A wedge of this basic, family-recipe cornbread, named in honor of my grandmother, readily accompanies soup, Southern-style beans and/or salad.

Serve leftover slices warm, buttered and with honey or syrup as dessert or for breakfast the next morning.

A 9-inch cast-iron skillet produces best results.


  • 1 1/2 cups stone-ground cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus a little softened butter for the skillet

Step 1

Place your 9-inch cast-iron skillet in the oven; preheat to 450 degrees.

Step 2

Combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the buttermilk and egg, stirring to form a fairly smooth and thick batter, then stir in the melted butter.

Step 3

Add the softened butter to the skillet in the oven; as soon as it melts, remove from the oven and tilt to coat the sides and bottom of the skillet. Pour in the batter. Return to the oven; bake (middle rack) for 17 or 18 minutes, until lightly browned on top and the cornbread has pulled away slightly from the edges of the pan.

Step 4

Serve warm, or at room temperature.

Adapted from a recipe by Edna Fairchild, who is the author’s grandmother.

Tested by Jessica Weissman; email questions to voraciously@washpost.com.

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For a printer-friendly and scalable version of this recipe, view it here.

The nutritional analysis is based on 8 servings.

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Calories: 160; Total Fat: 6 g; Saturated Fat: 3 g; Cholesterol: 35 mg; Sodium: 390 mg; Carbohydrates: 23 g; Dietary Fiber: 2 g; Sugars: 3 g; Protein: 4 g.