Sweet Cornbread Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
Homemade sweet cornbread is just the ticket for rounding out either a sweet or savory meal, making it the ideal complimentary side dish for everything from eggs in the morning to stews, fish, BBQ, or hearty roasts.

Updated: Jun. 14, 2024

Sweet cornbread is the difference between bland bread and tasty perfection. This recipe for homemade sweet cornbread is a delicious side to homemade chili. It’s made for soaking up the flavors of a backyard BBQ and is delightful when served with your morning cuppa or smeared with butter and your favorite jam. Best of all, it’s one of the easiest breads to make. You just combine your ingredients, pour them in a greased pan and pop it in the oven.

Ingredients for Sweet Cornbread

  • All-purpose flour: Although this recipe calls for all-purpose flour, you can sub a 1:1 gluten-free flour if you need a gluten-free option.
  • Cornmeal: Cornmeal can be fine, medium, or coarse. The finer the cornmeal, the softer the results. If you like a heartier cornbread, opt for medium or coarse ground to add dimension and texture.
  • Sugar: Sugar helps to give this sweet cornbread its sweetness. You can sub pure maple syrup or honey if you’d prefer.
  • Baking soda: Be sure to use baking soda opened in the last six months for the best results.
  • Salt: A high-quality salt, such as Himalayan or coarse sea salt, will really help to round out the flavor of the cornmeal and sugar.
  • Egg: Applesauce can replace the egg here, especially if you’d like a little extra sweetness.
  • Sour cream: Sour cream helps to make cornbread velvety – the perfect compliment to coarse cornmeal.
  • 2% Milk: For a richer sweet cornbread opt for whole milk.
  • Butter: This recipe is just as delicious with bacon fat instead of butter if you’d prefer a more savory taste.

Directions

Step 1: Prepare the pan and preheat

Before starting with your batter, preheat your oven to 400°F. Next, grease an 8-in. square baking dish.

Editor’s Tip: Darker dishes will produce a darker brown bottom on your sweet cornbread, whereas lighter or glass dishes will give you a more golden-brown bottom. Another option for sweet cornbread is using a cast iron pan.

Step 2: Combine the dry ingredients

In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Homemade sweet cornbread is meant to be easy to put together, so there’s no need to sift your flour or get fancy with adding these ingredients. You can simply toss them in a bowl and lightly combine with a spoon.

Step 3: Combine the wet ingredients

In a smaller bowl, combine egg, sour cream, milk, and melted butter. You’ll want to start by whisking your egg, then adding the sour cream to fully combine it before adding your milk and melted butter.

Step 4: Combine wet into dry

Next up, add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just combined.

Editor’s Tip: Sweet cornbread tastes better when the batter isn’t whipped to a smooth consistency, so stirring until just moistened will ensure a delicious, evenly-cooked batch of sweet cornbread.

Step 5: Bake to perfection

Pour the batter into your greased pan, and pop it into the oven for 20 to 25 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Although it’s fine to eat cool, sweet cornbread is best when served warm with melted butter.

Sweet Cornbread Variations

  • Switch it up: Add whole frozen corn kernels, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped scallion, green chili, or even bits of chopped bacon for a savory twist. These variations are best served with soups, stews, BBQs, and other hearty meals.
  • Play with sweets: For a sweeter take on traditional sweet cornbread, try topping with brown sugar, chopped pecans, cinnamon, nutmeg, or a mix of different spices. It’s also delightful as a breakfast option when mixed with cranberries and light maple syrup drizzle.

How to Store Homemade Sweet Cornbread

Cornbread can be stored in a few different ways, depending on your needs. Once cooled, your cornbread can be stored at room temperature and wrapped in a bread towel or aluminum foil. If completely cooled, you can also wrap it in plastic wrap or a zip-top bag. You’ll want to make sure that you store room-temperature cornbread in a dark place, and eat within one to three days.

To refrigerate, wrap your sweet cornbread in bread cloth, aluminum foil, or plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for up to five days.

Can you freeze homemade sweet cornbread?

Yes! If you want to make cornbread ahead, you can store it in the freezer for up to three months.

How do you reheat homemade sweet cornbread?

To reheat your sweet cornbread, pop it back in the oven for about ten minutes at 350°. Do not exceed 15 minutes of oven time as this can dry your cornbread.

Sweet Cornbread Tips

How do I keep the batter from sticking?

The key to ensuring that your homemade sweet cornbread won’t stick to the pan is making sure to use a liberal amount of fat when greasing your pan and heating it before pouring your batter in. Bacon grease is a particularly successful fat to use, and it adds a subtle bacon flavor that works well with savory dishes.

How do I achieve a crispy crust?

No matter what fat you use for greasing your pan, if you heat the pan for five minutes before pouring your batter in, your cornbread should come out crisp on the outside. Pouring the batter into a sizzling hot pan results in crispy cornbread and, as a bonus, a batter that won’t stick. Use a cast iron pan with heated bacon grease for an exceptionally well-baked sweet cornbread.

How do I reheat frozen cornbread?

Although homemade sweet cornbread freezes well for up to three months, there is one caveat: thawing. Make sure to fully thaw it before rewarming it in the oven. Thawing your sweet cornbread should only take a few hours, or overnight in the fridge. After fully thawed, warm it in the oven at 350° for up to 15 minutes.

Sweet Cornbread

Prep Time 30 min
Yield 9 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup 2% milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, whisk egg, sour cream, milk and butter; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
  2. Pour into a greased 8-in. square baking dish. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 239 calories, 11g fat (7g saturated fat), 55mg cholesterol, 281mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 2g fiber), 5g protein.

This corn bread goes well with just about anything. I always make it when we have chili. The sour cream makes it nice and moist.
Recipe Creator