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!
This buttery cornbread is the perfect side dish to enjoy with a bowl of soup, stew or chili. Try it with White Chicken Chili, Vegetarian Chili, Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup or Instant Pot Chili.
- 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.
This looks like a perfect specimen of cornbread. Love the buttermilk and honey additions, you don’t see that in every recipe!
I am definitely a carb-loving bread person, especially when it comes to cornbread! This whole grain version sounds delicious, Kristine! I love that it’s on the healthier side and packed with flavor. I would love a slice or three of this for breakfast!
I just want a slab of this and a big bowl of chili for dunking! This looks SO moist and I love the touch of sweetness from honey!
Is there anyway I can get the nutrition facts for this recipe
This won awards.
Chili cornbread competitions need this recipe if you want to win. It’s sweet , with vanilla tones that feels like a vanilla pod is grazing your tongue.
You salivate and you don’t know why, nut you do know why. It’s the best cornbread available.
BTW switched honey with lemon creme honey.
This was easily the BEST whole grain cornbread I’ve ever had. Unbelievable!
YAY! I’m so happy to hear that!
Very good recipe! We are avoiding cane sugar ! We love the results! Thank you!
I’m so glad you liked this cornbread! It’s one of my favorite recipes.
Can I make this in a cast iron skillet?
Yes! You can bake it in a 10-inch cast iron skillet. No modifications are needed to the recipe or bake time. 🙂
Please always give a serving size for nutrition label, weight or measured in inches or 1 standard muffin tin.
I usually cut the 8 x 8 pan of cornbread into 12 squares and I have clarified that the nutrition information (which is only an estimate) is for 1 of 12 servings. You will get 12-14 muffins from the recipe, so the nutrition information will be about the same for each muffin as indicated in the recipe already.
I made this cornbread to accompany a batch of Orca bean chili and it made a perfect pairing. My husband is not ususally a fan of cornbread and said this is the best cornbread that I’ve ever made! I’ll certainly being keeping this recipe.
I am somewhat of a “cornbread snob”. This recipe blew me away! Made it for family (doubled the recipe) and they gobbled it up. It was sweet enough to eat with just butter. Family couldn’t believe it was a healthier version…they liked the addition of wheat flour (couldn’t find bleached wheat flour so it was a little darker than the usual normal color but that didn’t matter). Made it to go along with the Instant Pot Chili…dinner was a huge success! Perfect for a cold day! Will be making this cornbread many times over this winter! One note…make sure to FULLY melt the butter at the beginning….I partially melted it and had to use an immersion blender prior to adding the cornmeal and flour. Still turned out wonderful but could have saved some time by fully following the directions!
I’ve been making cornbread for years using the recipe on the cornmeal box, but it was always a little dry. This cornbread is moist with just the right amount of sweetness and a tender crumb. Do you think I could make it with gluten-free flour?
Hi Kathleen, I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed this recipe! While I haven’t tried it myself, I think you could use a 1:1 gluten free flour in place of the white whole wheat flour.
Thanks, Kristine. I’ll let you know how the gluten-free version turns out.
Could I use Stevia to sweeten this to cut the carbs down?
You would need to experiment and with your preferred liquid sweetener alternative as I have not tried that with this recipe.