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    Classic Southern Cornbread Recipe

    Published May 26, 2021. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    This tasty classic Southern cornbread recipe is made with white cornmeal and bacon fat and comes together in under 20 minutes.

    Bread is such amazing food and can be enjoyed all day long and of course as an accompaniment.  If you love baking bread and want to try a few new recipes, then definitely check out my Irish Soda Bread, Homemade Bagels, or Dinner Rolls.

    Classic Southern Corn Bread Recipe

    Southern Cornbread

    Traditional southern cornbread is a staple in the south and is classically made from white cornmeal, although yellow cornmeal can be used, and cooked in a pre-heated cast iron skillet.  While there is some preference on whether sugar is to be added to the recipe, most older recipes that go generations back use few ingredients and you won’t find any sugar in it. 

    Is It the Same as Regular Cornbread?

    Cornbread has definitely changed over the years and what I find to be the difference really falls on personal preference.  Do people want it traditional with no sugar or do they want it much more like a cake and sweet?  Is it still cornbread after adding in things like flour, sugar, eggs, etc.?  I’ll let you decide.

    How to Make Southern Cornbread from Scratch

    Follow along with these step-by-step instructions for making a traditional southern cornbread recipe from scratch:

    Add some rendered bacon fat to a 10” cast iron skillet and place it in the oven and preheat to 425°.

    bacon fat in a cast-iron skillet

    In a large bowl mix together the cornmeal, salt, baking powder, and flour until combined.

    whisking together dry ingredients in a bowl

    Next, pour in the oil and buttermilk and whisk or fold together until it resembles a pancake batter.

    mixing buttermilk and oil in a bowl

    Transfer the batter to the hot skillet with bacon fat and bake at 425° for 15-18 minutes.  It will be lightly browned on top and just about firm in the center.

    pouring the southern cornbread batter into a skillet

    Serve warm or cooled with butter or molasses.

    slice of southern cornbread

    Make-Ahead and Storage

    Make-Ahead: You can make this recipe up to 1 day ahead of time before serving.

    How to Heat: If you like your cornbread warm you can place your desired amount wrapped in foil and baked at 325° for 3-5 minutes.  You can also warm in the microwave.

    How to Store: Cover and keep at room temperature for 4 days.  Cover and keep in the refrigerator for 7 days.  This will freeze well covered for up to 3 months. 

    Chef Billy Parisi

    Chef notes + tips

    • The flour in this recipe is optional.
    • You can use bread flour in this recipe as well.
    cooked southern cornbread in a skillet

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    Let's Cook - Chef Billy Parisi

    Video

    Classic Southern Cornbread Recipe

    5 from 2 votes
    This tasty classic Southern cornbread recipe is made with white cornmeal and bacon fat and comes together in under 20 minutes.
    Servings: 8
    Prep Time: 5 minutes
    Cook Time: 15 minutes

    Ingredients 

    • 2 tablespoons bacon fat
    • 2 ½ cups white corn meal
    • 2 tablespoons baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
    • 2 cups and 2 tablespoons full fat buttermilk

    Instructions

    • Add the bacon fat to a 10” cast iron skillet and put it in the oven to preheat to 425°.
    • Next, in a large bowl whisk together the corn meal, baking powder, salt, and flour until combined.
    • Pour in the oil and buttermilk and whisk or fold together until combined.
    • Remove the hot pan from the oven and pour the batter into the pan. Smooth out the top.
    • Bake at 425° for 15 to 18 minutes. It will be lightly browned on top and just about firm in the center.
    • Serve warm or cooled with butter or molasses.

    Notes

    Chef Notes:
    Make-Ahead: You can make this recipe up to 1 day ahead of time before serving.
    How to Heat: If you like your cornbread warm you can place your desired amount wrapped in foil and baked at 325° for 3-5 minutes. You can also warm in the microwave.
    How to Store: Cover and keep at room temperature for 4 days. Cover and keep in the refrigerator for 7 days. This will freeze well covered for up to 3 months.
    The flour in this recipe is optional.
    You can use bread flour in this recipe as well.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 367kcalCarbohydrates: 47gProtein: 8gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 364mgPotassium: 610mgFiber: 5gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 99IUCalcium: 205mgIron: 2mg
    Course: bread, Side Dish
    Cuisine: American