My first memories of cornbread are in Southern Ohio where I have family. My great uncle and great grandma would make all the fixin’s with fried chicken, beans, cornbread, and I’m sure other things (Mom, what else?).
But I am from much farther north where this kind of food doesn’t really exist, at least in my world. So it was weird to me. I wasn’t a terribly adventurous eater as a kid either. And I just thought cornbread was strange and I assumed I didn’t like it, even though I don’t recall ever trying a bite until I was an adult. And I love it. I wonder what I missed by not trying my great uncle’s cornbread from years ago.
Now this Yankee is living in the Deep South where cornbread is king, and you absolutely do not ever put any sugar or anything sweet in your cornbread. Because that is wrong and only Yankees do such terrible things. So of course I make cornbread with honey. That’s how I like it.
For a long time I made jalapeño cornbread from Ina Garten. I still love that recipe, but it is less cornbread-y, makes a lot, and takes a little more effort. I’ve recently adapted this simple recipe to meet our needs. It makes a small amount and the mix comes together in less time than it takes the oven to preheat. I’m sure that any additions like cheddar and chives would be delightful, but I haven’t tried yet. If you do please let me know how it turns out. And making cornbread in a cast iron skillet just makes it oh so good. It gets that nice brown, buttery crust but the rest is light and airy. I don’t know how anyone couldn’t like cornbread when trying this fresh out of the oven with a slab of butter, and maybe even a little more honey!
Adapted from Alex G.
Yield: 1 six inch pan of cornbread
Difficulty: Very easy
Time: 10 minutes to prep, 25 minutes to bake
Note: If you look at the original recipe, it is designed for a 9 inch skillet. My recipe is not exactly halved and changes have been made so doubling my recipe will not yield the same as the original. I’ve not made the original so I can’t vouch for it but I’m sure it is still delightful.
Another Note: A reminder that I always bake with unsalted butter and whole milk. You should too.
- 1/2 cup + 2 TB coarse cornmeal
- 1/4 cup + 2 TB flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 2/3 cup buttermilk (to make your own add a splash of vinegar to your milk and let sit for 5 minutes)
- 2 eggs
- 2 TB honey
- 4 TB melted butter, slightly cooled, plus one more for the pan
1. Preheat oven to 425F. Place a six inch cast iron skillet in the oven to warm up. After the oven is almost preheated, add a tablespoon of butter to the cast iron pan and return to oven until completely preheated. (Don’t have a cast iron skillet? They are dirt cheap on Amazon and a really wonderful pan. I use mine all the time for just about everything. All natural non-stick, no icky Teflon. So I recommend getting one. Still not convinced? A cake pan will work fine, but no need to preheat it for as long. And make sure you butter the sides too. It will stick to a cake pan.)
2. In a medium bowl mix together the cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together the buttermilk, eggs, honey, and melted butter. Pour the wet into the dry and mix just until combined. Don’t over mix.
4. Remove the cast iron from the oven (carefully…it’s obviously hot!). Pour the mixture into the pan.
5. Lower the oven temperature to 375F. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out completely clean. You want the cornbread to have a nice brown crust and hold together. Let cool for just a minute, then flip onto a cutting board. Cut into wedges and enjoy!