Sweet Corn Bread

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Corn bread is a year 'round companion to meals in my house. This long time staple of the American table is especially enjoyable during the cool months as it accompanies soups, stews, and chili.  I even use it in my Thanksgiving dressing.  There are many versions out there from sweet to savory to spicy, and I have a few of my own, but this is my go-to version.  

I grew up eating the sweet stuff.  In fact, most of the time Mom made the Jiffy mix and, I have to admit, it was good.  But nowadays, I try to avoid pre-packaged foods and mixes.  I like knowing where all my ingredients come from and the satisfaction of it being homemade.  

In this recipe, I use equal amounts of flour and cornmeal.  I also use a mixture of whole milk and vinegar for a buttermilk effect.  Why don't I use buttermilk, you ask?  I can't find full fat buttermilk and I like the richness from the fat in the milk.  I only eat one piece, so I can afford it:)  You can use melted butter or vegetable oil depending on your preference.  Lastly, after mixing the ingredients, I allow the mixture to rest for 5 minutes (a trick I learned from the back of the box).  Here's why with some proof.  Letting the mixture rest does two things.   1.  It allows the leavening agents to react.  2.  It allows the cornmeal to absorb the moisture from the wet ingredients.  Once you pour it into the prepared pan, you will notice that instead of a wet batter, the mixture will be more spongy and airy.  This also produces a tender crumb.  To show you that my previous statements are more than just theory, I made two batches; one with the rest and one without.  I also tested the baking temperature and time. 

The cornbread on the left was allowed to rest and baked at 425º F.  The cornbread on the right did not rest and was baked at 400º F.  As you can see, the cornbread on the left is taller, has a lighter crumb, and the color is deeper due to the five minute rest and higher baking temperature.  I'll take that one with a shmear of butter, please!

Printable Recipe

Sweet Corn Bread
serves 9

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup fine yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup whole milk at room temperature
1 Tablespoon white distilled vinegar
1 extra large egg at room temperature
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted; or 1/4 cup vegetable oil

In a small bowl, combine the milk and vinegar; set aside for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425º F.  Spray an 8-inch baking pan with non-stick baking spray.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  In a small bowl, whisk together the milk mixture, egg, and butter (or oil if using).  Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and mix just until combined.  Allow the mixture to rest for 5 minutes  Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly.  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until light golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for 5 minutes.  Invert the pan onto a wire rack to release the corn bread.  Invert the cornbread to a cutting surface.  Cut into 9 squares; serve warm with butter.  Enjoy!

Source: Adapted from the back of Quaker Yellow Cornmeal 


  1. Gorgeous- thank you for doing the leg work and sharing! I had corn bread french toast on the weekend at a cafe, with bacon and maple syrup. Was pretty extraordinary. Can't wait to try some of this.

  2. Tori-
    Cornbread french toast sounds wonderful!

  3. this is AMAZING!! ok i'm so making this!! hope you can share your cornbread dressing recipe; i'm looking for a thanksgiving recipe!

  4. If you don't have anyone to eat the one on the left - without the rest and the higher temperature, I'll volunteer, under great duress of course, - it might call for 2 schmears of butter! :)

  5. Oh! Your cornbread looks delicious, light and fluffy...great tip and when baking this cornbread I will make sure that I let it rest.
    Hope you are having a great week Nicole :-)

  6. Mine just came out of the oven, and it tastes amazing! The perfect complement to the turkey chili I made for dinner on this wet, dreary November day. Thanks so much!!

  7. L.E. Raymond-
    Yeah! So glad you already made it and enjoyed it. I agree it is perfect for a dreary, day (we even had a snow shower?!). Turkey Chili sounds great:P

  8. I want one of these, thank you very much!! Sweet corn with anything, anytime :D

  9. Cornbread was always a staple in our house. I love it. But I'm always on the look out for the next best cornbread recipe. I will be trying yours. I have bookmarked your site because I like how you explain the reasoning behind your steps..."let the batter rest before baking because..."

  10. Lisa-
    Thank you! I love corn bread in all forms, but when it comes down to basics, I want something that has a savory and sweet flavor with a texture that borders cake and bread. This recipe fits the bill for me and I hope you enjoy it, too:)

  11. Thank you! My family and I just moved to Southern GA from the West Coast and I have been DYING to find a good Southern Cornbread recipe! One quick question: if I were to make this in muffin form (6 regular sized-muffin pan, or 24 mini muffin pan) how would that change the time and temp? Thanks so much!! Looks delish!

    Staci - recipesbysheshe.blogspot.com

    1. Staci-
      you can make muffins using this recipe. The cooking temperature will remain the same, but cook the muffins for 10-12 minutes. You should yield 12 standard muffins. Hope you enjoy the recipe!

    2. Nicole- thanks for the info! I tried them out today... soo good!! Definitely will become a favorite around here! Thank you so much! Here's my post about them: http://recipesbysheshe.blogspot.com/2012/03/jambalaya-redone-plus-cornbread-muffins.html

  12. I across your recipe as I was scrambling to whip up some corn bread to go along with a big pot of chili. I'd only ever made the box kind in the past but this was so easy and turned out so well. I didn't have any whole milk on hand, so I just decided to wing it with a mix of half and half and 1% milk (all I had around..) and tastes just fine to me. Next time I want to try it with the buttermilk effect to see if I notice any difference, but in the mean time I've got a new standby!


    1. Pleased you enjoyed the recipe. You will get a similar result with the buttermilk. I grew up on full fat buttermilk. It helps keep the bread very moist and tender. Unfortunately, I have trouble finding it nowadays and that is why I use the whole milk/vinegar solution. Feel free to use what pleases you:)


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