This Easy Buttermilk Cornbread Recipe is made in a cast iron skillet - just like in the good old days! A tender, lightly sweet cornbread that's perfectly crusty on the bottom. This cornbread recipe makes an amazing side for your favorite wintertime soup or chili.
Looking for cornbread made in a baking dish? You have to try this amazing cornbread recipe.
Old Fashioned Buttermilk Cornbread
I'm a huge cornbread lover and I make it all the time. I feel like it's a super easy addition to dinner, it only takes about 5 minutes of hands-on time to prepare (and only 20 to 25 minutes in the oven which is fast for a bread), and my kids love it. So cornbread is for sure a win in my house and it accompanies soups, stews, and chilis all winter long.
Why Make Cornbread in a Skillet?
Skillet cornbread is special because of its crust. You add a little butter to the cast iron skillet and preheat it in the oven for a few minutes. The skillet heats up and the butter melts. Then you pull it from the oven and add the batter. The magic of the hot skillet and the melted butter makes the delicious crispy crust on the bottom of the cornbread while the middle is still tender and light. I love this! It's the perfect crispy layer of cornbread to stir into your bowl of soup or chili.
This is one of my favorite cornbread recipes because not only does it taste great and have that perfect crust on the bottom, but it looks great, too. Any dish served out of a cast iron skillet looks so great in my book! Impressive and easy, so it's good enough to serve to company. I can't wait for you to try this recipe.
How to prepare a cast iron skillet for cornbread
If your cast iron skillet is already seasoned (which means it is ready for use -- you can buy many cast irons pre-seasoned), go ahead and melt 4 tablespoons of butter in it in the oven for 3 to 5 minutes until fully melted. Add your cornbread batter to the hot pan carefully and smooth with a spatula.
If your cast iron is NOT seasoned, be sure to scrub it well in hot soapy water, dry it thoroughly, spread a thin layer of shortening or vegetable oil all over the skillet (top and bottom), place it upside down on a middle rack of your oven at 375 degrees F., and bake for one hour. Let it cool in the oven, and your pan is seasoned and ready to use.
How to Make Cornbread in a Skillet
This buttermilk corn bread couldn't be easier to make. Here's how you do it:
- Preheat your oven to 425F.
- Combine your dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together until well combined.
- Add the wet ingredients. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the buttermilk and egg.
- Mix. Slow mix the ingredients until everything comes together, taking care not to over mix.
- Prepare your skillet. Add the butter to your cast iron skillet and place it in the oven. Let the butter melt in the pan for 3 to 5 minutes. When the butter is melted, remove the pan from the oven and carefully swirl the butter in the pan to evenly coat the bottom.
- Pour in your batter and bake. Add the prepared batter to the skillet and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the top is golden-brown and the cornbread is cooked through.
- Cool for 5 minutes, then dig in!
Tips for Perfect Skillet Cornbread
Making cornbread in a skillet is really easy, promise. Just be sure you follow these steps to avoid any mishaps!
- Grease the bottom of the pan well so the bread doesn't stick by melting 4 tablespoons of butter in the pan before pouring in your batter.
- Test that the bread is done by sticking a toothpick into the center after baking time is complete. If it comes out clean and the top of the bread is golden-brown, it's done!
- Cast irons are pretty indestructible, so you can cut the cornbread with a butter knife right in the pan. Remove a slice using a sturdy spatula (the bread might weigh down flimsier spatulas).
- I recommend using yellow cornmeal, not white. White won't mess with the flavor, but the yellow makes the deep, rich, beautiful golden bread color.
How do I store & reheat leftover cornbread?
I like to store leftover cornbread covered with a towel, in the skillet, on the counter for up to 2 days. Then pop the skillet into a 350 degree oven for a few minutes to reheat it.
Can I freeze this skillet cornbread recipe?
Yes! Just store in an air-tight freezer safe container once the cornbread has cooled to room temperature. Pop the container in the freezer for up to a month. Thaw in the fridge overnight and then refresh in the oven as directed above.
Skillet Cornbread FAQs
What kind of cornmeal do I use in cornbread?
Use yellow cornmeal in this recipe. White works fine, but it just doesn’t look the same. Golden yellow cornbread is a must. Also, don’t try to sub any of the cornmeals used for making tamales – they are a different grind and the texture doesn’t come out the same.
Can I make cornbread gluten free?
I have made this recipe gluten free by simply swapping out the all-purpose flour for a gluten-free baking blend and it worked perfectly.
Can cornbread be made ahead of time?
This recipe can be made up to a day ahead of time. Simply cover with a towel once it has cooled to room temperature. Feel free to reheat the next day as directed above. The crust won't be quite as crisp but it still reheats well.
Watch my video showing you how to make this easy skillet cornbread:
This Easy Buttermilk Cornbread Recipe is made in a cast iron skillet - just like in the good old days! A tender, lightly sweet cornbread that's perfectly crusty on the bottom.
- 1 ¼ cups yellow cornmeal
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ¾ cups buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 4 tablespoons butter, cut into 4 pieces
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- In a medium bowl, mix the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together until well combined.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the buttermilk and egg.
- Slow mix the ingredients until everything comes together, taking care not to over mix.
- Add the 4 tablespoons of butter to a 10-inch cast iron skillet and place it in the oven. Let the butter melt in the pan for 3 to 5 minutes.
- When the butter is melted, remove the pan from the oven and carefully swirl the butter in the pan to evenly coat the bottom.
- Add the prepared batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the top is golden-brown and the cornbread is cooked through.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before cutting and serving hot.
- Use yellow cornmeal in this recipe. White works fine, but it just doesn’t look the same. Golden yellow cornbread is a must. Also, don’t try to sub any of the cornmeals used for making tamales – they are a different grind and the texture doesn’t come out the same.
- How fun is it cooked in the cast iron pan? Just grease it and cook it in cast iron like you would any other pan. I think you need one.
- I have made this recipe gluten free by simple swapping out the all-purpose flour for a gluten-free baking blend and it worked perfectly.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Category: Breads
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: how to make cornbread, cornbread recipe, homemade cornbread, easy cornbread, buttermilk cornbread, skillet cornbread
Recipes to serve skillet cornbread with:
- Easy Slow Cooker Chili
- Easy Turkey Pumpkin Chili
- Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili
- Instant Pot Split Pea Soup
- Healthy Cauliflower Sausage and Kale Soup
Other cornbread recipes that you might also like:
- Cornbread Waffles with Chili; 15 Minute Dinner
- The Best Cornbread Recipe
- The Best Easy Zucchini Cornbread
- Whole Grain Cornbread
- Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins from my friend Emily at One Lovely Life
This post was originally published in 2018, and has been updated and rephotographed in February 2020.