This Cornbread Recipe Is So Versatile and Tender (2024)


Danilo Alfaro

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Danilo Alfaro has published more than 800 recipes and tutorials focused on making complicated culinary techniques approachable to home cooks.

Learn about The Spruce Eats'Editorial Process

Updated on 02/15/24

Tested by

Diana Rattray

This Cornbread Recipe Is So Versatile and Tender (2)

Tested byDiana Rattray

Southern-cuisine expert and cookbook author Diana Rattray has created more than 5,000 recipes and articles in her 20 years as a food writer.

Learn about The Spruce Eats'Editorial Process

Cornbread is easy enough to make and appreciate for its simplicity, as it's comprised of basic ingredients such as cornmeal, flour, eggs, butter, sugar, and milk. However, you can also think of it as a template you can customize to your tastes by adding and subtracting ingredients that pair well with corn.

But one of the easiest ways to jazz up a basic cornbread is by adding sweet corn, which creates more layers of that sweet and sunny flavor.

Fresh corn is always best if it's in season, cut straight off the cob, but frozen is nearly as good. Just let the corn thaw and then drain it completely, patting dry if needed. Canned corn also works in a pinch, too, as long as you drain it thoroughly before mixing it into the batter.

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what you'll need to make this cornbread recipe

"One cup of sifted flour weighs 4 ounces, and the cornbread was perfect with that amount and the 1 cup of cornmeal. I made it twice—once with 1/2 cup of sugar and again with 1/4 cup of sugar. Both were very good. I used thawed frozen corn. It was a quick, easy preparation." —Diana Rattray

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A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted

  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup half-and-half

  • 2 eggs, beaten

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (or shortening), melted, plus extra for greasing the dish

  • 1/2 cup sugar, optional if you prefer unsweetened cornbread

  • 1 cup sweet corn (fresh, thawed, or canned, drained well)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

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  2. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Thoroughly grease a 9 x 9-inch baking dish.

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  3. Sift together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.

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  4. Combine the half-and-half, eggs, butter (or shortening), and sugar (if using).

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  5. Add half-and-half mixture to the flour mixture and combine just until the flour is moistened, no more than 10 to 15 seconds. Then fold in the corn, but don't overmix the batter or your cornbread will be too tough.

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  6. Pour the batter into your prepared baking dish and bake the cornbread immediately.

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  7. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cornbread comes out clean and the edge of the cornbread starts to separate from the baking dish. Cut into slices or squares. Serve and enjoy.

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  • You can mix up the dry ingredients and the liquid ingredients and hold them separately for a few hours. But once you've combined the dry with the wet, it's best to get the batter in the baking dish and bake as soon as possible.
  • When greasing your baking dish, don't do it too early in the process, or the shortening can melt and pool at the bottom of the dish.
  • You don't need to flour the baking dish. Using butter, shortening, or plain cooking spray is sufficient.

Recipe Variations

  • To add a bit of zest to your cornbread, stir in one or two finely diced fresh green chiles (such as Anaheim or poblano) or about 1/4 cup of canned diced green chiles.
  • You can also use melted bacon fat in place of some or all of the butter. For that matter, crumbled bacon would also be a welcome addition to this recipe.
  • If you want to make muffins instead of cornbread in a baking dish, they'll cook more quickly, so start checking them after 18 minutes or so. When the edges pull away and a toothpick comes out dry, they're done.
  • If you're following a low-carb diet, this keto cornbread recipe will work for you.

How to Store and Freeze

  • Store homemade cornbread in an airtight container or zip-close bag at room temperature for up to two days or in the fridge for up to one week.
  • To freeze cornbread, wrap it with foil or freezer wrap. For best quality, freeze cornbread for up to three months.

What Is the Difference Between Stone-Ground and Regular Cornmeal?

Stone-ground cornmeal is ground between moving stones, which means the final meal contains some of the hull and germ. It is coarser than most packaged cornmeal you find in the supermarket. Regular cornmeal may be stored in a dark, cool place, but stone-ground should be transferred to an airtight container and stored in the refrigerator for up to three months. Freeze cornmeal in an airtight container for longer storage.

What Can I Substitute for Milk in Cornbread?

If you don't have any dairy—milk or half-and-half—here are some options. The texture and taste may be slightly different from what you are accustomed to, but as long as the ingredient has some fat and some liquid, it can work. Use the same amount of these liquids as you would the milk.

  • Water and 1 1/2 tablespoons extra butter
  • Soy, almond, oat, or other nondairy, plant-based milk can be used. Coconut milk would lend a subtle tropical flavor to the cornbread.
  • Thinned-out plain yogurt or sour cream adds some tang and richness.
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
10g Fat
26g Carbs
5g Protein


Nutrition Facts
Servings: 9
Amount per serving
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g13%
Saturated Fat 6g28%
Cholesterol 64mg21%
Sodium 358mg16%
Total Carbohydrate 26g10%
Dietary Fiber 2g6%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 1mg6%
Calcium 130mg10%
Iron 2mg9%
Potassium 143mg3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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This Cornbread Recipe Is So Versatile and Tender (2024)
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