Pantry Basics: Cornbread

Northern cornbread recipe

I thought I’d share this splendidly simple cornbread recipe just in case anyone happens to need one for Thanksgiving dinner (although this cornbread is so irresistible that I know that this recipe will going onto my regular, rather than special occasion, baking list). When I tested the recipe earlier in the week, I immediately knew it was a winner because my toddler, T demanded for seconds and was chasing me around the dining table for my slice of cornbread.

In our household, we like our cornbread yellow, light and fluffy–like corn cake or muffins–and with a distinct touch of sweetness. We’ve since discovered (thanks to the wonderful editors at Cook’s Illustrated) that what we prefer is Northern cornbread. Cornbread of the South tends to be made with white cornmeal and contains only trace amounts of flour, if any is used at all. It’s thin, crusty and more savoury than sweet. The Northern cornbread recipe below is adapted from The Best Recipe, written by the editors of Cook’s Illustrated. I cannot recommend this book enough. We love it. If you happen to prefer Southern cornbread, there’s a recipe for it in the book, too.

Happy Thanksgiving!

About Su-Lyn Tan

Su-Lyn is Aun's better half and for many years, the secret Editor behind this blog known to readers simply as S. Su-Lyn is an obsessive cook and critical eater whose two favourite pastimes are spending time with her two kids and spending time in the kitchen. She looks forward to combining the two in the years to come.


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  1. Dawn 22 November 2012

    Thanks for this recipe, S! The hubby is a cornbread junkie, and after reading, he immediately asked when I could make this. I’m sure it’ll be going on my regular baking list too.

    • S 23 November 2012 — Post Author

      Hi Dawn, I hope he likes it 🙂 With the cornmeal, there’s real texture when you bite into it. And the corn flavour really comes through. We folded through grated cheddar and fried bacon bits into the one we made for Thanksgiving dinner last night.
      I’m planning to try this recipe again, but with Bob’s corn flour (not cornstarch) to see whether it results in a really cake-like texture.

  2. Charmaine 23 November 2012

    looking forward to trying this! buttermilk for some reason is not easily found in supermarkets here so I’m going to try to “homemake” it with regular milk and lemon – hope it works!

    • S 24 November 2012 — Post Author

      Dear Charmaine, do let me know how the homemade buttermilk goes!

  3. BK 27 November 2012

    Hi S, the recipe looks delicious. I can feel myself drooling already.
    A few questions:
    1) Is it possible to sub the milk with coconut milk?
    2) Is it possible to sub the buttermilk with coconut milk + lemon juice or apple cider vinegar?

    • S 27 November 2012 — Post Author

      Dear BK, I haven’t tried substituting the dairy with coconut milk, so I can’t give you accurate advice. However, I must caution that coconut milk will change the flavour profile significantly. If you do attempt the recipe with coconut milk instead, I’d love to hear how it turns out.

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