Super-Easy Brown Butter Cornbread

November 25, 2015
5 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Makes 1 8-inch square cornbread
Author Notes

I have this recipe for cornbread that I found ages ago. (I have no idea where.) It's called "The Best Cornbread," and I've used it as a base for all the cornbreads I've made over the years. We recently moved to Austin, where my stepson and daughter-in-law live, and her family has a pre-Thanksgiving tradition of a Texas chili dinner the night before Thanksgiving. I bring the cornbread. I'm embarrassed to admit that it was only recently that I began browning the butter for the cornbread—I've had so many butter mishaps—burning butter, forgetting to add it to recipes, miscalculating (sticks? cups? ounces?)…. Browning the butter seemed like too much to ask. Except that it adds a layer of deliciousness that is totally worth babysitting it to make sure it doesn't burn. (And that you don't forget to add it…..)

You can serve the cornbread directly from the pan. —drbabs

Test Kitchen Notes

Yup, delicious. Sweet and nutty and a great texture. I love the seeing the flecks from the brown butter, too. I feel like brown butter and cornmeal were destined to go together and I'm not sure why I haven't always browned my butter when making cornbread. It was a very easy recipe. It took about 35 minutes in my oven. Also, although it didn't specify, I used unsalted butter to make the brown butter as she called for salt later on. The seasoning was perfect. Will definitely add this to my repertoire. Next time, I don't see why I couldn't just pour the batter into my cast iron skillet that I used to brown the butter and bake it in that. Would save the step of buttering the baking dish and save a dish. Also—two people have told me how much they loved it and want the recipe because it's different and better than cornbread they've made before. —Dawne Marie

What You'll Need
  • 4 ounces butter (1 stick; 1/2 cup; 8 tablespoons)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 egg
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Meanwhile, heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add butter, and watch it melt and then brown (it will smell nutty and delicious), swirling the skillet around so it browns evenly. Turn burner off.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Pour milk and yogurt into at least a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Add egg, and whisk until smooth.
  4. Pour about 3 tablespoons of butter into the bottom of your baking dish, and swirl it around so that the bottom is coated. Pour the rest into the measuring cup with the liquid ingredients.
  5. Fold liquid ingredients into dry ingredients until just blended. Pour batter into the baking dish and smooth the top. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Bevi
  • Sharon Core
    Sharon Core
  • Greenstuff
  • Angela Dahl
    Angela Dahl
  • Miachel Pruett
    Miachel Pruett

26 Reviews

Tiffs December 30, 2021
I've made this a couple times,
once as mini muffins for a chili cook off. Flavor is great and my ideal cornbread texture, with a little toothiness. It always impresses my dinner guests when I use blue corn meal for beautiful, buttery, purple cornbread.
drbabs December 30, 2021
I’m so glad you like it.
Bevi April 26, 2020
how much jalapeño and cheese can I add, and when?
drbabs April 26, 2020
I don’t really know because I don’t like that version of cornbread! But here’s a link to Ina Garten's jalapeño cheddar cornbread; maybe you can work with those proportions and figure it out? Hope you are well, Bevi!
Sharon C. April 25, 2020
I substituted the yogurt for buttermilk and the milk for heavy cream. It came out great. Perfect balance of sweet, salt and sour. Utterly delectable
drbabs April 25, 2020
I’m so glad you liked it. Thanks for letting me know.
shayna January 26, 2019
I love this recipe and make it often! I’m wondering if it would be alright to substitute buttermilk for the yogurt, as I have a surplus of the former at the moment.
drbabs January 26, 2019
Yes. It might take a little longer to bake because the buttermilk is more liquid than the buttermilk/yogurt combination.
Ryan September 25, 2017
Made this last night and it was excellent! Had to make some substitutions with ingredients on hand but it worked out great. I used sour cream instead of yogurt in the same quantity. Then used P.A.N. white corn meal which is softer than traditional corn meal. Lastly, I undercooked it for 15 minutes and it was perfect. Highly recommend this recipe with a drizzle of honey. Enjoy!
drbabs March 27, 2018
So glad you liked it!
Greenstuff February 14, 2017
I’d had this recipe in the back of my mind to try, and last week it seemed the time had come. But, while I was browning the butter, I discovered I had no milk or yogurt (what??!) and not any usual substitution like buttermilk. What I did have was a little crema Mexicana and a little crème fraîche. So, I put them in a measuring cup and added enough water to get to 1½ cups.

Who would have guessed—it was one of my best ever cornbreads! I am still going to make the original recipe, and I’ve saved it to make sure I do. But, my goodness, this recipe is adaptable.
drbabs February 15, 2017
Hi Chris! I'm so glad it worked out for you.
Angela D. February 14, 2017
This turned out great for me -- I think the yogurt helped a lot to keep it from getting too dry, and I used a smaller pan so that it came out thicker. Definitely on the sweeter side, but everyone loved it!
drbabs February 14, 2017
I'm so glad you liked it. I just made it and my husband thought it wasn't sweet enough!
Miachel P. January 8, 2017
Sounds delicious! Just wondering – if I wanted to make a savory version of this, would omitting the brown sugar and adding in 1/3 cup cheese and chiles change the composition too much? (Hard to tell but wanted to get your thoughts.)
drbabs January 8, 2017
I'm a sweet corn bread person, so I think I'd just cut the sugar back to maybe a tablespoon or two, and then add the cheese and chiles. The recipe is pretty forgiving, though. You could try it either way.
Miachel P. January 11, 2017
Hmm I'll try it out! :)
Ryan January 4, 2017
Mine turned out dry and chewy after 20 minutes baking. Perhaps my pan was overly large and the batter spread too thin. Will try again with a smaller dish and bake a little less.
drbabs January 5, 2017
Oh, I'm sorry. I've made it twice recently, and it came out too moist, which I'm having trouble figuring out. I think it's my oven.
Valerie G. December 29, 2015
Sadly, i was disappointed. My batch had that bitter baking soda taste, even though there's such a small amount in the recipe. Any scientists know how to eliminate that?
drbabs December 29, 2015
Wow, I'm so sorry. I've made this recipe or variations of it hundreds of times, and that has never happened to me. The things that come to mind are to make sure your corn meal, baking soda and baking powder are fresh (all can cause a bitter taste), and to whisk your dry ingredients thoroughly so the leavening is really well blended.
Susan B. December 27, 2015
This sounds like the perfect balance. Definitely doing this soon. ...and welcome to Austin!
drbabs December 27, 2015
Thanks... Do you live here?
Susan B. December 27, 2015
Yes, since '93. Am just south of Ladybird Lake inside 35. Hope you're getting acclimated.
inpatskitchen December 15, 2015
I'm so sorry that I didn't get a chance to make this during the testing period for Brown Butter. I did make it a few days later and we just LOVED it even though we're not big cornbread eaters. Loved the brown butter and the yogurt tang! It's now a "keeper". Thanks so much for the recipe!
drbabs December 16, 2015
Thank you! I'm so glad you liked it!