Real Cornbread

Real Cornbread

20 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, October/November 2006

This traditional cornbread is made without flour, isn't sweet and has a crumbly texture. You can change the adaptable recipe to suit your cornbread preference. For a variation, substitute ½ teaspoon baking soda for the baking powder and use buttermilk instead of milk. If you're looking for a more muffinlike texture, substitute flour for half the cornmeal.

Ingredients 8 servings

for serving adjustment
Serving size has been adjusted!
Original recipe yields 8 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 cups yellow or white cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1½ cups nonfat milk or nonfat buttermilk


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Place oil in a 9-inch cast-iron skillet or similar-size glass baking dish and transfer to the preheating oven.
  2. Mix cornmeal, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Add egg and milk (or
  3. buttermilk); stir until just combined. Remove the pan from the oven and swirl the oil to coat the bottom and a little way up the sides. Very carefully pour the excess hot oil into the cornmeal mixture; stir until just combined. Pour the batter into the hot pan.
  4. Bake until the bread is firm in the middle and lightly golden, about 20 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before slicing. Serve warm.
  • Make Ahead Tip: The cornbread can be made up to 3 hours in advance. Reheat, wrapped in foil, in a warm oven.

Nutrition information

  • Per serving: 186 calories; 7 g fat(1 g sat); 2 g fiber; 26 g carbohydrates; 5 g protein; 13 mcg folate; 26 mg cholesterol; 2 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 189 IU vitamin A; 0 mg vitamin C; 75 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 254 mg sodium; 165 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: 1½ starch, 1½ fat

Reviews 20

July 17, 2017
profile image
By: A Roos
Beat my expectations, for sure! I didn't have buttermilk, so I just whipped up a sour milk substitute. I also used a whole teaspoon of salt and added a teaspoon of baking powder for some extra lift. I used stone ground white corn meal, which according to my research is the only corn meal you should use when making a corn bread without flour and sugar. absolutely do not use cheap yellow corn meal! I don't even really like "typical" corn bread much and so I went looking for a new corn bread recipe trying to eat a little healthier and googled "corn bread no sugar or flour." This was the first recipe I tried and I may just whip up a batch of this every day. Smear a little butter on there, or drizzle with some honey. Even plain is still so good. The only thing I would say is watch it closely. I pulled mine out after 13 minutes and it was golden brown and moist, done all the way through and not overly dry at all. It is more crumbly than a corn bread made with flour would be, but that's just the nature of corn meal.
May 14, 2017
profile image
By: Ced1106
I didn't like it as much as other reviewers, but grew up on sweet corn bread, so this recipe was an opportunity to try out "real" corn bread. I had some cornbread and dried buttermilk in the house, so figured I'd give this recipe a try. I don't think I'll make it again, although I suggest that EW adds some variations to this bread (see EW's salsa cornbread) to make it more of a side dish at a meal. I guess I'd use this cornbread for a chili cornbread supper.
April 07, 2017
profile image
By: thegirlwhowaited
I'm flabbergasted this recipe has a 3+ star rating. It was as dense as a rock, and tasted like absolutely nothing. Seriously makes me question whether to follow other recipes on this website. Total waste of time and ingredients.
October 07, 2016
profile image
By: llamaqueen
Used half and half, increased salt to 1.5 tsp, added 1 TB unbleached sugar, added at least 1/2 tsp of fresh cracked black pepper, greased pan with butter, also used butter instead of canola and upped to 4 TB but 3 would probably be good. Was very moist. The black pepper made it. Next time I'll add red pepper flakes too.
June 28, 2016
profile image
By: EatingWell User
From Japan I have made this cornbread 3 times and it has come out GREAT each time. Love it for it is super-easy and delicious. The only cornbread recipe I will every need to use.
December 23, 2015
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Very pleased! This cornbread was a great pairing with the homemade venison stew made from leftover roast we had for a warm winter meal last night. I sub'd 1/2 cup flour for 1/2 cornmeal, used olive oil in place of what was recommended and added 1/2 cup stevia. 8 inch cast iron skillet I used made a beautiful presentation, but I may subtract 2-3 minutes from cooking time next time. it was a bit browner than I prefer. But despite that, my family, especially my cornbread expert husband, loved it! Will be posting this to the inside of one of my kitchen cabinets today! Pros: When baking soda is added, it raises very well for a very appetizing look, unlike many healthwise re Cons: I was a bit dry, and not sweet. Some Stevia added to the mix helped with that.
March 18, 2015
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Watch out for Broken Glass! This sounded so good. I followed the method exactly, using a glass pie pan b/c I don't have a cast iron pan. When it got to the point where I had added the hot oil to the batter and started adding the batter to the pan, it shattered. Imagine my surprise. Nothing like this has ever happened to me before. I was able to salvage enough batter and decided to bake it in two tin pie pans, like the kind you get from a pie shop. There were no issues with those.
February 18, 2015
profile image
By: EatingWell User
The Real McCoy My family hails out of Louisiana, and this is exactly how we do it down there. Really can't screw this up unless you burn it. I use a full teaspoon of salt, and a tablespoon of baking powder as it helps fluff it out a little better. Certainly want to use whole buttermilk if you can get it. And for a real treat you use bacon grease on the skillet and in the mix. Pros: The Best Cornbread Cons: Eight servings is never enough.....
January 20, 2015
profile image
By: EatingWell User
This is the way cornbread should be made! My grandmother made cornbread just like this every day of her life. If we didn't have cornbread with our meals, we had yeast rolls or biscuits, all homemade. I had never heard of putting flour in cornbread until recently and would even consider never doing it. It changes the texture completely. And although I'm from the South, we never had sweetened cornbread. My grandmother cooked her cornbread on a griddle on the stove like pancakes. Crispy outside, golden and buttery inside. Not low cal, low fat stuff, but she lived to a ripe old age, so I'm not worried. Take some of this cornbread and crumble it in a glass of sweet milk or buttermilk. Delicious!
More Reviews