Southern Cornbread is tender and savory, not sweet like cake. This easy southern cornbread recipe is perfect with beans, BBQ, or soup!
How do you like your cornbread? I grew up in Mississippi where cornbread is savory, not sweet. Maybe it’s because we drink our tea so sweet down there that we don’t need sugar in our cornbread too :) Once I moved away from the south, I did grow a taste for sweet corn muffins, but those are a whole different animal. Sweet cornbread tastes like cake or a breakfast muffin to me, and it’s much more crumbly than this version.
When we went home to the Gulf Coast for Thanksgiving had lunch at a really good soul food restaurant. I got pork chops with rice and gravy, turnip greens, and green beans. (It’s a pleasure to eat vegetables in the south because they are all generously seasoned with bacon!) Of course my meal included a big square of southern cornbread. It reminded me how much I love this recipe!
If you have a wheat intolerance or allergy like I do, you can still make this cornbread recipe! Just substitute spelt or gluten-free flour (whichever you prefer) for the all-purpose flour. It’s also super easy to make a bigger batch. The recipe instructions say to use a 10″ iron skillet, but you can use a 13 x 9″ pan using the same method if you want to double the recipe.
This southern cornbread recipe calls for buttermilk, but do you know that it’s super easy to make “faux” buttermilk?? Just add a teaspoon of lemon juice per cup of milk, and let it sit on the counter for a few minutes. You’ll see the milk start to curdle. Stir it up, and voila! Buttermilk!
This cornbread pairs perfectly with Pan-Fried Fish and Greens or Southern Lima Beans. It’s also the base of some of my favorite recipes like Chili Cornbread Pot Pie and Slow Cooker Cornbread Dressing. Let me know what you serve it with, or upload a photo of your version on Instagram and tag me @wearychef! I always love to see what you are cooking :)
Perfect Southern Cornbread Recipe
Perfect Southern Cornbread is savory, not sweet. You’ll love this easy recipe that bakes up easy in about 20 minutes!
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 8 1x
- 1 tablespoon shortening
- 1 cup corn meal
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour (gluten free OK)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/2 teaspoon table salt)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- dash cayenne pepper optional
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 egg slightly beaten
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place shortening in a 10″ iron skillet (or 8″ square baking dish) and place in oven to melt.
Combine corn meal, flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and pepper (if desired) in a mixing bowl.
Beat buttermilk and egg together in a measuring cup, then stir into dry ingredients.
Carefully remove skillet with melted shortening from oven, and pour cornbread batter into pan. Use a spoon to gently swirl the shortening over the top of the batter, trying to avoid scraping the bottom of the pan. Return to oven and bake for 17-20 minutes, until golden brown.
- Prep Time: 3
- Cook Time: 17
Need an iron skillet? This is the one I use every day! (affiliate link)
My Southern-raised husband is grateful that I found this recipe. Delicious!
Thank you for sharing it.
Great! Thanks for the compliment Judith! How about sharing a photo of your Perfect Southern Cornbread?
I have been looking for a great corn bread recipe and this is it. I made a small modification. I added bacon grease too the mix and too the pan.
Diane McGill says
Just made this, and it’s very good. I wanted a non-sweet cornbread, and this fits the bill.
I use bacon grease in place of shortening!
Andi Gleeson says
Sounds good to me! I don’t always have bacon grease handy, but I do have some in the fridge now. I’ll try it your way next time :) Thanks, Sharon!
It isn’t a good southern meal without cornbread, that is for sure!