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Cracklin Cornbread Recipe

Cracklin cornbread is something many of us southerners grew up eating. In fact, this was my favorite way to have cornbread for many years.

Pan and plate of cracklin cornbread

Southern Style Cracklin Bread

I like the texture and chewiness that the cracklins add. However, cornbread is good no matter how you eat it.

If you’ve never had good old-fashioned southern cracklin bread, I highly recommend trying it. However, the texture is completely different from what you might be used to.

I’ve had cracklin cornbread quite a few times, and each time it’s different. Some cracklins have a very strong flavor, while others might be saltier.

I prefer a milder cracklin with a moderate amount of salt. But everyone has different tastes and preferences.

So it might be a good idea to make the smallest amount of cornbread you can. You know … in case you don’t like it.

And make sure there’s someone else who will enjoy it. I hate wasting food.

What is Cracklin Cornbread?

Cracklings (or as we say in the South, “cracklins”) are fried pork skin with some of the fat beneath it.

Although they might not sound appetizing from the definition, they add flavor and texture to whatever you put them in.

Some people think they’re the same thing as pork rinds, but they’re not. Pork rinds are strictly the skin without the layer of fat.

You can actually use pork rinds to get a similar texture and flavor. I’ve done that when I can’t find cracklins. There’s a slight difference, but it’s still good.

I’ve also used bacon. Simply fry it until it’s crispy, break it into large crumbles, and toss it into the batter.

Cracklin Cornbread Ingredients

You can actually make cracklin cornbread from any recipe by simply adding the cracklins.

However, this recipe is slightly different from my other cornbread recipes … emphasis on the word slightly.

The dry ingredients are self-rising yellow cornmeal, all-purpose flour, baking powder, and baking soda.

Flour, baking powder, baking soda, and corn meal

You can either buy the cracklins already fried or purchase them from the meat department and fry them yourself.

The grocery store where I shop only had them fried, so that’s what I used.

Bowl of cracklins

The wet ingredients are buttermilk, eggs, cooking oil, and eggs.

You’ll also need butter to put in the skillet.

Cooking oil, 2 eggs, buttermilk, and butter

For exact measurements of each ingredient and full directions, go to the recipe card at the bottom of the page. You can even print out the card by using the “print” button.

How to Make Cracklin Cornbread

Making cracklin cornbread brought me back to my childhood when I watched my great-grandmother and grandmother make it. They let me help, which is why I make it the way I do.

First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Put the butter in the center of an 8” skillet and place the skillet in the oven.

This provides a sizzling foundation that makes a nice, crunchy crust on the bottom of the cornbread.

While the skillet is heating up, prepare the dry and wet ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix well.

Dry ingredients in a bowl with a whisk

Next, stir the cracklins into the dry ingredients. Do your best to distribute them evenly.

You can either leave them big or crumble them up a little more. I like them big, but if they’re huge, I break them in half.

Cracklins added to the dry ingredients for cracklin cornbread

In a medium-size bowl, combine the eggs, buttermilk, and oil. Whisk until everything is blended.

Wet ingredients in a bowl with a whisk

Remove the skillet from the oven and make sure the butter has melted and spread out. Pour the batter into the skillet, smoothing the top as you go.

Turn down the heat to 375 degrees F. Place the skillet with the batter back into the oven. Bake the cornbread for 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

Baked cracklin cornbread in a skillet

Remove the cornbread from the oven and place the skillet on something to protect your counters from the heat. I either use a silicone trivet or a potholder.

Let the cracklin’ bread cool for about 5 minutes before slicing. Serve it hot.

Slice of cracklin cornbread on a plate

Note: I use a smaller skillet for cracklin cornbread because I like it slightly thicker than the traditional cornbread.

However, if you choose to use a 10” skillet, that’s fine. But cut the cooking time to 20 minutes because it won’t be as thick.

As I already mentioned, there have been times when I couldn’t find cracklins. So I substituted bacon crumbles.

It tastes different, but I think it’s just as good. In fact, if you don’t like cracklins, try bacon instead.

More Recipes

There are so many delicious recipes it’s difficult to know where to begin. So I’ll just start out with one of my favorite salads.

I’ve always enjoyed Greek salads and the variety of olives available in stores now. This Greek olive and feta salad is absolutely delicious, and it’s wonderful with any kind of cornbread.

I also enjoy eating cornbread with this 15-bean soup that you can make in your Instant Pot. Just rinse the beans, put them in the pot, and turn it on.

I used to make this soup in my slow cooker, but I love the fact that I no longer have to soak the beans.

We love a variety of desserts, so I’ve come up with a bunch that you can make at the last minute. These 15 quick desserts are all delicious, and most of them are super easy!

Yield: 8 servings

Cracklin Cornbread Recipe

Slice of cracklin cornbread on a plate

Cracklin cornbread has a texture and flavor that goes well with any meal.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 1-1/2 cup of self-rising yellow cornmeal (medium or course-ground)
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup of fried cracklins
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 cup of buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs egg
  • 3 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon of butter (for the skillet)


    1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Put the butter in the center of an 8” cast iron skillet and place it in the oven so it can get sizzling hot.
    2. Mix all of the dry ingredients, including cracklins in a large bowl.
    3. Mix the wet ingredients in a medium bowl.
    4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients. The batter will be very thick.
    5. Take the skillet out of the oven and pour the batter into the hot skillet.
    6. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
    7. Return the skillet to the oven and bake the cornbread for 25 minutes.
    8. Remove the cornbread from the oven and place the skillet on a heatproof trivet or hot pad.
    9. Allow the cornbread to cool for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.


If you want the texture of cracklin bread but prefer a more familiar flavor, you can substitute bacon crumbles. I've done that, and it's really good.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 257Total Fat 11gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 78mgSodium 333mgCarbohydrates 31gFiber 2gSugar 2gProtein 9g

The nutrition information is a product of online calculators. I try to provide true and accurate information, but these numbers are estimates.

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