Old-Fashioned Spoonbread

published Sep 25, 2021
Spoonbread Recipe

Spoonbread is the dreamy and creamy, pudding-version of cornbread.

Serves6 to 8

Prep20 minutes

Cook35 minutes

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a scoop of Spoonbread (a moist cornmeal-based dish prevalent in parts of the Southern United States) in a bowl with a butter pat and a spoon
Credit: Renae Wilson

Spoonbread is a more creamy, pudding-like version of cornbread. It’s called “spoonbread” because you serve it with a spoon. Leavened with egg whites, much like soufflé, its style models British Yorkshire pudding.

Is Spoonbread Sweet or Savory?

The discussion of cornbread comes with the never-ending debate of sweet or not sweet. But the discourse over spoonbread often seems like lower stakes. You can help push this recipe more savory or sweet by adding any of the following mix-ins:

  • Chopped jalapeños and shredded cheddar cheese
  • Fresh or dried blueberries
  • Spices like chili powder and paprika, chopped cilantro, and diced green peppers
  • Fresh, chopped peaches, fresh thyme leaves, and honey
Credit: Renae Wilson

What to Serve with Spoonbread

Serve alongside a classic Sunday dinner of fried chicken and macaroni, or with BBQ mains like grilled ribs and baked beans. To make ahead of time, cook your spoonbread fully and refrigerate in an airtight container for a day or two.

Spoonbread Recipe

Spoonbread is the dreamy and creamy, pudding-version of cornbread.

Prep time 20 minutes

Cook time 35 minutes

Serves 6 to 8

Nutritional Info


  • 2 cups

    whole milk

  • 2 tablespoons

    packed light brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 3/4 cup

    finely ground cornmeal

  • 2 cups

    fresh, frozen, or drained canned corn kernels

  • 4 tablespoons

    unsalted butter, divided, plus more for serving

  • 2 teaspoons

    baking powder

  • 2

    large egg yolks

  • 2

    large egg whites


  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F.

  2. Place 2 cups whole milk, 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat until bubbles begin to form around the edges of the pan. Add 3/4 cup finely ground cornmeal and whisk to combine. Cook, whisking often, until creamy and thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.

  3. Add 2 cups corn kernels, 2 tablespoons of the unsalted butter, and 2 teaspoons baking powder, and stir to combine. Beat 2 large egg yolks in a small bowl. Add a couple spoonfuls of the cornmeal mixture and stir to combine. Add the egg mixture back to the cornmeal mixture and stir to combine.

  4. Place the remaining 2 tablespoons unsalted butter in a 3-quart baking dish or 10-inch cast-iron skillet and place in the oven to melt.

  5. Meanwhile, beat 2 large egg whites in a medium bowl with an electric hand mixer until stiff peaks form. (Alternatively, beat egg whites in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.) Add to the cornmeal batter a spoonful at a time and fold to combine.

  6. Remove the baking dish from the oven and swirl the butter around to coat the pan. Add the cornmeal batter and spread into an even layer. Bake until the edges are golden-brown and the spoonbread is cooked through, about 35 minutes. Serve with more butter.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftover spoonbread can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.