Christmas/ Desserts & Treats/ Sides/ Thanksgiving

Easy Skillet Cornbread Recipe

October 28, 2020 (Last Updated: November 18, 2023)

This easy skillet cornbread recipe, has a crisp golden crust, a moist and fluffy center and a super tender crumb. It’s a tried and true recipe that only requires a few simple ingredients, 5 steps, and 30 minutes. Cast iron skillet cornbread is perfect for holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas or year-round as the perfect side!

easy skillet cornbread.

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This easy skillet cornbread recipe, has a crisp golden crust, a moist and fluffy center and a super tender crumb. It’s a tried and true recipe that only requires a few simple ingredients, 5 steps, and 30 minutes. Cast iron skillet cornbread is perfect for holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas or year-round as the perfect side!

You can make everything from breakfast to dessert in a skillet. For more delicious skillet recipes, try Italian Sausage Skillet Lasagna, Skillet Baked Hoisin Ginger (Mongolian) Meatballs and Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie next.

cornbread baked in a skillet.

Skillet Cornbread Recipe

Living in Canada, cornbread is not as popular as it is for example in the southern states. My family and I would always take trips to Buffalo, NY stop at the Walmart nearest to the border and pick up a few boxes of the Jiffy brand cornbread mixes. We would make them, devour them, and be satisfied…until we made it from scratch ourselves!

Classic recipes can often be intimidating because heck, they’re classic…and sometimes when you don’t know – you shy away from it. But this homemade cast iron skillet buttermilk cornbread recipe is so unbelievably easy and absolutely irresistible.

Here’s Why You’ll Love this Recipe

  • Quick & Easy: Learn how to make cornbread in a cast iron skillet with this easy recipe. No mixer required! Just simple on-hand ingredients and delicious cornbread that’s ready in under 30 minutes. 
  • Better than Jiffy: Ditch the box of Jiffy and prepare skillet cornbread from scratch for amazing flavour and texture.
  • Absolutely Delicious: This skillet cornbread is sweet with subtle savoury notes. The moist, tender crumbs are buttery and mouthwatering.

The History of Cornbread

Cornbread was created out of necessity, from ingredients that were plentiful at the time, and has grown into the delicacy we know it as today.

Cornbread is an American staple, but why is this? Corn was so predominant among southern crops that it was known as the gold of the south. It was easy to grow and prepare. Other crops like wheat and rye didn’t store well in the heat and humidity of the South, but corn did.

Early southern cornbread recipes did not include sugar, and it was referred to as corn pone. Corn pone consists of cornmeal, water, and maybe a dash of salt and is baked over an open fire or in a hearth. As time progressed, ingredients like buttermilk, sugar, eggs, bacon fat, baking powder and baking soda, were incorporated into the recipe, until it was transformed into the cornbread recipe we know and love today.

a piece of skillet baked cornbread.

What’s the Difference Between Southern Cornbread and Regular Cornbread?

This skillet cornbread recipe as opposed to Southern Cornbread is more on the sweeter, lighter side of the spectrum and more cake-like i.e. fluffy or like the Jiffy brand. This recipe is a northern-style cornbread with southern-style techniques – melt “fat” in skillet, pour “fat” in batter and pour batter back into hot skillet.

Southern cornbread is more on the savoury side (often using bacon or animal fat in the recipe), less sweet, and uses a coarser grain of cornmeal. Baking in a screaming hot cast iron skillet is also the traditional cooking equipment used in Southern-style cornbread. Traditionally, as mentioned above it omitted ingredients like eggs, milk and sugar however it has been adapted to incorporate some of these ingredients.

What’s Needed to Make This Recipe (Kitchen Tools and Equipment)

  • 9-inch Cast Iron Skillet or Square Baking Dish – Use this to cook and contain the cornbread.

Skillet Cornbread Ingredients and Ingredient Notes

  • Salted Butter: Melted butter adds richness and moisture.
  • All Purpose Flour: This tenderizes the cornmeal. If you use self-rising flour, leave the baking powder and salt out of your recipe.
  • Fine Yellow Cornmeal: Cornmeal is the main ingredient in cornbread and provides the characteristic corn flavour and texture. It also has a distinct yellow hue.
  • Granulated White Sugar: Sugar adds sweetness.
  • Baking Powder and Baking Soda: These leavening agents help the cornbread rise, making it light and fluffy. Use fresh baking powder and baking soda for the desired effect.
  • Salt: Salt enhances the overall flavour of the cornbread, balancing out the sweetness.
  • Eggs: Eggs enrich the cornbread batter and act as a binder, providing structure to the cornbread, and preventing it from falling apart.
  • Pure Honey: This natural sweetener is a must for sweet skillet cornbread. Add more for drizzle if desired.
  • Buttermilk: The acidity in buttermilk tenderizes the gluten in the flour. This results in a softer, more tender crumb in the cornbread, making it moist and less crumbly. Buttermilk also has a slightly tangy taste due to its acidic nature. This tanginess adds depth and complexity to the flavour.

How to Make Skillet Cornbread

  1. Mix the batter. In a large mixing bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together. Then mix in the wet ingredients just until combined.
  2. Get the Cast Iron Skillet Sizzling Hot. Melt the butter in your cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat on your stove. This helps to create a perfect golden brown crispy exterior. Make sure you hear the batter sizzle in cast iron skillet when you pour it in – there’s nothing like it!
  3. Bake the Cornbread. Bake for 20-23 minutes, or until golden brown on top, around the edges and toothpick comes out clean when inserted directly in the middle.

How to Make Buttermilk from Scratch

No buttermilk for your skillet cornbread? If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can make it yourself at home using milk and lemon juice or vinegar.

Add 1 tablespoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice or white vinegar to 1 cup of room temperature milk. Mix together and let sit for 5 minutes. This will allow the milk to slightly curdle, and give it a more buttermilk-like texture and taste.

Recipe Substitutions and Tips

  • No Skillet Cornbread: You don’t need to make this recipe in a cast iron skillet, a greased baking dish will do for Northern-style cornbread.
  • Savoury Cornbread: Use just a pinch of white sugar and omit the honey.
  • Whole Milk: You can use whole milk instead of buttermilk. It makes for a lighter texture.

Serving Suggestions and Tips

Cornbread has always been a favourite of mine. It goes so well with a variety of dishes but if you love southern food it’s a staple alongside classics like collard greens, beans, fried chicken, mac n’ cheese, sweet potato, candied yams and a glass of sweet tea.

You can also enjoy cornbread alongside other classics like chili, soups, stews, BBQ, meats and literally just about anything.

Recipe Notes and Tips for the Best Skillet Cornbread

  • Make sure your skillet is screaming red hot before you pour in your batter, it should sizzle. This is how you get that golden brown crust.
  • Whisk dry ingredients together for about a minute to remove any lumps which helps create a smooth batter and even fluffy texture.
  • If you prefer a denser cornbread, omit the 1/2 tsp of baking soda. This helps to make the cornbread slightly more fluffy and cake-like rather than crumbly.
  • Do not overmix your batter. This can lead to a “tougher” textured cornbread. When adding wet ingredients to dry, mix until just combined.
  • Allow the skillet cornbread to cool for a few minutes before slicing.
easy skillet cornbread.

Can I Make Skillet Cornbread Ahead of Time?

Cornbread tastes best when freshly prepared but you can make it up to one day ahead.

Storage Instructions

Store leftover cornbread at room temperature for up to 5 days. It will last up to 1 week in the fridge but it will lose moisture.

Reheating Instructions

Allow leftover cornbread to come to room temperature or place in the microwave for 15 seconds to warm it up.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the best pan to bake cornbread in?

A cast iron skillet is the best pan to bake cornbread in. It distributes heat evenly, creating a crispy crust on the bottom and edges while keeping the center moist.

Does cornbread taste better with oil or butter?

Using butter or oil for cornbread is a personal preference. If you prefer a cake-like cornbread, oil makes the cornbread moister and lighter. Whereas butter adds a rich creamy flavour that contributes to a tender crumb.

What causes cornbread to stick in a cast iron skillet?

If the cornbread sticks to the skillet, it probably wasn’t properly preheated or greased. “Season” the skillet (melt butter on the skillet) before adding the cornbread batter.

Interested in more Delicious Recipes? Check These Out!

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easy skillet cornbread.

Easy Skillet Cornbread

Taneisha Morris
This easy skillet cornbread recipe, has a crisp golden crust, a moist and fluffy center and a super tender crumb. It's a tried and true recipe that only requires a few simple ingredients, 5 steps, and 30 minutes. Cast iron skillet cornbread is perfect for holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas or year-round as the perfect side!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Sides, Thanksgiving
Cuisine American
Servings 5 servings
Calories 466 kcal

Equipment

  • 9-inch cast iron skillet

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1/2 cup Salted Butter melted
  • 1 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Fine Yellow Cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup Granulated White Sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 cup Pure Honey more for drizzle if desired
  • 1 cup Buttermilk

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and place rack in the middle position.
  • Heat unmelted butter in your 9-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat on stovetop until melted. Turn heat off, set aside and allow butter to cool slightly. Alternatively, you can use a 9-inch square baking dish. If so, grease with butter and place in oven to heat up.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add your dry ingredients – flour, cornmeal, granulated white sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt. Whisk together until thoroughly mixed together.
  • Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients then add in eggs, honey, and buttermilk, mix until just incorporated. Then add melted butter. Pour batter into hot skillet (you should hear a nice sizzle as it hits the pan).
  • Bake for 20-23 minutes, or until golden brown on top, around the edges and toothpick comes out clean when inserted directly in the middle. Allow to cool slightly before slicing, and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Overmixing – do not overmix your batter. This can lead to a “tougher” textured cornbread.
No Buttermilk – add 1 tablespoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice or white vinegar to 1 cup of room temperature milk. Mix together and let sit for 5 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 466kcalCarbohydrates: 66gProtein: 6gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 459mgPotassium: 144mgFiber: 4gSugar: 24gVitamin A: 567IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 59mgIron: 2mg

Note, the nutritional information is calculated using a nutrition facts calculator. It is a rough estimate and can vary based on products used.

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Leave a star rating and a comment below! You can also tag @theseasoned.skillet and use #theseasonedskillet on Instagram!
Keyword(s) buttermilk cornbread, cast iron skillet cornbread, cornbread, cornbread recipe, easy skillet cornbread, How to make cornbread in a cast iron skillet, How to make skillet cornbread, skillet cornbread, skillet cornbread recipe, skillet cornbread with cornmeal, Southern skillet cornbread, sweet skillet cornbread

22 Comments

  • Reply
    Samiah Nicole
    November 8, 2020 at 6:53 pm

    Such a tasty cornbread recipe! No more Jiffy for me!

    • Reply
      Taneisha Morris
      November 11, 2020 at 9:29 am

      Yes! Absolutely no going back! Love to hear it! Thanks Samiah!

  • Reply
    Robin
    November 8, 2020 at 10:33 pm

    I have never had cornbread made with buttermilk before…interesting twist!

    • Reply
      Taneisha Morris
      November 11, 2020 at 9:33 am

      Yes! Always done for a delicious twist!

  • Reply
    Crystal
    November 8, 2020 at 10:44 pm

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! I can’t wait to make my cornbread stuffing with it!

  • Reply
    Marta
    November 8, 2020 at 11:15 pm

    Cornbread is a favorite of ours. So much so, that our minis jumped at the change of making this and it was great! Thanks!

    • Reply
      Taneisha Morris
      November 11, 2020 at 11:51 am

      Yes!! It’s such a classic, just the best! Thanks Marta!

  • Reply
    Barry J.
    November 9, 2020 at 11:51 am

    This cornbread recipe sets the standard! I had all of the ingredients on hand and this was so easy to whip up. I no longer have an excuse to use boxed cornbread. Thanks for the recipe.

    • Reply
      Taneisha Morris
      November 11, 2020 at 11:56 am

      That’s one of my favourite parts, the ingredients are usually always on hand already!! Thanks so much Barry!

  • Reply
    Capri
    November 9, 2020 at 5:51 pm

    This cornbread is absolute perfection! Thank you for the step-by-step instructions and photos! Making this cornbread was a breeze 🙂

    • Reply
      Taneisha Morris
      November 11, 2020 at 11:59 am

      Hi Capri! You are so welcome, and I’m glad it worked out! Thank you!!

  • Reply
    Chenée Lewis
    November 9, 2020 at 7:19 pm

    SO good! A perfect go-to cornbread recipe. Love the bit of sweetness from the honey!

    • Reply
      Taneisha Morris
      November 11, 2020 at 12:05 pm

      Yess!! I couldn’t agree more, thanks for the amazing feedback Chenee!!

  • Reply
    Britney
    November 10, 2020 at 7:20 pm

    This cornbread is one of the best I’ve ever had! It’s slightly sweet and the texture was absolutely perfect. I paired this with some chili and it was so good! Thanks for this recipe!

    • Reply
      Taneisha Morris
      November 11, 2020 at 12:09 pm

      Yayyyy! So happy to hear this feedback Britney! Thanks so much, also cornbread + chili = perfect match!!

  • Reply
    Immaculate Ruému
    November 11, 2020 at 6:26 am

    A great recipe that results in a delicious fluffy cake-like cornbread! So so good!

    • Reply
      Taneisha Morris
      November 11, 2020 at 12:17 pm

      Thank you so much Imma! Love hearing the results were as I intended!

  • Reply
    Jazz
    November 11, 2020 at 11:27 am

    This was my first homemade cornbread and it came out wonderfully. Thanks for the easy recipe–will be making it again!

    • Reply
      Taneisha Morris
      November 11, 2020 at 12:20 pm

      That’s amazing! I’m so happy and glad you tried out my recipe! Thanks so much for the feedback Jazz!

  • Reply
    Tamara J
    November 11, 2020 at 12:36 pm

    Oh my goodness this cornbread was amazing! I made it with a big pot of chili and it was perfect. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

    • Reply
      Taneisha Morris
      November 11, 2020 at 6:12 pm

      Chili + Cornbread are the perfect matchup!! So glad you enjoyed! Thanks so much for the feedback Tamara!

  • Reply
    Aesha
    February 13, 2022 at 12:39 pm

    This cornbread was absolutely delicious. I could not stop watch the oven for the timer to go off.

    Enjoy it. ?
    Thank you!!!!

  • Leave a Comment

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