Moist and Sweet Cornbread
Easy recipe for homemade cornbread from scratch! This cornbread bakes up light, fluffy, moist, & sweet, with golden brown edges that are deliciously crispy.
I’m so excited to be bringing to you this fabulous and easy sweet cornbread recipe!
I think you are going to LOVE it- it’s so moist and sweet and light and fluffy.
And this cornbread recipe fits perfectly in that same category. Like the others, it will become a staple in your home.
We are big cornbread lovers here at my house, and we especially love when it’s super moist and a little sweet, with a light and fluffy texture and edges that are just a little bit crispy-crunchy.
An easy cornbread recipe with pantry ingredients
This is one of the easiest baking recipes to make.
Even a novice baker can create an incredibly moist and delicious cornbread in no time flat.
And best of all, if you keep a well-stocked pantry, you should already have all of the ingredients on hand.
This recipe takes only 10 minutes to prep and it’s fully baked in around 40 minutes.
The result is golden cornbread that is soft, moist, and a little sweet. Perfect alongside so many of your favorite meals.
Why is this the best cornbread recipe?
It’s simply the best because it has just the right amount of sweetness, with crispy edges and a moist, buttery crumb.
Not so moist as to be gummy, it has a nice fluffy texture, and it’s not so dense and crumbly that it falls apart as soon as you pick it up.
It’s also easily customizable. Use this recipe as a base, and toss in your favorite ingredients such as cheddar cheese, jalapeños, or bacon.
But you can also make it plain and simple and enjoy it with a pat of butter and a drizzle of honey.
It’s such a versatile recipe for you to keep in your back pocket. You’ll enjoy this again and again, all throughout the year.
Sweet Cornbread Ingredients
Flour gives the bread structure and a cake-like consistency that you can’t achieve by using cornmeal alone.
All-purpose flour is my go-to, but you can swap it out for any kind of whole-grain option if you like. You may need slightly less if you go that route.
A gluten-free flour blend that can sub 1:1 for regular flour should also work just fine, if you’d like to make gluten-free cornbread.
Cornmeal gives this bread its grainy, slightly crumbly texture and its signature flavor.
Use yellow cornmeal to achieve the golden yellow color cornbread is known for.
Sugar adds sweetness (obvs!) but it also aids in browning and keeps things moist, since it’s hydrophilic (this means it loves water, in other words, it draws moisture in).
Regular white sugar is fine, or sub for another type of sweetener if you like. As long as it swaps 1:1 for granulated sugar it should work.
This cornbread recipe utilizes baking powder to leaven (or “lift”) it and make it rise.
Baking powder is a double-acting leavener, so it starts the cornbread rising first when liquid is added to it, and then again when it hits the hot oven.
Baking soda will not work as well in this recipe because there isn’t anything acidic to activate it.
Baking powder has a little bit of that acid built in.
Salt carries the flavors and intensifies them. The end result won’t taste salty, but it will make everything so much more flavorful!
I like kosher salt best because it doesn’t have any additives (table salt usually contains iodine and that can leave a bitter taste), so the flavor is pure, and it’s very inexpensive and easy to find.
I like to use unsalted butter because it lets me control the amount of salt in the dish. Different brands of butter can contain different amounts of salt, so this way you get a more consistent result.
For a vegan or dairy-free cornbread recipe, use a plant-based butter that can substitute for dairy butter 1:1.
This ingredient will help your cornbread to be moist.
Use any kind of milk you have on hand. Whole milk, 2%, skim, even a plant-based milk product will work! Just remember: the higher the fat, the better the flavor.
This one is also for moisture.
I typically use vegetable oil, but any kind of oil will work.
Eggs bind the ingredients together, add richness, and help the batter to rise as it bakes.
If you need an egg-free or vegan cornbread recipe, try using flax eggs or chia eggs: whisk 1/4 cup of warm water together with 2 tablespoons of ground chia or flax seeds, and allow the mixture to gel.
How to make cornbread from scratch
Homemade cornbread is easy to make from scratch! Making this a great recipe for first time bakers.
- Mix the dry ingredients (flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt) together in a large bowl.
- Then, in a separate bowl, combine the liquid ingredients (melted butter, milk, oil, and eggs).
- Pour the liquid into the dry and stir until smooth.
- Then pour the cornbread batter into the pan and bake!
- The cornbread will puff up so light and fluffy in the oven, and you’ll see the edges become golden brown and crispy.
You’ll know your cornbread is done baking when a toothpick inserted in the thickest part comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
Frequently asked questions
What kind of pan should this be baked in?
You have a lot of baking dish options with this recipe!
For most of the pics you see here, the cornbread was baked in a 9×13-inch pan and cut into squares.
But for the video, I made you a cast iron skillet cornbread!
The batter is made exactly the same way; the only difference was I added about 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter to the cold pan and placed it in the oven as it was preheating. The butter gets melty and a little browned, and the pan gets searing hot.
When the batter goes in, it kinda “fries” and goes crispy on the bottom and around the sides. It’s fantastic!
You could also bake this recipe in a square pan or a muffin tin. If you want to make this into muffins, there’s lots more info on that here: Cornbread Muffins.
Different-sized pans may require different bake times, so keep an eye on things and use the toothpick test when it looks fluffy and a little golden around the edges.
(I will share that I did mini cornbread muffins version once, and they baked up perfectly in 12 minutes at 350 degrees F.)
What is cornmeal?
Cornmeal is dried and ground corn kernels.
It’s not quite the same thing as polenta, although polenta is similar. Instant polenta is usually par-cooked and it’s more finely ground. You can also find prepared polenta in the pasta aisle.
Corn flour is similar too, but it’s very finely ground and almost powdery.
While polenta and corn flour are all made from corn, the texture of your cornbread will not come out the same if you substitute these products for the cornmeal.
I like regular cornmeal best for this recipe. Sometimes it’s labeled “stone-ground.” I prefer it over fine ground cornmeal, although that will work in a pinch.
You can find cornmeal in the baking aisle of your grocery store.
What is the best cornmeal to use?
Cornmeal comes in both white and yellow.
If you like the beautiful golden color of the cornbread you see in these photos, use yellow cornmeal.
Medium-ground cornmeal gives the best results. A coarser cornmeal that is meant for tamales could result in an overly crumbly cornbread texture.
What is the ideal texture of cornbread?
In my opinion, the best cornbread texture is moist and light, with a bit of a crumbly finish that makes it perfect for crumbling over your favorite bowl of chili!
This recipe has a slightly sweet flavor with a rich and buttery finish.
Why is my cornbread crumbly?
While cornbread is meant to have a slightly crumbly texture, it should not be overly dry.
Make sure you’re not over-baking it. If it sits in the oven too long, it could end up really dry.
Check your cornbread for doneness as soon as the center is starting to look set and not shiny or wet. The edges should be just starting to turn golden brown.
You’ll know it’s done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
If your recipe still turns out dry and crumbles in your fingers, it is could be because you used too coarse cornmeal, or added too much cornmeal. Check out this post to learn how to measure precisely: How to Measure Ingredients for Baking.
Be sure to use medium ground cornmeal in your recipe.
You could also end up with an overly crumbly texture if you add too much egg. Make sure you’re using large eggs, not extra-large or jumbo.
Add-ins and topping ideas
Most of the time, I like to eat plain and simple cornbread with just a smear of soft butter, but sometimes it’s fun to get creative with add-ins.
- Toss a handful of fresh, frozen, or canned & drained corn kernels for an extra-corny version.
- Crisp up a couple of slices of bacon and crumble them into your batter for a smoky, savory bacon cornbread.
- Slice a jalapeno pepper or two into thin rounds and swirl them in for a spicy jalapeno take.
- Fold a few handfuls of shredded cheddar cheese into the batter for easy, cheesy cornbread.
- Add a drizzle of maple syrup or honey with a pat of butter. Or honey butter!
- Spread some sweet jam, marmalade, or apple butter on top.
- Top with sour cream and a sprinkle of chives.
- Serve with a slice of honey ham and sharp cheddar cheese, or stir in chopped ham and shredded cheese.
You can make gluten-free cornbread by replacing the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend. Look for one that subs 1:1 for regular flour. Here are a few good options:
I would not recommend using all cornmeal because the result will be terribly crumbly and dry. The combination of flour and cornmeal yields a soft, light result with a moist, cakey texture.
How to serve cornbread
Cornbread is the perfect side dish to so many great dishes.
My number one favorite way to serve it is with chili.
We also love a square of this for breakfast, lightly toasted and spread with a little butter.
And my kids love corn dogs! This batter could be used in that way, or as cornbread waffles.
You could also use it to make your favorite Thanksgiving stuffing or dressing! Swap it into this recipe: Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe, to make cornbread dressing.
And it’s perfect with barbecue! Serve it alongside smoked brisket or ribs, or pulled pork, barbecued chicken, anything with a sweet/savory/tangy sauce or a smoky rub.
How long will cornbread last?
Keep this tightly covered with plastic wrap, or slip it into a zip-top bag or airtight container, and it should stay fresh for a few days at room temperature.
Or, keep it in the fridge for about a week.
You can also freeze it! Just take it out a serving or two at a time, and allow it to thaw at room temperature.
How to reheat cornbread
This cornbread can be reheated in the microwave for about 15 to 20 seconds.
Or, wrap it tightly in foil and warm it in the oven on the lowest setting.
Next time that cornbread craving hits, pull out this easy recipe! It’s the best I’ve ever made, and I think you’ll love it!
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Moist & Sweet Cornbread
- 1 1/3 cup (166.67 g) all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup (106 g) cornmeal
- 2/3 cup (133.33 g) sugar
- 1 tablespoon (14.79 g) baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.46 g) kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons (59.15 g) unsalted butter, , melted (plus extra for the pan if making skillet cornbread)
- 1 1/4 cup (305 g) milk
- 1/4 cup (56 g) oil
- 2 (88 g) eggs, (large)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, mist a 9x13-inch pan with nonstick spray, and line with parchment. (If making skillet cornbread, place about 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter in the pan and allow it to preheat in the oven.)
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt together.
- Whisk the melted butter, milk, oil, and eggs together in a large liquid measuring cup.
- Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry and stir together until combined.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, and bake until fluffy and slightly golden around the edges. A toothpick inserted into the thickest part of the cornbread should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs. (Approx. 35 to 45 minutes.)
- Cool for about 20 minutes, then cut into slices and serve.