Buttermilk Corn Bread 12.000

Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Bonnie S. Benwick/The Washington Post

Nov 20, 2018

With its soft texture, mellow flavor and warm golden color, this corn bread makes a fine addition to your table. The recipe calls for sugar, but the corn bread does not taste sweet, so feel free to use it in savory preparations such as stuffing and dressing.

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Make Ahead: The cooled corn bread can be tightly wrapped in plastic or stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a day. Reheat, covered with aluminum foil, in a 275-degree oven for about 15 minutes, or until warmed through. For long-term storage, tightly wrap in plastic, place in a zip-top bag and freeze for up to several months.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 12 servings; makes one 8-inch slab

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick), melted
  • 1 cup (5 ounces; 142 grams) flour
  • 1/3 cup (2 3/4 ounces, 77 grams) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (4 1/2 ounces; 128 grams) yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk (regular or low-fat)
  • 1 large egg


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put the tablespoon of unmelted butter in an 8-inch square metal pan or ceramic baking dish. About 2 minutes before you are ready to pour the batter into the pan, put the pan in the preheated oven to melt the butter.

Sift or whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl. Whisk in the cornmeal.

Whisk together the buttermilk, egg and the 4 tablespoons of melted butter in a mixing bowl or large liquid measuring cup, until well incorporated. Pour the flour mixture over the buttermilk mixture, then stir slowly until just combined. You will see some small lumps in the batter; that's okay.

Remove the pan from the oven and tilt it to coat the bottom and sides with its now-melted butter, which may be browned but should not be burnt. Scrape the batter into the pan, smoothing the top and spreading it into the corners.

Bake (middle rack) for about 20 minutes, until the top feels firm when pressed and the golden-brown edges have pulled away from the sides of the pan a bit. A tester inserted into the center should come out clean.

Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, then use a round-edged knife to loosen the edges, lift out the slab, cut into squares and serve warm.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Fast Breads: 50 Recipes for Easy, Delicious Bread," by Elinor Klivans (Chronicle Books, 2010).

Tested by Becky Krystal.

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