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Old Fashioned Cornbread

4.84 from 53 votes

My best and most basic recipe for Old Fashioned Cornbread. Made with finely ground white cornmeal, buttermilk, and no sugar (!), it’s the perfect accompaniment for everything from fried chicken to chili.

A slice of cornbread topped with a pat of butter.

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There are probably as many recipes for cornbread as there are Southern cooks. Although it’s not strictly a “Southern thing,” cornbread is very widely served throughout the South. It’s so good with a plate of southern-style vegetables like field peas, fried okra, and greens.

🤔 So Many Kinds of Cornbread!

There are many different kinds of cornbread. It’s an inherent part of Southern comfort food. There’s the old fashioned buttermilk cornbread like I’m going to show you here. Then there’s corn pone which is nothing more than plain cornmeal, water, and salt formed into “pones” like thick little pancakes and cooked in the oven. There are also hot water cornbread, corn sticks, and corn muffins as well.

And don’t forget about hush puppies! They are essentially cornbread, too.

My favorite of all the different types is what we call lacy cornbread. It’s cooked in a skillet on the stovetop made from a very thin, light batter that is poured into hot oil and fried quickly to a golden brown. It takes some skill and a little practice to make lacy cornbread.

I have lots of old fashioned cornbread recipes, but this one is my standard and a great one to add to your recipe collection.

❤️ Why We Love This Recipe

  • Made from scratch cornbread is a rustic, simple comfort food.
  • It’s a classic southern side dish served with many traditional southern meals.
  • When you see how easy this recipe is, you’ll never reach for a boxed mix again.
  • Everything is cooked in one skillet. Less kitchen clean up time!

🛒 Essential Ingredients

All ingredients needed to make old fashioned cornbread.

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  • Fine Grind White Cornmeal (See my cornmeal commentary below.)
  • Canola or Peanut Oil (Use an oil with a high smoke point.)
  • Buttermilk (Gives the cornbread a pleasantly tangy flavor, a soft texture, and helps it rise quickly.)

You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.

🌽 The Secret’s in the Cornmeal

Besides all the different types of cornbread, there is also the matter of the cornmeal itself. Grocery stores throughout the South have lots of different cornmeal products on the shelves. But the most important for making good cornbread is finely ground, white cornmeal. 

My favorite brand? Well, it’s Arnett’s hands down. 

Now, I have no association whatsoever with Arnett’s. They have absolutely no idea who I am. I just happen to like their cornmeal.

A couple of other good brands are Hoover’s and Sholar’s. It’s easy to find those brands in the rural areas, but here in North Georgia near Atlanta, I can’t get them anywhere! That’s okay. I just stock up when I make a trip down to the southern part of the state.

One further note: You will notice that there is no sugar in this recipe. In my opinion, there is no place for sugar in cornbread. This is a rustic, savory bread, and sugar just doesn’t belong in there. If I wanted something sweet, I’d make a cake. Cornbread is not cake. Sorry if you’re a sugary cornbread lovin’ kind of person.


“The one must: an iron skillet. Mine belonged to my great grandmother.”
— Dixie

🔪 How to Make Old Fashioned Cornbread

Prepare the Skillet

A cast iron skillet with oil in the bottom.

STEP 1. Add 3 tablespoons canola oil to a 10-inch iron skillet (or for a lighter recipe, coat generously with cooking spray). Place the skillet in the oven, set the oven to 400 degrees, and preheat both the skillet and the oven while you mix up the batter.

👉 PRO TIP: A cast iron skillet makes the very best cornbread. If you don’t have one, I encourage you to purchase one. They’re not very expensive and will last you a lifetime.

Dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Wet ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Wet and dry ingredients combined in a bowl.

Mix the Dry Ingredients

STEP 2. Combine the dry ingredients of cornmeal, flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium mixing bowl.

Mix and Add the Wet Ingredients

STEP 3. Combine the wet ingredients of oil, eggs, and buttermilk.

STEP 4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix well. I use a whisk just to make sure I get all the lumps out.

👉 PRO TIP: For a lighter recipe, use 1/2 cup eggbeaters or similar egg substitute and skim or low-fat milk in place of the buttermilk.

Add the Batter to the Skillet

Cornbread batter added to hot oil in skillet.
Baked cornbread cooling in the skillet.

STEP 5. Carefully remove the hot skillet and quickly pour in the batter. Immediately return the pan to the oven.

👉 PRO TIP: Can you see in the picture (step 5) above how the batter has already started to cook around the edges just seconds after being poured into the pan? That’s exactly what you want it to do.

Bake the Cornbread

STEP 6. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until the top and edges are light golden brown.

Silicone pot handle cover.

STEP 7. Remove the skillet from the oven and let it cool slightly before serving.

👉 PRO TIP: If you don’t have a silicone skillet handle cover, please treat yourself to one! They make it so much easier to handle hot pans. A hot, heavy skillet is much easier to hold onto with one of these than with a pot holder.

💡 Recipe Tips and Advice

  • A well-seasoned cast iron skillet is a necessity for nailing the perfect old fashioned cornbread. It makes a delicious, golden crust and a light, moist interior. If you don’t have one, you can use a different oven safe skillet or a baking dish. Keep in mind that your results will be different.
  • Be sure to preheat the cast iron skillet. That step is very important for achieving those delicious crispy edges!
  • Use a toothpick to check for doneness. If a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, the cornbread is done.

🍚 Storage and Freezing

  • Store at room temperature for 2-3 days or a week, well wrapped, in the refrigerator. To reheat, simply put it back in the oven until it’s warmed through.
  • May be frozen in an airtight container or bag for about 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.

🔀 Recipe Options

  • Make “loaded cornbread” by adding shredded Cheddar cheese, bacon bits, and scallions to the batter.
  • Give it a kick with shredded pepper jack cheese and diced jalapenos.
  • If you simply insist on some sweetness, try a drizzle of honey or syrup on top.

❓ Questions About Old Fashioned Cornbread

Isn’t cornbread supposed to be sweet?

No! It’s a common misconception that southern cornbread is sweet. In fact, if you Google “is southern cornbread sweet?” the first response that pops up tells you that southern cornbread is sweeter than northern, which is a load of nonsense! I sometimes wonder if this belief comes from the pre-made store mixes. While we may occasionally add a drizzle of honey to a serving of cornbread, the recipe itself is made without any sugar. To make a long story short – don’t believe everything you read on the internet, even if it’s on the first page of Google!

Can I make cornbread in advance?

Even though cornbread is best when served fresh and hot from the oven, you can make it a day in advance and reheat it before serving.

What size cast iron skillet is the best for cornbread?

I recommend using a 10-inch cast iron skillet.

What can I do with leftover cornbread?

Leftover cornbread is great for making southern cornbread dressing or croutons for your salad or soup!

Lana Stuart.

More Questions? I’m happy to help!

If you have more questions about the recipe, or if you’ve made it and would like to leave a comment, scroll down to leave your thoughts, questions, and/or rating!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

📖 Recipe

A slice of cornbread topped with a pat of butter.

Old Fashioned Cornbread

Old Fashioned Cornbread made with white cornmeal, buttermilk, and no sugar (!) is perfect with everything from fried chicken to chili.
4.84 from 53 votes
Print It Rate It Save Text It
Course: Breads, Side Dishes
Cuisine: Southern, Vintage
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 253kcal
Author: Lana Stuart


  • 1 ½ cups finely ground white cornmeal
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ¼ cup canola or peanut oil plus 3 tablespoons (or substitute cooking spray for the 3 additional tablespoons oil)
  • 2 large eggs or substitute ½ cup Eggbeaters
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk or substitute skim or lowfat milk


  • Add 3 tablespoons canola oil to a 12-inch iron skillet (or for a lighter recipe, coat generously with cooking spray). Place the skillet in the oven, set the oven to 400 degrees, and preheat both the skillet and the oven while you mix up the cornbread.
  • Combine the cornmeal, flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium mixing bowl.
  • Combine the remaining 1/4 cup oil, eggs, and buttermilk in a separate small bowl.
  • Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk to combine and remove any lumps
  • Carefully remove the hot skillet and quickly pour in the batter. Immediately return the pan to the oven.
  • Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until the top and edges are light golden brown.
  • Remove the skillet from the oven and let it cool slightly before serving.


  • A well-seasoned cast iron skillet is recommended for the best results.
  • Be sure to preheat the cast iron skillet.
  • Store at room temperature for 2-3 days or a week, well wrapped, in the refrigerator. To reheat, simply put it back in the oven until it’s warmed through.
  • Cornbread may be frozen in an airtight container or bag for about 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.

Nutrition Information

Serving 1 | Calories 253kcal | Carbohydrates 32g | Protein 7g | Fat 11g | Saturated Fat 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat 3g | Monounsaturated Fat 6g | Trans Fat 1g | Cholesterol 46mg | Sodium 659mg | Potassium 217mg | Fiber 3g | Sugar 3g | Vitamin A 134IU | Calcium 151mg | Iron 2mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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— This post was originally published on June 18, 2009. It has been updated with new photos and additional information.

A slice of cornbread on top of a skillet.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Toni Blair says:

    This is the first time I have ever come across the same recipe for cornbread that my family has used for many years. My grandmother was from North Carolina and we still use that same recipe. The only difference is I put an egg in mine and use bacon grease or lard in my pan…cast iron of course. My pan is seasoned for only cornbread and Lord help the poor soul caught using it for anything else! I’m 62 now and my sons all love cornbread so I gave them all the recipe so they could carry on cooking cornbread the right way, because everyone knows you don’t put sugar in cornbread because that makes it cake. Thank you

    1. Thanks for your comment, Toni. We enjoy lots of different forms of cornbread, but this one is my most often used recipe. And I do agree about the sugar!

  2. Cheryl McElwee says:

    5 stars
    I have never made good cornbread from scratch and I have tried many recipes and tips. I followed this recipe and the instructions to the letter. It was absolutely delicious, so crunchy and moist, just perfect! Thanks so much!!

  3. Rhonda Spires says:

    Thank you for the recipe 💕 getting ready to make my dressing for Thanksgiving. I like plain cornbread dressing.

  4. 4 stars
    Essentially a good recipe but I don’t use oil. I used melted butter along with eggs and buttermilk. I have a Lodge skillet that I bake the cornbread in. One other thing… this is my little quirk… I use half white corn meal and half yellow …. no sugar either. Have a happy day!

  5. 5 stars
    love corn bread and chili! And I love to break up corn bread in a bowl and pour milk on it for lunch! I’m really southern! My mom always made it for us! Now I need to .make. own , Thanks for the recipe! I can’t wait!

    1. My pleasure! Hope you enjoy it. I have quite a few different cornbread recipes on the blog that you might also enjoy. Also lots of cornbread recipes in my cookbook.

  6. Laura Frazier says:

    5 stars
    perfect with our home ground hickory king cornmeal.

  7. Jo Ann Mitchem says:

    I have made this recipe twice. and both times the mixture has been very thick. I followed the recipe exactly, with just one change. I used gluten free 1 to 1 baking flour. This flour substitution has never made a difference in other recipes. Could you please advise me as to what I might be doing incorrectly?

    1. If you think the batter is too thick, add a little more buttermilk or even some water. It could be that the cornmeal you’re using is a bit dry or your buttermilk is thicker (some brands are thinner than others). Cornbread recipes like this one are very forgiving and can be adjusted without affecting the outcome.

  8. Brenda A. says:

    5 stars
    Great corn bread! I was always taught to use yellow cornmeal, and bacon grease instead. Yours is very good, we both agree on no sugar. I like left over cornbread crumbed in a glass with milk poured on it. lol I know weird, my grandfather was a coal miner, so nothing was wasted at the table.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the cornbread! There are so many different ways to make it and some people definitely prefer yellow cornmeal. Just depends on your tastes.

  9. 5 stars
    In the oven now!! And a second batch is on the counter waiting for it’s turn to be baked. Recipe was easy, and I like that it’s a long standing recipe ..since 2009! Had to try it! Happy thanksgiving to you all!

    1. Happy Thanksgiving to you as well! Yes, it’s an old recipe and 2009 is when I first posted it online. However, this recipe probably goes back to the 1800s. It has been handed down through many generations of my mother’s family.

  10. I expect this recipe to be great when I make it. My Granny from Tennessee always made her white cornbread in her cast iron skillet completely on top of her gas stove. Somehow she flipped it over to finish the cooking. Was nicely browned and crispy. Served sliced PPE with dollop of butter. Often with Navy bean soup. Sure do miss Granny. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Rob Spencer says:

      Our Granny from Jackson, Kentucky made it all the time and my Mamaw from Hazard, Kentucky, My Mom got hers from the Hazard version & that’s what I grew up on, Dad loved Milk & cornbread crumbled up in it, I liked that but only on occasion he would eat it everynight if he could, when I met my 2nd Wife from N. Kentucky she made Fried cornbread, sorta like a fried pancake but different, it was good, she also made Yellow cornbread with honey in it, and once in awhile she would make the Yellow in the little boxes, now we mix them all up, each time we have beans or something in need of it, we make a different cornbread each time as we like them all and to keep the Family recipes going with our own, we mix Pinto & Navy beans sometimes with some bacon and others with either small ham pieces, hamhock or 1 big piece of sliced virginia ham, I personally think the hamhocks give it the most really good flavor with the cornbread, I tear up 1 piece in the bowl and 1 buttered on the side hot and fresh from the oven to eat 1st.

  11. Dixie L Burch says:

    I have to order cornmeal, too, so do from Anson’s……and get both self rising & regular, white & yellow………….because use for coating so many veggies. I’m from OK & love reading the similarities that alll of us from the South do. The one must: an iron skillet. Mine belonged to my great grandmother.

      1. Rob Spencer says:

        5 stars
        Iron Skillets are a must for good crisp outside on the cornbread and keeping it moist inside, I like mine just a tad burnt on the bottom. I bought a Tiny Cast Iron skillet today, not sure the size but it’s the smallest one about the size for 1 good large egg and now I can make cornbread for 1 whenever I want it as we don’t always eat a full one.

  12. My favorite store quit carrying Hoovers cornmeal so I started searching online and ran across the 2011 05 27 Hoover Mill Tour in Chipley, FL on YouTube!
    You have to watch it because guess who makes Arnett Cornmeal? And what’s the difference between Arnett’s and Hoover’s?
    : )

  13. Linda Ray says:

    As my Mother in Law used to say “THEE Lord have mercy!!! I’m from California but I married a Tarheel so I’m proper Southern by marriage.
    I couldn’t have cornbread for a long time, I haven’t made it for anyone else since my husband died and can’t find my own recipe anywhere. The internet is filled with all kinds of strange sugar and baking soda recipes. Just no!! This is as close to how I remember mine as I’ve seen. (Oh! Some of those recipes called for “scallions” too. I never ever heard any proper Southerner call a green onion a scallion!
    THANK YOU for preserving a real recipe

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      Your comment put a smile on my face, Linda! No sugar in the cornbread for me!

      1. Rob Spencer says:

        5 stars
        You can read all my posts above about the 4 cornbreads we love to make, 1 Yellow one with baking soda & honey, honey is for the sugar replacement, 100x better but never any regular sugar at all, but try the hone once in a yellow recipe, we like variety and mix our cornbread up with this one, the baking soda is an excellent all around health item we use as we both have Kidney disease and 1/4 tsp helps as with many other things, I also add 1 tbsp of ground flax seed to them all, you can’t taste or tell either are in them, the flax helps lower & control Blood Pressure and helps some with Cholesterol and makes these corn breads much healthier for anyone.

    2. Rob Spencer says:

      5 stars
      We have this plain recipe passed down by Granny & Mamaw from Hazard & Jackson Kentucky and my Mom made it for us growing up Dad could eat it every night with his milk, but we use 4, Fried, this one, Yellow with honey and a dash of Baking soda, and some corn in it, and on occasion the yellow in the box, we like all 4 and we switch them up each time we need cornbread to keep all Family favorites & recipes and what we like all alive and going. we like the Variety as long as we use are good, and they all 4 are, I made the Yellow last week, it’s sweeter, my Wife made this Monday, and I said for Sunday we have Lentil soup, make some fried cornbread for that.

  14. Luci Marfoglia says:

    Forgot to mention bacon grease that was heated up in the pan and then the extra poured in the cornmeal mix.

    1. Gary Shipman says:

      Always put enough bacon grease in a cast iron skillet, enough that at least the corners will be covered when adding the batter put in oven until hot 5-7 minutes. Pour in the batter and bake until you have crispy corners and golden brown center. That’s the way grandma did until she passed at 102 grandpa at 98. It wasn’t the bacon grease that killed them.

  15. Luci Marfoglia says:

    This is probably a good cornbread, but it shouldn’t be called old fashioned. It is a modern version. The spray oil, the egg beaters, the skim or low-fat milk? While it’s fine to make changes for health or other reasons, nothing about that is old fashioned. Old fashioned cornbread didn’t have flour either. It was cornmeal, eggs, milk or buttermilk, salt and baking powder or baking soda-if that was available. So call it what it is-a modern interpretation.

    1. It’s pretty close though. My mom just finally gave me a great grandma’s recipe, it must be old as dirt and if you ignore the possible substitutions, the base recipe here is almost identical to it. The ratios and everything is the same. 1.5 cups cornmeal, 1/2 a cup flour, etc. Though I will say my recipe calls for shortening rather than oil, which is more old fashioned i suppose.

      1. Lard or bacon grease. Always in aluminum canister with strainer. Sat next to stove.

      2. Rob Spencer says:

        5 stars
        Yes I forgot to add to my comments above on other posts that we also use shortening over oil, in blind taste tests which began with our Fried Salmon patties, my Wife always made an old Kentucky family recipe that was very plain and basic, I loved them, tasted like my mom’s which I never got the recipe for, and I thought lets do a blind taste test with famous recipes off youtube and other places, so we chose 6 others to test, she made 3 and I made 3, then I made her recipe. we then blind tested all 7, and we both chose her’s, so I could not figure out why the basic one was best, so we fried all of them in shortening which none of the 6 recipes did they called for oil, all were better than with oil but hers still won out, so it was clearly the shortening which she told me that’s what it was, it gives anything more flavor and we did the same with cornbread, the shortening is a difference maker, but most don’t know or realize this.

  16. Dorothy Jensik says:

    Wish I could use a cast iron skillet, but they are too heavy for my 80ish arms. My grandma made cornbread every day in a CA skillet. No flour, and bacon grease in place of oil. Cooked in a cookstove, and no burned part at all. The same with cakes and pies. I write about her hardship in my memoirs for my sons.

    Thanks for bringing back memories for me.

  17. The “pones” that you allude to, my mom made but called it “Dodger bread”. Cornmeal, water and salt. Fried in a pan. Crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. Would eat with fried catfish, fried potatoes, homemade red beans with bacon and salad. Yum!

    1. I think this is what my gma did. She was born 1908 and left us in the 80s. As a young person I just thought she would always be here. I didn’t get the recipe. I think I am going to guess quantities until I get it right. (She used bacon grease too I remember that)

  18. Tom DeNardis says:

    Great recipe, especially with no sugar. The latest food craze seems to be “Gluten Free” and my new son-in-law is allergic to wheat, so lucky for me, growing up in central Alabama, we never used flour in our cornbread. The recipe you have so graciously provided for us will work just as well, by increasing the cornmeal by 1/2 cup and eliminating the flour. We also added 1/2 tsp of baking soda and used buttermilk. To add a bit of flavor we also substituted bacon fat for the oil.
    As for the brand of cornmeal we always used Adams, which is stone ground at a mill in Dothan, Al (if they are still open). I can only find it when I get back to Montgomery. Living in Maryland the only brand they sell seems to be Indian Head.

    1. Sorry, but I’m originally from Maryland, and my Mama would always use Martha White white cornmeal. She never put sugar, or flour in her cornbread. She was from NC. And I would say I live in the North, but raised a Southern. My Daddy was from NC, also. My Daddy used to fix tomato gravy. It was always so good, that you wanted to lick your face, and slap your kinfolk, if you couldn’t get any.

      1. Tammy Betterton says:

        Hi Louise, your comment sure sent me on a blast from the past. My entire family is from Southern Virginia/Northern North Carolina. My mother, grandmothers and I remember 2 of my great grandmothers used bacon grease when available and shortening when it was not available. I am blessed to still have 1 of my grandmothers; I’m 52 yrs old, she still cooks, cleans etc. Getting recipes from my mom or grandma is like pulling teeth! Neither of them measure anything. They always say just add this or that until it looks right. 🙄 You also mentioned tomato gravy, I’m not sure I ever remember having that but it definitely made me think about red-eye gravy! It would also make you slap yo mamma if your mother never made it or if missed out before it was all gone. The red-eye gravy was made with coffee and bacon grease.
        Thank you for the stroll down memory lane. ❤

  19. Don’t try making this recipe with King Arthur Flour. I tried All Purpose AND Self Rising and my Husband implored me not to use that flour anymore. It came out flat in places and raw. I tried it at least 4 or 5 times with both flours. I have no idea what the difference is in the flour. I normally use White Lily or something but this stuff was new in Walmart so I thought I’d give it a try.


    1. I used King Arthur all purpose flour and it was delicious. I will say the recipe here calls for a half cup but it should read one and a half cups.

      1. Lana Stuart says:

        No, the recipe is correct as written. It needs only 1/2 cup of flour. 1 1/2 cups flour plus the sugar you mentioned in a second comment, makes this an entirely different type of cornbread. That’s fine if you like that sweet, floury cornbread, but it is not what this recipe is intended to be.

  20. I know this is an old post but wanted to comment on everyone saying “no sugar”. There is a real reason to use A Little Sugar. The original corn was late harvested dent corn which was sweeter than the current harvested commercial corn meal. Add a touch of sugar to get an original taste but not a bunch because nobody wants that sweetened cornbread or they would buy jiffy.

    1. I used two tablespoons of sugar and it was perfect, not sweet.

  21. Kathy Marcellus says:

    Thank you for a recipe without sugar!!!!!

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      You are welcome!

  22. David McVey says:

    Thank you SO much for NOT including sugar in your cornbread. I agree with you that sugar has no place in it. I even canceled my subscription to The Ozarks Mountaineer when they published a recipe for cornbread with half a cup of sugar. HALF A CUP! That’s not cornbread, it’s cake! My buttermilk cornbread has no sugar and really brings out the flavor of the cornmeal.

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      I agree! No sugar in my cornbread, please.

  23. Deanna Nassar says:

    As to cornbread, there are a few differences in mine. I’ve never heard of any of those brands but then I never looked. Granny always used Indian Head usually yellow, always self-rising. She put the pan on top of stove and turned on low to melt a little Crisco. Her corn meal, flour ratio was more like 2 to 1. Only time I’ve ever seen her measure was making fruit cake.

  24. Thank you for your statement regarding SUGAR in cornbread. My mother grew up along the Ohio River in the early 1900’s She learned to make cornbread from her mother. I learned to make cornbread from her. The first time I had SWEET cornbread I was shocked. That wasn’t cornbread; it was corn cake.

  25. Rosemarie Puntenney says:

    Lana am so delighted to find your Old Fashioned Cornbread recipe. I have lots of cookbooks, but have never been able to find a recipe that didn’t have sugar in it. I grew up on cornbread, but never ate any with sugar in it until I was grown up. It doesn’t taste right with sugar in it. Have looked many years for a recipe without and didn’t find any until today. Obviously, I don’t live in the South but on the West coast and rarely see cornbread on any menu. It was a staple in my childhood. I use lots of your recipes, but this is the first time I’ve run across the one for Old Fashioned Cornbread. Thanks so much.

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      You’re welcome, Rosemarie! I don’t like sweet cornbread, either. Hope you enjoy the recipe.

      1. Libby Workman says:

        I am 87, and I grew up in Southeast Tennessee. When I was a kid they were many times that a slab of cornbread and a glass of buttermilk was what we had for dinner. And it was good. the depression lasted a long time in the south.

        1. All my grandparents talked about enjoying cornbread and buttermilk. They just enjoyed eating it, not because there was nothing else but just because it was so good!

  26. Hi Lana,
    Just came across your website – and like it. I live in Chipley, FL (panhandle) and we can drive a short piece down the road and buy as much Hoovers cornmeal as one could stuff in their car. It is awesome cornmeal and they also have the best hush puppy mix as well (add some salt, a little water, and chopped onion; mix well and then spoon into hot peanut oil and fry until golden brown – crispy on outside but still moist and light on the inside). Delicious! If the ladies above are still looking for Hoovers, they could try calling the Piggly Wiggly in Chipley, FL (phone: 850-638-1751) and ask to speak with Lyle Young (owner). He sells Hoovers in his store; perhaps he could ship some to them.
    Happy Thanksgiving to all and may God bless you!

  27. You are one hundred percent right on this, Lana – No Sugar. I once read that adding sugar was the Yankee way of making cornbread. Sorry, y’all.

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      I don’t care for sweet cornbread, but that’s just my taste. Some people do. I say everybody should fix it whatever way they like best! I’ll be leaving the sugar out of mine :-)

    2. Lisa in Indy says:

      When I was the young bride of a Southern boy in 1971, I attempted to make traditional ‘Southern’ dishes for my Georgia husband. I made (oven-fried) chicken that my Indiana-born mother made for us in our Delaware home. My husband disdainfully looked down at his plate and asked, “What is THIS?” I was emphatically told it was ‘NOT fried chicken’. Later, when I proudly presented him with the prettiest, sky-high, egg yolk yellow, sweet corn bread baked in my brownie pan I was quickly told that it was “NOT the kind of cornbread” his mother made. Of all people, my father-in-law, a retired GA State patrolman and gentleman farmer of Black Angus cattle in Tifton, GA showed me (with a sweet and knowing smile to me, his Yankee daughter-in-law, the ‘right way’ to make cornbread – in the iron skillet. No sugar. Maybe a little BEER (the ‘morning after’), buttermilk (add a Tbsp of lemon juice to milk to curdle it), salt, little flour, some garlic powder, a few Tbsp of bacon drippings (and sometimes with cracklin’s) and WHITE (‘nevah’) Yellow cornmeal. Nothing like it – thin, crispy, a bit tart, perfect out of the skillet. My MIL showed me how to cook proper fried chicken. Success.

  28. Karen Hales says:

    I made this cornbread for the first time New Years. It was some of the best I have ever had. I used Hoovers fine white corn meal instead of the Arnett brand. I am from North west FL and it is a staple in most homes. I melted a quarter stick of butter in my cast Iron skillet and added the corn meal mix it browned beautifully and was moist and delicious. Thanks for the recipe. I just wish I could pin the recipe to my Pinterest.

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      I’m so glad that you liked the cornbread, Karen! Hoover’s is a great brand, isn’t it?

  29. Anybody know where I can buy Hoover’s Corn Mill? No luck at Williams Family Farm, they post it’s no longer available through them.
    My dear aunt (85 yrs old) has asked me to find some for her. It’s her favorite. Any suggestions? Thank you,

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      Hi Rachel, I always pick up some Hoover’s Cornmeal when I’m down home in south Georgia. It’s sold all over southwest Georgia, southeast Alabama, and northwest Florida. The only online source I know for it is West Foods in Edison, Georgia (the link is in the post up above). I would contact them by phone at the number on their web page before ordering just to make sure they still ship it.

  30. Kay Blanks says:

    I love recipes and enjoyed reading through yours. My Mama is gone and I miss her still everyday~it has been almost 11 years. This was her time of year. Famous for her dressing and cornbread makings, I so remember all the chopped onions, celery on the kitchen table performed by step-dad while Mama got her big black skillet together with water and she would saute the chopped veggies until soft. She did not want to bite into the dressing and crunch down on a crispy vegetable. It was always a big production because she made a lot, I can still smell the wonderful aromas in my memory. She would make cornbread earlier in her iron skillets and a long cake pan full. Mama use to always take the big turkey put it in a big pot and boil it to make her broth, then when done and cool she would tear pieces and place it on top of the dressing. Her giblet gravy was awesome and she always had lots of tasty stock to use left over in the turkey pot. Mama didn’t like baked turkey she felt it was too dry for her tastes and this is was her preferred way. Many Sundays during the year she would make chicken n dressing, the same way. Nobody could out cook Mama for turkey n dressing, chicken n dressing, or a juicy pot of red beans cooked only by adding boiled water each time needed during the cooking process with the lid a little tilted off the side of the pot. She learned to cook from her southern gentleman daddy, an east Texas farmer and loving father. Her mom died when she was nine and Papa took over the rearing of the kids and worked the fields. They grew their food and raised their hogs, so they liked lots of pork. I am glad I used to listen when she would tell me all the stories. She had a wonderfully close family, 5 girls and one younger brother, they are all gone, but they all left a wonderful legacy for all of us children, brothers, sister, cousins. Happy Holidays one and all~ From Deep in the Heart of Texas~

    1. Lisa in Indy says:

      Beautifully written and shared. Thank you for painting such a sweet scene.

  31. Amy said it well in 2009. Sugared, floured cornbread is not
    authentically southern.. I grew up in mid AL and it was made the same everywhere..Grease the black skillet with bacon grease and put in oven
    to get hot. Pour buttermilk batter into hot pan. It would slide out
    whole after cooking.
    I realize we are trying to eat healthier nowadays, but nothing beats the real thing.

  32. sherlene engstrom says:

    where can i find hoover’s cornmill?

  33. Joyce Meredith says:

    does anyone know where to purchase Hoover meal in Orlando, Fl.

    1. Joyce – I don’t know about Orlando, but you can purchase Hoover’s directly from the mill online at this link

  34. This is the BEST cornbread recipe! Thank you!

    1. When I make half a recipe I have to use more buttermilk than you would think. I don’t know why that is. And I just can’t imagine using “cooking spray” in my cast iron frying pan instead of the small amount of oil that I use to preheat the pan with. Maybe my pan is not as well seasoned as yours is or something.

  35. I grew up in Ga. eating Arnetts cornbread. Except we always made it just mixing water with it. In a small cast iron pan. W/ a little grease floating around. Pour the mixture. Runny, but not to thin. Don’t overfill. You need to leave a little around the edges for it to fry up. Kinda like a dolly. Fry it up crispy and turn it over. It is great dipped in Frech Dressing! I cannot find it now. That is why I was looking on the internet for Arnetts.

  36. judy daniels says:

    where can i purchase hoovers corn meal around phoenix city, ala or columbus georgia? pls advise judy

  37. judy daniels says:

    i am going home to see my father who lives in phoenix city,ala. 1 mile from columbus, ga. where can i buy hoovers corn meal there? pls advise judy

    1. I’m not from the Columbus area, so I’m sorry that I can’t give you a specific location to purchase Hoover’s cornmeal in that area. However, I would check with any of the grocery stores around there, especially a southern-based chain like IGA or Piggly Wiggly. If they don’t have Hoover’s specifically, they should have a regional brand. Some other good ones are Arnett’s and Sholar’s.

      Best wishes and a Happy Thanksgiving!

      1. fred chambers says:

        they have hoover cormeal at: West Foods—-Edison, GA

    2. Hoovers corn meal is produced in Bonifay Florida. You can contact them directly to find an outlet in your area..it is regional thing though

      1. sherlene engstrom says:

        i live in minnesota can you help me find hoover’s cornmill or where to call to order?

        1. Hi Sherlene,

          You can order directly from Hoover’s.

  38. Just found your blog, and I love it!

    Having said that, I respectfully disagree. Real Southern cornbread never c0ntains wheat flour, and it never contains sweeteners like sugar (which thankfully yours does not).

    This lacy stuff is NOT cornbread but appears to be something akin to cake. My maternal grandmother made a similar bread (YUK!), and she lived in Columbus, Georgia. Must be a GA thing.

    Down in Baton Rouge our cornbread was thick, dense, dark yellow, moist, with a crunchy crust. It tasted like a freshly-buttered ear of fresh hot corn!!! Nothing else goes better with red beans and rice.

    While I do recognize variations in recipes, the no-sweetener, no-wheat-flour thing is a steadfast rule. Any recipe containing either has been corrupted and is NOT true Southern cornbread. By all means, Google this if you don’t believe it. Further buttressing my point is the fact that YANKEE recipes contain wheat flour, sweetener, and sometimes both.

    Having said that, I look forward to checking out other recipes on your blog.

    Bon appetit!

    1. Marquita Sozio says:

      Amy, you are so right! My grandmother had told me the same thing about Yankee cornbread.
      The reason being because those mean Yankees always took the flour, sugar, molasses, etc. ANYTHING

  39. You should try finding Arnett’s cornmeal in Michigan!! Like you, I brought several bags with me when we came up. They are long gone. There is no substitute for Arnett’s in my book.

    1. I would imagine all you can get up there is Quaker or some coarse yellow meal like that. Actually, I like Adams’ the best but can only get it when I go down to Mama’s house. Need to get some next time I’m down there!

  40. Looks great. This is what my grandmother used to call “egg bread”. I can remember her serving this with fresh vegatables in the summer. With fresh butter it was another side dish to be enjoyed. She also made the crisp pone bread in the oven that you mentioned. Brings back memories.

  41. I’m a big corn bread fan! This looks wonderful. I lent out my cast iron pan, [dumb move] and can’t wait to get it back so I can make some REAL corn bread! I like to add some minced jalapenos for a little extra zing.

  42. sangeeta khanna says:

    this is a great post and i am bookmarking it………though have been making cornbread but this lacy one in a pan is new n i must try.

  43. Cookin' Canuck says:

    Great post! My family loves cornbread, but I had never put much thought into all of the variations. Thanks for the info.

  44. I know that sweet cornbread is pretty common outside of the south, but just my opinion is that it’s supposed to be “savory.” When it gets too sweet it starts moving toward the dessert side of the spectrum :-)

  45. Your recipe looks really good, I always start on the stovetop and finish in the oven, but i want to try it this way next time. I heard those “silly northerners” eat sweet cornbread, or maybe thats the north part of the south, don’t know for sure, i know I have in-laws from Detroit that transplanted there from the south a long time ago that like it sweet. Great post.