Updated: May 21
Crumbly, buttery and savory sweet, and so easy to whip up it’s almost embarrassing. Everyone loves cornbread!
Yes, you can change it up 100 different ways, but here is a basic perfect recipe.
Adding fresh corn kernels is an obvious choice. Jalapeño is a classic favorite if you like it with a kick.
Martha Stewart makes a fruited version she considers a cake here: Blackberry Cornmeal Cake . Fabulous for a brunch.
I made it and it was beautiful and delicious, but it’s not for every day. I’m fond of basic cornbread.
If cornbread becomes a regular addition to chili night or family weekend breakfast, here’s a helpful hint to make it super easy and fast:
pre-bag up all the dry ingredients. Get 10 Ziplock bags lined up on the counter and all the dry ingredients out. Measure once, store the bags in the cupboard. All you will need to do is grab a bag, add an egg and buttermilk, melt the butter in the pan and it’s cornbread time.
As simple as cornbread may be, it sparks a zillion strong regional and family emotions. White cornmeal or yellow is a matter of choice, IMO. But stone ground organic always works best for me.
Sweet or not sweet, same. This recipe is just a snidge sweet, just a hint, so if you want it sweeter add a bit more sugar. If you are a hardcore purist, omit the sugar. A word of caution though: sugar does seem to tenderize it, for better and worse. I think this recipe hits the balance.
A few techniques are for certain though:
Cast iron pan, very hot, swirl the butter in it until it foams up and browns and coats the pan, add the browned butter to the batter and then the batter to the pan. Perfect crispy crust guaranteed.
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup buttermilk
6 Tablespoons butter
Preheat your oven and your cast iron 9” pan to 425°.
Combine dry and wet ingredients (except for butter) until just mixed. The batter will be very thick.
Swirl the butter in the hot pan until foamy and brown, coating all the sides and bottom of the pan. Pour the rest of the browned butter into the batter, mix it up a bit and then put the batter into the pan. Return to the oven and bake about 20 minutes. Should look golden brown.
Turn it out with a wide spatula onto a cutting board.
Serve with more butter or maple syrup. Believe it or not: this cornbread warms up in the microwave for a day or two and still tastes great. It’s even good cold. But of course it’s best fresh from the oven.