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Southern Cornbread

What is better than a fluffy hot Southern Cornbread? I’ll tell you! The crispy crust of a Southern Cornbread is best! Today, I share the PRO TIP for a crispy crust to the cake of your HOT Southern Cornbread!

Have you ever sat down to a big bowl of steaming hot pinto beans with a buttery chunk of Southern Cornbread that you crumbled up into the bowl?

Southern Cornbread slice on a plate

Hello Cornbread!

Hello sweet memories of a little country diner in Rock Island, Tennessee home of the Goddesses of cornbread and pinto beans!

Anyway, if you are enjoying a proper piece of cornbread then you need the crunchy bottom crust to slap a little butter on and eat by itself because, HELLO crispy cornbread crust! HELLO!

THE SECRETS TO A CRISPY CORNBREAD CRUST

If what you are after in your cornbread is a crispy cornbread crust, then you are at the right place, because I am going to tell you.

The first thing you need to do is to heat your oven to a screaming hot 400 degrees and place your oven safe 9” round baking dish inside while it heats up. I use my cast iron frying pan for this job.

A bowl of cornbread batter

Southern Cornbread mix

BUT WAIT!

For a crispy crust, before you put the cast iron into the oven, you want to coat the cast iron skillet good with an oil that can withstand the job. Vegetable oil is fine, but I find that shortening works better and if you can find it, lard. That’s right, I said it. LARD. As much as no one wants to hear it, LARD is the best coating for a cast iron skillet when making southern cornbread. (It only takes about a tablespoon).

SO ANYWAY, MORE ABOUT THE CRISPY CORNBREAD CRUST

Once the oven comes to full temp, allow the cast iron skillet to heat a little longer (about 5 minutes). Then, place your batter, a rubber spatula (‘cause you want to get every last drop of southern cornbread goodness out of the bowl) and a pair of GOOD heavy oven mitts near the oven door.

As quickly as you dare, open the oven door, hold your head back to avoid the blast of heat, pull the rack out enough to expose the iron skillet completely. Pour the batter into the bowl and use your rubber spatula to scrape out the cornbread batter.

A frying pan of southern cornbread

Southern Cornbread in the hot pan!

YOU WILL HEAR A SIZZLE!

You will hear the batter sizzling and you’ll know you are on your way to creating a crispy delicious crust!

Once the batter is in the skillet, push the rack back in the oven and close the door as quickly as you can. Then, do NOT open the oven door again for at least 15 minutes. No matter how much you want to, just don’t. Let the oven elves do their magic.

WHAT IS CORNBREAD?

Cornbread is an old fashioned pan bread that is made from cornmeal, oil and an egg, usually. Of course, other recipes exist, but why would you want one?

WHAT KIND OF CORNMEAL DO I USE?

Please save yourself the time and trouble and simply purchase a cornmeal mix. AND, I don’t mean the mix like Jiffy either. I mean a substantial old fashioned cornmeal mix. If you get plain old cornmeal, then you’ll be needing to mix other ingredients in or it will turn out flat as a fritter, so to speak.

Cornmeal mix already has #allthethings mixed in. Easy peasy!

Here is the link to Tendabake company, check out their corn meal mixes. Any of those are A-OK in my book. Sorry, no Amazon link today to see what it looks like, Amazon doesn’t carry Tendabake, surprisingly.

IS SOUTHERN CORNBREAD SWEET?

Well, the answer is an emphatic “NO”, southern cornbread is not sweet. You can call it a lot of things, like simple, savory, corn flavored and most especially, DELICIOUS, but you would never ever call it sweet.

Sweet cornbread is for people from the far far north OR Floridians, whichever you please. If you want to try sweet cornbread, then it would be a good time for the Jiffy mix.

A top down view of a pan of southern cornbread

The baked cornbread

WHAT CAN I DO WITH CORNBREAD LEFTOVERS?

  • I am SO glad you asked what to do with cornbread leftovers because there are a few things to do with them!
  • Make a wonderful and savory Southern Cornbread Dressing!
  • You could toast up some squares for Cornbread Croutons to use in soups and salad.
  • Crumble up some cornbread into some buttermilk and drink it up for breakfast (Southern Old Timers favorite).
  • Make a Cornbread Salad!

TIPS AND TRICKS FOR SOUTHERN CORNBREAD

  • Use a good quality  9” cast iron skillet for this job.
  • A paper towel or a butter wrapper makes an ideal application tool to spread the oil, grease, lard onto the skillet to prepare it before the batter.
  • If you want a crispy southern cornbread crust then you need to get that pan in the oven as it preheats and allow it to stay in there for a full 5 minutes after the oven comes to temp. It can be a little scary pouring the batter into the very hot pan, but a crispy crust is not for the faint of heart.
  • Resist the urge to peek to check on your cornbread. Every time you open the door, you reduce the temperature. Cornbread requires a SCREAMING hot oven ya’ll.
  • Prepare your southern cornbread as close to dinner time as possible, hot cornbread right out of the oven is the best dinner time experience ever.
  • Serve your southern cornbread with REAL butter. Don’t skimp. Go for it.
A slice of Southern Cornbread with iron skillet in back ground

Southern Cornbread

THINGS I USE TO MAKE SOUTHERN CORNBREAD

Just so you know, this is an affiliate link to Amazon and if you click through to check out prices and end up buying, I will receive a commission from your purchase. Of course, this costs you nothing extra, so Thank you!

This is one of my favorite pans for a crispy southern cornbread crust. You can always count on the quality of a Lodge skillet.

You will need some good heavy oven mitts, so go ahead and pick these up while you are over on Amazon shopping. (affiliate link, I get a commission if you buy)

If you enjoyed Southern Cornbread, you might also enjoy…

 

THE RECIPE FOR SOUTHERN CORNBREAD

Southern Cornbread slice on a plate

Southern Cornbread

A simple recipe for Southern Cornbread.  You can't go wrong.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Southern Cornbread, Corn bread, Southern Corn Bread
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 220kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon Butter, Shortening or Lard (Lard is best)
  • 2 Cups Self Rising Corn Meal Mix (make sure it isn't plain cornmeal)
  • 1 1/4 Cups Whole Milk
  • 1 Large Egg beaten
  • 1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a 9 or 10" cast iron skillet with the butter/shortening by rubbing a thin layer all over the inside of the pan. Place the pan into the oven on a center rack while the oven preheats. Once oven is preheated, allow pan to stay in the oven another 5 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the corn meal mix, whole milk, large egg, vegetable oil and salt and pepper. Mix very well removing all lumps. Use a whisk if lumps are a problem
  • Once the oven has come to temp, allow the skillet to remain in the oven for a few more minutes. Gather together the following items at the stove: Cornbread batter, good hot pad/oven mitt, rubber spatula.
  • As quickly as possible, open the oven, pull the rack that the pan is sitting on out where you can easily pour the batter into the pan without getting burned (use your oven mitt). Use the rubber spatula to quickly scrape all of the cornbread batter into the skillet. You should hear some sizzling (that is good because that is a crusty bottom on your cornbread developing!).
  • Using your oven mitt, push the rack and skillet back into the oven and shut the oven door and don't dare open it again for at least 15 minutes. The cornbread is done when it has risen and is golden across the surface. You will probably notice some C shaped cracks near the edges of the cornbread and that is fine.
  • When done, remove from the oven and serve right away.  Hot butter is the best garnish!  🙂 

Notes

  • Use a good quality  9” cast iron skillet for this job.
  • A paper towel or a butter wrapper makes an ideal application tool to spread the oil, grease, lard onto the skillet to prepare it before the batter.
  • If you want a crispy southern cornbread crust then you need to get that pan in the oven as it preheats and allow it to stay in there for a full 5 minutes after the oven comes to temp.  It can be a little scary pouring the batter into the very hot pan, but a crispy crust is not for the faint of heart.
  • Resist the urge to peek to check on your cornbread.  Every time you open the door, you reduce the temperature. Cornbread requires a SCREAMING hot oven ya’ll.
  • Prepare your southern cornbread as close to dinner time as possible, hot cornbread right out of the oven is the best dinner time experience ever.
  • Serve your southern cornbread with REAL butter.  Don’t skimp. Go for it.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Southern Cornbread
Amount Per Serving
Calories 220
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @loavesanddishes or tag #loavesanddishes!

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Have you ever thought about the life of Paul, the author of much of our modern day Bible? I think about ol’ Paul a lot. Sometimes in my reading, I can see that Paul let a lot of himself into what he wrote.

Of course, much of what is in our Bible is Paul’s letters to various early churchs. He had no way to know that we would one day be reading his personal messages as words of our faith. I wonder what he would have said to know that?

Terrible Luck

Paul seemed to have pretty rotten luck in his travels. He kept being arrested and thrown in jail, he was even stoned at one point for his beliefs. That didn’t dampen his love for Jesus though.

I admire that kind of doggedness even if I don’t always agree with the way that Paul chooses to teach things. Most of all, I admire his devotion. I pray that given a similar circumstance that my own love for Jesus would hold up to scrutiny.

We should all hope so much.

In Paul’s second letter to the Philippians, he encourages them to be uplifted in their love of Christ together.

When people are arguing and disagreeing to you ever think, “Hey, let’s figure out where we are on the same page and then go from there”. I sure do. Consider that the next time you become exasperated with someone on line or in general.

Philippians 2: 1-8

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,  not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

A Mindset

Who, being in very nature God,

   did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;

rather, he made himself nothing

   by taking the very nature of a servant,

   being made in human likeness.

And being found in appearance as a man,

   he humbled himself

   by becoming obedient to death—

       even death on a cross!

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Recipe Rating




Barb

Tuesday 7th of April 2020

Thank you for mentioning that Southern cornbread does NOT contain sugar! First time I purchased premade cornbread from the grocery store I almost gagged - threw that sugary mess out. Do wish they would lose that sugar - ruins a perfectly good cornbread!

Wendi Spraker

Tuesday 7th of April 2020

There's a BIG argument afoot about southern cornbread and the sugar. We like our tea sweet and our cornbread not! lol. Thanks Barb.

Karen Murphy

Monday 14th of January 2019

I too am from the deep south. I like to use a cornmeal mix too! I think they are easier and really taste better. This is a great recipe. I do use buttermilk most of the time. Some people don't like or have buttermilk in their kitchens. It is just a choice. But this is great cornbread!

Wendi Spraker

Monday 14th of January 2019

Hi Karen! Thanks for leaving a comment. I appreciate it! Glad you love it!

Linda S Moore

Wednesday 21st of November 2018

This is not like any southern cornbread I have ever made. We always use corn meal and flour and buttermilk. It’s always been that way with all my family and we were born and raised in the south. I’ll try your way but it sounds like it will be very crumbly. Not good for making dressing on Thanksgiving or to use with pinto beans or other southern dishes.

Wendi Spraker

Thursday 22nd of November 2018

Linda, I'm wishing you a very happy Thanksgiving. I pray that love and friendship envelopes your get togethers and that you will be blessed. Best wishes.

Moxie

Tuesday 21st of August 2018

Delicious cornbread, this recipe is perfect!

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