Bake this sweet cornbread recipe in a cast iron skillet for a moist and delicious old-fashioned cornbread with a crispy crust.
Originally published March 2020; this post has been updated.
While I think many of us will agree that a crispy crust on the cornbread is ideal, some people balk at the idea of a sweet cornbread. Southern cornbread, they say, has no such thing as sugar in it. And they aren’t wrong.
But you know, it’s such an indulgent comfort food for me, and in my opinion this continues to be the best cornbread recipe I’ve used. It has just the right amount of sweetness, and it tastes delicious with a little pat of butter.
Sweet Cornbread Recipe
This easy cornbread recipe has been in my recipe file for years upon years and it never fails to make us happy. It makes a cake-y sweet and moist cornbread that tastes delicious with a little pat of butter or a drizzle of honey. If you’ve never made cornbread from scratch, you’re going to love this.
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This moist cornbread recipe starts with real food ingredients. If you maintain a well-stocked pantry, it’s very likely that you have most (if not all) of these ingredients on hand.
Butter — Allow the butter to come to room temperature for easy mixing. I used salted butter; if you prefer unsalted, that will work fine.
Sugar — Use your favorite brand of granulated cane sugar. I prefer organic.
Eggs — Fresh eggs, store bought, use what you have readily available.
Milk — You can use whole milk, skim milk, or if your family is dairy free, an alternative nut milk. I don’t recommend using buttermilk in this sweet cornbread recipe, as it is more acidic and will impact how the baking powder performs.
Flour — When I bake with all purpose flour I opt for the unbleached option. Bleached flour is very white, but it’s also treated with bleaching agents that I don’t really need in my food.
Cornmeal — This is what gives this quick bread it’s recognizable flavor. Cornmeal comes in fine, medium, or coarse grind. I suggest sticking with the fine or medium grind for this recipe. I also make sure that I’m using an organic cornmeal, to avoid the genetically modified corn that has been altered to survive being sprayed with poison.
Leavening — Baking powder gives this cornbread recipe its lift.
Salt — Use your favorite table salt or sea salt.
Making this Homemade Cornbread
Start by creaming the sugar and butter together. It’s easiest to do this with a stand mixer or hand mixer, but a good old wooden spoon works, too. It will just take a bit more work on your part.
Once creamed, add the eggs and milk.
Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then stir into the wet ingredients.
Stir the cornbread batter just until the ingredients are combined.
To get the crispy edges on this made-from-scratch cornbread, heat a cast iron skillet in the oven. Pouring the batter into an already-hot pan is the trick. Bake until the top of the cornbread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cut the cornbread into wedges and serve with butter and sweet honey, if you like. This sweet cornbread makes an excellent side dish for chili and for soups or stews. It’s also good with fried eggs — it’s perfect for sopping up the soft yolk of an over-medium egg.
Cornbread is a natural (a must have?) when serving ground beef chili, of course, but don’t stop there! It’s a great side dish for so many other meals. Or serve it for breakfast with a little dab of honey butter.
Storing Leftover Cornbread
Store leftover cornbread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days. For longer storage, wrap bread in a layer of waxed paper followed by a layer of aluminum foil, and store in the freezer for up to three months.
You can also use leftover cornbread to make cornbread French toast the next day or reheat it and spread on some of this slow cooker apple butter.
★ Did you make this sweet cornbread recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below! ★
- 2/3 cup butter + 1 tablespoon
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1-2/3 cup milk
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-1/3 cup cornmeal
- 4-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 400ºF. Put a 12” cast iron skillet in the oven while it preheats. (See notes for using a baking dish instead.)
- Cream 2/3 cup butter and sugar together in a large bowl. Stir in milk and eggs.
- Combine dry ingredients; stir into wet ingredients until just combined.
- Remove hot cast iron pan from oven and drop 1 tablespoon of butter into the pan and swirl it around to coat the bottom and sides of skillet.
- Pour batter into hot skillet and return it to the hot oven. Cook for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cut into eight wedges and serve warm with butter and/or honey.
To get the crispy edges on this made-from-scratch cornbread, heat the cast iron skillet in the oven. Pouring the batter into an already-hot pan is the trick.
If you'd like to bake this in a 9" x 11" glass baking dish instead, grease the pan with melted butter and do NOT put it in the oven before adding the batter. You don't want to shatter the pan!
Store leftover cornbread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days. For longer storage, wrap bread in a layer of waxed paper followed by a layer of aluminum foil, and freeze for up to three months.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 wedge
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 378Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 11gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 103mgSodium: 310mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 1gSugar: 19gProtein: 6g