Tender, moist buttermilk cornbread that's super easy to make with only 15 minutes of prep work. Comes out perfect every. single. time. Instructions for baking at high altitude as well as sea level.
Sometime last year I launched a new project. A personal challenge of sorts. I wanted to create the best cornbread recipe ever.
I know, I know. It doesn't sound like much of a challenge to you. It's not like, say, training for a year to run a marathon. Or writing a book. Or launching a non-profit. No, I needed to keep it real.
I can never resist cornbread, especially buttermilk cornbread, if I'm honest. I mean, never. And there must be thousands of recipes out there, all claiming to be the BEST. There are Grandma's recipes, handed down through generations from mother to daughter, vegan, paleo and gluten-free.
But if you're all about texture, like I am, you seriously need buttermilk. Buttermilk cornbread is the BEST, IMHO. Because even if you use corn flour instead of corn meal, there's still a slight, natural dry toughness to the finished bread. And I like that quality of cornbread, which is why I use medium-ground cornbread. But I also like my cornbread tender and moist.
Like many things in life, it's a balancing act. And buttermilk makes it work.
Ways to Use Cornbread
Cornbread is very flexible. Here are some ways I've used it:
Buttermilk Cornbread High Altitude Cooking Notes:
Now that I'm living pretty much full-time in the Sierras at a little over 7000 feet, I've added instructions in italics for baking this cornbread at high altitude. Note: after the initial High Altitude Baking mention, I've shortened it to HAB.
If you substitute honey for the sugar, this makes it even more moist. Simply replace the sugar with honey using a 1:1 ratio.
Another easy way to make this cornbread more moist is to add 1 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt, although I didn't find that to be necessary with the buttermilk.
Buttermilk Cornbread General Cooking Notes:
If you prefer less grit to your cornbread, go with a fine grain cornmeal, or even corn flour. Substitute either using a 1:1 ratio for the medium-ground cornmeal.
Easy Buttermilk Cornbread
- sharp chef's knife
- 1 cup Bob's Red Mill medium coarse cornmeal remove 1 tablespoon for High Altitude Baking - HAB - ~6500 ft
- 1 cup 4.5 ounces all-purpose flour remove 1 tablespoon for HAB
- ½ teaspoon baking soda, use ¼ teaspoon for HAB
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt or ½ teaspoon table salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter melted, plus more for the loaf pan
- ½ cup white granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk, add 1 tablespoon for HAB
- Preheat oven to 375˚ F (or 380˚ F for HAB). Butter a loaf pan.
- Whisk the cornmeal, flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
- Melt the butter in the microwave oven in a microwave - safe dish. Pour it into a medium bowl, and whisk in the sugar. When the sugar is incorporated, add the eggs and buttermilk, and continue to whisk until well blended. Stir in the cornmeal mixture, until well blended. There will be some lumps, but that's fine. Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. At sea level, the time will be closer to 30 minutes, but baking at high altitude will take closer to 40 minutes. Cover with foil in the last 10 minutes of baking - this will help to keep the cornbread moist, and help it to bake more evenly.
- Cool in the loaf pan for 10 minutes before removing. Run a sharp knife around the cornbread, separating it from the sides of the pan. Flip out onto a cutting board for easy slicing.