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How to Make Cornbread Moist: 5 Easy Tips

These 5 ways to make cornbread moist are easy modifications that don’t take any extra time. Since cornbread is a favorite side dish for many meals, they are all super helpful because they take your baking to a whole new level.

Iron skillet and baked cornbread

If you are looking for a basic moist cornbread recipe, either scroll to the bottom of this post or click on the jump-to-recipe button at the top of the page, directly below the title.

Easy and Delicious Moist Cornbread

You don’t have to be a professional chef to make delicious dishes. In fact, my grandmothers and great-grandmothers all made wonderful foods that bring back wonderful memories.

Cornbread is one of those foods. My family is from Mississippi, so the tips I know are from very southern kitchens.

Of course, these kitchens all had iron skillets, which I still use for making cornbread. However, you can use whatever pan you have.

Moist Cornbread Recipes and Tips

Although I like a variety of styles of cornbread, I prefer to have the savory version. Sometimes I like it crumbly. But other times I want it to be moist enough that it doesn’t need butter.

However, there are quite a few people who want it sweet … and that’s okay. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

My friend Julie shares how to make Jiffy cornbread moist on her Back to My Southern Roots blog. If you like sweeter cornbread, you’ll want to check out her tips. She starts out with a Jiffy mix, making it super easy.

You can use her boxed cornbread technique to make homemade savory cornbread more moist as well. I didn’t include it on my list since she does such a good job of explaining it.

I like a variety of styles of cornbread, including this southern-style cornbread. It does tend to be a tad crumbly, but it soaks up a pat of butter very well.

If you enjoy a little heat in your cornbread, you’ll like my jalapeno corn muffin recipe. It’s easy to follow, and anyone who likes spicy food will love it.

Another cornbread I remember from my childhood is this cracklin cornbread. It has a meaty flavor and lots of texture that make it completely different from what you’re probably used to.

I’ve tried all of the following ways to make cornbread more moist, and they all work. There are probably other things you can do as well.

If you want my recipe for super moist cornbread, please check out the recipe card at the bottom of this post. You’ll see that I use a combination of extra ingredients to get excellent results.

Sour Cream or Plain Yogurt

One of the ways to make cornbread moist is to swap out some of the liquid for sour cream. You can substitute as much or as little as you want.

Tub of plain Greek yogurt

I recommend changing it to half sour cream and half of whatever else you use to start. That might be perfect for you as it is for me.

However, if it is still too dry for you, keep altering the ratio until you get it just right. There’s absolutely no shame in having all sour cream.

Just remember, though, you’ll still need the eggs that you have in your original recipe.

Plain yogurt also works to make the cornbread moist. You can use either Greek or regular yogurt, but the Greek version will do a better job. In fact, Greek yogurt makes cornbread super moist.

Make Cornbread Moist with Buttermilk

Buttermilk enhances the flavor of the cornmeal and makes it moist.

If you use buttermilk, you’ll want to swap out all or at least most of the liquid for buttermilk.

I keep a container of this buttermilk mix on hand. That’s because there are times when I need buttermilk for a recipe, but I don’t have it in the fridge.

Container of buttermilk mix

It’s good, and it works.

However, I still prefer the regular version of buttermilk.

Cooking Oil Makes Cornbread Moist

Add a little bit more cooking oil to the batter than the amount that the recipe calls for. In fact, an extra 1/4 of a cup of oil will make all the difference in the world.

Container of canola oil

You can use any type of cooking oil you like, including canola oil, peanut oil, avocado oil, and olive oil.

Keep in mind that the type of oil you use can change the flavor of the cornbread.

Make Cornbread Moist with Mayonnaise

This might surprise you, but mayonnaise will make your cornbread moist. It’s simply a matter of swapping out the eggs for mayo.

Container of mayonnaise

Remember that mayonnaise is made from egg yolks and other ingredients. So technically, it still has eggs in it.

The key is to substitute 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise per egg in the recipe. You’ll also love the fact that the cornbread will have a lighter, fluffier texture.

Fine-Ground Cornmeal

Here is another mystery to me. For some reason, fine-ground cornmeal holds more moisture than a medium or coarse grind.

Package of gluten-free, fine-ground cornmeal

You can either use all fine-ground cornmeal or half fine-ground and half medium. It all depends on how much moisture you want in the finished product.

My fine-ground cornmeal cornbread is so moist you don’t need to add a speck of butter. But I still add it when I’m in the mood because it’s really good and rich tasting.

Baked cornbread and iron skillet

Iron Skillet Cornbread

Regardless of what you use to make moist cornbread, it’s always good to have a crispy crust.

That’s why I like to use an iron skillet. I’ll put a link to where you can buy one in the recipe card below.

Cast iron skillet

I always grease the skillet with either butter or oil and heat it in the oven before I add the batter.

The sound of the skillet sizzling as I pour the batter into it brings back memories of watching—and listening—while my grandmothers cooked.

Occasionally, I’ll make corn muffins in a muffin tin. But the iron skillet provides a better outcome.

There are other ways to make your cornbread moist. However, the ones I’ve listed are my favorites.

Common Questions About Cornbread

If you’re anything like me, you enjoy a slice of cornbread with a hearty meal. However, you may have some questions.

Here are a few of the most common questions I get asked:

Is Scratch Cornbread Better Than Cornbread from a Mix?

This is a difficult question to answer because everyone has different preferences. I like scratch cornbread so that I can control the ingredients. Most of the cornbread mixes contain sugar, and I’m not a fan of sweet cornbread.

What Makes Cornbread Dry?

There are several things that can make cornbread dry. First, perhaps there’s not enough oil or fat to keep it moist.

Secondly, it might have been left in the oven too long. Overcooked cornbread will definitely dry out.

Also, if you leave cornbread out on the counter for a long time, it can dry out. I recommend covering it to seal in the moisure.

All of that said, some people actually like dry cornbread. It crumbles really well in a glass of either whole milk or buttermilk. That’s one of my favorite snacks.

Can You Make Cornbread Muffins or Cupcakes?

Yes, you absolutely can make cornbread muffins or cupcakes. Either follow the recipe as-is or add more ingredients. You might want to try adding white sugar or brown sugar.

You can also add honey or molasses for even more flavor. You can also drop in a few berries or chocolate chips. It’s fun to experiment with recipes, so if something sounds good, give it a try!

Yield: 8

How to Make Cornbread Moist

Baked cornbread in an iron skillet

You can easily make cornbread moist by adding or swapping out a few ingredients.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 33 minutes


  • 1-1/2 cups of self-rising medium-grind cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup of fine-ground cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour (regular or gluten-free)
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 cup of buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup of cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon of butter


    1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Place the butter in the center of a 10” cast iron skillet
    2. Put the skillet in the oven so it can get sizzling hot.
    3. Mix all of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
    4. Mix the wet ingredients in a medium-size mixing bowl.
    5. Combine the wet and dry ingredients.
    6. Take the skillet out of the oven and pour the batter into the hot skillet. The batter should be very thick, so you’ll have to use a spoon.
    7. Put the skillet back in the oven and bake the cornbread for 18 minutes.
    8. Remove the cornbread from the oven and put the skillet on a heatproof surface. I use a silicone trivet or potholder
    9. Give the cornbread a chance to cool for at least 5 minutes before cutting and serving.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 305Total Fat 13gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 29mgSodium 361mgCarbohydrates 41gFiber 3gSugar 2gProtein 7g

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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Sunday 6th of November 2022

Long story short, I ended up a bunch of corn bread mix packets. When I made it per instructions it was so dry, I hated it. Then here I was with more of these packets and in need of a way to make them better. I used some of your suggestions (most importantly the hot oiled pan) and now the corn bread is absolutely heavenly! Ty


Monday 7th of November 2022

Hi Sheila. Thank you so much for letting me know that my tips worked for you. I'm glad your cornbread turned out heavenly!

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