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Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread Recipe (with Buttermilk)

From the early days of cooking cornbread over an open fire to the evolution of kitchens in modern days, this cast iron skillet cornbread recipe has stood the test of time and will remain a crowd-pleasing family favorite for generations.

Top down view of a partially sliced skillet of cornbread - Hostess At Heart
Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread

Cast iron skillet cornbread is not just a beautiful slice. Its warmth, comfort, tradition, flavor, texture, and beauty all wrapped up in the shape of a triangle. Follow our simple instructions for perfect results every time. Once you’ve tried this easy cornbread recipe, using a boxed mix will be a thing of the past.

What makes cast iron skillet cornbread so special?

Cast iron skillet cornbread is amazing because it creates a delicious, crispy crust while keeping the inside moist and tender. The cast iron evenly distributes heat, producing a perfectly cooked cornbread with a rustic charm.

You are going to love this classic cornbread because it is simple to make, easy to personalize, and the perfect match for so many meals!

A hand holding a slice of cornbread over a cast iron skillet filled with baked cornbread. Hostess At Heart

What is Cornbread?

Classified as a quick bread, cornbread can be traced back to Native Americans and was used extensively by pioneers and settlers. It is a beautiful Southern batter bread recipe steeped in tradition.

Bread is life. Serving bread with your meal takes an ordinary meal and makes it a special occasion. We love to make homemade bread whenever we have the time, and this gorgeous cornbread is just one example. Breakfast sandwiches will never be the same once you’ve tried our Homemade English Muffin Bread. Take lunch to new heights with our Cuban Bread Recipe. This Cheese Babka Recipe is an extra special tradition the kids will be talking about for years!

Ingredients you’ll need for Easy Skillet Cornbread

Top down view of cornbread ingredients including butter, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, corn meal, flour, and buttermilk
Cornbread Ingredients
  • Unsalted Butter. If using salted butter, eliminate the salt from this recipe.
  • All-Purpose Flour.
  • Yellow Cornmeal. Fine or medium grind is suitable for most recipes.
  • White Granulated Sugar.
  • Baking Powder.
  • Baking Soda.
  • Salt.
  • Buttermilk. You can make your own! See the following “Substitution and Variation” section.
  • Eggs. Grade A Large

I have a bonus recipe down below for Homemade Honey Butter that will make this recipe your favorite cornbread recipe.

How To Make Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread

Please note, that the printable recipe card has ingredient quantities, complete instructions, and nutritional information. The following is a quick overview of the recipe.

Step One. Prepare for the best skillet cornbread ever.

Preheat the oven and pull out the ingredients to be certain you have what you need. Just nine simple ingredients you likely have in your pantry make this recipe a shoo-in.

Top down view of cubes of butter sitting in a castiron skillet - Hostess At Heart

Step Two. Prep the pan.

Add the butter to your skillet and melt it. Then turn off the heat but keep the skillet on the burner to retain its warmth.

Step Three. Mix the ingredients for cast iron skillet cornbread in a mixing bowl.

A bowl filled with corn meal, flour, and sugar - Hostess At Heart

Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs and add the buttermilk. Then make a swell and add the wet ingredients. Stir to combine. Finally, add the melted butter.

Step Four. Sizzle.

Corn bread batter in a cast iron skillet - Hostess At Heart

Put the cornbread batter into the hot skillet. You will hear it sizzling when you put it in; this is a good thing.

Step Five. Bake and Cool.

Note: Be careful removing the hot pan from the oven. A cast-iron skillet retains its heat. Touching the sides of the pan will result in serious burns. I use large oven mitts that cover my arms when removing pans from a hot oven.

A cornbread baked in a cast iron skillet - Hostess At Heart

How to Serve Skillet Cornbread

If you’ve never had cornbread with Jambalaya or Chili, now is the time to try it. This delicious buttermilk cornbread goes well with soup, stew, grilled or roasted meats, and even fried chicken. It makes the perfect side dish with a simple drizzle of honey or maple syrup. 

When I serve corn bread, I love to have a side of honey butter. Talk about taking a warm piece of cornbread over the top! This is how I make it and the measurements are in the recipe card.

How to make Honey Butter

  1. Whip a stick of butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and fluffy.
  2. Add powdered sugar and honey. Continue beating until well blended.
  3. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator. Honey butter can also be frozen. We like to roll ours in a piece of plastic wrap in the shape of a tube and freeze it so it can be sliced for serving.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to use a cast iron skillet to make Skillet Cornbread?

If you do not have a skillet and prefer to make this in a baking dish, be sure to grease the baking dish with butter and preheat the dish in the oven. Melt the butter in the microwave before using. You will not have the golden brown edges that cast iron cornbread offers but it will still be delicious.

Can I use different types of cornmeal for my cornbread?

Yes. Experiment! With medium-grind cornmeal, you will get more flavor and a more coarse texture in the traditional Southern style. Finely-ground cornmeal produces a lighter, smoother cornbread. Combining the two with just a touch of the more coarse grind adds moderate texture.

How can I make my cornbread extra moist?

Buttermilk does the trick! You are going to love this recipe. You can add richness and moisture to any recipe by substituting the liquid with buttermilk.

How can I prevent my cornbread from sticking to the skillet?

Make sure your cast iron is properly seasoned. Preheat your skillet before adding the batter following our step-by-step instructions. Coating the skillet with butter also helps, and is included in our recipe.

How do I season my cast iron skillet before making cornbread? Seasoning your cast iron skillet is essential to prevent sticking and enhance the flavor of your food. Start by washing the skillet with warm water and mild soap, then dry it completely. Next, apply a thin layer of vegetable oil or shortening to the skillet, including the bottom, sides, and handle. Place it in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about an hour. Let it cool before using it. You may have to repeat seasoning it, following the same steps, if you use it a lot.

How do I know when my cornbread is done?

A crumbly residue on your toothpick or knife is a good indication of doneness. It should still have a few crumbs, but they shouldn’t look overly moist. It will not come out clean until the cornbread is over-baked.

A honey spoon drizzling honey over a wedge of cornbread - Hostess At Heart

How To Reheat & Store Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread

Best Way to Store Skillet Cornbread?

Store in an airtight container on the counter for up to 5 days. It will go stale before it goes bad. Use that stale cornbread to make cornbread dressing, Southern cornbread salad, French toast, or croutons!

To make Cornbread French Toast, cut the cornbread into thick slices and dip them in a mixture of beaten eggs, milk, and a touch of vanilla extract. Cook the slices on a griddle or skillet until golden brown.

Can I Freeze Skillet Cornbread?

You can freeze cornbread in an airtight container for up to 6 months. Thaw before serving. You can thaw it at room temperature, or a single piece can be thawed in the microwave for about thirty seconds.

How to Reheat Skillet Cornbread?

The easiest method is to pop a slice or two in the microwave and reheat it for ten to thirty seconds, depending on your microwave. You could also place leftover cornbread in an oven preheated to 325ºF for a few minutes.

Variations and Substitutions

Jalapeno Cornbread – Add half a cup of shredded cheddar cheese or pepperjack and 1/4 cup of pickled jalapeño peppers to the batter before baking. 

Sweet Cornbread – Add 1/2 cup of honey to the batter before baking. Once baked, drizzle honey on top of the warm bread.

Don’t have buttermilk? You can make your own. Add one tablespoon of white vinegar to one cup of whole milk. Stir and let stand for 5 minutes.

Instead of butter, melt bacon grease and add it to the skillet. Make sure to coat the entire surface of the skillet, including the sides.

Sliced wedges of cornbread in a cast iron skillet - Hostess At Heart

Hostess Tips and Tricks

  • For the best cornbread, use a cast iron skillet which isn’t the same as an enameled cast iron skillet that has a smooth interior. Mix dry and wet ingredients separately: To ensure a tender and evenly textured cornbread.
  • Don’t overmix the batter. Overmixing can lead to denser and tougher cornbread. Mix just until the ingredients are combined, and any lumps have disappeared. A few small lumps are perfectly fine.
  • For the best results, don’t substitute the oil or cooking spray for the butter. Butter is what adds flavor and the crispy edges.
  • Let it rest before slicing: Resist the temptation to dig in immediately after removing the cornbread from the oven. Allow the cornbread to cool for a few minutes in the skillet. This resting time allows it to set and makes it easier to slice without crumbling.

If you enjoyed this recipe, check these out!

  1. 13 Bean Soup
  2. Italian Sausage and Potatoes
  3. Chicken and Shrimp Gumbo
  4. Beer Cheese Soup
Two slices of cornbread wedges stacked on each other - Hostess At Heart

I hope you enjoyed this delicious recipe as much as we do. Drop me a comment below, and don’t forget to give it a star rating. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Your comments and ratings help others decide if this recipe is for them too.

Honey drizzled on a slice of cornbread - Hostess At Heart

Skillet Cornbread Recipe

Author: Julie Menghini
Easy Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread recipe creates a moist and delicious cornbread with crispy buttery edges and a moist and tender crumb.
4.86 from 7 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Keyword: Cornbread
Servings: 8

Equipment

Ingredients
 
 

Skillet Cornbread

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tbsp white granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • cups buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs

Honey Butter, optional

  • 8 tbsp butter salted and softened (1 stick)
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 °F.
  • Add the butter to your skillet and place it over medium heat on the stove. Allow the butter to melt and for the pan to warm up. Once the butter has melted, turn off the heat but keep the skillet on the burner to retain its warmth.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk the baking powder, cornmeal, salt, sugar, flour and baking soda together (all the dry ingredients).
  • Make a small well in the middle and add the eggs and buttermilk. Stir until fully combined.
  • Add the melted butter and stir until just mixed.
  • Put the batter into the hot skillet. You will hear it sizzling when you put it in, this is a good thing.
  • Bake for 20-22 mins or until it is golden brown and the edges are crispy.
  • Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Honey Butter

  • Add the stick of butter to the bowl of an electric mixer and mix until the butter is light and fluffy.
  • Add the powdered sugar and honey to the butter. Continue beating until smooth.

Notes

  • Don’t have buttermilk? You can make your own. Add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to one cup of whole milk. Stir and let stand for 5 minutes.
  • If you do not have a skillet and prefer to make this in a baking dish, be sure to grease the baking dish with butter and preheat the dish in the oven. Melt the butter in the microwave before using.
  • Store in an airtight container on the counter for up to 5 days. It will go stale before it goes bad.
  • You can freeze cornbread in an airtight container for up to 6 months. Thaw before serving.
Recipe Variations
  • Jalapeno Cornbread– Add a half a cup of shredded cheese and 1/4 cup of pickled jalapeño peppers to the batter before baking.
  • Sweet Cornbread– Add 1/2 cup of honey to the batter before baking. Once baked, drizzle honey on top of the warm bread.
Nutritional values don’t include the Honey Butter.

Nutrition

Calories: 285kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 7gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 76mgSodium: 280mgPotassium: 261mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 488IUCalcium: 108mgIron: 2mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. My calculations are intended as a guide only.

Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!
Two wedges of cornbread stacked next to each other on a plate - Hostess At Heart

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4.86 from 7 votes (4 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating




ML

Wednesday 25th of October 2023

Our go-to cornbread recipe! Easy to make and very tasty. We've been making a lot of chilis and made this with it every single time.

Julie Menghini

Friday 27th of October 2023

We love cornbread with chili too! Thank you.

Eliza

Tuesday 24th of October 2023

We made this yummy skillet cornbread with ribs last night and it was AMAZING! Really love the flavor.

Julie Menghini

Friday 27th of October 2023

I'm glad you enjoyed it Eliza. Ribs would be an amazing pair.

Kathleen

Tuesday 24th of October 2023

Golly! This was so good, Julie, thank you for a great recipe, served it with beef stew last night!

Julie Menghini

Friday 27th of October 2023

That's a match made in culinary heaven! Thank you.

Lynn

Tuesday 24th of October 2023

Cornbread in the skillet is just so much better! DELISH!

Julie Menghini

Friday 27th of October 2023

I agree! Thanks!

Ellen

Saturday 21st of October 2023

I made the jalapeno version of this cornbread recipe and it was delightful. It was perfect with chili during our recent cold snap.

Julie Menghini

Sunday 22nd of October 2023

Love that idea, Ellen! Thank you.

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