Grandma's Skillet Cornbread Recipe Is Cornbread Done "Right," the Southerner's Way by Melissa Vickers

Grandma's Skillet Cornbread Recipe Is Cornbread Done "Right," the Southerner's Way

If my mom had a nickel for every pan of cornbread she ever made, she would have been one rich woman! I’m sure she made at least one pan of per week for most of the 63 years she was married to my dad. He delighted in breaking off a “corner” (of a round bread!) as soon as it came out of the oven. Mom would roll her eyes, and then just smile. It was as much a gift of love as it was a tasty treat, snack or side dish.

The one absolute rule she had for making cornbread, though: No self-respecting southerner puts sugar in the cornbread! I’ve adopted that rule as well. I do like the taste of sweet things made from cornmeal, but those are corn CAKES, not corn BREAD. There’s nothing like a hot piece of cornbread slathered with butter, and it is my first choice for soup dipping.

I asked my mom for her cornbread recipe and she got this quizzical look on her face. Her hands knew the cornbread recipe by heart – how much of this, how much of that – but she needed no written recipe. She did come up with the following, and it pretty well matches my memory. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

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Cuisine: American (Southern)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 to 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 to 45 minutes

Servings: 8


Here’s how to make it:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. While oven is preheating, put shortening in cast iron skillet and place in oven to melt. This is an important step that gets the skillet hot to make a good crust.
  2. Mix cornmeal and flour together.
  3. Mix milk and eggs together. Add to the flour mixture.
  4. Once the shortening has melted, CAREFULLY pour the shortening into the bread mixture. Fold into the batter and stir so hot oil doesn’t fly everywhere. Do this as quickly as you can – you want to get the batter back into the skillet and into the oven while the pan is still good and hot. Add more milk if the mixture seems too thick. Pour into hot skillet.
  5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or so until brown and crusty. Remove bread from skillet immediately and flip onto a dish. Cut a wedge, grab the butter and enjoy!

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How funny about the sugar! I didn't realize that. YUM!
Donna John
My mom would agree with you 100 percent. She doesn't like sugar in her cornbread. It's a thing with her. Can't wait to try your mom's recipe! I grew up in the south and this is my favorite cornbread recipe: food: Moist Cornbread Recipe: The Only Cornbread Recipe You'll Ever Need
Elisa Schmitz
Mmm! What about honey? I love dipping my cornbread it honey! Thanks for the recipe, Melissa Vickers . Donna John
Melissa Vickers
Ah--AFTER you cook the cornbread, you have my permission (and likely my mom's) to put whatever you want on it. Just don't put honey IN the cornbread mix--or at least not if you still plan on calling it cornBREAD. :-) My folks and my grandparents used to just break it into chunks into a big glass of buttermilk, and that would be dinner some days. (Especially if lunch was the big meal of the day.)
Elisa Schmitz
Got it and will do, Melissa Vickers ! Love having THE authentic recipe to try, thank you! And the buttermilk idea sounds amazing, too. Donna John

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