Southern Cornbread Recipe

Fill your kitchen with the smell of freshly baked Southern Cornbread in just about an hour!! This classic recipe from my Mississippi Auntie Rose creates a super moist, buttery and fluffy Cornbread that makes for the perfect snack or side. 

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A close up of a Southern cornbread recipe with melting butter sliding down and a knife to cut slices

The Heart and Soul of this Southern Cornbread Recipe

Cuisine Inspiration: Southern American
Primary Cooking Method: Baking
Dietary Info: Vegetarian
Key Flavor: Savory with a hint of Sweetness
Skill Level: Easy

Sweet Highlights:

  • Moisture Magic: Melted butter and sour cream work together to create an exceptionally moist crumb.
  • Easy Peasy: Using self-rising cornmeal simplifies the process, making this recipe a breeze.
  • Golden Glory: Expect a beautiful golden crust with a soft, tender interior.
  • Versatile Companion: Perfect alongside a bowl of chili, under a pile of pulled pork, or just slathered with butter and honey.
  • Time-Honored Tradition: This recipe pays homage to the classic Southern cornbread, embodying a rich culinary heritage.
An overview photo of a large cast iron skillet filled with freshly baked Southern Cornbread recipe with butter melting over it and a knife for cutting

Ingredients

Now let’s start off by saying that this cornbread is a work of genius from my Auntie Rose.  At this point, she literally wings this recipe but I got her to the point where we were actually able to write it down!  Seriously write it down!!

Here are the key ingredients in her cornbread:

  • Cornmeal
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Sour Cream
  • Butter
  • Oil

For this cornbread, the cornmeal isn’t just any cornmeal.  We use self rising cornmeal to add a nice lift to this cornbread.  It bakes up beautifully because of it.

We also add some flour so the texture isn’t too grainy.  However we want it to be true Southern cornbread so it is much more cornmeal than flour.

Now comes the ingredient that causes a huge stir: Sugar.  A lot of Southerners don’t like sugar in their cornbread.  They don’t believe cornbread should be sweet so this is really just to balance the savory of this bread.  You won’t really taste the sweetness here.

For milk, we use whole milk.  It makes a huge difference.  Don’t go for skim for this.  The whole milk makes this much more moist, in addition to the oil and sour cream added.  The combo of all of it is amazing and makes the cornbread melt in your mouth.

And finally we use melted butter as well and love it!  It gives it that lovely hint of buttery flavor!

A slice of Southern cornbread being taken out of a cast iron skillet

How to Make Southern Cornbread

Making cornbread is simple because it requires few ingredients and even fewer steps. But as with any simple recipe, the key to its success is following instructions.

The key to this particular recipe is making sure you get those crispy edges that add an extra layer of both texture and flavor. To ensure your bread gets its crunchy, buttery crust you gotta get that skillet sizzling hot.

Tip: While you are preparing your batter, heat your skillet on the stove with a few drops of water inside. Once the water starts dancing, you’re ready!

This method works much faster than heating your skillet in the oven.

If you don’t have a cast iron skillet there are plenty of other options. An ovenproof skillet, baking dish or even a pie dish will work just fine! Just be sure to heat it up too.  However I would recommend getting a cast iron skillet since it has so many uses and is a staple in Southern homes.

Ideal Texture

A good cornbread recipe is hard to come by but today is your lucky day. Traditional Southern Cornbread is going to be super moist and buttery with crispy golden edges and the perfect crumb. My recipe creates just that.

The result of this recipe should be a wonderfully light cornbread that has a distinct, almost grainy, texture. The corn flavor itself is light and slightly sweet but nothing too overpowering. Absolutely perfect.

How to Serve

My absolute favorite way to eat cornbread is on its own, straight out of the oven and smothered in salted butter. Each bite is sweet but salty, crumbly yet firm and just so perfectly delicious. I have, on many occasions, eaten cornbread for dinner without any shame.

But cornbread makes for an incredible side dish that can be served with just about anything. Bowls of chili and full plates of soul food are this recipes best friend. Dip it in your gumbo and let it soak up the juices from your collard greens. No matter how you serve it, this cornbread is amazing.

You will also use this recipe along with my Chicken Stock to make my Southern Cornbread Dressing.  

Other recipes you can serve this cornbread with are:

Other Amazing Cornbread Recipes

If you want to try other amazing cornbread recipes, check out my Fried CornbreadJiffy CornbreadCorn PoneMexican CornbreadClassic Corn Muffins and Hot Water Cornbread.

A close up of a Southern cornbread recipe with melting butter sliding down and a knife to cut slices

Southern Cornbread Recipe

Fill your kitchen with the smell of fresh-baked Southern Cornbread in just about an hour! This classic recipe creates a super moist, buttery and fluffy Cornbread that makes for the perfect snack or side.
4.33 from 134 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course: Bread
Servings: 14 servings

Ingredients

  • 5 cups self rising cornmeal mix I use Pearl Milling Company
  • 5 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 5 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk room temperature
  • 6 large eggs room temperature and beaten
  • 8 oz sour cream room temperature
  • 1/2 cup salted butter melted
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • To a large mixing bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour and sugar.
  • Add milk to beaten eggs then add egg mixture to dry ingredients.
  • Next add sour cream and whisk together and finally add melted butter and whisk until well combined. Consistency will be slightly runny.
  • Heat very large 17 inch cast iron skillet over high heat on the stove. Tip: Add a few droplets of water and once the water dances in skillet, it is ready!
  • Once ready, add vegetable oil to skillet then remove pan from heat.
  • Pour cornbread mixture into skillet (oil will bubble) and bake for 35-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out slightly clean (make sure not to overbake and dry out the cornbread too much) and is golden brown.
  • Remove skillet from oven and let cool for 20 minutes before releasing from pan.
  • Allow cornbread to cool to room temperature.

Notes

While a cast iron skillet will yield the best results, make sure you use a very large baking dish or oven proof skillet.

Nutrition

Calories: 421kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 100mg | Sodium: 119mg | Potassium: 292mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 476IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 2mg
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Filed Under:  Christmas, Cornbread, Easter, New Year's, Snacks, Southern Classics, Thanksgiving

Comments

  1. Looking forward to trying this! Love the idea of the sour cream. I usually use buttermilk but sour cream with whole milk sounds like it’ll be creamier

    Question: for the self-rising flour, do you use white cornmeal or self-rising stone-ground yellow? Does it make a differernce?

    Thanks!

  2. I used this recipe for my cornbread to prepare the dressing for Thanksgiving a few weeks ago and I thought it was great. As for the dressing it was too much bread for my liking and ground sage has been so hard to find so I had to use rubbing sage, it didn’t and don’t have that ” ground sage bam” and I was afraid to keep adding and adding. I keep sage shopping at this point to be ready so I don’t have to get ready next time. As for the sour cream that was different but a new result.

    Thanks!!

  3. Good afternoon, I want to make this cornbread today and want to confirm the meaurments are accurate; specifically the 5 cups of corn meal, 6 eggs etc (see below). Also, my largest cast iron skillet is a 12 inch. Please inform where you purchased your 17 inch cast iron skillet. Thank you and looking forward t hearing from you! God Bless! Jay
    •5 cups self rising cornmeal mix I used Aunt Jemima
    5 tbsp all purpose flour
    5 tsp granulated sugar
    2 1/2 cups whole milk room temperature
    6 large eggs room temperature and beaten
    8 oz sour cream room temperature
    1/2 cup salted butter melted
    1/3 cup vegetable oil

  4. After finally finding the recipe, I stopped reading after seeing the first ingredient. “Self rising cornmeal mix”??? No self respecting Southerner would use that (and as a self respecting Southerner who has been making cornbread for over 55 years, I endorse that statement). Try flour, cornmeal and baking powder instead. And drop the sour cream; that ruins the texture.

    1. You tried it but unsuccessfully. The person who wrote this recipe was born and raised in Winona, Mississippi so stop speaking for all Southerners based on what you “think” is correct. Just speak for what you would do.

    1. You can but I find that butter usually burns at high temperatures like that.

  5. Interesting with that many eggs, too. I only use one. I use one heaping tablespoon of spoon of sugar so it probably amounts to the same as yours & buttermilk. So much similar. I’d say it’s definitely that many eggs. I’m going to try using more & see what it does.

4.33 from 134 votes (105 ratings without comment)

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