My mom's awesome and super-easy cornbread recipe

March 19 2015 | Guest post by Kelsey
By: waponigirl – CC BY 2.0
By: waponigirl – CC BY 2.0

If you ask my mom, there's only one way to make cornbread and that's in a cast iron skillet with THIS recipe. And while I find many cornbreads enjoyable (shh don't tell mom), there really is something about this recipe that makes it my favorite.

Typically I make it to go with beans, and the left overs get snacked on through the week, either just heated up with butter or crumbled into a glass of milk. I don't know where this recipe came from originally, but it's the only way my family will make cornbread, and since it's super-easy, I thought I'd share it with my homies!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • Β½ teaspoon salt
  • ΒΌ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup milk (buttermilk is the best, but any kind you have on hand will do)
  • 1 egg, beaten

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil into the cast iron skillet and place skillet in oven.
  3. Mix in a large bowl: cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  4. In a separate bowl mix: remaining vegetable oil, milk and beaten egg.
  5. Once mixtures are well mixed, fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stir until well combined (but don't over stir).
  6. Pour the mixture into the hot skillet in the oven, and bake for 25 minutes.
  1. But….what if you don't have a cast iron skillet? And what size skillet exactly? Can I use muffin tins or a square bread pan?

    Sounds super yummy!

    • I have never made this in anything but cast iron, however I'm pretty sure you could tweak it to bake it in anything! Preheating the cast iron with oil gives the cornbread a nice "crust", something I wouldn't know how to achieve with normal bake ware. I've had corn bread (not this recipe) made in glass dishes before and it's still pretty good, it just lacks that nice crisp crust layer. As for the size, that's all up to you! I use a round 8 or 9 inch skillet for a nice thick cornbread perfect for absorbing liquid in beans. But you could also use a bigger skillet for a thinner cornbread.

  2. This looks really similar to the recipe that I've been using for several years, too. It is also very similar to the recipes below that were apparently on the back of the cornmeal boxes. But, it works every time and is really good! You can make it in muffin tins or a 8 or 9 inch square or round cake pan – simply adjust the cooking time so that the centers are cooked through and a toothpick (fork, knife, etc.) come out clean when you poke them.

    http://www.alberscorn.com/recipes/cornmeal/AlbersCornBread.aspx

    http://www.food.com/recipe/crusty-quaker-cornbread-201801

    Hope I didn't burst anyone's bubble by ruining mom's recipe!

  3. i agree with your mom, with 1 correction and two suggestions

    correction: *butter*. 1 tablespoon of *butter* in the skillet. this is southern food, after all. πŸ˜‰

    suggestions: for folks who don't dig the texture of cornbread, i find that 1/2 cup of cornmeal and 1/2 cup of corn *flour* takes the grit factor down to a point where even people who don't like cornbread totally like cornbread. ans, if you don't have buttermilk, you can make a good cooking substitute by putting a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice in a cup of regular milk and letting it sit for a few minutes.

    • Yes, the lemon juice in milk substitute totally works!

      I love cornbread but never have cornmeal on hand to make it. Growing up, we always bought the premixed packets (the ones where I think you just have to add eggs, water/milk, and oil, or something like that)…better add cornmeal to our grocery list so I can try out this recipe! Thank you!!!

    • If I have it on hand, I like to use bacon fat in the skillet πŸ™‚ and sometimes in the batter too, if I'm feeling indulgent. And I agree, I always do the lemon juice trick too.

      • Y'all. I just learned that it's not common for folks to save their bacon grease and that seems like suuuuch a tragedy. Is this an article we need on OBH? The care and keeping of a bacon fat mug?

        • Ugh, I hate to say it, but probably yes. Although I'm handing over editing duties on that one, because just the thought of it makes me wanna vom. (Hi, I'm the only human in the world who's stomach turns at the thought/smell/sight of bacon.)

        • YES, this is an article we need. My mom always saves her bacon grease for cooking, and cornbread is definitely no exception. I'm pretty sure most everyone in my family does the same… I didn't realize that most people don't do this (at least where I live) until I had friends who would comment how weird it was that we had a mug of bacon grease in the fridge. It's a crime, really. Bacon grease makes pretty much everything taste awesome.

        • I save my grease if I know I'm going to cook something in the next day or so, but I don't really know *how* to do it properly. I'd appreciate an article as well! Maybe you could do a guest post? πŸ™‚

          • We don't do pork bacon in our house, so the bacon fat collection doesn't happen.

            We do, however, collect the juices/drippings whenever we roast a chicken. Those get poured into a jar, kept in the fridge, and get used during the course of the week in other dishes. Not sure if it truly qualifies as "schmaltz," but that's what we call it.

        • I started saving bacon fat mainly to use it for cornbread, but it's totally delicious for other things too (popcorn popped in bacon fat, sprinkled with a little maple syrup? yes please). Saying "if I have it on hand" wasn't totally accurate because now I will occasionally buy bacon specifically so I can replenish my jar of bacon grease when it's getting low.

          I like to use it for seasoning the cast iron pan too.

  4. Can't wait to try this! We have cornbread (usually just Jiffy because I'm lazy) about once a week. This sounds so much better and not that complicated. My guy likes the crispy edges of the cornbread made in the glass pan, so an entire crispy bottom in the cast iron is going to make him freak out.

  5. My mom also does the cast-iron pan method! The main difference is that she saves her bacon grease and uses that instead of oil or butter. IMO, that's what really makes her recipe sing. πŸ™‚

  6. We make cornbread in cast iron skillets, too! We use a recipe out of Joy of Cooking (I think it's where my Nana got her recipe). We use bacon grease instead of oil for extra-deliciousness. πŸ˜€

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