Growing up we had cornbread as a side with dinner at least a couple of days of the week. To this day, there are dishes that taste weird to me without a side of cornbread. We don’t usually have carbs at dinner anymore, but I do enjoy making it on the weekend when friends visit or for a bbq. One of my husband’s friends is from Atlanta & he asked where we get good cornbread in San Francisco because he was having a hard time finding the right thing. I immediately said my house. I could rattle off some amazing restaurants including the Boxing Room, Hops & Hominy, or Hard Water (for those of you who live in SF, yes I left Brenda’s off that list, because that’s way too much hype for me, I want authenticity), but really the best cornbread is the homemade, small batch kind.
The Difference Between Northern Cornbread & Southern Cornbread:
When we visited Boston for the first time, I was surprised to see cornbread served instead of a bread basket at most restaurants. Everywhere we went placed a basket of rich, cakey cornbread in front of us. I’ll be honest, I loved it. It was delicious & so sweet, almost like I was having dessert first! I may have saved a few pieces to actually eat as dessert while walking around after dinner… While I have had a sweet cornbread in the south, it is usually served savory. The traditional way is to make it is in a cast iron skillet with a little bit of bacon grease (& served on the side of some BBQ!). If you want it sweet in the south, we spread it with butter, then drizzle some honey on it for an afternoon snack OR use it to sop up some of that delicious syrup from your morning waffles. Check out Serious Eats The Real Reason Sugar Has No Place in Cornbread if you are interested in learning more about the history of Southern cornbread!
Yep, this is the same one that I served with the Lightened Up Shepard’s Pie!
This recipe is one that I have been using forever and when I say forever, I mean I have no idea where I got it from. It’s probably just a Betty Crocker recipe or something, but for me its that one that’s handwritten on an index card in barely decipherable writing. You all know those cards that I’m talking about! It does have a teaspoon of sugar in it because I think that just a tiny bit helps balance out the cornmeal without making it sweet. Here’s my secret trick to getting really great cornbread….a half can of creamed corn. I know, how unfancy is adding canned anything to a dish? BUT it adds whole kernels of corn & makes the cornbread really moist and crumbly, which I love!
- 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 eggs
- Optional: Substitute 1/2 can of creamed corn for the oil
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Mix together oil, buttermilk, and egg until well combined.
- Add in cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt & stir. It's okay for it to be lumpy. That's part of the charm!
- Fold in the 1/2 can of creamed corn, if you want!
- Spread batter into a greased pan. (I used a 9x6.)
- Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cornbread should be nice & golden!