The BEST Buttermilk Cornbread has a tender crumb, is slightly sweet, and extremely easy to make with just 8 simple ingredients.  It turns out moist and perfect every time!

A piece of cornbread on a plate with a piece of butter on top, syrup on top and a bite taken out by a fork resting on the plate.

Why I love this cornbread recipe:

  • Easy to make and only 8 simple ingredients!
  • Moist and tender, not dry and crumbly.
  • Versatile: It makes great muffins or skillet cornbread too!

Ingredients Needed:

  • Sugar – I use half white and half brown to enhance the flavor, and add moisture from brown sugar.
  • Butter – salted or unsalted is fine. If using salted, reduce the salt added in the recipe.
  • Eggs – room temperature.
  • Buttermilk – essential for extra moist cornbread, and I have an easy buttermilk substitute if you don’t have it on hand!
  • Baking soda.
  • Cornmeal- white or yellow will work.
  • All-purpose flour.
  • Salt.
A collage image of four process photos for making the batter for cornbread in a clear glass bowl.

How to make Buttermilk Cornbread:

  1. Melt butter in large skillet or in the microwave. Remove from heat and stir in sugar.
  2. Add eggs and beat until well blended.
  3. Combine buttermilk with baking soda and stir into mixture in pan.
  4. Stir in cornmeal, flour, and salt until well blended and few lumps remain.
    • TIP: Don’t over-mix the batter! We’re trying to get that perfect soft and tender crumb. You don’t want any big lumps of flour or cornstarch, but the batter also shouldn’t be completely smooth.
  5. Bake. Pour batter into a greased 8 inch square pan and bake at 375 for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 
Before and after photos of cornbread batter in a square glass baking pan next to the same pan with the baked cornbread.

Freezing Instructions:

Freeze baked and cooled cornbread in an airtight freezer safe bag or container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and rewarm gently in the microwave. 

A white plate piled with two layers of cut cornbread slices.

Recipe Variations:

  • Muffins: fill the muffin cups 2/3 full.  Bake at 400F for 15-20 minutes. I especially love to freeze cornbread muffins, so that I can easily grab one and pop it right in the microwave for a few seconds.
  • Buttermilk Cornbread Cast Iron: Follow my instructions for skillet cornbread!
  • Corn Flour or Polenta: I would not recommend substituting either corn flour or polenta for the cornmeal in this recipe!  The cornmeal is a star ingredient that gives the bread it’s unique texture and flavor.

Serve with:

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Recipe

A white plate piled with two layers of cut cornbread slices.
Prep 10 mins
Cook 30 mins
Total 40 mins
Add to Meal Plan

Video

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk*
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Grease an 8 inch square pan.
  • Melt butter and add to a mixing bowl. Stir in sugars until well combined. Add eggs and stir well, until combined.
  • Combine buttermilk with baking soda and stir into the bowl.
  • Add cornmeal, flour, and salt and stir until combined. Avoid over-mixing–the batter doesn't need to be completely smooth.
  • Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 22-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Notes

*Buttermilk substitution – if you don’t have buttermilk, no problem! Add one tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to a liquid measuring cup, then fill the cup with milk to the 1 cup line. 
Storing: Leftover cornbread can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week. (It will dry out the longer it sits out, so I think it’s best enjoyed the day of baking.)
Freezing Instructions: You can freeze cornbread in an airtight, freezer safe bag or container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and rewarm gently in the microwave. 
Variations:
  • Muffins: fill the muffin cups 2/3 full.  Bake at 400F for 15-20 minutes. I especially love to freeze cornbread muffins, so that I can easily grab one and pop it right in the microwave for a few seconds.
  • Buttermilk Cornbread Cast Iron: Follow my instructions for skillet cornbread!
  • Corn Flour or Polenta: I would not recommend substituting either corn flour or polenta for the cornmeal in this recipe!  The cornmeal is a star ingredient that gives the bread it’s unique texture and flavor.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 282kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 5gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 66mgSodium: 332mgPotassium: 121mgFiber: 2gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 412IUCalcium: 41mgIron: 1mg

Did You Make This Recipe?

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HAVE YOU TRIED THIS RECIPE?!

RATE and COMMENT below! I would love to hear your experience. 

*I originally shared this recipe in September 2010. Updated August 2019 and July 2021.

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. I am making this this Friday!
    Can you subsitute the cornmeal for like jiffy or just aunt jemima cornbread mix?

  2. can you sub the cornmeal in the cornbread recipe for a box of cornbread mix like jiffy or aunt jemima?

    1. Hi Stephanie! We’ve never used one of those mixes as a substitute but I imagine it will work just fine! Let us know how it turns out!

  3. I’m looking forward to tasting this! I have a question.. I am making this for a large group and I am wondering if I could mix it up ahead of time and store the batter in the fridge overnight so I can bake it the morning of the party?

    1. Hi Bethany, I would not recommend making the batter ahead of time–You could try it, but I don’t think it will turn out as great…

  4. This is my go-to cornbread since finding it here! It is SO good! I double the recipe and use a 9×13 pan. I have even made it with 1 cup of honey in place of the sugar and einkorn flour in place of the regular flour which is a lot gentler especially for those who can’t do gluten.

  5. Marking this tonight for the 2nd time. The 1st time is was so awesome and was a real hit with my hubby. Tonight I don’t have enough butter so am going to have to use margarine and sure hope it still tastes the as great as the first time.

  6. I first made this cornbread years ago and is definitely my all time best go to cornbread recipe. I took it to my office and they can not get enough of it.
    It’s requested regularly for family dinners. I took it to another level by adding diced jalapeno peppers.

  7. 5 stars
    I tried this cornbread recipe and it is DEFINITELY my new favorite recipe. It’s sweet yet not too sweet. My family loved it. No more packaged jiffy mix for us.

  8. I’m going to try this in my crockpot…on low. I’m assuming I wouldn’t want to add the bacon until the end. Any other words of wisdom?

  9. The BEST cornbread EVER! I have made cornbread from scratch for at least 30 years! Always looking for a moist cornbread with perfect texture. This is it! Thank you so much for sharing your recipe!?

  10. 5 stars
    Seriously the best! Doesn’t even compete with other recipes I have tried. My family and I absolutely love it. It tastes just like the cornbread at our favorite barbecue place (which is divine) and it is so easy to make! What a winner. Thank you for sharing it! 🙂

  11. I have made this recipe twice now and it was great both times. The first time for corn bread stuffing and the next for eating with maple syrup and butter, yum so good. This is definitely a keeper. Thank you Lauren!

  12. Wonderful cornbread! My husband loved it! He said the taste was great and he liked it didn’t break apart when picked up.
    I baked it in a cast iron loaf pan…it took about 35/40 minuits. The out side was nice and crisp the inside was moist with just a little crumb.
    This will be my go to cornbread from now on.

  13. 5 stars
    Oh my gosh! I have tried so many cornbread recipes and this is BY FAR the best. So sweet and more like cake. I loved it!

  14. Disappointing because it was so bland. Followed the recipe with the exception of halving the sugar (not a fan of sweet cornbread) and doubling the salt (I use unsalted butter only) and it was just blah. The texture was good, but if I use this recipe again I’ll up the salt even more and add chiles and/or cheddar cheese. I baked it in a cupcake tin; this recipe makes an even dozen. Baked at 375 for 20 minutes. There are only two of us here so plan to freeze the rest for future use.

    1. When you change the recipe and call it blah etc., you are calling your own cooking disappointing. It’s not nice to redo something and when it doesn’t turn out to your liking you then give a bad review.
      That’s your own creation you don’t like.

  15. 5 stars
    Absolutely wonderful! It went down a treat, with butter and honey on top! Delicious, would highly recommend this recipe… Try it!!

    1. I don’t recommend that. Self rising cornmeal has too much baking soda in it. It might turn out ok, try omitting the baking powder in the recipe.