Southern Cornbread

Cornbread in a cast iron skilletTo the best of my knowledge, this recipe has never been written down. I’m not even sure who taught me to make cornbread this way. It could have been my mother or my grandmother. It could have been Kate, the cook on the farm in Mississippi, where my father grew up. I made some last night and decided it was time to write it down.



  • 2 cups cornmeal, the more coarsely ground the better, in my opinion.
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder


Before you begin, lavishly anoint an 8 inch cast iron skillet with oil. I use olive. Kate used lard. I’ve never actually measured but you want enough oil in the bottom of the skillet that it sorta sloshes around. Place the skillet in a preheated, 400 degree oven.



  1. Break the eggs into a bowl and whisk briskly
  2. Add buttermilk and whisk together
  3. In another bowl, combine the cornmeal, salt, and baking powder
  4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and whisk briefly. You can stir together with a spoon if you like, but stir or whisk only until the ingredients are barely combined. (As soon as the batter begins to feel quite thick, stop. When my husband watches me do this he always asks, “Doesn’t the batter need to be stirred some more?”)
  5. By now the oil in the skillet should be quite hot.
  6. Remove the skillet and dump all of the excess oil into the batter.
  7. Stir briefly, if you don’t notice the batter becoming a little less thick, use more oil next time.
  8. Pour the batter into the skillet and pop it in the oven.
  9. Bake for about 25 minutes.


Best served hot and slathered with butter, the real thing, like from cows!


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One Response to Southern Cornbread

  1. Jane December 2, 2013 at 9:21 am #

    This sounds perfect for New Year’s! Can’t wait to try!

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