Easy traditional southern cornbread, made with buttermilk and stone-ground cornmeal, is full of rich corn flavor and has a deliciously crunchy crust.
A true reflection of southern goodness, this cornbread is made in a cast-iron skillet; it is versatile, easy to prepare, and is a welcome addition to any meal. It is also amazing straight out of the oven topped with just a pat of butter.
More cornbread recipes:
If you like southern cornbread as I do, you also might be interested in my gluten-free Old-Fashioned Southern Cornbread, which is a tasty, dense cornbread that doesn’t contain any flour. I also have recipes for spicy and flavorful Mexican Jalapeno Cornbread and Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Cornbread Muffins. They are perfect to pair with soup or chili.
This cornbread is a staple in my kitchen, and I use it as the base for my Traditional Southern Cornbread Dressing and Make-Ahead Cornbread Dressing with Pecans and Sausage. It is also delicious paired with Southern Hoppin’John or Southern Black-Eyed Peas.
Last but not least, my recipe for Hoe Cakes, aka Cornmeal Pancakes, will make you swoon! This staple of early America is a type of cornmeal pancake that is quick and easy to make. It’s also frequently served with southern peas and greens to “sop up their pot likker.” For those of you that don’t know, “pot likker” is a Southern slang term for the liquid used to cook greens and peas.
Southern Cornbread Ingredients:
You will need the following ingredients to make this southern cornbread recipe: stone-ground cornmeal, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, kosher salt, buttermilk, eggs, and vegetable or peanut oil.
How to make Traditional Southern-Style Cornbread
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
Generously oil a 10-inch cast-iron skillet or cake pan and place in the oven to heat for 5-10 minutes.
Add the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a large bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
In a smaller bowl, mix the eggs, buttermilk, and vegetable oil.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine, just until the batter is moistened. Do not overmix.
Carefully remove the heated skillet from the oven and pour in the batter.
Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until the cornbread is golden brown, and the center springs back when pressed.
Cool in the skillet on a baking rack for five minutes.
Place a plate over the top of the skillet, and using hot pads, carefully flip the skillet and dish over at the same time to remove the cornbread. Serve immediately while still hot.
This cornbread is best when served piping hot right out of the oven. While it’s best not to make it ahead, you can prep the ingredients by getting everything ready and mixing up the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients. Don’t mix them until right before you are ready to pour the batter in the skillet.
You can make cornbread ahead to use in dressing and stuffing. For best results, let it cool completely and wrap tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. You can freeze it for up to 30 days.
A cast-iron skillet works best for baking southern cornbread. And, please don’t skip the step of preheating the skillet before you add the batter. Adding the batter to a hot skillet is what makes the crust crispy.
If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make your own by mixing two cups of whole milk with either two tablespoons of lemon juice or white vinegar. Let this mixture sit for five minutes and voila, buttermilk. It’s probably not something you would want to drink, but it works perfectly in this recipe.
Steaming hot cornbread is delicious, crumbled up in a glass of cold buttermilk!
The type of cornmeal you use has a direct impact on your finished product. I like and use either locally grown and produced Bradley’s Stone Ground Cornmeal or Bumpy Road Farm Cornmeal. I don’t have any relationship with either one of these brands; I think they provide the best results.
By the way, you should always store cornmeal in your refrigerator or freezer.
★ If you make Traditional Southern Cornbread, please leave a comment and give this recipe a star rating. I would love to know how you liked it!
Thanks so much for visiting Grits and Pinecones!
Traditional Southern-Style Cornbread Recipe
- 2 cups stone-ground cornmeal sifted
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil plus one tablespoon to grease the skillet
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Generously oil a 10-inch cast-iron skillet and place in the oven to heat for 5-10 minutes.
- Add the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt to a large bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
- In a smaller bowl, mix the eggs, buttermilk, and vegetable oil.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Do not overmix, just stir until the dry ingredients are moistened.
- Carefully remove the heated skillet from the oven and pour in the batter.
- Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until the cornbread is golden brown, and the center springs back when pressed.
- Cool on a baking rack and let stand 5 minutes. Remove the cornbread from the skillet and serve immediately.