All hail the King of all side dishes, my southern cornbread recipe!
Fluffy and sweet with a crisp crust, this is my favorite of all bread recipes. And since it’s one of many southern recipes, you know it comes with that must-have ingredient: BACON! Like my other cornbread recipes, this one is begging to be paired with a hearty chili or a warm soup.
Speaking of other cornbread recipes: have you tried my hot water cornbread recipe? The hot water works wonders on the final result! Or up the spice with jalapeno cornbread, or try southern corn cakes!
Sure, chili’s delicious; soups are soul-warming; and thick sauces are divine. But they’re all missing something, ya know?
What they’re missing is a big ol’ slice of this southern cornbread recipe!
- Just sweet enough
- Hearty flavors, from bacon to that cast iron cooking!
- Family favorite
How To Make Southern Cornbread Recipe
Start by preheating your oven. While it’s heating up, add your bacon drippings to your cast iron skillet and let it sit in the rising oven temp for 5 minutes so it gets warm.
Separately, combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center (do this by creating a small indentation in the flour mixture) and add your wet ingredients. Stir everything until just combined.
Remove the skillet from the oven and swirl the bacon around so all sides get coated. Pour your batter in and bake until golden and perfect!
Never made cornbread before? You’re in for a treat, and I’ve got all the tips to help make it easy on you!
The ingredients in this southern cornbread recipe aren’t very different from any other cornbread recipe — but you might be surprised at some of the uses!
- Bacon Grease: It just isn’t a Southern dish without BACON! But if you don’t have the yummy stuff or you’re a bit wary of using hot grease, you can always swap for another type of oil. But the flavor will definitely be less potent!
- Cornmeal: If you have any experience with Latin cooking, you’ve likely used some form of cornflour. Masa harina is a common staple in Mexican cornbread, so if you can’t find cornmeal, go ahead and swing by the Hispanic ingredients aisle.
- Buttermilk: Buttermilk makes any baked good creamy and light! But if you don’t have it, you can easily whip it up with some regular milk and vinegar. Or up the amount of buttermilk and try something like my cornbread pudding.
Tools to Make
There’s one big tool you MUST have if you want this southern cornbread recipe to turn out perfectly!
- Cast Iron Skillet: The benefits of baking with cast iron are endless, but the main boost is that it infuses your food with a delicious, rich depth. Invest in one — you won’t regret it!
How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge?
Cornbread has a lovely long shelf life that can be stored at many temps.
If you want to store it in the fridge, you’ll get about one week out of it — and the cold temps make it so dense and delicious!
Can You Freeze This?
Yes! This cornbread freezes for up to three months.
To eat, let it sit in the fridge overnight. If you want to resuscitate it, pop the thawed bread in a toaster oven until the outside gets crisp!
Make Ahead Tips
This recipe comes together very quickly once you start and much of the steps depend on the previous steps being complete, so, unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to make it ahead.
But! It does last a while, so you can always store it and then toast it a bit to reheat your cornbread before you serve.
My favorite way to serve cornbread is, of course, CHILI! This southern cornbread goes best with a thick, rich chili, perfect for crumbling on top or eating alongside.
This recipe also goes great with soups, salads, and any main meal you want to spruce up with some southern sweetness!
Wanting to explore some other uses for cornbread? Here are some flavor switching ideas!
- Pop this same recipe into some muffin tins to create cornbread muffins!
- Spread your favorite chili in a casserole dish and top with your cornbread batter. Bake chili cornbread casserole until delicious!
- Cornbread salad is a great way to toss unique flavors in with your cornbread! Let the sweetness pair with anything you want.
- 2 tablespoons bacon drippings
- 1 3/4 cups cornmeal
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Add bacon drippings to a 9-inch cast iron skillet and heat in oven 5 minutes.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt until evenly combined. Make a well in the center and add eggs, buttermilk, and vegetable oil to the well. Stir everything together just until dry ingredients are moistened.
- Using a hot pad, remove skillet from oven. Swirl the bacon drippings in the pan to coat the sides and cover the bottom. Pour batter into batter into hot skillet.
- Bake for 16-18 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (do not overbake or cornbread will be dry!).
- Allow cornbread to sit for 10 minutes and cut in skillet or invert onto a plate and serve.
Have extra cornmeal? I’ve got some recipes for you!
- Sweet Cornbread – Up that corn sweetness to satisfy your sweet tooth!
- Instant Pot Cornbread – All the cornbread flavor, all the ease of the Instant Pot!
- Sweet Potato Cornbread – Add some extra veggie goodness with sweet potatoes
Next time you make chili or soup, reach for this southern cornbread recipe and round out your meal with bacon and sweetness!
What meal did you serve your cornbread with? Let me know in the comments!