.
- Applesauce: Unsweetened applesauce adds moisture. I like to use applesauce in baking because it allows us to use less butter or oil without sacrificing flavor or texture.
- Honey: Honey sweetens the cornbread. I have also made this recipe using pure maple syrup instead of the honey and it works well as a substitute.
- Buttermilk: The buttermilk makes the cornbread tender, moist and flavorful. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, follow my recipe for how to make buttermilk. If making buttermilk substitute, it’s best to use whole milk, but any milk will work.
- Egg: An egg provides structure and helps the cornbread to rise.
- Vanilla Extract: For a touch of sweet vanilla flavor.
- Baking Powder: To help the cornbread rise as it bakes in the oven.
- Salt: Salt is essential for flavor.
- Cornmeal: Yellow cornmeal gives cornbread its signature flavor and texture.
- Flour: When making cornbread, use equal parts cornmeal and flour. We prefer this recipe made with white whole wheat flour, but you can also use regular whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour.
What is Cornmeal?
To make this cornbread recipe you will need yellow cornmeal. Cornmeal is made from ground corn, and you can buy it in most grocery stores. It is usually found in the baking aisle. Do not substitute corn flour or cornstarch in this cornbread recipe, as these are different from cornmeal. Learn more here.
How to Make Cornbread
Here is an overview of how to make this easy cornbread recipe. The batter is mixed up in one bowl, starting with the wet ingredients and finishing with the dry. You’ll find the full printable recipe with ingredient amounts and instructions in the recipe card below.
- Melt the butter. I usually melt the butter in the microwave, right in the mixing bowl. You can also melt it in a pan on the stove.
- Whisk in the honey and applesauce.
- Whisk in the buttermilk, egg and vanilla.
- Sprinkle the baking powder and salt over the wet ingredients. Whisk until very well combined. The baking powder will begin to activate immediately, so you want to work quickly from this point on.
- Add the cornmeal and flour and use a rubber spatula to mix them in until just combined. Try not to overmix the batter. Mixing until the dry ingredients are just incorporated will ensure a soft, light crumb in the baked cornbread.
- Pour the batter into a greased baking dish or cast iron skillet.
- Bake until the edges are golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Can I Bake it in a Cast Iron Skillet?
Yes! This recipe is perfect for making skillet cornbread. I often bake this cornbread in a 10-inch cast iron skillet. No modifications are needed to make skillet cornbread with this recipe. If desired you can preheat the skillet in the oven before pouring the batter in. This will give you extra crispy edges. The bake time is the same, if using a 10-inch skillet. If your skillet is larger the cornbread will bake more quickly and if your skillet is smaller it may take a few extra minutes.
Can I Use this Recipe to Make Muffins?
Yes! You can use this recipe to make cornbread muffins, for the perfect individual portions. Muffins will take 12-15 minutes to bake. This recipe makes 14 cornbread muffins.
- Cornbread is a classic side dish for chili. Try it with my hearty Slow Cooker Chili, Turkey Chili or Vegetarian Chili Mac. Crumbled cornbread makes a delicious chili topping!
- We also enjoy this cornbread with our favorite soups. It’s the perfect side for Instant Pot Lentil Soup, Chicken and Rice Soup and Taco Soup.
- It’s delicious with Air Fryer Fried Chicken, Crock Pot Pork Chops and Baked Chicken Breast.
- Serve it with a salad, such as this Salmon Salad, a Spinach Salad or a simple Green Salad.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup honey (or pure maple syrup)
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 cup buttermilk*
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour (or whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Spray an 8x8-inch baking dish or muffin tin with cooking spray (or line with paper liners). Or, lightly grease a 10-inch cast iron skillet. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, melt the butter in the microwave (or melt on the stove and transfer to a large bowl).
- Add the honey and applesauce and whisk to combine. Whisk in the buttermilk, egg and vanilla.
- Add the baking powder and salt and whisk until very well combined. The baking powder will begin to activate as soon as it's mixed with the wet ingredients so you'll want to work fairly quickly from this point on.
- Add the cornmeal and white whole wheat flour. Stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. Be careful not to over-mix.
- Transfer to the prepared baking dish, muffin tin, or cast iron skillet.
- Bake for 22-25 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. (Bake muffins for 12-15 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing.) Serve warm, with butter and honey or as desired.
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