Some good friends shared this skillet cornbread recipe with us back in 2013, and with a few tweaks, it has been a family favorite! It's the perfect accompaniment to a bowl of chili, collard greens, or Brunswick stew. Keep reading for all the tips and tricks you need to know to make awesome skillet cornbread.
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Does cornbread taste like corn?
I don't think that cornbread actually tastes like corn, unless you add corn kernels to it. This recipe has a light and slightly gritty texture from the cornmeal, and the crunchy browned crust on the outside from being baked in a cast iron skillet.
Why is it dry?
It can be dry because too much cornmeal was added to the batter or it was baked too long. Be sure to measure the cornmeal accurately by using a kitchen scale to weigh it, or spooning it into a measuring cup and sweeping off the excess. Do not scoop the cornmeal into the measuring cup, as this packs too much cornmeal into the cup, which will make it dry.
Why does my cornbread always fall apart?
Too much cornmeal can cause it to be crumbly. Try decreasing the cornmeal by a couple of tablespoons in your next batch so there's a larger amount of all-purpose flour in the batter. The reason for this is that cornmeal doesn't contain gluten like wheat flour does. Gluten is a protein that holds the it together.
Do you have to put sugar in it?
Technically, you do not have to put sugar in it, but it is recommended to add a little bit of some sweetener to improve the flavor and soften the texture. In my recipe, I don't add any white sugar; just maple syrup. Feel free to use honey, white sugar, sucanat, or some other sweetener if you don't want to use maple syrup.
Can you make cornbread in a regular skillet?
Yes, you can make it in a regular stainless steel skillet; just make sure that it is oven proof at 400 F. Realize that it will not have the same crunchy crust that you get when using a cast iron skillet.
What size of skillet do you use?
A 10-inch skillet is the perfect size for this recipe. If you need to use a slightly smaller skillet, increase the baking time by 5 minutes; if you're using a slightly larger skillet, check it a few minutes early to prevent overbaking.
How do you keep it from sticking to cast iron?
Be sure to grease the pan thoroughly with butter before pouring in the batter. Also, make sure to add the right amount of fat (in this recipe, it's coconut oil) to the batter.
Should you let cornbread cool before removing from the pan?
I find that this comes out of the pan better when it's still warm, not cool. Let it cool in the skillet for 10 minutes before slicing, then serve.
How do you cut it?
Wedges or squares are the most popular choices, and here's how to do both.
- Wedges. Start in the center and cut towards the edge of the pan. Repeat all the way around the pan to create wedges.
- Squares. Cut in half, then in half again to create long strips. Cut crosswise to make squares. You will have some funny-shaped pieces at the edge of the pan with this method.
How do you store it?
Tightly wrap in plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for up to 2 days after baking. There's no need to refrigerate. For longer storage, freeze it according to the directions below.
Can you freeze cornbread?
Yes, you can definitely freeze it! This recipe makes a large batch, so it's convenient to pull out a slice when needed. Simply pre-cut it, seal it in a zip-top freezer bag or airtight container, and freeze for up to 1 month. Defrost at room temperature or in the microwave.
It's best to only defrost the cornbread that you'll eat right away, as it doesn't taste good when reheated a second time.
How to Make
Gather the ingredients. You'll need cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, maple syrup, coconut oil, eggs, and milk.
Start off by generously greasing a 10-inch cast iron skillet with butter. Pop it in a 400 F oven for 5 minutes to heat up the pan.
Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl until well blended.
Whisk the eggs in a small bowl until smooth.
Add the maple syrup.
Dump in the rest of the wet ingredients and whisk until blended. Don't worry if you notice lumps of solidified coconut oil in the mixture; it will melt later when the batter goes in the oven.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until combined. Make sure that there are no lumps of flour at the bottom of the bowl.
Dump the batter into the buttered, preheated skillet.
Carefully place the hot skillet into a 400 F oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The outer crust should be well browned and crunchy, and the top will have small cracks in it.
Let it cool for 10 minutes, then slice in wedges or squares and serve with butter.
- Use a cast iron skillet for the best crust and bake. If you don't have cast iron, any 10-inch, oven-proof frying pan will work.
- Preheat the pan for a faster, more even bake. Do this by putting a greased skillet into the oven for 5-10 minutes before pouring in the batter.
- Be sure to grease the pan well with butter to prevent the cornbread from sticking.
- For lighter, fluffier result, let the batter sit for 10 minutes before baking.
- For denser result, decrease the cornmeal slightly.
- For sweeter result, add a couple tablespoons of granulated sugar.
- Slice while it's warm, then serve with butter.
- Freeze leftovers sealed tightly in a freezer zip-top bag for up to 1 month. Defrost at room temperature or in the microwave.
- 10-Inch Cast Iron Skillet: this USA-made Lodge frying pan gives it a wonderful crust.
- Yellow Cornmeal: we love the flavor and texture with this brand of cornmeal.
- Stainless Steel Whisks: these amazing rust-resistant whisks don't bend out of shape.
- Pastry Brushes: it's super quick and easy to grease pans with these natural-bristle brushes.
Southern Foods That Taste Great with Cornbread
The pleasure of a 5-star review would be greatly appreciated.Print
This easy Southern cornbread is made without sugar and baked in a cast iron skillet for an amazing crunchy crust. You don’t need buttermilk for this recipe. This is the best cornbread to have with chili or other soul food!
- 1 ½ cups self-rising yellow cornmeal (250g)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (240g)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup maple syrup (140g)
- 2 ½ cups whole milk (590 ml)
- ½ cup coconut oil (112g)
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Generously butter a 10-inch cast iron skillet and warm it in the oven for 5 minutes to melt the butter and to preheat the pan.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl until thoroughly combined.
- Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl until blended, then pour in the maple syrup, milk, and oil and whisk until well mixed.
- Dump the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk them together until the batter is smooth.
- For a lighter-textured cornbread, let the batter stand for 5 minutes before pouring into the prepared skillet. For a slightly denser result, skip the rest time.
- Bake at 400 F for 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the top is lightly browned.
- Let the cornbread cool for 10 minutes, then slice and serve.
- It's best to use a cast iron skillet for a great crust and heat retention. If you don't have one, just use any oven-proof 10-inch frying pan.
- Butter the skillet well to prevent sticking.
- Want light and fluffy cornbread? Let the batter stand for 10 minutes before baking.
- Slice the cornbread while it's warm, then serve with butter.
- Freeze leftovers sealed in a freezer zip-top bag for up to 1 month. Defrost at room temperature or in the microwave.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Bread
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: southern skillet cornbread, cast iron skillet cornbread
This post was originally published on September 28, 2017.