Cornbread Recipe

This homemade cornbread recipe makes deliciously moist bread. It’s lightly sweetened with honey – no processed sugar needed! Replace your recipe that calls for processed ingredients and make this healthier bread recipe instead.

If you love cornbread, but you don’t love all the processed sugar that usually comes with it, here’s a delicious recipe for a healthier version that never fails. Serve it with some melted butter, a drizzle of honey, and your favorite bowl of chili for an epic dinner!

two stacked pieces of fluffy, moist homemade cornbread made with real food ingredients

In my opinion, this is the best cornbread recipe. It’s an easy cornbread recipe that comes together in minutes without any cornbread mixes and makes a great side dish for so many things. There is no all-purpose flour or processed sugar in it. It doesn’t even have buttermilk in it, which means it’s easy to make this dairy-free or vegan.

Who Invented Cornbread?

It was created by Native American Indians.

“Cornbread is probably one of America’s oldest foods. American Indians learned early on to dry or roast corn and grind it into a meal for making bread, cakes and porridge.”

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What Does Cornbread Taste Like?

Believe it or not, it doesn’t taste much like corn! (Depending on which type you have) Instead, it’s more of a sweet type of bread. It’s a bit grainy which makes it perfect for having with things like stew or chili.

What Is Cornmeal?

Cornmeal is coarsely ground flour made from dried corn. It can be found in many stores the world over as it is used in several different types of cuisines.

A closeup of a pile of cut cornbread pieces.

The Difference Between Cornbread And Southern Cornbread

The non-southern variety is more crumbly and less sweet, while the southern version is more “cake-like” in texture and sweet as well. It’s often served with butter and honey to make it even sweeter.

What Is The Secret To Moist Cornbread?

Greek yogurt. Yes, you read that right. Plain Greek yogurt will do the trick every time. Thankfully, this recipe already accounts for that! (Though, you can always add a bit more if you wish. You can cut down to a 1/4 cup of milk and use an additional 1/4 cup of Greek yogurt).

What Ingredient Keeps Cornbread From Crumbling?

Egg yolks. If your cornbread crumbles too much, throw in an extra egg yolk or two the next time you make it. (Don’t include the egg white. You just want the yolks)

Four pieces of cornbread on a white surface.

What Kind Of Baking Pan Should You Use For Cornbread?

A brownie pan will work great for making cornbread. But a casserole dish will do the job as well. You can also use a 9-inch cast iron skillet.

What To Serve With This Cornbread Recipe

Cornbread goes well with any number of dishes, especially chili recipes. In my experience, most recipes served with cornbread typically involve beans. Here are some suggestions:

Cornbread Recipe Variations

  • Add jalapeno peppers to make this spice.
  • Mix some cooked bacon pieces into the dough (the bread will last only 3 days this way)
  • Add a little extra milk to the batter and fry up some Jonnycakes (like pancakes).
  • Add some chopped onions, roll the batter into small balls, and bake them into Hushpuppies. (Great paired with seafood dishes)
  • Use a muffin pan and make cornbread muffins.
An uncut loaf of cornbread cooling on a black wire rack.

About The Cornbread Recipe Ingredients

Yellow cornmeal – This can be found at most grocery stores.

Corn flour – This can be a little harder to find. I found it at Whole Foods. It’s basically just cornmeal that has been ground to a finer texture than cornmeal.

Whole wheat pastry flour – If you can’t find this, then White Whole Wheat Flour is the next best thing, and often much easier to find.

Baking soda – Make sure it’s on the fresher side so it does its job properly.

Cream of tartar – Found in the spice aisle of most grocery stores.

Salt – I used pink Himalayan salt, but you can use whatever salt you normally cook or bake with.

Honey – You can also use maple syrup, but the finished bread won’t be as sweet.

Plain Greek yogurt – Or regular yogurt. Whichever you prefer. Even dairy-free yogurt will work.

Milk – Any kind will work. Good choices for dairy-free milk are almond milk and oat milk.

Large eggs – These can be chilled, but work better at room temperature.

Oil – Whatever oil you are comfortable using.

Frozen corn – Optional – no sugar added.

How To Make This Cornbread Recipe

Cornbread Recipe ingredients in individual bowls on a white surface.

Gather and measure all your ingredients.

An oven display shows the oven is set to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Preheat oven to 400 F.

A glass bowl filled with bread dough.

In a large mixing bowl, mix your dry ingredients together with a whisk. Then add in the wet ingredients, including the corn, if you are using it. Don’t over-mix this. Lumps are okay here.

Bread dough in a baking pan.

Scrape batter into baking dish and bake for 15 -20 minutes. If you think you need longer than 15 minutes, check it every minute thereafter, or you’ll end up with burnt cornbread. If you like a lighter color on top, place a sheet of aluminum foil over the top for the last 5 minutes of baking. It’s done baking when you can poke it with a toothpick or cake tester and it comes out clean.

A loaf of cornbread cooling on a wire rack.

Transfer the loaf to a cooling rack and allow it to fully cool before slicing.

A pile of cut cornbread pieces lay on a white surface.

Slice into 15 pieces, and serve it warmed up with some butter and honey.

Storing This Cornbread Recipe

If you have leftover cornbread, wrap this well in an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also wrap it in plastic wrap to help keep it from drying out.

Freezing Cornbread

If wrapped well, cornbread will freeze nicely for up to 3 months.

Reheating Cornbread

The easiest way to reheat cornbread is to put it in the microwave for a few seconds. A toaster oven will work, but the top of the cornbread may get a bit too brown.

Recipe Supplies

Brownie pan set with lids sold on Amazon. (Affiliate link)
Cast iron skillet sold on Amazon. (Affiliate link)
Mixing bowl set with lids sold on Amazon. (Affiliate link)

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More Healthy Bread Recipes

Cornbread Recipe Card

Copyright Information For The Gracious Pantry
2 stacked pieces of fluffy, moist homemade cornbread made with real food ingredients

Homemade Cornbread Recipe

This homemade cornbread is the perfect healthier bread to replace your recipe with processed ingredients. Delicious!! Note: Use organic corn products to avoid GMO corn. 
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Breads
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 15 pieces (9×5 pan)
Calories: 141kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup plain yellow corn meal
  • 1 cup corn flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat pastry flour (affiliate link)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 4 tbsp. honey
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup milk (almond or soy milk work too)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup corn – optional (frozen, no sugar added)

Instructions

  • Gather and measure all your ingredients.
    Cornbread Recipe ingredients in individual bowls on a white surface.
  • Preheat oven to 400℉.
    An oven display shows the oven is set to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix your dry ingredients together with a whisk. Then add in the wet ingredients, including the corn, if you are using it. Don't over-mix this. Lumps are okay here.
    A glass bowl filled with Cornbread dough.
  • Scrape batter into baking dish and bake for 15 -20 minutes. If you think you need longer than 15 minutes, check it every minute thereafter, or you'll end up with burnt cornbread. If you like a lighter color on top, place a sheet of aluminum foil over the top for the last 5 minutes of baking. It's done baking when you can poke it with a toothpick and it comes out clean.
    Cornbread dough in a baking pan.
  • Transfer the loaf to a cooling rack and allow it to fully cool before slicing.
    A loaf of cornbread cooling on a wire rack.
  • Slice into 15 pieces, and serve it warmed up.
    A pile of cut cornbread pieces lay on a white surface.

Notes

Please note that the nutrition data below is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 141kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 173mg | Potassium: 218mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 75IU | Vitamin C: 0.6mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 0.7mg

Recipe from the Gracious Pantry archives, originally posted 3/24/10.

5 from 4 votes (1 rating without comment)

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81 Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Yum! What a great sub!

  2. graciouspantry says:

    It’s a finer grind than polenta/corn meal. But it’s the same stuff. It’s getting harder to find too. You might try ordering it off of amazon.

  3. graciouspantry says:

    Now, yes. When I did this recipe, it was still relatively safe. Very sad.

  4. graciouspantry says:

    I’m not sure. I’ve never made corn cakes. Sorry! Maybe somebody else here will know.

  5. Thea Alexander says:

    Do you think it would turn out if I used almond milk instead of soy milk? Or would it change the flavor too much?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      I think the flavor would be fine.

  6. Step three says to mix the wet ingredients and frozen corn, but frozen corn isn’t on the ingredient list. How much corn does the recipe call for?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Nicole – The recipe calls for 1 cup.

  7. Great recipie!!! I made this for my daughter and I tonite and she loved it!!!! So much better than from a box! I used unsweetened almond milk and it worked fine. Love this web site!!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Carol – Good to know! Glad you both enjoyed it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. I am excited to try this. We are going camping so I am trying it with the all whole wheat sub and canned corn instead of frozen. I am also going to try cooking this in my cast iron skillet covered with foil over the fire. Cross your fingers for me!!!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jenny – Please let me know how it turns out!

  9. Jessica W says:

    I’m new to Clean Eating. You and your site come highly recommended from a friend. Anyway, I’m wondering if my Great Grandma’s Skillet Cornbread could qualify as ‘Clean’ or maybe at least ‘Tidy’. It’s sour milk ( fresh milk, soured with vinegar), baking soda, salt and cornmeal. Baked in a cast iron skillet.
    I see lots of awesome recipes here! I’m excited!!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jessica – If that’s all that’s in it, then yes, it’s clean. However, I would make it a point to use organic cornmeal to avoid GMO’s. Welcome to my site! ๐Ÿ˜€

  10. can i use whole wheat flour or does it have to be wheat pastry flour?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Tricia – You can use it, but the result will be far more dense. The flavor will be the same though.

  11. This recipe looks fantastic! What would be a good sub for the whole-wheat pastry flour? (gluten-free)

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Lindsey – I’m sorry, I honestly don’t know. I know nothing about gluten free cooking/baking or the conversions for it. You might try Elana’s Pantry. She’s completely gluten free.

  12. I just came across this in my efforts to make a clean version of corn tamale cakes that can be bought at restaurants like the Cheescake Factory and Chop House. The corn cake is typically a little sweet, and topped with pico de gallo and avocado, then drizzled with a tangy and slightly spicy ranch type sauce. It’s a flavor explosion. If I can come up with a yogurt based sauce I might try to make these using your recipe!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Charissa – Great! Let me know how it turns out!

  13. I’m back! Found a recipe on Pinterest and it looks relatively clean. Thoughts?
    (broken link)

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Charissa – Sorry, no. That recipes is definitely not clean.

  14. Help! I just tried it and it came out very dense, it wasn’t even portable. I left out the honey and added more milk since I didn’t want sweet corn bread. I’ve mAde corn bread before and it was wet, this was very dry after combining the wet and dry ingredients. Is it supposed to be spreadable or pourable?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Sandra – It should be at least slightly pourable. Did you change anything else about the recipe? Maybe try adding 1/4 cup liquid to make up for the loss of the honey.

  15. I love this recipe. I’ve made it a few times to go along with my Dad’s chili recipe and it compliments the chili perfectly! The only thing I have had trouble with is the baking time. The middle of the cornbread is almost always slightly soft and uncooked, but if I leave it in longer the outermost parts start to burn. Should I adjust the temperature? Thank you!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Ellen – Interesting. I would simply cover it loosely with foil and bake it longer. It’ll give you the best of both worlds. ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy Thanksgiving!

  16. Thank you for your advice, I covered the cornbread in foil and it cooked all the way through without burning! I also had to use a round glass dish this time instead of my usual square metal pan, I don’t know if that affected it or not too. Regardless I just love this cornbread. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks again!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Ellen – I suppose it could make a difference, but I it sounds more like it just needed to bake longer in your oven. Ovens vary, so baking times often do as well. Glad you like it! ๐Ÿ˜€

  17. Valerie Tolin says:

    Could I use regular Whole Wheat Flour? Or does it have to be the pastry?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Valerie – You could, the flavor will be the same but the bread will turn out more dense and “bready”.

  18. Nadine Klinkenberg says:

    Hi…I’m new to clean eating with a somewhat resistant family. ???? I want to try this but can’t locate cornmeal. Will leaving it out(subbing corn flour) just change the texture or totally mess everything up?

    BTW….LOVE your site. I think your recipes are the first i check out when I go hunting. ????????????????

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Nadine – I’ve never tried it, but the texture may change slightly. If you have a true flour, then the texture will change because cornmeal is more course. But that doesn’t mean it would be bad. Just more like bread than cornbread. Worth a shot!

  19. Could you use all corn meal and no flour?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jennifer – I haven’t tried it, but it’s worth a shot!

  20. I mean all corn meal and WWPF but no corn flour. Would it still work and be good?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jennifer – I’m sure it would work, the texture might change a bit though. Let me know how it turns out if you try it.