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Easy, Homemade Classic Southern Cornbread

Easy, Homemade Classic Southern Style Cornbread is the best, traditional cast iron skillet cornbread recipe made from scratch. This old fashioned, soul food staple is made with cornmeal and buttermilk and is served sweet or savory (with no sugar) and with a moist interior.  Feel free to add corn or use the batter for muffins!

southern cast iron skillet cornbread on a plate and in a wedge pan with butter

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FOR THE FULL LIST OF INGREDIENTS AND COMPREHENSIVE INSTRUCTIONS, PLEASE SEE THE RECIPE CARD AT THE END OF THIS POST. BEFORE YOU SCROLL, THERE’S IMPORTANT INFORMATION IN THIS BLOG POST.

I have been graciously gifted a cast iron wedge pan skillet from Lodge. I tried out the pan in this recipe. All opinions are my own.

I have always been terrible at cutting and slicing into baked goods. I think I get nervous and the ability to cut even slices of cake or even country cornbread has always been intimidating.

Lodge cast iron wedge pan skillet

Using this wedge pan has worked wonders! I generally coat it will oil and butter and nothing sticks! It’s a lifesaver and will definitely produce pretty cornbread if you are serving it for guests for Thanksgiving or any holiday.

eggs, buttermilk, cormeal mix, sugar, and a stick of butter on a flat surface

How to Make Southern Style Cornbread

  1. Add melted butter to a cast iron wedge pan.
  2. Mix self-rising cornmeal, optional sugar or sweetener, and salt in a mixing bowl.
  3. Add in eggs, buttermilk, and melted butter. Stir.
  4. Pour the mixture into the wedge pan.
  5. Bake.
collage photos of a greased wedge pan skillet, cornmeal in a mixing bowl, and cornbread batter in a mixing bowl

Baking Temperature

The cornbread should be baked in the oven on 400 degrees.

collage photo of cooked cornbread in a cast iron skillet

What Kind of Cornmeal to Use

I like to use self-rising cornmeal mix. Cornbread is usually made with a mix of cornmeal and flour. A self-rising mix will combine the two.

overhead shot of cornbread in a cast iron skillet and southern cornbread on a plate

Self-Rising Cornmeal Mix

Self-rising cornmeal is used in this recipe because it is already mixed with self-rising all-purpose flour (which produces AMAZING cornbread). I recommend you purchase your own, it’s available here on Amazon.

You can make your own by combining 2 cups of cornmeal, 6 tablespoons of all-purpose flour, 3 teaspoons of baking powder, and 1 teaspoon of salt. You can read more about How to Make Self Rising Cornmeal here.

honey drizzled on southern cornbread

Do You Have to Use a Cast Iron Skillet?

My firm opinion is yes if you want the best tasting cornbread, especially one with a crispy crust. A cast iron will also cook the cornbread more evenly. But you can still use this recipe without a cast iron. You can use an 8×8 baking dish/cake pan.

The cornbread will taste much better using a cast iron skillet and it traditionally prepared using one.

Do You Have to Use Baking Powder?

In this recipe, the baking powder is already mixed with the cornmeal mix. In general, baking powder is needed in order for the cornbread to rise.

honey drizzled on southern cornbread

Why Does My Cornbread Crumble?

Southern cornbread is meant to crumble some, period. However, you should be able to slice it and remove pieces from the pan. It should crumble, but it shouldn’t be crumbly. It will begin to crumble as you are eating it.

Be sure not to over mix the batter when you combine the dry and wet ingredients. This is a common baking rule of thumb. Over-mixing will lead to large cracks in the crust and a lot of crumble. Only mix well enough to combine the ingredients.

Why is Cornbread Popular in the South?

Cornbread is so popular because it pairs wonderfully with southern food staples like Southern Baked Mac and Cheese, Southern Mustard Greens Collard Greens, Southern Green Beans, Red Beans and Rice, Tamale Pie, Instant Pot Cabbage, and Louisiana Gumbo.

Click here for a complete list of Southern Soul Food Recipes.

Recipe Tips

  • To get a really crispy crust, be sure to add your batter to a piping hot, buttered skillet.
  • This recipe will produce cornbread that has a crispy crust and somewhat crumbly interior. Southern cornbread is typically a little crumbly, as it pairs well with chili, collard greens, stews, and more.
  • The use of sugar or sweetener is OPTIONAL in this recipe. Using 1/2 cup will produce cornbread with a hint of sweetness. If you like really sweet cornbread, consider adding a cup of sugar or sweetener.
  • You can use vegetable oil instead of butter if you wish.
  • If you are not using a cast iron skillet, simply grease an 8×8 pan using the melted butter and add the batter.
  • Self-rising cornmeal is used in this recipe because it is already mixed with self-rising all-purpose flour (which produces AMAZING cornbread). I recommend you purchase your own, it’s available here on Amazon. You can make your own by combining 2 cups of cornmeal, 6 tablespoons of all-purpose flour, 3 teaspoons of baking powder, and 1 teaspoon of salt.
  • You can substitute/make your own buttermilk if you wish by combining milk and vinegar (or lemon). Get instructions on How to Make a Buttermilk Substitute here.
  • Cornbread is best served hot and fresh, but can be made up to 8 hours ahead of time.
  • I store leftover cornbread in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  • To freeze the cornbread, wrap it in foil or in plastic wrap for 2-3 months.

More Cornbread Recipes

Honey Cornbread
Air Fryer Cornbread
Keto Low Carb Cornbread

Southern Cornbread Dressing
Sweet Potato Biscuits

Get a full listing of Soul Food Thanksgiving Recipes here.

southern cast iron skillet cornbread on a plate and in a wedge pan with butter
Print Pin
5 from 6 votes

Easy, Homemade Classic Southern Style Cornbread

Easy, Homemade Classic Southern Style Cornbread is the best, traditional cast iron skillet cornbread recipe made from scratch. This old fashioned staple is made with cornmeal and buttermilk and is served sweet or savory (with no sugar) and with a moist interior.  Feel free to add corn or use the batter for muffins!
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine American, southern
Keyword cast iron skillet cornbread, soul food cornbread, southern cornbread
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 16 slices
Calories 130kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • You can use a cast iron wedge pan or 10.25 cast iron skillet for this recipe. Pour half of the melted butter throughout the cast iron skillet pan. Reserve 1/2 of the butter for the cornbread mix. If you would like cornbread with a really crispy crust, place the skillet on the stove on medium heat while you mix the batter in the steps below. Adding the batter to a hot skillet will produce really crispy cornbread.
  • Add the cornmeal, salt, and sugar to a mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
  • Next add in the eggs, remaining butter, and buttermilk. Stir to combine.
    Be sure not to over mix the batter. Over-mixing will lead to large cracks in the crust and a lot of crumble. Only mix well enough to combine the ingredients.
    When using the wedge pan I transfer the batter from the mixing bowl to a mixing cup with a spout to make it easier to pour into the wedge pan.
  • Pour the mixture into the cast iron skillet, reserving about an inch from the top. There is enough batter to prepare 2 batches using the cast iron wedge pan.
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted and return clean.
  • I like to cool the cornbread completely prior to slicing and let it cool for at least 20 minutes.
  • A traditional method for removing the cornbread is to flip the cast iron skillet over while it's still piping hot.
    If using a standard cast iron pan, you can slice into the cornbread and then flip the cast iron pan over to remove the pieces.
    If using the wedge pan, glide a butter knife along the edges of each section to loosen the cornbread. You can flip the pan over to remove each piece or simply remove it with the butter knife.

Video

Notes

Southern Cornbread Tips

  • To get a really crispy crust, be sure to add your batter to a piping hot, buttered skillet. 
  • This recipe will produce cornbread that has a crispy crust and somewhat crumbly interior. Southern cornbread is typically a little crumbly, as it pairs well with chili, collard greens, stews, and more.
  • The use of sugar or sweetener is OPTIONAL in this recipe. Using 1/2 cup will produce cornbread with a hint of sweetness. If you like really sweet cornbread, consider adding a cup of sugar or sweetener.
  • You can use vegetable oil instead of butter if you wish.
  • If you are not using a cast iron skillet, simply grease an 8×8 pan using the melted butter and add the batter.
  • Self-rising cornmeal is used in this recipe because it is already mixed with self-rising all-purpose flour (which produces AMAZING cornbread). I recommend you purchase your own, it’s available here on Amazon. You can make your own by combining 2 cups of cornmeal, 6 tablespoons of all-purpose flour, 3 teaspoons of baking powder, and 1 teaspoon of salt. 
  • You can substitute/make your own buttermilk if you wish by combining milk and vinegar (or lemon). Get instructions on How to Make a Buttermilk Substitute here.
  • Cornbread is best served hot and fresh, but can be made up to 8 hours ahead of time.
  • I store leftover cornbread in the refrigerator for up to a week. 
  • To freeze the cornbread, wrap it in foil or in plastic wrap for 2-3 months.
  • The nutrition facts below are calculated using an organic, zero-calorie monkfruit sweetener, as linked in the ingredients above
Recipe Tools Used in this RecipeAs an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition (displayed with net carbs)

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 130kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g
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Nutrition DataMacros are provided as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. This information is calculated using MyFitnessPal.com. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.
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Recipe Rating




Linda

Saturday 21st of November 2020

Amazing! Goodbye Jiffy!

staysnatched

Sunday 22nd of November 2020

Yes! No more boxed cornbread.

RieLogo

Tuesday 10th of November 2020

You say that this is enough batter for 2 batches if you use the cast iron skillet what if you use an 8x8 pan instead of the cast iron. Does this recipe make 2 8x8 pans or just the 1?

staysnatched

Tuesday 10th of November 2020

I've never used an 8x8 pan. You can compare the dimensions and size to that of a 10.5 inch cast iron skillet. It will likely make 1 with some batter leftover. Follow the instructions noted on how high to fill the pan.

Leah

Sunday 8th of November 2020

YUM! I love how hearty yet light, sweet, and savory this cornbread is! Sooooo delicious and the perfect side for so many dinners. Will definitely be adding this to our regular rotation (:

staysnatched

Tuesday 10th of November 2020

Wonderful! That's so good to hear!

Alex

Monday 2nd of November 2020

My days of the Jiffy boxed cornbread are OVER!!! I cannot believe how easy and delicious this turned out. I made it in a cast iron skillet and it turned out perfectly- from the texture to the little touch of sweetness. Also major thank you to Brandi for putting instructions on how to make your own self rising cornmeal since my grocery store didn’t carry it. You will not regret this recipe!

staysnatched

Tuesday 3rd of November 2020

I'm glad you found the instructions helpful!

Kayla

Monday 12th of October 2020

So good!

staysnatched

Friday 16th of October 2020

Wonderful! I'm so glad you enjoyed it.