This time-tested recipe for Old Fashioned Cornbread is the perfect side dish. It’s moist, tender, and doesn’t crumble all over!
After comparing a variety of cookbooks from the 1960s and 1970s, I am confident that this is “the” recipe for Old Fashioned Cornbread.
The general recipe kept appearing over and over in church cookbooks, with just a few tweaks. For example, a few recipes had an extra tablespoon of sugar, or used buttermilk in place of regular milk.
What I love about this recipe is that it’s balanced in every way. A ratio of half flour to half cornmeal keeps it light. And, the bread holds together well and doesn’t crumble easily.
It’s just the right texture for sopping up juices and mellowing spicy entrees.
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What makes this the best old fashioned cornbread recipe?
One of the things I love about this recipe is how well the bread holds together. It has all-purpose flour added to the batter which is the key to making the baked bread crumble-resistant and lighter than a cornmeal-only cornbread.
Overall, cornbread is a savory dish, but this recipe has a small amount of sugar in the batter. The touch of sweetness really enhances the natural flavors in the cornbread.
Another great thing about this recipe is that it doesn’t require buttermilk. I don’t always have buttermilk on hand, and it’s nice to find a more user-friendly recipe that only uses milk.
However, the recipe is versatile! You can substitute the milk with buttermilk, adjust the leaveners, and make it with butter or shortening. You can even turn the cornbread into muffins if you like.
- You’ll need whole eggs to bind the cornbread batter together. You’ll want to use large eggs.
- This cornbread recipe uses milk in the batter instead of buttermilk. You can use any percentage you have on hand. And, if you prefer the flavor buttermilk adds, feel free to use it in place of the milk—just adjust the leavening agents (more on that below!).
- Melted butter OR shortening helps to bind the bread together and provides a touch of moisture to the final texture.
- Cornmeal is the star ingredient in cornbread. It gives the bread its slightly grainy texture.
- Old fashioned cornbread has all-purpose flour added to the cornmeal. It helps bind all the ingredients together and makes the bread more tender.
- Don’t leave the sugar out! It really helps to enhance the cornbread flavors.
- Baking powder will help the bread to rise and salt enhances the corn flavor.
How to make Old Fashioned Cornbread
Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease an 8×8-inch baking dish. (Or, grease a 9-inch cast iron skillet [affiliate link] or muffin pan if you’d prefer.)
Place the eggs, milk, and melted butter or shortening in a large bowl. Whisk to combine.
Add the corn meal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Whisk just until combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared dish.
Bake for 20–25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the bread shrinks back slightly from the sides of the pan and begins to brown on the edges.
Be careful not to overcook the cornbread, which will make it dry.
- I used an 8×8 inch dish, but a 9-inch cast iron skillet (affiliate link) would also work perfectly.
- If you prefer cornbread muffins, you can divide the batter into a muffin pan, and cook for 15-18 minutes.
- There is flexibility in the ingredient types and amounts.
- Some people really like to use buttermilk in cornbread. You can substitute it in place of regular milk. If you do this, you must adjust the leavening agents to ½ teaspoon baking soda AND ½ teaspoon baking powder.
- A lot of traditional cornbread recipes called for shortening. I substituted shortening with butter and really liked the flavor it added to the cornbread. You can use either ingredient when making this recipe.
Make it ahead
Old fashioned cornbread can be made up to 24 hours in advance. Cover it tightly and store at room temperature.
Cornbread will last 4–5 days at room temperature, but for the moistest cornbread, consume within the first 48 hours.
Can I freeze old fashioned cornbread?
Yes! Seal it in a tightly covered container or resealable freezer storage bag for up to three months.
More classic side dishes
Every great entree deserves a delicious side dish. Here are more of my favorites!
Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and/or comment below!
Old Fashioned Cornbread
- 2 eggs
- 1¼ cups milk (see Notes below for substituting buttermilk)
- 4 tablespoons melted butter or shortening
- 1 cup corn meal
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease an 8×8-inch baking dish.
- Place the eggs, milk, and melted butter or shortening in a large bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Add the corn meal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir just until combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared dish.
- Bake for 20–25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the bread shrinks back slightly from the sides of the pan and begins to brown on the edges.