How to Make Delicious Southern Style Cornbread

Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to one of the most delicious and authentic Southern dishes that will ever touch your lips. Today, we’re going to talk about the one and only Southern Style Cornbread Recipe. I can promise you that this recipe will take your taste buds on a trip down South, filling your mouth with a perfect balance of sweet and savory flavors that you just can’t get enough of.

Southern cornbread is an old-fashioned staple in American soul food, serving as a classic side dish for BBQs, chili dinners or holiday feasts. It’s made with simple, wholesome ingredients like yellow cornmeal, flour, buttermilk, baking soda and bacon drippings. But don’t let the simplicity fool you – this humble cornbread is packed with bold and rich flavors that make it stand out from any other northern cornbread.

What’s more, this recipe is super easy to make – even if you’re not an expert in the kitchen! I’ve prepared a step-by-step guide with clear instructions and tips to ensure you won’t go wrong in making this Southern delicacy. So put on your apron, preheat your oven and get ready for some authentic Southern comfort food at its best!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Southern Style Cornbread
Southern Style Cornbread

Do you love soul food? Do you crave old-fashioned cornbread like your grandma used to make? Then let me introduce you to my Southern Style Cornbread Recipe!

What’s so special about this recipe, you ask? Well, for starters, it’s incredibly easy to make. With just a handful of ingredients, including yellow cornmeal, buttermilk, and bacon drippings, you can have a hot and fresh batch of cornbread in no time.

But it’s not just the simplicity of the recipe that makes it stand out. It’s the taste. This Southern-style cornbread is moist on the inside and crispy on the outside with just the right amount of sweetness. You can enjoy it as a side dish for chili or soup, as a base for stuffing or dressing, or even as a sweet corn cake with some honey butter.

And let’s not forget about the versatility of this recipe. You can easily substitute ingredients based on your preferences or what you have on hand. Don’t have buttermilk? No problem – just use regular milk with a splash of vinegar or lemon juice. Need to make it gluten-free? Swap out the wheat flour for some gluten-free flour mix. The possibilities are endless!

So whether you’re hosting a family gathering or just looking for some comfort food to enjoy at home, this Southern-style cornbread recipe is sure to satisfy your cravings and leave you wanting more. Give it a try and become the star of your next potluck or dinner party!

Ingredient List

 Golden brown and ready to eat!
Golden brown and ready to eat!

Here are the southern-style cornbread recipe ingredients that you will need:

  • 1 ½ cups of yellow cornmeal

  • ½ cup of all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon of table salt

  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon of baking soda

  • 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar (optional)

  • 2 large eggs, beaten

  • 1 ½ cups of buttermilk

  • ½ cup of water

  • 4 tablespoons of bacon drippings or unsalted butter

If you’re planning to make a larger batch, the following ingredient measurements will work:

  • For a 2x batch, double the measurements

  • For a 3x batch, triple the measurements

Make sure to adjust these ingredient amounts accordingly for your desired portion size.

The Recipe How-To

 A slice of southern comfort.
A slice of southern comfort.

Now that we have our ingredient list covered and ready, it’s time to get cooking. This southern style cornbread recipe is simple yet full of flavor. Follow the steps below to create the perfect golden-brown, crispy edged cornbread.

Step 1: Preheat the Oven

Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C) while preparing the batter. Make sure you clean your oven first so that your bread doesn’t stick or get burnt because of any remaining grease.

Step 2: Prepare the Batter

In a medium bowl, mix together 1 and 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal, 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon of baking powder, 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Mix until it’s fully combined using a whisk or a spatula.

Step 3: Add the Wet Ingredients

In another bowl, whisk together 1 large egg, add in 2 tbsp of vegetable oil and stir. Next, add in 2 cups buttermilk and blend until combined thoroughly.

Step 4: Combine Dry and Wet

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mixture and stir until everything is just combined. Don’t overmix the batter! Stop stirring as soon as you no longer see large lumps.

Step 5: Grease the Skillet

Now take a cast-iron skillet, add in 4 tbsp of bacon drippings or vegetable oil to grease it well. Make sure that skillet is hot by putting it in the preheated oven just for a few minutes. While it’s still hot, pour in the batter making sure that it’s evenly spread out.

Step 6: Bake!

Place the skillet in the preheated oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean in the center of the cornbread.

Step 7: Serve Warm

Once done, take out the skillet and let it cool down for a couple of minutes. Cut the bread into slices and serve with your favorite toppings such as butter or honey.

Now that you have this southern style cornbread recipe nailed down, you can customize it by substituting yellow cornmeal with stone-ground white cornmeal or adding chopped jalapeños for some spice. Experiment with different variations to find out what works best for your taste buds!

Substitutions and Variations

 The perfect sidekick to any meal.
The perfect sidekick to any meal.

Y’all know that the beauty of southern-style cuisine lies within its versatility, and my Southern Style Cornbread recipe is no different. Here are some simple substitutions and variations you can try to customize this recipe to your liking:

– Bacon Drippings: While bacon drippings add an undeniable smokiness and depth of flavor to this cornbread recipe, you can also use melted butter or vegetable oil.

– Self-Rising Cornmeal Mix: If you can’t find self-rising cornmeal mix at your grocery store, don’t sweat it! Simply substitute 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of table salt for every 1 cup of self-rising cornmeal mix.

– Buttermilk: Don’t have buttermilk on hand? No problem! You can make your own by adding 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to a measuring cup and filling up to the 1-cup mark with regular milk. Let it sit for 5 minutes and voila – homemade buttermilk!

– Flour Mix: Some folks like their cornbread a little denser or lighter than others. For a denser cornbread that’s closer in texture to cake, use all-purpose flour instead of self-rising flour. On the other hand, if you prefer a lighter and fluffier cornbread, replace half of the all-purpose flour with cake flour.

– Sweetness: If you like your cornbread sweeter, add 1/4 cup of granulated sugar to the dry ingredients mixture. For an old-fashioned sweet cornbread cake, increase the sugar to 3/4 cup.

– Skillet Cornbread: Want a more rustic presentation? Use a cast iron skillet instead of a baking dish. Just be sure to preheat both the skillet and oven so that your skillet cornbread cooks evenly.

Remember, the possibilities for customization are endless. Mix and match these substitutions and variations until you get the perfect southern style cornbread recipe that’s uniquely yours!

Serving and Pairing

 Warm, buttery, and delicious.
Warm, buttery, and delicious.

When it comes to serving and pairing your southern style cornbread, you have a lot of options. This classic side dish is versatile, and pairs well with various proteins, vegetables or soups.

One classic way to serve cornbread is to slather it with butter while it’s still warm. The butter will melt and permeate the bread, making each slice mouth-wateringly delicious. You can also drizzle honey or maple syrup over the bread for a sweet twist.

Cornbread pairs well with many traditional southern dishes too. Try serving your cornbread alongside barbeque brisket, pulled pork, or fried chicken for a true southern feast. If you prefer a more vegetable-focused meal, pair your cornbread with collard greens, black-eyed peas or roasted sweet potatoes.

For those looking for a modern touch, try serving your cornbread with avocado toast or crushed avocado guacamole on top of the bread. You can also top it off with sliced jalapenos or fresh herbs for an extra burst of flavor.

Cornbread is also an excellent accompaniment to soup or chili. Serve your warm cornbread on the side alongside a hearty bowl of beef stew or chili filled with beans and vegetables.

No matter how you choose to serve your southern style cornbread, you are sure to enjoy it with any delicious entree that finds its way to your table!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Just like grandma used to make.
Just like grandma used to make.

As a busy chef, I know how important it is to be able to prepare dishes ahead of time. The great thing about this Southern Style Cornbread recipe is that you can absolutely make it ahead of time to save yourself some precious minutes.

To make it ahead of time, simply follow the recipe instructions and then let the cornbread cool completely before storing it. You can wrap the cornbread tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

To reheat the cornbread, you have two options: oven or microwave. If you choose to reheat in the oven, preheat your oven to 325°F (165°C) and place the cornbread on a baking sheet. Cover the cornbread with aluminum foil and bake for about 10-15 minutes until heated through.

If you prefer to use a microwave, wrap individual portions of cornbread in a slightly damp paper towel or napkin and microwave on high for 20-30 seconds until warm.

You may also freeze your Southern Style Cornbread if you’d like to store it for an extended period of time. Simply wrap the cooled cornbread tightly in plastic wrap and then again with aluminum foil before placing it in an airtight freezer bag. The cornbread should stay fresh in the freezer for up to three months.

Which option you choose will depend on your situation and your preference, but knowing that you have several options when it comes to storing and reheating this delicious Southern-style staple means that you always have easy access to tasty homemade cornbread whenever your heart desires it!

Tips for Perfect Results

 The ultimate comfort food.
The ultimate comfort food.

Hey there, fellow Southern food enthusiasts! As a chef who specializes in Southern-style cuisine, I would like to share with you some tips and tricks for achieving the perfect Southern style cornbread. Here are some things to keep in mind while whipping up this classic recipe.

1. Use Buttermilk: The unique tanginess of buttermilk can enhance the overall flavor of your cornbread. The acidity also increases the leavening power, giving the bread its signature fluffy texture.

2. Preheat Your Pan: A cast-iron skillet is the go-to pan for making Southern-style cornbread because it distributes heat evenly throughout the batter. To ensure a crispy crust, preheat the skillet before adding the batter.

3. Combine Ingredients Carefully: Overmixing can result in a tough and dense bread. When mixing your ingredients, stir just until everything is combined and then stop.

4. Don’t Overbake: Overbaking your cornbread will leave it dry and crumbly. Keep an eye on it – when you see that golden-brown edge around the outside, take it out of the oven.

5. Experiment with Mix-Ins: While the traditional version of cornbread is delicious as is, you can try adding bacon bits, jalapeños or even cheese to give it an extra kick of flavor.

6. Use Quality Ingredients: Using quality ingredients such as stone-ground cornmeal or organic dairy products can make a significant difference in final taste and texture.

7. Let It Rest: Once your Southern-style cornbread is baked, let it cool for a few minutes before cutting into it. This allows time for the inside to set completely and avoid crumbling.

8. Adjust for Altitude: If you are living at high altitude locations like Denver, reduce baking powder or soda quantity called in any recipe by 15-20%.

There you go! These simple tips will help you make perfect Southern-style cornbread every time. Keep experimenting with variations and toppings, and you may discover the next soulful Comfort cuisine sensation. Enjoy!

Bottom Line

So there you have it, my southern style cornbread recipe. It’s not just any old cornbread recipe; it is a piece of southern culinary history that has been passed down through generations. I hope you enjoyed reading this recipe article as much as I enjoyed cooking it for you.

Remember, the secret to the perfect southern-style cornbread lies in using the right ingredients, cooking technique, and, of course, love. There are many versions of cornbread out there, but nothing compares to the taste and texture of a classic southern-style cornbread that’s cooked with bacon drippings.

Give this recipe a try and share it with your loved ones. Trust me; they will thank you for giving them a taste of southern cooking at its finest. Don’t be afraid to experiment with variations and substitutions until you find your perfect flavor.

Southern-style cooking has always emphasized simple and comforting flavors that evoke a feeling of warmth and familiarity. Whether you’re making it for your family or serving it up to guests, one thing’s for sure: Southern-style cornbread is bound to leave an unforgettable impression on everyone who tries it.

So go ahead and indulge in America’s Test Kitchen-approved soul food by following my classic southern-style cornbread recipe. Get ready to taste the essence of Southern hospitality on every crunchy bite!

Southern Style Cornbread

Southern Style Cornbread Recipe

Purists will recoil in horror because as my Texan friend told me “no self respecting Southern woman would ever put sugar in her cornbread recipe” but even she admitted this is good and could not believe there was sugar in it. This bread is thin and crusty yet still tender and moist. It’s nice and savory, not sweet like Northern corn breads which tend to taste like cake. This is from Cook's Illustrated.
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Calories 97 kcal


  • 4 teaspoons bacon drippings (or 1 tablespoon melted butter and 1 teaspoon vegetable oil)
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal, preferably stone ground
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup water, rapidly boiling
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg, beaten lightly


  • Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Set 8-inch cast-iron skillet with bacon fat (or vegetable oil) in heating oven.
  • Measure 1/3 cup cornmeal into medium bowl. Mix remaining cornmeal, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in small bowl; set aside.
  • Pour boiling water all at once into the 1/3 cup cornmeal; stir to make a stiff mush. Whisk in buttermilk gradually, breaking up lumps until smooth, then whisk in egg. When oven is preheated and skillet very hot, stir dry ingredients into mush mixture until just moistened. Carefully remove skillet from oven. Pour hot bacon fat (or melted butter) from the skillet into the batter and stir to incorporate, then quickly pour batter into heated skillet. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and instantly turn cornbread onto wire rack; cool for 5 minutes, then serve immediately.
  • Note: Though it is preferable to make cornbread in a preheated cast-iron skillet, a 9-inch round cake pan or 9-inch square baking pan, greased lightly with butter and not preheated, will also produce acceptable results if you double the recipe and bake the bread for 25 minutes.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 58gCalories: 97kcalCarbohydrates: 14.1gProtein: 2.8gFat: 3.5gSaturated Fat: 1.2gCholesterol: 26.2mgSodium: 271.9mgFiber: 1.1gSugar: 2.3g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Breads, Grains, Kid-Friendly, Quick Breads
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