This homemade buttermilk cornbread is a classic made-from-scratch southern staple, striking the ideal balance between overly crumbly and excessively moist cornbread.
I think in another life I was a quintessential southern grandmother, or perhaps I just identified as one. What else could explain my obsession with cast iron cookware and classic southern staples such as buttermilk cornbread? Heck, I always thought I would look good with my hair in curlers, or, you know, with hair.
This Buttermilk Cornbread recipe is one of my oldies but goodies. It is a tried and true recipe that I have worked on refining over the years to get it just right.
Dry vs Moist Cornbread
Though personal preferences regarding cornbread vary from person to person, I find the ideal cornbread strikes a balance between being dry and crumbly and being overly cake-like. If you like your homemade cornbread to be more dry and crumbly, then you need to add more cornmeal and subtract flour. If you like your cornbread to taste more like a moist cake, then you need to subtract cornmeal and add more flour.
Oh, and don't even think about making homemade cornbread from scratch in anything but cast iron! Not that it won't work, it probably will still work. However, for such an old-timey, classic recipe you need to honor the heritage of the generations that passed this delicious side dish to the present day. Failing to do this will likely result in the offending cook being haunted by the ghosts Colonel Sanders, Robert E Lee, or that old dude from Dukes of Hazzard.
Using buttermilk makes the best cornbread, as it imparts a noticeable tanginess to the bread. I use a cast iron muffin pan to create Buttermilk Cornbread Muffins, but you can certainly use a 9" cast iron skillet for this recipe as well (affiliate links). Just see the adjustment in baking times listed in the recipe. Personally, I enjoy making buttermilk cornbread into muffins best, because I enjoy the texture of the crisp edges, but either method is great.
When is Cornbread Done
Cornbread is done when a toothpick can be inserted into the center and removed cleanly, without batter sticking to the toothpick. For cornbread muffins, this will take around 12 minutes, but plan a 20-25 minute cooking time if using a skillet.
What to Serve with Cornbread
Cornbread is a great dish to bring to a picnic or potluck, however, I think it really shines when served with a hearty chili recipe. Cornbread is also great with other southern classics like Red Beans and Rice or Gumbo. Finally, don't forget BBQ! Serve some Buttermilk Cornbread along with your Grilled Country Style Ribs, BBQ Ribs, or Pull Pork.
Homemade Buttermilk Cornbread from Scratch
- 9" Cast Iron Skillet or Cast Iron Muffin Pan
- 1 ¼ cups coarsely ground Cornmeal
- ¾ cup Flour
- ¼ cup Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 2 teaspoon Baking Powder
- ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
- ⅓ cup Whole Milk
- 1 cup Buttermilk
- 2 Eggs (lightly beaten)
- 7 tablespoon Butter (melted)
- 1 tablespoon bacon fat (or butter)
- Preheat oven to 425 and place 9" skillet (or muffin pan) inside to heat while making the batter.
- In large bowl whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Whisk in milk, buttermilk, eggs, and melted butter. Whisk until thoroughly combined.
- Remove muffin pan or skillet from oven and set temperature at 375. Coat the inside of the cast iron with bacon grease and pour in the batter.
- Place in the center of the oven and cook for 12 minutes for muffins or 20-25 minutes with a skillet. It is done when a toothpick can be inserted in the center and come out clean.
- Allow to cool 10 – 15 minutes prior to serving.
This Buttermilk Cornbread recipe was originally published on FoxValleyFoodie.com November 15, 2015.
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Great recipe. My mom used to make corn bread in a cast iron mold that was shaped like little ears of corn. I disappeared during many moves. I haven't come across one in my searches, do you have any ideas.
Fox Valley Foodie
Thanks! I know exactly what you are talking about, I've seen them in the past! I did a little searching around for you and found some for sale on Amazon: Lodge L527C3 Cast Iron Cornstick Pan, Pre-Seasoned, 5-stick