This Easy Cornbread Recipe without Buttermilk is moist, delicious, and easy to make with simple ingredients. It has the right balance of sweet and savory. 

cut cornbread drizzled with honey

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The Best Cornbread Recipe without Buttermilk

Learn how to make this easy homemade cornbread without buttermilk. This cornbread is golden brown, slightly sweet, and pairs perfectly with your favorite comfort foods. Most of the ingredients in this recipe are already in your pantry. 

Instead of using cornbread mix, you can have homemade cornbread from scratch in the same amount of time. It’s an easy recipe that can be baked in different ways.

Since it uses basic ingredients, you won’t need to worry about finding anything you likely don’t already have on hand. Whether you’re having cornbread with chili or topping it with honey, you’ll have everyone asking for this delicious cornbread recipe. 

Traditional cornbread uses buttermilk but isn’t often an ingredient people have on hand. You can still have a moist cornbread recipe without using it.

The great thing about this particular recipe is that although it is not buttermilk cornbread, it is still easy to make even if it’s your first time.

Cornbread Recipe No Buttermilk Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

  • All-purpose flour – All-purpose flour is not only easy to find, but it gives you a moist, fluffy cornbread. You can replace this with various types of flour listed below, but you may need to adjust the recipe.
  • Yellow cornmeal – Yellow cornmeal will give you the most flavor. White cornmeal has less flavor overall and will change the overall taste of the cornbread.
  • Granulated sugar – Granulated white sugar sweetens the cornbread. I don’t recommend using brown sugar in this recipe.
  • Baking powder – I prefer baking powder over baking soda in this recipe. Be sure to use fresh baking powder that isn’t expired for the best results.
  • Kosher salt – I specify kosher salt because it measures differently than other salts. A little bit can go a long way.

Wet Ingredients

  • Unsalted Butter – I use unsalted butter and add the amount of salt I want separately. It’s a good idea to make this recipe the first time to see the salt flavor and decide if you want to replace it with salted butter the next time.
  • Milk – I find that both whole milk and 2% milk both work well
  • Vegetable oil – you can also use canola oil or avocado oil
  • Large eggs – try to stick with either large or extra-large eggs

What kind of cornmeal to use in a Southern Cornbread Recipe without buttermilk?

Cornmeal is a main ingredient of cornbread so the type you choose will make a difference in the overall flavor. I recommend using yellow cornmeal in this southern cornbread recipe.

Yellow cornmeal has a stronger flavor than white cornmeal whose flavor is a bit milder. White cornmeal is often described as not having as much flavor overall.

ingredients to make cornbread recipe

How to make Cornbread without Buttermilk

Detailed instructions and measurements to make Cornbread without Buttermilk are listed in the recipe card at the bottom of this page.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. 
  2. Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper. By doing so, it’s easier to remove the cornbread after cooking to cut and serve. 
  3. Melt butter and set it aside to cool.
  4. In a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients: flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. 
  5. In a separate medium bowl, add the wet ingredients: melted butter, milk, oil, and eggs. Mix to combine. 
  6. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix to combine.
  7. Pour the cornbread batter from the large bowl into the prepared pan. 
  8. Bake for 35-40 minutes, removing when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. You want the cornbread to have crispy edges, but still be moist on the inside.
  9. Allow it to cool 5 minutes before serving. I like to pull it out by the parchment paper and place it on a cutting board for slicing. 

How to make Cornbread in a cast iron skillet

You can make this sweet cornbread recipe in a cast-iron skillet rather than in a casserole dish. I recommend a 9-inch cast-iron skillet for this.

To turn this into a skillet cornbread recipe, preheat the oven to 375°F. While the oven is preheating, place the skillet inside. Once it’s preheated, remove the hot skillet from the oven and coat with butter.

Pour batter into the skillet and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

How to use this Traditional Cornbread Recipe for corn muffins (Can Cornbread be made in muffin tins?)

If you’d prefer to make this recipe as cornbread muffins instead of in a casserole dish, you can. Divide the cornbread batter into a muffin tin, filling them about 2/3 of the way full.

Place them in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. When a toothpick inserted in the center of the cornbread muffins comes out clean, they are done. 

baked cornbread in a baking dish

What should I serve with No Buttermilk Cornbread?

The best thing to serve with cornbread is comfort food where you can soak up the sauce into the cornbread. It makes the perfect side dish. Some of my favorites are:

It’s also really great by itself with just a little drizzle of honey on top. 

How to store leftover Cornbread

Allow the cornbread to cool completely and place in an airtight container. Leftover cornbread can be stored at room temperature for 1-2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. The airtight container will help keep the cornbread fresh.

Storing leftover cornbread in the refrigerator will make it last longer, but it may have a little condensation. 

Leftover cornbread is also excellent to use in stuffing or dressing for Thanksgiving.

Can you freeze Cornbread?

You can freeze cornbread. It can last up to 3 months in the freezer when stored properly. Store it in a freezer-safe airtight container to keep the cornbread fresh.

To thaw frozen cornbread, place it in the refrigerator overnight. 

Simple Cornbread Recipe FAQ

Is buttermilk necessary for cornbread?

Buttermilk is not necessary for cornbread. You can use milk and baking powder in place of the buttermilk. 

Why is my cornbread crumbly?

Cornbread often gets crumbly when you have too much cornmeal and not enough flour. Be sure to measure properly by scooping them into the measuring cup and using the right ratios.

Too much cornmeal can prevent the gluten in the flour from holding together causing it to crumble. 

Another reason your cornbread may be crumbly is due to the lack of fat. It’s important to use egg yolk, butter, and oil in the recipe to keep that from happening. While cornbread should have a tender crumb, it should not be crumbly and dry.

Can I make southern-style cornbread gluten-free?

Traditional Southern cornbread is not gluten-free, but you can make a minor adjustment to change it.

In order to make this cornbread gluten-free, the only thing you’ll need to swap out is the all-purpose flour with gluten-free flour. You will need to check the package of your specific brand of gluten-free flour, but most premixed boxes at the grocery store are 1:1 when replacing all-purpose flour. 

Why is my cornbread dense?

Cornbread can become dense when baking for various reasons. Here are a few ways to keep your cornbread from becoming dense:

Don’t over mix the batter. Once the batter has combined, stop mixing. 

Use fresh baking powder. Old and expired baking powder doesn’t work as well as fresh baking powder. 

Use the right ratio of flour to cornmeal. It’s important to keep a good ratio with them so that your cornbread stays light, fluffy, and doesn’t become dry. You need a good amount of flour so that the gluten can produce and keep it from becoming too dense. 

Why is my cornbread flat?

In order for cornbread to rise properly, you need to use baking powder that isn’t expired. The baking powder allows for air bubbles to enter the cornbread as it bakes to help it become fluffy and to rise. Often times baking powder that is old or expired will cause cornbread to be flat after baking. 

Why is my cornbread dry?

Cornbread can become dry for various reasons. 
– Not enough flour was used.
– Too much cornmeal was used.
– The batter was over mixed.

What kind of baking dish should I use?

The kind of pan you use can make the difference between a great recipe and a mediocre one. I recommend making this in either a 9×13-inch baking pan or an 8×8 baking dish.

If you use an 8-inch square baking dish, you’ll need to use two. I find that ceramic, stoneware, and a glass baking dish work best. Depending on the size of the dish you use, your baking time may differ. 

You could also use a baking pan or a cake pan. I will warn you that using a metal pan does change the outside texture. It’ll be a bit crispier than using a glass baking dish.

If you plan to use a cast-iron pan, I would follow the instructions below on how to make it in a cast-iron skillet. A cast iron pan will heat differently and requires a bit of adjustment.

What keeps cornbread from falling apart?

The best way to keep cornbread from falling apart is with the addition of eggs. The yolks with help keep the cornbread intact. Think of cornbread like any other bread or cake, you need the right ratio of liquid & fat to help it hold together.

Do you have to use milk for cornbread?

Yes, you need to use milk for cornbread. You could however replace the milk in the recipe with sour cream, evaporated milk, or half and half if needed.

cornbread recipes cut into squares with honey

Substitutions and alterations for this cornbread recipe

If you’d like to make this sweet cornbread a little more savory, you can substitute some of the unsalted butter with bacon grease or bacon drippings. Don’t go too heavy with the bacon grease because it can become salty. 

If you want to add a little something extra to your cornbread batter, you can mix in:

  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • sour cream
  • jalapenos
  • crumbled cooked bacon
  • fresh corn kernels

Can I use wheat flour in this cornbread recipe?

You can use wheat flour, but you cannot replace all of the all-purpose flour with wheat flour. Wheat flour requires more liquid, so I wouldn’t recommend replacing more than 50% of the all-purpose flour.

Keep in mind that using wheat flour may cause your cornbread to not be as moist and will change the flavor slightly.

Can I use baking soda instead of baking powder?

Whenever you want to use baking soda in place of baking powder, you will need to use 1/3 teaspoon baking soda in place of every 1 teaspoon baking powder.

Follow the same principles as the baking powder in terms of using fresh baking soda and making sure it isn’t old or expired. 

How to Moisten Dry Cornbread

You can moisten dry cornbread by adding a bit of butter on top while it’s hot. The butter will melt into the cornbread and help moisten it again.

If needed, you can place it back in the oven to warm before adding the butter. 

baked cornbread cut into squares and drizzled with honey

What’s the difference between southern cornbread and regular cornbread?

Southern Cornbread

Southern cornbread is flatter, more savory, denser, and isn’t as sweet. It often has a crusty exterior. The amount of sugar is usually less than in the Northern.

Northern Cornbread

Northern cornbread is the taste and texture of the cake. It’s fluffy and sweet like a traditional cake, but with cornmeal mixed in. It is often referred to as corn cake because of its texture and sweetness.

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Cornbread Without Buttermilk

5 from 39 votes
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 40 minutes
Total 45 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
This Easy Cornbread Recipe without Buttermilk is moist, delicious, and easy to make with simple ingredients. It has the right balance of sweet and savory. 

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. 
  • Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper. By doing so, it's easier to remove the cornbread after cooking to cut and serve. 
  • Melt butter and set it aside to cool.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients: flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. 
  • In a separate medium bowl, add the wet ingredients: melted butter, milk, oil, and eggs. Mix to combine. 
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix to combine.
  • Pour the cornbread batter from the large bowl into the prepared pan. 
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes, removing when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. You want the cornbread to have crispy edges, but still be moist on the inside.
  • Allow it to cool 5 minutes before serving. I like to pull it out by the parchment paper and place it on a cutting board for slicing. 

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1square, Calories: 226kcal, Carbohydrates: 30g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 43mg, Sodium: 228mg, Potassium: 91mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 13g, Vitamin A: 187IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 97mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Bread, Side Dish
Cuisine: American

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy. It should only be used for estimation purposes and is not a guarantee of any kind. Nutritional information varies widely between brands and types of ingredients used. It is recommended that you calculate the nutritional information based on your own ingredients and brands used. Sweetly Splendid, LLC makes no guarantees as to the exact nutrition information.

Hi! I’m Kara!

Kara loves all things food and spending time with her family and dogs. She has a passion for cooking and loves making yummy, family-friendly recipes.

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8 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Great recipe, I made this using a Lodge cast iron pot and baked for 30 minutes at 375 degrees. Came out perfect and had just the right amount of sweetness. Thoroughly enjoyed by my entire family. Thank you and God Bless!

  2. I will be making this tonight – thank you for the details and for a no-buttermilk recipe. Can you please suggest the right quantity for ‘add-in’ items (corn, cheese, jalapeños)?

  3. 5 stars
    Made this tonight. The parchment paper is very helpful in getting it out of the pan. I also chilled the batter while the oven was preheating to firm up the butter before baking.