Perfect Cornbread Recipe

Cornbread pieces in a basket.

Perfect cornbread is soft, ultra moist, lightly sweet, and easy to make (in one bowl.) You’ll never need another cornbread recipe, this is the best!

A stack of cornbread with melting butter.

This easy one-bowl cornbread recipe will be my go-to from now on

I’ve taste tested a lot of cornbread recently (stay tuned for my comparison of store-bought mixes coming up tomorrow!) and I can tell you that not all cornbread is created equal.  Everyone seems to have their own personal preferences and opinions about what cornbread should and shouldn’t be, and this one is unapologetically to my tastes. It’s soft, cake-y, noticeably sweet but not too sweet, and extra moist and rich.

cornbread cut into squares on a cutting board

what you’ll need:

  • cornmeal ~ you may see different varieties at your store. Whole grain, or stone ground cornmeal is coarser and contains the germ and hull of the corn. Most supermarket cornmeal is degerminated and finer ground, which works well for this recipe.
  • flour ~ mixing all purpose flour with the cornmeal gives the cornbread a lighter, fluffier texture.
  • eggs
  • buttermilk ~ cultured buttermilk, which is commonly available in most every supermarket, improves texture and flavor in cornbread. Did you know that buttermilk is a low or non fat product? It’s healthy and so delicious I always keep it in the fridge for baking.
  • sour cream ~ doubles down on what the buttermilk does, but adds that luxe factor.
  • sugar ~ sugar not only sweetens the bread, it serves to bring out the corn flavor. Yes, sugar acts as a flavor enhancer, just like salt.
  • butter ~ brings so much more flavor to cornbread than oil ever could.
  • baking powder and baking soda
  • salt
Cornbread in a basket on a wooden cutting board.

What makes this cornbread recipe perfect?

This recipe ticks all my boxes. Why do I love it so much?

  • Easy to prepare – one bowl, no fuss.
  • Soft, cake-y texture. A lot of cornbread can be dry and crumbly, sometimes even gritty. I use a higher flour to cornmeal ratio for the perfect balance of classic cornbread flavor and a nice soft texture.
  • Lightly sweet. A half cup of sugar is (literally) the sweet spot for this cornbread recipe. It makes it super delicious without veering into dessert territory.
  • Sour cream and buttermilk enrich this recipe and give this cornbread extra flavor. The extra acidity reacts with the leavening ingredients for the perfect rise and texture.
A piece of cornbread topped with butter.

Make this cornbread recipe your own –

There are lots of ways to change up this recipe to suit your dietary needs or ingredient availability.

  • Try another kind of cornmeal, I’m always curious to try the blue or red cornmeal I see at the grocery store. Stone ground, which contains the germ and hull of the corn, will give it a nuttier, more whole grain vibe.
  • Use all buttermilk instead of the buttermilk and sour cream mixture,
  • Replace the sour cream with full fat greek yogurt.
  • Use brown sugar instead of white.
  • If you don’t like a sweet cornbread, try reducing the sugar to 1/4 cup for a very lightly sweet cornbread. Don’t forget that sugar is a flavor enhancer so a little really helps.
A basket of cornbread pieces.

so many cornbreads…

Cornbread pieces in a basket.
Print
4.84 from 6 votes

Perfect Classic Cornbread

Perfect cornbread is soft, ultra moist, lightly sweet, and easy to make (one bowl.) You'll never need another cornbread recipe, this is the best!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Yield 12 servings
Calories 221kcal
Author Sue Moran

Equipment

  • 9×9 baking pan

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (or substitute whole milk)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400F and butter a 9×9 baking pan, or line with parchment paper for easy removal.
    prep shot 9x9 inch baking pan lined with parchment paper
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the melted butter, sugar, sour cream, buttermilk, and eggs.
  • Add the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the wet ingredients and fold together well until no dry pockets of flour remain.
  • Spread the batter into your prepared baking pan and bake for 25-30 minutes until risen and just starting to turn golden brown on top.
  • Let cool briefly before slicing into squares.
    cornbread cut into squares in a basket

Nutrition

Calories: 221kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 173mg | Potassium: 153mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 352IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
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14 Comments

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  • Reply
    Sandy
    August 29, 2021 at 1:00 pm

    5 stars
    This recipe is great. I have a little farm market stand for my farm where I raise dairy goats which I milk 2 times a day along with some beef cows and pigs that I sell at farm gate. I also do a lot of cooking for single meals and baking. Your recipes are great and I am so happy that I follow you. Thanks a million heh.

  • Reply
    Janete
    June 14, 2021 at 7:13 am

    Hi Sue, I made this corn bread recipe. It turned out incredibly wonderful, but I changed some things: I am diabetic, so I cut the sugar to only 1/4 of a cup and 1/4 cup of butter ( it was still moist and delicious). Then I added everything but the kitchen sink to the mix: chopped olives, chopped sun dried tomatoes, pickled jalepino. Peppers, green peppers, roasted red peppers, I adjusted the salt and Voilá, the best corn bread in town. Thanks for the INSPIRATION. I love you! Keep it up.

  • Reply
    Ellen
    May 29, 2021 at 3:32 pm

    4 stars
    HI! Just read your post on corn muffins and commented there, too. I’m a Southerner, and our corn bread is not sweet. I recall making an 8×8 pan of yellow (sweet) cornbread for my parents once, and they were unimpressed (but sweet about it). For us, cornbread is made with white cornmeal, no eggs, milk or buttermilk, and some sort of fat (usually pan drippings or bacon grease). Maybe one or two other touches. And it bakes in a cast iron skillet or a cast iron “corn stick” pan. The top is lovely and golden, but it’s the bottom that’s the best: dark and crispy-crunchy. I rarely eat it anymore because my husband is from Maine and my daughters prefer sweet corn muffins. My mom now lives in a memory care center–I think I’ll whip us up a pan to savor together! I love your posts and have pinned many over the years. 🙂

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      May 30, 2021 at 6:18 am

      I don’t often see white cornmeal, but I love it, it’s so delicate. Your simple skillet recipe sounds amazing, and great idea to make it for you mom.

  • Reply
    Betty
    May 29, 2021 at 3:26 pm

    5 stars
    This is the best cornbread. I added some diced up onion to this and it was so very good.

  • Reply
    Gay
    May 28, 2021 at 10:35 am

    5 stars
    I do not like cornbread or corn muffins! However a relative does. I made these just now as 6 jumbo muffins and they are superb! So glad I tried the recipe!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      May 28, 2021 at 12:48 pm

      Thanks Gay, I love that you got to this recipe so quickly!

  • Reply
    Sandy
    May 28, 2021 at 6:44 am

    12 servings?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      May 28, 2021 at 6:45 am

      You can slice it any size you like!

  • Reply
    Laurie
    May 28, 2021 at 6:42 am

    5 stars
    I use a similar recipe, but my secret weapon is an added can of creamed corn ?
    It gives it that true “corn” flavor and a delicious bite!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      May 28, 2021 at 6:46 am

      Love that idea.

      • Reply
        Nance
        May 28, 2021 at 9:45 am

        Along with a small can of creamed corn I add a small can of diced chilies – mild or hot depending on the audience. Yumm!

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