How to Make Cornbread

Want to know how to make cornbread from scratch? Our Test Kitchen provides you with a helpful guide sprinkled with tips for making this delicious Southern staple.

Slice of corn beard on a platePhoto: Taste of Home

There is something so ideal about cornbread. It seems like such a simple idea, but perfectly made cornbread adds a kind of savory goodness that tastes both quintessentially home cooked and special. We have a classic, un-mess-up-able recipe for cornbread that goes well with anything you’re serving at mealtime, especially Southern comfort food. Here’s how to make it.

How to Make Cornbread

You’ll need:

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 large egg, beaten
4 tablespoons butter, melted

Tools:

Whisk
8-in. square baking pan

Person whisking ingredients in a bowlPhoto: Taste of Home

Step 1: Prep, measure and mix

Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 400°. You can spray (or butter) an 8-inch square baking dish with oil for later.

Measure ingredients and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Gently pour in the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt. Use a wire whisk (or fork if you don’t have a whisk handy) to mix together. Stir the dry ingredients and sift them together. This incorporates air into the ingredients. Once everything is combined, you can move onto the wet ingredients.

Test Kitchen tip: A whisk works as well as an old-fashioned sifter and is so much faster.

Person whisking wet ingredients togetherPhoto: Taste of Home

Step 2: Whisk the wet stuff

Cut the butter into small chunks and melt in the microwave. Or can place the bowl of premeasured butter into the oven for a minute or two while it’s preheating.

Combine the wet ingredients—milk, beaten egg and butter—in a mixing bowl or large measuring cup with a whisk.

Test Kitchen tip: Continue to whisk and incorporate the wet ingredients together until everything is smooth. You shouldn’t be able to see any sign of the egg (yellow streaks of yolk) in the mixture.

Person mixing ingredients in a bowlPhoto: Taste of Home

Step 3: Combine the wet and dry ingredients

Mixing the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients instead of the other way around can prevent pockets of unmixed flour and improve the texture of the finished bread. So you will add a small amount of the dry mixture at a time into the bowl with the wet ingredients.

Use a rubber spatula to fold the flour mixture into the wet mixture after each addition. Mix using a circular motion to combine the two together. Continue until the ingredients are fully incorporated.

Test Kitchen tip: Stir until the dry ingredients disappear into the batter but no longer, otherwise your cornbread may end up being tough and dry.

Person inserting a toothpick to check for donenessPhoto: Taste of Home

Step 4: Bake

You can bake cornbread in an 8-inch square baking pan, 8-inch cast-iron skillet or 8-inch cast-iron cornbread mold. We prefer the first option because the edges (and top) come out of the oven lightly browned.

Transfer the cornbread batter into the oiled baking pan. Bake at 400° for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven once a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean with just a few crumbs on it.

Test Kitchen tip: Well-seasoned cast-iron skillets are great to bake cornbread in. However, they will tend to cook faster, so start checking the doneness a few minutes early.

Step 5: Enjoy!

Let the cornbread cool slightly in pan before cutting into generous squares. Serve immediately while it’s warm, with butter.

Now that you’ve mastered this all-purpose cornbread recipe, feel free to experiment with mix-ins. We recommended stirring in chopped jalapenos or chilies if you like it spicy. For extra corn flavor, add cooked fresh kernels (when corn’s in season) or frozen corn to the mix. And you can never go wrong with stirring some cheddar cheese into the batter before baking.

There's still plenty to do with that box of Jiffy mix!
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Joann Pan
Joann Pan is a content creator based in New York City. Her work has appeared on Oprah.com, Mashable.com, The Huffington Post and more.