One of my all-time favorite things to make is this homemade cornbread recipe. It is so incredibly easy to make and is so much better than the Jiffy or other brands of premade mixes. And I love the smell of freshly baked cornbread that fills my home after making it.
There is something about making cornbread completely from scratch that makes it that much better. And to be honest, you only save a couple of minutes of time using a premade mix.
The results are fantastic. Perfectly golden and slightly crisp exterior with a light, fluffy, yet hearty interior crumb, it is truly a delight to eat. The ultimate comfort food side dish. If I can do it, you can do it. Let’s get baking!
Homemade Cornbread Ingredients
In order to make the best homemade cornbread, you will need a handful of readily available ingredients. Most of which I am willing to bet you already have at home in your pantry. You will need:
- Egg – The egg helps create the perfect texture and structure for the cornbread as well as help it rise.
- Milk – I generally use full-fat whole milk, but you can use 2%, skim, almond, etc.
- Oil – The oil will add moisture and keep the crumb tender and moist. Vegetable, canola, olive, coconut, and avocado oils will all work.
- Butter – The melted butter will add color as well as flavor.
- Sugar – The sugar will add sweetness as well as tenderness to the crumb. It also affects the overall color of the cornbread. I generally use white granulated sugar, but brown sugar works amazing too. With that said you can reduce the sugar or leave it out altogether. But I like a little sweetness to my homemade cornbread.
- Flour – Use all-purpose flour
- Cornmeal – The star of this recipe. You can’t make cornbread without cornmeal.
- Salt – The salt will balance out the flavors as well as enhance the flavor of the other ingredients.
- Baking powder – This will give the cornbread most of its rise.
NOTE: If for some reason you can’t find cornmeal you can make it at home with dried field corn (if you can find that), or you can make it with popcorn kernels. Check out this homemade cornmeal recipe to learn how to make it.
- 8x8 inch baking pan
- Cooking spray
- Parchment paper, optional
How to Make Cornbread from Scratch
Begin by preheating the oven to 400F/205C.
Add the egg, milk, oil, and melted butter to a large bowl and mix until well combined. Then add in the sugar and mix.
TIP: You can adjust the amount of sugar to your tastes, or also substitute some of the sugar for honey. Or leave it out altogether. There is a bit of a debate about whether sugar belongs in cornbread or not. And to that the answer is simple, make it how you want.
In a separate medium bowl mix together the flour, cornmeal, salt, and baking powder with a fork or whisk.
Now dump all the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until well combined. It should be fairly runny. And just like that, the homemade cornbread batter is ready. Super easy right?
As I mentioned earlier it doesn’t take that much more time to make the batter from scratch instead of using a premade mix. Only a few minutes more to measure out the ingredients.
How to Bake Homemade Cornbread
Prepare an 8x8-inch pan by spraying it with cooking spray or using shortening and flour on the bottom and edges. You can also use parchment paper which is something I really like to use. It just makes it super easy to get it out of the pan and makes cutting it really easy too.
NOTE: You can also use a cast iron skillet if you have one of those. Some people only bake cornbread in cast iron. It definitely is a great way to go! These are often times cut into wedges instead of squares.
Pour all the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until it is lightly golden on top and a toothpick comes out clean.
Once baked remove it from the oven and allow it to cool for about 15 minutes or so. Slice and serve! I can usually get 9 to 16 servings depending on how large I want the squares to be.
Serve them however you like. I love eating homemade cornbread plain or adding butter and honey on it or jelly and jam. It goes amazingly with chili as well.
Homemade Cornbread FAQS
What is cornmeal?
I have been asked this question quite a bit. Common questions I get are “Is cornmeal the same as corn flour or polenta?” “Do I have to use cornmeal are there any substitutes?”
Cornmeal is a coarse flour called a meal made from ground dried field corn. It comes in coarse, medium, or fine grain. All of which can be used to make cornbread. In other countries finely ground corn is referred to as “corn flour”. Yet in other countries “corn flour” is the same as “corn starch” in the States which is different than cornmeal and can not be used in this recipe.
Cornmeal is a staple in many American foods and is generally very easy to find at nearly every grocery store in the baking aisle where the flour is sold.
Can I bake cornbread in a muffin pan?
YES! You can certainly use this recipe in a muffin pan instead of a baking pan or cast iron skillet. Spray the muffin pan with cooking spray or use paper muffin cups. Then fill up each cup about 2/3 full. Bake at the same temperature (400F/205C) for 15 to 20 minutes instead of 20 to 25 minutes.
What is the best kind of cornmeal to use for cornbread?
I prefer to use classic yellow cornmeal in my cornbread. But you can certainly use white cornmeal as well. The overall color of the baked cornbread will be different, however.
How long does cornbread last?
Homemade cornbread will last 2 to 3 days if stored in an airtight container or ziplock bag and at room temperature. It will last up to a week in the fridge. It can also be frozen as well for a few months.
Can I make this homemade cornbread gluten-free?
Yes! All you need to do is switch out the all-purpose flour with a 1:1 Gluten-free flour mix. My favorite one to use is the Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flour mix.
Can I make cornbread dairy free?
Yes! Just make sure to use almond milk instead of dairy milk. And use only oil instead of a combination of butter and oil. It will wind up being 1/2 cup of oil instead of 1/4 cup of oil and 1/4 cup of butter.
Here are other recipes you may like:
The Best Homemade Cornbread Recipe
- 8x8 inch baking pan
- cooking spray
- Parchment paper (optional)
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup of milk whole, 2%, skim, almond, etc. (237ml)
- 1/4 cup of oil vegetable, canola, olive, coconut, avocado (60ml)
- 1/4 cup of butter melted (56g)
- 1/3 cup of white sugar or brown sugar 66g
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour 120g
- 1 cup of cornmeal 180g
- 1/4 tsp of salt 1g
- 2 tsp of baking powder 8g
- Preheat the oven to 400F/205C. Make sure the main rack is in the middle position.
- Add the egg, milk, oil, and melted butter to a large bowl and mix until well combined. Then add in the sugar and mix.
- In a separate medium bowl mix together the flour, cornmeal, salt, and baking powder with a fork or whisk.
- Now dump all the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until well combined. It should be fairly runny.
- Bake in a greased or sprayed 8x8-inch baking pan for 20 to 25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Use parchment paper as well if you like.
- Once baked remove it from the oven and allow it to cool for about 15 minutes or so. Slice and serve!
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