Learn how to make an easy cornbread recipe without buttermilk. It is not sweet but perfectly savory with so much flavor. Using simple ingredients, it's a perfect side dish to accompany your next Southern feast.
Everyone needs a delicious cornbread recipe in their repertoire. Sure, you could use a boxed cornbread mix, but you likely have all of the ingredients in your pantry to make a homemade cornbread already, so why not.
I'll share with you today an easy recipe for what I consider to be the best cornbread.
Sweet vs Savory Cornbread
I don't know where the rumor started that southern cornbread is sweet, but I have been eating cornbread my whole life in southern states and was always served savory cornbread.
Yes, it has a hint of sweetness, but it is a far cry from your Jiffy cornbread mix.
This is not a sweet cornbread recipe. If you are looking for something sweet, this is not your recipe. It is savory with a hint of sweetness to round out the flavor, but I wouldn't call it sweet.
I don't get into the southern vs northern cornbread debate. I just cook what I know, and to me, this is traditional cornbread.
Is buttermilk necessary for cornbread?
Diehard cornbread purists will tell you, yes, cornbread absolutely has to be made with buttermilk, but I beg to differ. My cornbread is very tasty and only uses milk and butter for the liquids.
I don't typically keep buttermilk in my kitchen. I just don't have a need for it. I do however always have milk on hand, and you never know when the mood will strike for a yummy hot slice of homemade cornbread.
I would rather have a cornbread recipe that is no frills, no fuss, and uses versatile ingredients that I always keep on hand than be a purist about it.
The ingredients for homemade cornbread are simple. You likely already have most of them in your kitchen already.
cornmeal: Cornmeal is simply ground up corn. They come in different textures, like fine, medium and coarse. I chose a medium grind for my cornbread because I like the texture that it gives. You can also use a fine grind cornmeal if you prefer less bite that the medium grind lends. White cornmeal or yellow cornmeal both work, but I like the classic look of the yellow cornmeal.
flour: An unbleached all-purpose organic flour is what I use. You could also use an all purpose 1 to 1 gluten free flour that bakes like an all purpose flour.
baking powder: This is our leavening agent to give the cornbread a little lift.
salt: You gotta have flavor in your cornbread, so a good amount of salt is needed.
sugar: Not a lot. Just a little to bring out the flavor of the corn without making it sweet.
milk: Whole milk will give the best results but you could substitute another milk or or milk alternative.
butter: I like to use a salted grass fed butter like Kerrygold, but any salted butter will work. I prefer butter over vegetable oil, not only for the flavor but also because I avoid cooking with vegetable oil.
olive oil or bacon drippings: This is for greasing the baking dish. Bacon grease is what my grandma uses and grandmas know what's up.
How to make homemade cornbread
Preheat oven to 400 degrees f. If using a cast-iron skillet preheat it with the oven. If using a glass dish, there is no need to preheat the dish. A cast iron pan will give it a crispier crust on the bottom.
Mix cornmeal, flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder) in a large bowl with a whisk until well combined.
Pour in melted butter, milk, and egg.
Whisk until there are no lumps and dry ingredients are fully incorporated into the wet ingredients.
Grease baking dish or cast iron skillet with 1 T. olive oil.
Pour batter into baking dish or hot skillet. Using a flexible scraper spatula, scrape out the cornbread batter into a 8 x 8 glass baking dish or 8-9 inch cast iron skillet.
Smooth out the top so it is even.
Bake in 400 degree preheated oven for about 25 minutes until top is golden brown and cornbread comes out clean when a toothpick is inserted.
What to serve with homemade cornbread
Cornbread is particularly good with any kind of soup, chili, or saucy comforting dish. It's perfect for mopping up liquid.
Storing leftover cornbread
We love this cornbread so much that we rarely have leftovers, but if you do storing it is easy.
- Allow to cool completely before storing so moisture isn't trapped inside the wrapping.
- Wrap in plastic wrap or cover with foil to keep from drying out, and leave it at room temperature for a day or two.
- If you would like to store it any longer than that, it keeps in the fridge for about a week or in the freezer in an airtight container or freezer bag for 2-3 months.
More homemade breads and quick breads to try:
Cornbread recipe without buttermilk
- 8x8 glass baking dish or 8-9 inch cast iron skillet
- flexible scraper spatula
- 1 cup cornmeal medium grind
- 1 cup flour all purpose unbleached
- 1½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1½ cup milk
- 1 egg
- 4 tbsp butter melted
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Mix dry ingredients (cornmeal, flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder) together with a whisk in a large bowl until well combined.
- Pour in milk, egg, and melted butter and whisk until the dry ingredients are fully incorporated with the wet and no lumps are present.
- Grease 8x8 glass baking dish or 8-9 inch cast iron skillet with olive oil, covering bottom and sides.
- Pour in cornbread batter into baking dish, using a scraper spatula to scrape out the entirety of the batter.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle.
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