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It's taken me years to perfect this Skillet Cornbread recipe and I'm so excited to share it with you! It's tender and light in the middle and buttery crisp on the outside. I've included ingredient weights and a step by step video tutorial so that your cast iron skillet cornbread will come out perfect every time!
My mother-in-law, MaryHelen, introduced me to southern skillet cornbread. She grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee and in Chattanooga, cornbread is made from scratch with little or no sugar. With a sparkle in her eye she said, "No self respecting Southerner makes cornbread from a box."
I grew up eating Jiffy corn muffin mix - which is somewhere between cornbread and cake. I still think it tastes good, but the ingredient list is a little scary. Even though skillet cornbread isn't sweet, it makes up for it with the richness of melted butter, a little crunch from medium grind cornmeal, and a slight nuttiness from whole grain flour.
Ingredients You Need to Make Skillet Cornbread
- Cornmeal: whole grain preferably medium grind
- White Whole Wheat Flour: or regular whole wheat flour
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Salt: sea salt or kosher salt
- Sugar: white sugar or brown sugar
- Plain Yogurt: mixed with water (¾ cup yogurt to ¼ cup water for 1 cup) or buttermilk
- Frozen Corn: or fresh corn kernels cut from the cob
- Eggs: large or extra-large
- Butter: if using unsalted butter, add an additional ¼ teaspoon of fine salt or ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Avocado Oil: or other high heat oil
I started with this recipe from Cook's Illustrated many years ago and after dozens of changes and tweaks, I believe I've perfected it. If you can find white whole wheat flour, it works well in this recipe. It gives the cornbread a delicate texture, similar to all purpose flour. Regular whole wheat flour makes it more dense, but just as delicious.
Enjoy this with a spread of butter and maybe a swirl of honey along with a simple pot of beans or one of my favorite chilis: White Chicken Chili, Chorizo Chili, or White Bean Turkey Chili. Or serve it with wilted greens and pan roasted pork for a classic southern combination. If you're lucky enough to have some leftover, you absolutely must try this Cornbread Salad, Cornbread Dressing or this Cornbread Pudding! And for a version kicked up with jalapeños, green onions and cheddar cheese, try this Mexican Cornbread.
How to Make Skillet Cornbread
Step 1: Place a 10-inch cast iron skillet in a cold oven and preheat to 400°F.
Step 2: Melt butter and set aside to cool. Combine remaining wet ingredients in a blender. Whisk dry ingredients together and fold in wet ingredients including melted butter.
Step 3: Pour oil into preheated pan and swirl to coat; spread batter in an even layer.
Step 4: Bake at 400°F for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly; serve with a slab of butter!
Skillet Cornbread Recipe Video
- 1 ½ cups whole grain cornmeal preferably medium grind
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt or 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ¾ cup plain whole milk yogurt
- ¼ cup water
- ¾ cup frozen corn
- 2 large eggs
- 8 tablespoons butter (stick) melted and cooled slightly
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil or other high heat oil
- Place a 10-inch cast iron skillet on oven's center rack. Turn oven to 400°F, allowing the pan to preheat.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Set aside.
- In a blender or combine yogurt, water, and frozen corn. Mix until smooth. Add eggs and blend for a few seconds, just until combined.
- Pour yogurt mixture and melted butter into cornmeal mixture. Fold ingredients together with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until combined; don't over-mix.
- With an oven mitt, remove preheated skillet. Add oil to hot skillet and swirl to coat bottom and sides of pan. Pour batter into skillet, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula. Smooth top and place on the oven's center rack.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until knife or toothpick comes out clean. Let cool 5 minutes or more before serving.
Linda Strydom says
Cannot be improved upon! Easy, fast, & always a success. I have made it numerous times (in a countertop oven to boot) & shall stick with this recipe forever more. MANY THXS!
Marissa Stevens says
aww, I love this comment, Linda! I'm so glad you're enjoying the recipe!
Peter bettinelli says
Thank you for the info regarding changing the size of the skillet to 12”. Another question, we have downsized our home and no longer have room for dual ovens, so my question is; can i make the corn bread earlier in the day as i will need the oven for the turkey for 3 hours at 325, cornbread 400. Cook early and reheat?
Marissa Stevens says
Hi Peter! Yes, you can cook it ahead of time and reheat it, covered with aluminum foil, for 8 to 10 minutes in a 350˚F oven. Or turn up the oven after you've taken your turkey out and bake it fresh while the turkey rests before carving?
Peter bettinelli says
Suggestions for extra ingredients for a 12” skillet, increase all by 5%??
Marissa Stevens says
Hi Peter! You'll add about 44% more volume with a 12-inch skillet, so I'd increase the recipe by half (all ingredients multiplied by 1.5). If you drag the servings slider in the recipe card to "12" instead of "8" servings, it will do the math for you. I hope that helps!
I was curious how you made yours. I just made a recipe I found on my own blog yesterday! But I used cornflour. I think I remember a coarser ground cornmeal just kind of continuing to cook, sort of like oatmeal never quits thickening. But maybe I’m wrong, cause yours looks fabulous! I will try yours next.
Marissa Stevens says
I'm excited for you to give this one a try, Mimi!
I love the fact that you used King Arthur Flour's whole-grain corn meal & flour because I don't use anything else! However, I never use sugar in cornbread as that makes it corncake. I never use butter. What I use to most people would be anathema, I use bacon drippings! I keep the drippings in a mason jar in my fridge so they don't get rancid. I use probably 2 serving spoons of the bacon drippings & I place it in my cast iron skillet while it is heating up. I swirl it around in the skillet & add the drippings to my cornbread batter. Before adding my batter to my hot skillet, I lightly sprinkle a few grains of my cornmeal in the remaining bacon drippings in my skillet as it helps to prevent the cornbread from sticking to the skillet. I never fry my bacon; I set my oven @ 400°F. I use a rimmed baking sheet with one of my little racks that you cool your layer cakes on, centered on the baking sheet & make sure that the legs on it are folded down when on the baking sheet. It will hold 1 lb. of center cut bacon. Set your timer for 20 minutes. Watch it closely as you only want your bacon nice & crisp not burnt! I cook an entire lb. of center cut bacon on these days we’ll indulge & have BLT’s. I do my bacon this way because its healthier, I can save my grease & my bacon isn't swimming in grease from frying it. A definite win-win! IF I want a Mexican cornbread I also add some finely chopped onion & a liberal handful of shredded Colby Pepper Jack Cheese, & 1 jalapeno that has been seeded & you must also remove the ribs inside, the buttermilk also cuts any heat from the jalapenos. IF jalapenos aren't your "thing" you can drain & add 1 - 4 ounce can of green chilies to make it more Mexican. This cornbread is delicious with a pot of cooked Pinto Beans, cooked with a smoked ham hock or fresh Green Beans with some chunks of red potatoes & a smoked ham hock cooked in the green beans. Because I use real buttermilk in place of yogurt, there's no need to mix water with the yogurt. In place of frozen corn, I've always added 1 small 4 - ounce can of cream style corn to my cornbread. I recently read that the way I make cornbread is a "Northern" (heaven forbid!) recipe. I was bred, born & raised in Texas & my cornbread is the way my family has done it for several generations whether regular cornbread or Mexican cornbread. Your recipes & your blog are great & very beautifully done! I visit several times a week & simply scroll through & frequently even "drool" my way through it. Yes, uncouth isn't it? Lol
I bet you make some mean cornbread, Margo! Thank you for your kind words!
This is a fantastic recipe. Thanks for sharing.
My pleasure!! Thanks, Bill!
Great recipe! I put all my butter in the skillet to heat and then pour over the batter and mix. The browned bits of butter in the skillet make it over the top delicious!
Thank you, Julie! I'm so glad you enjoyed the recipe!!