Are you looking for a recipe for delicious traditional Southern cornbread? Old-Fashioned Southern Cornbread made in a cast iron skillet with buttermilk is a true Southern staple and an easy and quick gluten-free recipe!
When I was growing up, my Mother made the most delicious cornbread, and we had it all the time. Every time I make her recipe it brings back many fond memories. I make my cornbread in the same cast iron pan she used, and I’m thrilled to be able to share her recipe with you. One of my favorite ways to enjoy cornbread is crumbling still hot and crusty cornbread into a tall glass of cold, tangy buttermilk. This may be an acquired taste, but if you have never had it this way, it’s something you really should try!
True old-fashioned Southern cornbread doesn’t contain any sugar or flour for that matter which means it’s gluten-free. There are probably as many ways to prepare cornbread as there are varieties of corn and you will see lots of cornbread recipes that call for some flour and just as many that call for sugar as well. I am a lover of all types of cornbread, and as much as I love good Old-Fashioned Southern Cornbread, I also like the versions with sugar added and recently had a sweet cornbread prepared from a mix that was delicious. But today I am sticking with this basic old-fashioned Southern recipe which can be mixed up in just a few minutes.
This recipe works best with, old-fashioned coarse stone-ground cornmeal. If you are in the North Florida area try Bumpy Road Farm Cornmeal, which can be purchased at most farmers markets. Their cornmeal and grits are made from only heirloom corn varieties and are non-GMO and pesticide free. You can taste the difference! The other ingredients include vegetable oil or bacon grease, baking powder, baking soda, kosher salt, eggs, and buttermilk. For the best results and crispiest cornbread, you will also need a well-seasoned cast iron skillet.
If you like cornbread, you might also like my Traditional Southern Style Cornbread and my spicy Mexican Jalapeno Cornbread. Traditional Southern Style Cornbread contains some flour and is not quite as dense as Old-Fashioned Cornbread and I think it works a little better in cornbread dressing recipes. In fact, it’s perfect for my Traditional Southern Cornbread Dressing or my Make Ahead Cornbread Dressing with Sausage and Pecans.
When you are ready to make Old-Fashioned Southern Cornbread, gather your ingredients and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Add 2 Tbsp vegetable oil or bacon grease to the cast-iron skillet. Place the skillet in the oven for about 5-7 minutes to heat up.
While the skillet is heating up, combine the cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
Add the eggs, buttermilk and 2 Tbsp vegetable oil or melted bacon grease to a smaller bowl and whisk until well combined.
Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over mix.
Using a heavy-duty oven mitt or potholder, carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven. Tilt the skillet to make sure the bottom and sides are covered with oil. Immediately pour the cornbread batter into the skillet. You should hear a nice sizzle, and you will see the cornbread already start to rise.
Place the skillet in the oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the cornbread is a deep golden brown and has pulled away from the sides slightly. To ensure it is done, insert a toothpick into the center. It should come out clean. Serve immediately.