All-Purpose Cornbread

Nothing goes better with a big bowl of chili than cornbread! This was my first attempt at making cornbread from scratch, and the result was incredible. I wouldn’t change a thing from this recipe – it developed a perfect crust and was warm and crumbly inside.

All-Purpose Cornbread
(Source: Cook’s Illustrated, Fall 2007)

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 8-inch square baking dish (glass is recommended) with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in medium bowl until combined; set aside.

2. In food processor or blender, process sugar, thawed corn kernels, and buttermilk until combined, about 5 seconds. Add eggs and process until well combined (corn lumps will remain), about 5 seconds longer.

3. Using rubber spatula, make well in center of dry ingredients; pour wet ingredients into well. Begin folding dry ingredients into wet, giving mixture only a few turns to barely combine; add melted butter and continue folding until dry ingredients are just moistened. Pour batter into prepared baking dish; smooth surface with rubber spatula. Bake until deep golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 25 to 35 minutes. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes; invert cornbread onto wire rack, then turn right side up and continue to cool until warm, about 10 minutes longer. Cut into pieces and serve.

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24 Responses to “All-Purpose Cornbread”

  1. MrsPresley on September 23, 2007 at 9:38 pm

    i’ve been looking for a good cornbread recipe, thanks!


  2. Deborah on September 24, 2007 at 9:45 am

    I love sugar in my cornbread, but never thought to do brown sugar. This sounds fantastic!


  3. jeena on September 26, 2007 at 2:45 pm

    Hi there you have a great blog,lovely recipes. Feel free to visit my blog too :)

    Jeena xx

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  4. Amber on September 26, 2007 at 8:31 pm

    This looks and sounds awesome! I will have to keep it in mind for when I make chili this fall/winter.


  5. Jen on October 22, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    Great cornbread recipe! I am having a Halloween party with chili on menu and I can’t wait to whip up the cornbread. Thanks for all the great ideas!


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  7. Amanda on September 24, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Just made these with whole wheat pastry flour and they came out great!


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  11. Nancy on August 26, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    I made these with a slow cooker chili recipe that I found online. They were good, but I think I might have overmixed my batter accidentally. I just kept seeing so many dry flour clumps everywhere! I was mixing and mixing and mixing… Definitely not “only a few turns”. Whoops!


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  13. Pamela on September 15, 2012 at 10:42 am

    What about a laye of crumbled bacon, cubed ham, or sliced sausage to the top?
    Love your website, Pamela


    • Michelle on September 25th, 2012 at 3:40 pm

      Hi Pamela, All of those sound delicious!


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  15. Courtney on June 3, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    HI MIchelle – just to let you know, I’m having a hard time pinning this – it says I need to provide the image url or something.


    • Michelle on June 5th, 2013 at 9:19 am

      Hi Courtney, I was just able to pin it without a problem. Maybe try restarting your browser and give it another go.


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  18. Nancy Long on October 17, 2013 at 8:21 am

    will have to try this – mine is similar, but never thought to use brown sugar and I usually bake it in cast iron


  19. Debbie on October 17, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Recipe looks great, but I can’t pin this because non of the pictures are being isolated there.


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  21. Trina on September 9, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    Any idea how long this keeps for? Id like to make it ahead of time… Friday for a party Sunday. Thoughts?


    • Michelle on September 10th, 2014 at 10:19 pm

      Hi Trina, It’s definitely best fresh. If you make it two days ahead of time, be sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. You might want to warm it up when you serve it if it seems a little dry.


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