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Simple Southern Style Cornbread Recipe

This southern style cornbread is one of the best side dishes you can serve at at any meal. It goes with family style casseroles, comforting bowls of soup, or traditional meat-and-vegetable dinners.

Traditional Southern Iron Skillet Cornbread

Slice of southern style cornbread on a plate

It takes me back to my childhood where four generations got together to cook. Mid-morning, my great-grandmother, grandmother, mom, and I headed to the kitchen to make the daily feast.

Since my maternal grandparents lived on a farm, the biggest meal of the day was at noon. In fact, they called that meal dinner, while the evening meal was supper.

Sometimes we had traditional southern-style cornbread, while other times we had this super moist fine-ground cornmeal cornbread. Both are delicious.

Whether we were eating soup or a chicken dinner, this cornbread was the perfect accompaniment. I loved dunking it into any gravy or sauce on my plate.

My grandfather used to break up a piece of cornbread and drop it into a glass of buttermilk. Then, he’d eat it with a spoon.

Now I enjoy doing the same thing. But if I don’t have buttermilk, I’ll use whatever milk I have on hand.

Slice of cornbread on a plate beside a skillet of southern style cornbread

One of the things I could always count on was having some sort of bread at every meal. Sometimes it was biscuits, but it was often this delicious southern style cornbread.

Southern Style Cornbread Ingredients

You need both dry and wet ingredients to make this delicious cornbread. I also used a 10” skillet like I was taught to do.

If you have a seasoned skillet that’s been passed down through a generation or two, that’s the best one to use. However, you can purchase an iron skillet and season it yourself.

The dry ingredients are yellow cornmeal, all-purpose flour, baking powder, and baking soda. You can add sugar if you like your cornbread sweet, but I’m making it the traditional way.

Flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and baking soda

You also need wet ingredients, including buttermilk, eggs, cooking oil, and butter.

Buttermilk, butter, eggs, and cooking oil

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.

Some folks are adamantly against sweet cornbread. However, I feel that food should taste good to the person eating it.

So if you like sweet cornbread, add sugar. If you’re like me and prefer the traditional southern cornbread, leave it out.

Or you can follow this Jiffy cornbread recipe from the Back to My Southern Roots blog. A lot of people enjoy this sweet version.

I enjoy the traditional “dry” cornbread. But if you want to make it moist, add more oil or a small can of creamed corn to the batter.

Another thing I like to do is add a little “kick” to my cornbread. That’s why I make these delicious jalapeno corn muffins.

How to Make Southern Style Cornbread

Although there are many versions of cornbread in the South, my family made it this way. Most of the recipes I’ve seen are very similar with slight differences in the amount of each ingredient.

First, preheat your oven. It needs to be a hot 400 degrees F to get the right texture.

If you’re using a cast iron skillet, put some butter in the center and stick it in the oven. After it melts, make sure the entire bottom of the pan is covered with butter.

Pat of butter in the center of a cast iron skillet

As I mentioned, I use a 10″ cast iron skillet to make this cornbread. However, you can use a smaller skillet if you want your cornbread thicker.

Next, mix all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Make sure you blend them thoroughly.

Dry ingredients for cornbread in a bowl with a whisk

Then, mix all of the wet ingredients in a medium-size bowl. The egg, milk, and oil need to be well blended to have consistency throughout the cornbread.

Wet ingredients for cornbread in a bowl

Now, pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Stir until everything is blended.

Your batter will be very thick, which is what you want. Pull the skillet out of the oven and pour the batter into it, leveling it as you go.

Cornbread batter in a skillet

Return the skillet to the oven and cook for about 18 minutes, or until the top turns a light golden brown.

Cooked southern style cornbread in a skillet

Remove your cornbread from the oven and place the skillet on something that can handle the intense heat. I use either a silicone trivet or extra potholder, depending on what’s close at hand.

After 5 minutes, slice the cornbread. Serve it with butter and enjoy!

Slice of southern style cornbread on a plate in front of a skillet of cornbread

More Recipes

This cornbread is delicious with almost any meal. I like it with these oven-fried chicken strips.

It’s also good with this chili con carne. It balances the spice in the chili and adds quite a bit of texture to the meal.

Another dish that’s good with this cornbread is homemade lentil soup. You don’t need anything else to make this a complete meal.

See this recipe shared at Meal Plan Monday, Full Plate Thursday, and Weekend Potluck.

Slice of cornbread on a plate

Southern Style Cornbread

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes

Southern style cornbread goes with almost any meal.


  • 2 cups of self-rising yellow cornmeal (medium or course-ground)
  • 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1-1/4 cups of buttermilk
  • 1 large 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 a 10” cast iron skillet and place it in the oven so it can get sizzling hot.
    2. Mix all of the dry ingredients 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. Return the skillet to the oven and bake the cornbread for 18 minutes.
    7. Remove the cornbread from the oven and place the skillet on a heatproof trivet or hot pad.
    8. Allow the cornbread to cool for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.


  • You may use a baking pan instead of an iron skillet. If you do this, you don’t need to heat the pan before filling with batter.
  • If you like sweet cornbread, add 1/2 cup of sugar to the batter.
  • For a moist cornbread, add a small can of creamed corn to the batter.
Nutrition Information
Yield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 242Total Fat 9gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 32mgSodium 464mgCarbohydrates 33gFiber 2gSugar 6gProtein 8g

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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Wednesday 24th of June 2020

******************************************************** Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Please stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn ********************************************************


Friday 5th of June 2020

Cornbread baked in a cast iron skillet is always a little better. This looks so yummy!

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