Classic Sweet Easy Buttermilk Cornbread with a hint of honey is the perfect side to chili’s, soups or stews! With crispy, crunchy buttery edges and the most amazing soft, fluffy centre!
This Easy Buttermilk Cornbread is hands down my favourite cornbread passed down to me from my mother’s tattered collection of recipes, and tweaked only slightly to make it even more incredible — if that’s at all possible! Plus it’s so versatile it can be made in either a skillet or baking dish and all prepared in ONE BOWL!
There has long been a debate whether cornbread should have sugar added into cornbread or not, depending on what part of the great US of A you are from. Having tried and tested both types, using many different recipes on the web and in recipe books through the years, I have to say I’m more partial to sweet cornbread.
There’s something about a crispy, crunchy buttery crust, with a soft and fluffy inside that is so addictive, with a perfect amount of honey. It could also be simply that I’ve been raised with sweet fluffy corn bread to accompany our families chili recipe, while also eating slices of it for breakfast.
Especially when warmed up and oozing with melted butter.
Whichever one you go for, you need to try this one at least once in your life. It may just convert you from savoury to sweet!
You don’t need any baking skills to pull off a great cornbread. Just one bowl, a whisk or a wooden spoon, and a nice hot cast iron skillet. We have also used baking dishes in the past, but I have to say a skillet is where its at if you have one. If not, baking pans or dishes are just as good.
How To Make The Best Easy Buttermilk Cornbread
- The most important part of making cornbread into something absolutely spectacular is heating up your pan or dish in a preheated oven before doing anything else. THIS is where that amazing crisp/crunchy edge begin.
- Alternatively, if using a cast iron pan, melt your butter over stovetop on medium heat (I usually do this while getting all of my ingredients ready and mixing the dry ingredients together). This way, you’re melting your butter, seasoning your pan AND heating it up all at the same time. Two birds with one stone!
- Once the butter has melted, turn the heat off but keep your skillet on the burner. This way, you allow your butter to melt slightly to add into the batter, BUT your skillet stays hot enough for a perfect sizzle when the batter is poured in.
- If in doubt, after you’ve added the slightly cooled butter into the cornbread mixture, place your skillet back onto your burner and turn it on again (medium heat) to keep it hot before adding the batter.
- When whisking your dry ingredients together, make sure all of the lumps are out. It usually only takes 1 minute of whisking. Easy.
- I love using brown sugar in this cornbread recipe. It makes the cornbread so much softer in the centre while complementing the honey. If you have brown sugar (I use light brown sugar), please try it!
- I also prefer to add in a teaspoon of baking powder for extra ‘lift’. It doesn’t come out cake-y, just slightly more fluffier than regular cornbread. Cornbread can be on the crumbly side… this one isn’t like that at all. However, for a denser cornbread, leave out the baking powder.
- 1/4 cup of honey is perfect for our tastes in this! If you prefer just a subtle hint of honey, try 2 tablespoons. You may need to add another 2 tablespoons of sugar as it may not be sweet enough, depending on your sweetness preference.
- Don’t over mix your batter! This is really important, as it can make your cornbread tough.
- My favourite part? Pouring the batter into the hot skillet or dish and listening to that perfect sizzle. Like a boss.
A perfect Easy Buttermilk Cornbread recipe…right there.
What to serve with cornbread:
Beef And Guinness Stew
Slow Cooker Beef Stew
Easy Buttermilk Cornbread
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted and cooled slightly
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal (or polenta)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar (or white granulated sugar)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder (optional: yields a fluffier cornbread)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk shake before measuring
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 large eggs
- Preheat the oven to 200C | 400F and position a rack in the middle. Lightly grease a 9-inch cast iron skillet or 9-inch square baking dish with butter and place skillet/dish into the oven to heat up. (Alternatively for cast iron skillets: heat 1/2 cup of unmelted butter in your cast iron over stove top on medium heat until melted, turn heat off then allow the butter to cool slightly before adding to the batter.)
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder (If using), baking soda and salt.
- Make a well in the centre and add the buttermilk, honey and eggs. Mix together well to combine, then add in the slightly cooled melted butter. Mix again until 'just' combined (don't over mix).
- Carefully remove your 'hot' pan or dish from the oven with oven mitts, and pour the batter into the hot skillet or dish. Listen to that sizzle! That's what you want.
- Bake until the cornbread begins to brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean (about 20-23 minutes). Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Cindy Vanderzalm says
Really wonderful recipe. I made 1 ½ times and used a 9×13 pan. “Best cornbread ever” was a few of the comments. Thank you
Dave Kerr says
Hey Karina. I’ve been a long-time fan of this recipe, have made it many times, usually to complement ribs, brisket or smoked chicken on my Big Green Egg. It’s always great.
This past weekend we had close personal friends over for a rib feast, and one of them is totally gluten intolerant. So here’s what I did.
First, I used a medium ground meal for the first time in this recipe. I’d always used fine grind and we love it, but holy cow was it good with the coarser meal. The other thing I did was substitute a cop of almond floud for the regular stuff, which also meant adding one extra egg. I always sprinkle a bit of the leftover rib rub on top of it all.
The result was just incredible. Every single person at the dinner table, including me, said it was absolutely the best cornbread they’d ever had. It was actually even better than the regular flour version, which was the best I’d had to that point.
It was all eaten. I just made another batch because it’s so darned good.
SoCal Steve says
That sounds amazing! Did you do it with or without baking powder?
Thanks – Steve
With baking powder.
I made a second batch, went to get a bite and it was *gone*.
This is going to become a regular offering here.
Sieglinde Langendorfer says
This is with out a doubt the best cornbread ever I am so happy to have found you it will be the only recipe I will ever make thank you from the bottom of my Heart❤️
Delish!! This os the best cornbread! We added some whole kernal corn to it. Soooooo gooooddd!!! Our go to cornbread from now on!
Looks really delicious. I only have a 12-inch cast iron skillet. How do I adjust the recipe to account for the increase in volume?
Molly J McDougle says
You should double the recipe for 12 inch skillet. A good rule of thumb is add 30% for every additional inch of diameter, so 12-9=3, 3×30%=90%, roughly double. Also applies to cakes!
This is the best cornbread I’ve ever made! I will only make this one from now on I made honeybutter to go with it. Just delicious!
I have tried many cornbread recipes for me and my southern boyfriend. This is beyond a doubt one of the best. I followed the recipe, but next time i will try diced jalapenos and perhaps creamed corn. Looks to be my go to cornbread! Thank you.
I made this cornbread today with a chili and it was heaven!!!
I live in Europe so I scaled down the honey significantly, as I usually find the US recipes too sweet, and it was incredible! Soft, fluffy, filled the house with the buttery scent, we all loooved it! Thank you for this amazing recipe!
First time making cornbread and with this recipe it turned out amazing.
Trish McD says
omg, made and served this with chili tonight. yum!
used the optional baking powder.
used coconut palm sugar instead of brown sugar.
used but did not measure salt.
cooked it in a large cast iron skillet. it was finished cooking after 13 mins.
Amanda Douglas says
To be honest, my son and I are not huge fans of cornbread in general. But, I was making chili and decided to give this recipe a go. I followed the recipe exactly (except I added 1 cup frozen corn kernels) and WOW. It was absolutely delicious! Moist and sweet and buttery. My son, who has only known the cornbread served at his school, said it was really good and that he was glad he tried it. Thanks for a terrific recipe!
I’ve made this recipe so many times! It’s the perfect cornbread… However, from time to time it is overly greasy. Any tips for how to not make this happen?
Hi, can I use the same amount of self rising corn flour as a substitute for corn flour? Thank you
Amazing! Made these tonight though subbed the honey for half a measure of maple syrup ( i don’t like honey) perfect sweetness for us brits! Light fluffy and ready in no time. Hit with the hubby thats for sure. Thank you
Absolutely fantastic. Moist, between dense and fluffy, just a hint of sweet…
I made the recipe almost exactly. I used a 9″ cast iron. I seasoned with Pam, which worked perfectly, it fell right out of the pan. I used SALTED butter instead of unsalted and 1/2 the baking powder. Everything else was exactly the same. 23 minutes at 400.
Had it with some medium-spicy chili.
This looks wonderful! Question before trying: can you add any thawed corn (or canned corn) to carry the corn flavor profile through some more, or will that addition make it too heavy for the bake?
I add canned corn ever time I make this, makes it even more outstanding!
This was delicious! My 5 kids rated it a 99 out of 10! I made two batches, one in a 9×9 glass dish, and the other in a muffin man. Both were perfect. Thank you! Will definitely be adding this to my “keeper” file. I made exactly as written, except not using a skillet, and I used the buttermilk substitute (milk with vinegar).
BIg BOI says
I love Muffin men too! they have the best cream
Made this with beef burgundy for a church dinner. Calling it miraculous might be going a bit far; let’s just say people kept coming back for more–hardly any leftovers, even though I made almost twice as many servings as needed.
Outstanding Cornbread recipe!
Exactly as described. Buttery and moist with a lovely crunch to the edges and top. It was enjoyed by all! Thank you for this wonderful recipe!
Holy bleep! Second recipe I have made off this site in 2 days, and it was another hit! I made this cornbread with slow-cooked veggie chili for my Mom’s bday dinner and let me tell you, it knocked the socks off not only me but my entire family. Such a great honey flavour, and so buttery. Thanks for another A+ recipe!
kathy dinicola says
My family really liked it. Next time, I might add some diced cilantro and jalapeno.
Wendy Cooper says
One of my favorite recepies. Moist, not sweet or bland, just perfect! Thanks for sharing
Can you make this in muffin form?
I never really cared for cornbread but it’s a staple with ham & beans so, I always made it. My 1981 Betty Crocker cookbook recipe is more salty, I always slathered it in grape jelly. This sweet recipe with crisp outer layer & honey-butter flavor is delightful! My family of four devoured it and all liked it better.
Amanda Engler says
This was amazing as part of my black-eyed peas and greens supper for New Years. I am originally from the South and have never been a fan of sweet cornbread, but this was perfect in every way. I used polenta (as I did not have regular cornmeal on hand) and kefir in place of the buttermilk. I did cut down on the honey but I went with the brown sugar option and used a cast iron pan. Thanks for this fabulous recipe! Happy New Year!
Alisa Vilgan says
Omg! Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe! My cornbread turned out heavenly! I ate 1/3 of it while it was still warm. Such a good combination of crusty, buttery, fluffy goodness! I used Bob’s Mill whole grain medium grind cornmeal which added a bit of a crunchy wholesomeness to it. Amazing! Will make again and again.
First time making cornbread and this was delicious! I used two tablespoons of honey and made buttermilk with cream. Saving this recipe. Thank you!
Kara M. says
I cannot even tell you how many cornbread recipes I have tried over the years. Each time I have made it, we have a small portion with our meal while it is hot and at least “OK”and the rest ends up getting tossed out because it is usually dry and unappetizing once it has cooled. That alllll changed with your recipe. This is the most delicious cornbread we have ever had from start to finish…even the crumbs. Thank you so much!!! I will never need to search for another cornbread recipe again.
I, too made a mistake on the butter directions. It was a good one though. I didn’t notice where it said to put the butter in the batter, so I left it (melted) in my grandmother’s deep cast iron skillet, which was already heated. I reluctantly poured the batter (I’d made a double recipe) into the butter. Yup, I got the sizzle, but the butter not only coated the bottom of the skillet, but crept up the sides and over the top of the batter, too. I couldn’t imagine that’s the way it was supposed to be, but I baked it anyway. It came out so very perfect! The bottom was crunchy and buttery, and so was the top. I’ve since made it a few more times, and will continue to do it this way.
Made this Friday Oct. 25th for breakfast. Not a crumb left by Saturday night Oct. 26th. Made the recipe with the baking powder and the cornbread came out almost cake like. I reduced the honey and sugar just a little, using 2.5 tablespoons of each instead of the full 1/4 cup. It was delicious. I did as recommended by melting the butter in my cast iron frying pan and putting the batter into it while still slightly warm. Baked for 20 minutes. Crispy around the edges while being soft, moist and tender throughout. I would have liked a bit more corn taste to it…make it more cornbread like rather than corncake like. I will, however, make this recipe again & again. It really is terrific and very desert like. I ate it for breakfast lunch and dinner, plus had it for desert. lol I believe if I leave out the baking powder it may give me that fuller corn taste. I will try it both ways; but will definitely make it the cakey way often. Thanks for sharing the recipe and giving the optional alterations. 🙂
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I took this to a gym get-together and EVERYONE asked for the recipe. I used raw honey and sifted all my dry ingredients. I feel like the cast iron pan is key too. Thanks again for giving me a family/friend favorite recipe!
Best corn bread recipe I have tried yet! The buttermilk and extra egg gives it a pancake like texture. Perfect sweetness as well. I had to bake mine for around 30 mins but could just be my oven.
Shawn Siak says
Delicious! I thought it would be too sweet with the honey but it was perfection! I wanted to eat the whole dish!
Go ahead and eat the whole thing. I won’t tell. 😉
William McFarland says
Tried this recipe tonight with a few alterations. Used whole wheat flour instead of all purpose; unsweetened almond/coconut drink and added a little bit over a cup of fresh blueberries! Soooo tasty!
This recipe was a fantastic find! I’m allergic to wheat though, so as per usual, I thought I’d have a bunch of tweaking to do to get it good and gluten free. I was wrong. Simply substituting the flour measure for measure with chick pea flour turned out amazing!! I used a muffin tin, started them at 400 and dropped them to 325 to finish. I couldn’t have hoped for better results. Thanks again!
Angela Garven says
Karina I want to thank you so much for this. I’ve had a craving for my mother’s cornbread ever since she passed. I think this is it! I’ve tried different combos that didn’t even come close. This is amazing. The next time I make this I’m going to see if I can complete her recipe. She would place sausages in side and then bake once done she would poke holes with a fork and drizzle corn syrup over the holes. A great crowd pleasing breakfast. Not too much corn syrup… Lol. I’ll let you know how it works out Karina. This brought me back to amazing memories of my mom.
Jennifer Bijl says
Amazing recipe, best cornbread I have ever had!!
Hi, I just found your recipe and I have all ready to go. The one thing I never new is that you must heat your pan first in the oven and I thank you. I did not know that if your don’t have butter milk that you can use reg. milk and just add a TLB. of white vinegar in it and let rest for 5min. I know this is going to be great cause of all the wonderful reviews you got. I guess I will never use those box mix’s of cornbread ever again.
Thank you so much for some lessons.
Carolyn Stiles says
The best cornbread I have ever had, and here is a secret…I’m not normally a fan of cornbread because it is too dry for my taste. I made it for my husband and tried it, then fell in love. Thank you for sharing, and I’m spreading the word!!
Best cornbread ever! I did not have honey , so I used a scant 1/4 c. of Blue agave syrup. I ran the end of a butter cube over the top on removal from the stove and served with sweetened lemon butter Yum!
This turned out amazing! So happy I can now add this to my list of regular sidedishes. Thanks!
So glad to hear!
This is the most wonderful corn bread I have ever had the pleasure of making and eating. I didn’t have buttermilk in my fridge but I keep KEFIR on hand all the time. I used it instead. FANTASTIC!!
Wow. I was really impressed with this recipe. It’s the best I’ve tried and it would be the last I try. This would now take the lead in my recipe book. The consistency is oh so good. It’s the right amount of sweetness. Thanks for sharing.
Even though I found the butter directions somewhat confusing, when I figured it out( I melted the 1/2cup butter in the square pan in the oven) this was THE MOST DELICIOUS CORNBREAD I’VE EVER HAD!!!!! If I double the recipe, does the baking time increase? Thanks sooooo much! Even better than Ina ‘s!!!!
I found your recipe when I realized that all I have in my cupboard is corn grits! This turned out amazingly and will become my go-to recipe for corn bread. It was soft and moist, and the skillet gave it a nice crust! I did omit the honey because we’re not big fans of sweet cornbread. Thank you for the awesome recipe!
This recipe is perfection! Thanks so much Karina. Love from ??
Can this recipe be fried?
Can you make this into muffins?
If you own a muffin tray….then yes ??
kevin noecker says
Hello its sunday Jan 20th 2019 I just bought a new oven and your cornbread recipie was the first thing I baked.The cornbread turned out GREAT ! Keep up the delicious work, thanks Kevin.
Thank you Kevin!
Wow, Yum! I’m from Canada and we don’t eat much cornbread up here. I’ve only had it once before and thought it was meh. I wasn’t sure about the idea of sweet cornbread but made your recipe using brown sugar and all the honey. The only change I made was half all purpose flour and half whole wheat flour. It turned out amazing. Perfect with my turkey chilli!
Susan Barclay says
I’ve made this three times so far and it is the best cornbread I’ve ever had. I doubled the recipe for a big family chili night and everyone raves about it. So easy too! I’m not a great baker but this comes out perfect every time. I’ve done it in the heated, buttered cast iron pan and also in a regular baking pan. Both are good but the cast iron method is a little better – brown and crisp on the outside. Just the right amount of sweetness. The leftovers heat up nicely in the toaster. Yum!!
Hello! When you doubled the recipe did you bake for longer??
The best cornbread I have had in a long time & this is coming from a Mississippi baker.
Gwyneth alberta says
My grandmother was born in Missouri in 1892. She always served it with golden corn syrup n fricassed chicken. Unbelievable
Best cornbread recipe EVER! I made this the other night and it was so delicious that I was asked to make it again last night. Very moist and buttery. This recipe is a keeper, thanks!
Excellent recipe. First time trying and it was gone in no time as everyone loved it. Thanks for sharing
Can I use a 10-inch skillet, instead of a 9-inch skillet as noted in the recipe?
Or would it come out too thin?
It will be thinner and you will want to adjust the timing on baking but other than that, it will be great! Let me know how it turns out! XO
I tried the 10-inch skillet and baked it for exactly 20 minutes in a regular oven. It was perfect. Not too thin at all. Thank you for the recipe! This will be the only one I use from now on.
That is awesome to hear. So glad this worked out for you. Take care.
I want to make this recipe tomorrow but I can’t see to wrap my head around the directions regarding butter. I think I would need to butter the pan and heat. The half cup of butter in for the batter? I am correct?
You will melt the butter mixture at first then you will add it to the well when asked for butter. Hope that helps! XO
Hi, was looking at your buttermilk cornbread recipe. Just wondering if using this recipe, can I use a mini square muffin tin to bake 5is?
Yes, that is a great idea and so fun! Let me know how it all turns out for you! Thanks so much1 XO
I’m planning to make the recipe this weekend, it looks fantastic! I absolutely love having corn kernels in my cornbread, would you recommend I just mix some whole Kerman’s or add creamed corn?
Either would actually work great! I would love to hear how it turns out and which one is best! XO
Hi if you add the 1/2 c melted butter directly to pan, do you still add the 1/2 c to the batter?
NO, that is the only butter. You do add the buttermilk though. Hope that helps! XO
Can I use dairy free milk instead of buttermilk,?
Yes, it will have a different consistency and maybe taste. It should still be good. Let me know what you think! XO
Diana Wiggins says
OMG. Its is soooo good I didn’t have regular butter but I had salted butter no honey I just added a little more sugar the salty sweet buttery taste so nice together. Thanks
I need to make a large sheet pan for work. I was wondering if I should triple or quadruple the recipe?
Yes you will want to triple it. I have not made it that way but that sounds perfect for feeding a crowd. Let me know how it turns out!
Thank you for posting your yummy recipes! I’m not much of a baker and this is my first time making cornbread… but I made this last night (in your words) like a boss! It was so good my husband and I ate the whole thing, and I made another one today LOL!!!
Claudia Brown says
Best cornbread ever!!!! I din not have all purpose flour but self-rising flour so I didnt add the baking powder nor the baking soda. My husband loved it!! Thank you. Next time i will make it same as the recipe and will see differences as of right now we are very pleased!
That is awesome! I am so glad that you enjoyed it all! Thank you for sharing and following along with me! XO
Terri Molini says
Love your recipe. I like to add savory to the sweet bread.
Here are my adds:
1 – small can of creamy corn
1 – jalapeno, diced small
1 or 2 medium sized shallots, diced small
* Saute the jalapeno and shallots until they are well cooked. Then add the three items to the wet mixture. These will add a nice kick to the sweet bread.
Oh my goodness your cornbread is the best I have ever tasted! Thank you so very much.
Kimberly C. says
I have made a LOT of different cornbread recipes in my lifetime…..this is absolutely, hands-down one of the best! Moist, flavorful, the brown sugar hit it out of the park! Thank you!!
YAY! That is exciting! Thank you so much for letting me know! I am so glad that you enjoyed it! XO
Great recipe (and I’ve tried quite a few cornbread recipes)! I cut the honey approximately in half, and used oil in lieu of butter (didn’t have butter). It was moist and delicious. Got rave reviews from everyone at a family gathering.
That is great to hear! I am so glad that you got rave reviews! Wahoo!! That is a plus! XO
Hello. I can not find an actual recipe! The text about how good this bread is followed by users comments. But the recipe itself dissapered. What happened? I’ve made this bread before and it was awesome.
Hi Alla, thank you for your comment! We had a frustrating technical issue that has just now been resolved and all recipes are showing once again. I’m so sorry for the inconvenience this has caused. If you need any further help, please email us and we will assist you in any way we can. Thank you for your patience! XOXO
Moist – Tender – Light – Fluffy – Great Crust Around the Edges – I do NOT like a dense cornbread!
I have to admit I was a bit skeptical at first because the batter seemed very watery when I put it into the pan, but it baked up perfect! I followed the recipe exactly using the brown sugar and the baking powder. I combined the buttermilk, eggs and honey together before adding to the dry ingredients. I used a 9 inch round pan, and I did heat it in the oven as recommended. I think preheating the pan is what makes that delicious outer crust. Baked for exactly 20 minutes.
I made this with about half the amount of butter (it was all I had left) and gluten free flour and gluten free cornmeal (husband had a gluten allergy). Mine took 22 minutes to bake in a 9in round cake pan.
It. Was. Delicious!!
That is great to hear! Thank you for sharing with everyone!
Oh this was sooo good! It baked up tall (I used my #6 iron so it was more like an 8″ pan) with a moist and tender crumb. We loved how it sliced neatly too, and didn’t disintegrate into a pile of crumbles when you try to butter it, like the boxed stuff does. Can’t ever go back to prefab now – no contest! TY
YAY! I am so glad that it worked out well for you and you enjoyed it! Thanks so much for sharing and following along with me!
I grew up in the South eating lots of cornbread, but this is the best cornbread recipe I have ever tasted! Thank you for sharing!
Tymeron Smith says
That is a great compliment! Thank you so much! I am so glad that it brought back memories for you and turned out to be delicious! Thank you for sharing!
Made in the cast iron skillet, used about 2/3 as honey as called for. My husband, who was a cook, said it was the best cornbread he’s ever had!
Tymeron Smith says
YAY!! That is a bonus when the husband approves! Thanks so much for sharing!
So good! Followed the recipe exactly and wow!
This cornbread is absolutely perfect! It’s now my go to recipe for sweet cornbread.
Tymeron Smith says
YAY!! That is awesome! Thanks so much for sharing!
Lisa Huff says
Amazinggg recipe! So simple and easy. My first time ever making cornbread. Used a 8″ square baking pan. Was perfect. I can’t stop eating it, even though I’m not supposed to eat flour! 🙁