Southern-style cast iron skillet cornbread is a delicious and easy-to-make comfort food that is perfect for any occasion, especially the busy holiday season. This recipe uses simple ingredients and a cast-iron skillet to create a cornbread that is moist and flavorful and has a crispy crust.
Why Use a Cast Iron Skillet?
Southerners are renowned for their delicious cornbread, and many swear by using a cast iron skillet. Here are the reasons.
- Even heat distribution: Cast iron skillets are known for their ability to distribute heat evenly, which is important for baking cornbread. This helps to ensure that the cornbread cooks evenly throughout, without any hot or cold spots.
- Crispy crust: Cast iron skillets also get very hot, which helps to create a crispy crust on the cornbread. This is a hallmark of southern-style cornbread, and it is one of the things that makes it so delicious.
- Flavor: Cast iron skillets can also add a bit of flavor to the cornbread. This is because the cast iron reacts with the fat in the cornbread batter to create a Maillard reaction. This reaction produces complex flavors that are not possible to achieve with other types of baking pans.
- Versatility: As an aside, cast iron skillets are also very versatile. They can be used to cook various dishes, including cornbread, steak, chicken, and vegetables. This makes them a good investment for any kitchen.
Ingredients – Here’s What You’ll Need
- Wet Ingredients: For the wet ingredients, I used buttermilk, unsalted butter, and eggs.
- Dry Ingredients: The dry ingredients included yellow cornmeal, all-purpose flour, a small amount of granulated sugar, Kosher salt, and baking powder.
- Greasing the Cast Iron Skillet: I used vegetable oil to grease the cast iron skillet. I could have also used butter or bacon fat here.
Making the Cornbread – Step-by-Step Instructions
It’s quite easy to make this delicious Southern-style cornbread
- I started by preheating my oven to 425°F. I placed my 10-inch cast iron skillet in the oven once it reached 425°. The idea here was to preheat the cast iron skillet while I made the cornbread batter.
- For the cornbread batter, I started by adding melted butter to the buttermilk and then whisking in the eggs. That’s it for the wet ingredients!
- Now, for the dry ingredients, I whisked together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a large measuring cup. I used the measuring cup to make it easier to transfer the batter to the cast iron skillet.
- I added the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisked everything together just until combined.
- Once the batter was ready, I removed the cast iron skillet from the oven and brushed the bottom and sides with vegetable oil.
- Then, I transferred the batter to the hot skillet and baked the cornbread in a preheated 425°F oven for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, the cornbread was golden brown and perfectly cooked.
I let the cornbread cool slightly before serving it.
The cornbread was amazing. It was moist and slightly crumbly with a delicious crispy golden brown crust. Yum!
Frequently Asked Questions
Southern cornbread is savory and not sweet, while Northern cornbread is typically sweeter and has a more cake-like texture.
You can use regular milk in place of buttermilk. However, buttermilk gives the cornbread a slightly tangy taste and tender crumb. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make a substitute by adding a tablespoon of white vinegar to a measuring cup and adding enough milk to equal one cup. Let this sit for about 10 minutes, and you’re all set!
You can use either yellow or white cornmeal. It’s a matter of personal preference. However, yellow cornmeal tends to have a more pronounced corn flavor than white cornmeal.
Traditional Southern cornbread is made without flour. I tend to prefer cornbread made with flour, as is the case in this recipe. That’s why I called the recipe Southern-style!
Leftover cornbread can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to two days. I like to reheat the leftover cornbread in a 350°F oven for about 10 minutes.
Dishes to Serve with Cornbread
Cornbread is a versatile side dish that can be paired with a variety of dishes, including:
- Soups and stews: Cornbread is a classic accompaniment to soups and stews, such as chili, chicken noodle soup, and beef stew. The cornbread can be used to soak up the broth and flavors of the soup or stew.
- Fried chicken: Cornbread is a perfect side dish for fried chicken. The sweetness of the cornbread complements the savory flavors of the chicken.
- Barbecue: Cornbread is a great side dish for any type of barbecue, such as pulled pork, ribs, and chicken. The cornbread can be used to soak up the barbecue sauce and flavors of the meat.
- Beans and rice: Cornbread is a classic accompaniment to beans and rice like Hoppin’ John. The cornbread adds sweetness and texture to the dish.
- Greens: Cornbread is delicious with collard greens and turnip greens.
Other Cornbread Recipes
If you’re a fan of cornbread, try these amazing recipes.
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Southern Style Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread
- 10 inch cast iron skillet
- 1 ¼ cups (10 ounces) buttermilk (See Tip 1)
- 4 Tablespoons (½ stick, 2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup (5 ounces) yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- ½ Tablespoon vegetable oil
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Place cast iron skillet in the oven when it reaches temperature.
- While the cast iron skillet is preheating, add the melted butter to the buttermilk. Then, whisk in the eggs. Set aside. (See Tip 2)
- Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir just until combined. (See Tip 3)
- Remove the skillet from the oven. Brush the bottom and sides with the vegetable oil. (See Tip 4)
- Pour the cornbread batter into the prepared skillet. Bake in a preheated 425°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.
- Yield: 8 servings. (See Tip 5)
- If you don’t have buttermilk, you can substitute as follows. Add one tablespoon and ¾ teaspoon of white vinegar to a measuring cup. Add enough milk to equal 1 ¼ cups. Allow to sit for 10 minutes.
- When you add the melted butter to the buttermilk, the butter may clump somewhat. Don’t worry about this; it will melt again in the oven.
- I like to use a large measuring cup (8-cup) when I make the cornbread batter. The measuring cup has a handle, making transferring the batter to the hot cast iron skillet easy.
- May substitute butter or bacon grease for the vegetable oil.
- Leftovers can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to two days.