Cornbread is in my blood. Walk me into a random kitchen, toss me an apron, blindfold me and I could still whip up some cornbread in less than 30 minutes. What can I say? It’s a gift. Moist, tender and sweet, cornbread is the ultimate mash up between a bread and a cake. Cornbread can be served in both sweet and savory varieties, making for an incredible appetizer, side or snack.
Now, if you don’t have a foolproof cornbread recipe in rotation, you’re doing something wrong. I have a go-to recipe that I use all the time, which you can find here, but for the Fall I needed to switch things up. I made a few changes to my standard recipe to make it more Autumn appropriate and soon after, Brown Butter Pumpkin Cornbread was born!
HOW TO MAKE PUMPKIN CORNBREAD
Darn it, this recipe is so addictive especially when you add my cinnamon butter to the mix. You may make a batch every single weekend like I did when I used the excuse of constant recipe testing to ensure perfection for the blog. Glad no one in my household complained.
Here’s how the bread gets baked:
- Cornmeal– cornmeal is available on a spectrum of grind sizes. The texture of the corn grain chosen will determine the texture of the resulting bread. I prefer to use a stone-ground variety for a more textured bite but I recommend that you explore and find your own personal preference.
- All-Purpose Flour– some folks prefer a mixture of whole wheat flour and cornmeal for an earthier texture and flavor. I prefer a lighter, more tender cornbread but either will work!
- Baking Powder– cornbread doesn’t rise as much as a traditional cake so only a bit of rising agent is needed.
- Granulated Sugar– let’s be honest, I like my cornbread a bit sweeter than most. Feel free to do you on this one.
- Cinnamon– adds spice, warmth and even richness!
- Salted Butter– smooth and creamy, butter adds luxury to our bread. Added salt helps to balance out the sugar a bit.
- Buttermilk– buttermilk brings a pleasant tang to this bread while also tenderizing to create a softer texture.
- Canned Pumpkin– earthy and sweet, pumpkin is an incredible flavor addition.
- Eggs– eggs both bind our batter and add color.
- Vanilla– adds a wonderfully floral aroma.
- Oil- oil introduces extra moisture. Feel free to use any neutral oil you have on hand!
- Cinnamon Butter– made with brown sugar, unsalted butter and cinnamon, this fun addition adds an irresistible layer of decadence. You won’t know how you lived without it!
CORNBREAD BAKING TIPS
Wanna make pumpkin cornbread like a Southern-pro? Follow my top 3 tips for baking the best cornbread EVER!
Always Check the Cornmeal First
Most cornmeals have a similar lifespan to that of flour: about a year. It’s important to check your cornmeal for rancidity before baking! Rancid cornmeal will smell stale and musty: good cornmeal will have a sweeter smell.
Consider Sugar a Variable
Everyone has their own preference when it comes to the sweetness of a quick bread. A sweeter cornbread will have a ¼ cup of sugar or more for every cup of dry ingredient (cornmeal and flour).
Adjust the ratios according to your own preference or according to what it is being served with.
Put Away the Electric Mixer
Mixing by hand eliminates the risk of over-mixing. It’s actually a good thing to have a few lumps in the batter; they will hydrate during baking and give your bread a rustic, craggy look.
BONUS TIP: Make Crusty Pumpkin Cornbread! Many of us love a crustier cornbread, it’s a perfect balance of texture. A dark pan will produce a better crust than a light pan. For the crustiest cornbread, use a cast-iron skillet!
Gosh, I love cornbread, especially this Brown Butter Pumpkin Cornbread. I adore it as a quick breakfast snack or served with a steaming bowl of chili. So, it’s important that we properly store our leftovers for maximum freshness. Nobody wants to snack on stale cornbread.
First, make sure the cornbread has completely cooled. As quick breads age, moisture from within rises to the surface and, slowly but surely, makes the bread soggy. This is where a few paper towels can save the day. Store cornbread in a sealed container or resealable bag, in a single layer. Line the bottom of the container or bag with a sheet of paper towel, then cover the top of the bread with another sheet of paper towel before sealing.
GRANDBABY CAKES’ BEST CORNBREAD RECIPES
Seriously, when isn’t cornbread appropriate? With parents from Mississippi, you can ensure that this quick bread was always on the table around dinner time growing up. Use a few of my family’s greatest cornbread recipes to start a few family traditions of your own!
Check ‘em out:
Brown Butter Pumpkin Cornbread
For the Cornbread:
- 1/2 stick salted butter
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup corn meal
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 2/3 cup canned pumpkin
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
For the Cinnamon Butter:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
- 4 teaspoons packed brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the Cornbread:
- Preheat Oven to 400 degrees.
- In a saute' pan, melt butter over medium heat and wait until butter begins to brown. Be careful not to burn. Remove from heat and cool.
- In a large bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, corn meal, baking powder, sugar and cinnamon until well mixed. In a separate medium sized bowl, whisk together buttermilk, canned pumpkin, eggs, vanilla extract, oil and browned butter.
- Slowly add wet mixture to dry mixture and mix together until well combined.
- Coat cast iron skillet with shortening or spray with non stick baking spray until fully covered. Add cornbread mixture to skillet. Place in oven for 22-25 minutes until cornbread is done. Remove from oven and serve.
For the Butter:
- Whip all ingredients together until smooth and fluffy. Serve with the cornbread.