Cast Iron

Cast-Iron Skillet Cornbread

September 22, 2012
14 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

I started making skillet cornbread when Gourmet published a recipe in their 2008 November issue. I've since adapted the recipe and now use this gluten-free cornbread all year long. It's great as a side dish for barbecued meats or chili, and it's always in my Thanksgiving stuffing. You can even pour the batter into muffin tins to make individual servings. I like the texture of a coarse grind cornmeal, which I get from Farmer Ground Flour (at the Cayuga Pure Organics stand) at the Union Square Greenmarket. —cratecooking

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Boozeandsusan is a New York City transplant originally from Michigan.
WHAT: A tangy (gluten-free!) cowboy-style cornbread.
HOW: Add butter to a very hot cast-iron skillet, then pour in to a bowl with an egg and yogurt mixture. Then add the dry ingredients to the yogurt bowl to make a batter and then pour that mixture into the pan.
WHY WE LOVE IT: This cornbread has it all—it's slightly tangy from buttermilk, gluten-free thanks to 100% cornmeal, sweet from maple syrup, and, of course, just-crispy-enough from its hot skillet (which also earns it major style points). —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/2 cups coarse yellow cornmeal
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups plain drinkable yogurt, kefir, or buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  1. Preheat an oven to 425° F. Heat a 10-inch seasoned cast-iron skillet in the oven for 10 minutes, until it's very hot.
  2. Combine the cornmeal, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. In a separate, large bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, and maple syrup.
  3. Remove the hot skillet from the oven and add the butter, swirling it until it's melted (it's okay if it slightly browns). Working quickly, pour the hot, melted butter into the egg and yogurt mixture, and whisk until combined. Add the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. Pour the batter into the hot skillet and and bake until golden, about 20 to 25 minutes. Allow cornbread to slightly cool before cutting.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Crista Crummer
    Crista Crummer
  • Sherry E
    Sherry E
  • Gilliwinks
  • Martin
  • sowhoarewe

39 Reviews

jade408 January 1, 2024
I made this with a couple of mods based on what I had and wanted to try.

1. I used about a half cup of whole milk skyr and a cup of cashew milk to approximate the drinkable yogurt since I didn’t want to buy that.
2. I melted most of the butter in the microwave and added it at the same step
3. I greased my skillet with bacon grease as my mom always likes to use it in her cornbread
4. I used regular sugar and reduced it to a tablespoon

My cornbread came out moist, corn-y, and sufficiently sweet without being sugary. It was delicious. I will continue using this recipe.
[email protected] November 25, 2022
I loved this! I used polenta, and loved that chewier, rougher texture. I also added a can of corn at the end, as I don’t think there can ever be enough corn. I couldn’t stop eating it, drizzled with maple syrup.
cratecooking November 25, 2022
Love the sweet and savory combo! Thank you for including my recipe in your celebration this year!
fiona December 15, 2020
Can you use corn flour as opposed to corn meal?
cratecooking December 15, 2020
Fiona, you can definitely use corn flour. It will yield a slightly different texture but the recipe will still work. Let me know how it goes!
Tam October 20, 2020
I love cornbread and the skillet cornbread with no sweeteners type. This is very close to what I normally make but with the addition of the maple syrup and about 1/2 of an egg more. I added about 1 tablespoon of flour and 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder cuz I already had it mixed up and I was short on cornmeal, had to supplement with what was at hand. Wow, this was moist, tender and delicious, and will be my go to recipe for cornbread.
cratecooking October 27, 2020
I am glad you enjoyed it and that you found the recipe so versatile!
Emilse V. May 30, 2020
Didn’t have Buttermilk so I used Greek Yogurt. It was not so tasty. Do you think this is why?
cratecooking May 30, 2020
Hello - I'm so sorry to hear! I've never used Greek yogurt for this recipe so I can't be 100% sure. Was it nonfat Greek yogurt? This bread definitely needs the fat for taste and texture.
jade408 January 1, 2024
I used 1/2 cup of whole milk skyr and 1 cup of cashew milk to approximate the kefir. It was delicious. The texture remained moist and not too crumbly.
Crista C. January 1, 2020
Didn't have any eggs, so I substituted 1/2 cup of applesauce. Delicious!
cratecooking January 2, 2020
That’s an amazing tip! Thank you for sharing!! I always have plenty of apples on hand.
Shizam November 14, 2019
Great simple recipe. Made the following changes:
Fresh milled organic Red Cornmeal
1 cup buttermilk + 1/2 goat yogurt
Blueberry Honey
Chopped sun-dried tomatoes and chipotles
Black Pepper
Amish Gouda cheese

Thank you for a non-wheat recipe.

cratecooking November 15, 2019
Sounds delicious and my pleasure!
Sherry E. October 31, 2019
is the melted butter in batter necessary? ok to leave out? not talking about the butter directly in pan. thank you-
cratecooking November 2, 2019
I’ve found it needs the butter for the right consistency and to give you a cornbread that isn’t overly dry. Are you looking to make it vegan or just less dairy?
Sherry E. November 2, 2019
wondering more if butter necessary to recipe thanks for responding!!!
Gilliwinks October 30, 2019
SO yummy and so easy to whip up, I am making it for the second night in a row. Glad to find a gluten free recipe with such simple ingredients.
cratecooking November 2, 2019
Thank you and glad you enjoyed it!
Sherry E. August 29, 2019
ok to make in pan in oven? not cast iron I mean?
cratecooking August 30, 2019
Yes, and oven safe pan should work. You may need to add a few minutes to the cooking time.
Sherry E. August 31, 2019
thank you. your thoughts on canola oil or similar versus butter?
cratecooking September 10, 2019
It should work, I’ve never tried it! It made not have the same sweet, creamy flavor as butter nor develop as golden of a crust.
Martin March 20, 2018
It's really good. Want to try adding cheese, hopefully won't ruin the consistency. Agree that it is slightly custardy.
Sherry E. December 18, 2017
ok to sub canola for butter ? or any other way to cook in over without using butter?
cratecooking December 18, 2017
While I’ve never done it I would think it would work perfectly. Please let me know!
Fatima I. November 18, 2018
Making this for thanksgiving, wanted to sub it for Conola too, did it work out for you?
eveross November 6, 2016
This is delicious and worked well at 7000 ft in a desert climate - many breads don't do well at elevation! Per the comment below, we're eating it tonight!
Thanks for sharing the recipe!
cratecooking November 7, 2016
Thank you for the elevation feedback- good to know! Enjoy
sowhoarewe July 28, 2016
We loved this cornbread but it really needed way more salt. A little maple syrup was a nice touch without making it sweet. Next time I'd put 1 1/2 teaspoons. I used a mix of full fat yogurt and whole milk instead of the buttermilk and it was moist.
Taylor S. May 29, 2016
This makes a really delicious (even slightly custardy) cornbread. I enjoyed it with butter and honey :) I would not recommend eating this after 12 hours as it dries out quickly.
cratecooking June 1, 2016
Completely agree as it does dry out! Thanks for your feedback and glad you enjoyed.
Sandra February 2, 2016
Has anyone tried it with nut milk instead of drinkable yogurt, kefir, or buttermilk?
cratecooking June 1, 2016
I have not - but would be interested to know how it turns out! I have a "sometimes" nut allergy so I sadly tend to avoid nut milks. As long as you are still using the eggs I think it would hold together nicely. Keep me posted!
R.Ross November 30, 2015
So it appears the editors did not try this recipe. The editor remarks do not line up with the submitters directions. That's disappointing. How can we know what had been tested vs what has not?
Stephanie B. January 11, 2016
We've updated the review notes to accurate reflect the method. Thanks for catching that.
Sharon I. November 8, 2015
YES, been making my cornbread like this for years!!!!!!!!
cratecooking October 16, 2012
@WileyP, thanks for the shortening tip. Some times butter isn't enough!
WileyP September 22, 2012
You cannot beat cast iron for making cornbread - Either a good skillet, a cast iron muffin tine or even the cornbread molds. Matter of fact, I have a ci skillet that is dedicated for nothing but cornbread! Out here, most folks are not real fond of sweet cornbread, but instead enjoy theirs with cheese and jalapeños. On the other hand, I like it both ways, and I look forward to giving your recipe a try. Thanks, carbanarasuz! PS: I put a light coating of shortening in the pan before heating it up and the cornbread falls right out. I tried butter a few times, but it didn't work as well.