Recipe Review

This Might Be the Perfect Skillet Cornbread Recipe

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There are a million different kinds of cornbread, and they’re all pretty good. My love of cornbread is not fussy. I like it sweet like cake, or savory and crumbly. I don’t think I’ve ever met a cornbread I didn’t like, but this Southern cornbread recipe sounds like it might be among the best of them. It’s moist and a little grainy, with crisp edges and a flavor so buttery you might not even need to spread butter on it at the table. (But you can if you want to.) 

This recipe calls for self-rising cornmeal instead of the plain kind, which ensures the cornbread bakes up beautifully with a nice lift and airy texture. A bit of regular all-purpose flour gives the cornbread a great texture that’s not too rough and grainy. The recipe calls for a lot more cornmeal than flour, though, so it will still have the classic cornbread texture everybody loves. 

The recipe does include sugar, which can be a contentious issue among cornbread aficionados. A lot of people like their cornbread sweet like cake, while others insist that cornbread is purely savory and must have no sugar at all. This recipe includes sugar, but only five teaspoons. The author says the sugar helps balance the savoriness of the cornbread, but it’s not enough that you’ll taste any sweetness at all. 

Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, and sugar. Beat together eggs, then whisk in some whole milk. Don’t use skim or lower-fat milk for this; the whole milk makes the cornbread taste rich and moist. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients, then whisk some sour cream into the batter. Add melted, salted butter. The sour cream, milk, and butter assure the cornbread turns out moist and buttery. They also give you the crispy edges that set really great cornbread apart from the merely average. (Even average cornbread is still pretty good, though.) 

If you have a cast iron skillet, you can get really great edges on your cornbread. The author says to heat the skillet on the stove until it’s hot. Add vegetable oil to the hot skillet, then add the batter and bake it in the skillet for about 30 to 45 minutes. The top should be golden-brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle should come out mostly clean, but not totally clean. 

If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, you can use a baking dish or any oven-safe skillet. Make sure to heat it up on the stove first to get those crispy sides. But a cast iron skillet is a great thin to have — especially if you plan on making this cornbread a lot. 

Get the recipe: Southern Cornbread from Grandbaby Cakes 

Credit: Joe Lingeman

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