Buttermilk Cornbread


Last weekend I posted my Green Chile Succotash recipe and strongly suggested serving it with buttermilk cornbread, so what a perfect time to post my buttermilk cornbread recipe!

I have no idea how many years I’ve been making this cornbread. I don’t even know where it came from because I’ve been making it from memory forever.  Back in the pre-computer days I finally had to write it down in one of my recipe journals so Bobby could make it when I was out of town. It’s one of his favorite foods and that goes for me too!  This recipe is fast and easy, and the result is a moist and oh SO delicious cornbread. Enjoy!


Kitchen Notes

Yes, I use bacon drippings. I need some use for the jar of bacon drippings hiding in the back of the refrigerator. The drippings work great at keeping the cast iron skillet seasoned and the cornbread from sticking.  How’s that for a rationalization? :)  Of course, if you’re vegetarian you could always use vegetable or canola oil.

Buttermilk – If you don’t have enough buttermilk, you can always use a mix of buttermilk and milk. That has happened to me several times and a little 1% milk doesn’t hurt. I’ve even made it with just milk before and it came out fine, but I prefer the texture and the taste with the buttermilk.

Onion – The onion not only adds flavor, it also adds moisture. So I consider it a primary ingredient, not an option.

Variations – If you want to jazz it up a bit, add a little crumbled bacon, minced jalapeno, or chopped green chile.

Leftover Cornbread – I have to admit that neither of us are big on warmed up leftover cornbread, so I guess this is where I can say how spoiled we are.  Whenever we want cornbread, even if it’s the next night and there is leftover cornbread in the fridge, I’ll still make a fresh batch!  However, never fear – the leftovers do not go to waste. Here are a few ideas for leftover cornbread:

  • Freeze it and use it later on in a cornbread dressing (When the holidays roll around I always have enough cornbread in the freezer for a big batch of dressing!)
  • Cut a piece in half and use as the bread for an “egg in a hole”
  • Make cornbread croutons by cutting leftovers into 1/2″ pieces, toss with a little oil and seasoning, and toast in a hot oven.
  • Use as a topping for a bowl of beans, soup or chili.
  • From my friend over at Food Jaunts suggests – crumble it up and use it as a thickener for soups or topping for casseroles.


This recipe has been shared with the following blog hops.  Be sure to click on the links to find more delicious recipes!

Weekend Potluck, Mix It Up Monday, Meatless Monday, Made With Love Monday, Just Another Meatless Monday, Mangia Monday, Mouthwatering Monday, Traditional Tuesdays, Hearth and Soul, Full Plate Thursday, Foodie Friday, Bake with Bizzy, It’s a Keeper Thursday, Creative Thursday, Gallery of Favorites

This recipe was featured on Made With Love Mondays, March, 2012 and Foodie Friday on April, 2012.

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68 Responses to “Buttermilk Cornbread”

  1. balvinder ( Neetu) April 1, 2012 at 8:40 am #

    I have tagged you for a well deserving award @ http://simpleglutenfreekitchen.blogspot.ca/ Please do come and accept.

  2. wok with ray April 1, 2012 at 8:28 am #

    I would like this cornbread with my beef stew – it looks airy and light. And yes, I love your idea of using bacon drippings which is a great idea! Thank you, MJ and have a wonderful week ahead.

  3. Charles March 31, 2012 at 7:24 pm #

    Hi MJ – I *love* cornbread! It’s not common at all in Europe, but my wife found an American store online which shipped to France and we bought some things for fun, one of them being cornmeal (another uncommon item here) and she made cornbread – damn that stuff is amazing when fresh from the oven smothered in butter! Interesting twist to make it with buttermilk – I’ll remember this for the next time we’re going to bake some up! :)

    • mj April 1, 2012 at 8:07 am #

      I can’t imagine not having cornmeal readily accessible! However, you two must really love it if you order on-line! :) Hope you get a chance to make this. You’re going to love it!

    • Donna November 5, 2012 at 2:02 am #

      @Charles….You can save a bundle by purchasing Italian polenta!!!!…There are several varieties…fine..medium and course!…The ex-pats stores are OUTRAGEOUSLY expensive…I find…In the Geneva area…a regular-size box of Cheerios (original)…costs nearly 8 euros!!!…Crazy stuff!

  4. Dee at Deelicious Sweets March 31, 2012 at 11:05 am #

    I love cornbread! This sounds fantastic!

  5. Healthy cooking Blog March 31, 2012 at 9:27 am #

    The texture look is very uniform and cannot spot that minced onion.

    • mj April 1, 2012 at 8:05 am #

      If you look really hard,you can see a little piece of onion at the bottom around the middle. I mince them up pretty good and they kind of dissolve into the bread. So tasty!

  6. Maureen @ Orgasmic Chef March 31, 2012 at 6:22 am #

    Not living in the South any more, I forget how much I love cornbread. Thanks for the reminder. I’m going to try your recipe next. I’m making butter tomorrow and I’ll have nice fresh buttermilk for it.

  7. Jayasri March 30, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

    Wow, beautiful texture, looks fantastic, they look so airy…

  8. Cucina49 March 30, 2012 at 2:05 pm #

    I was drooling over the succotash earlier this week, and now this–it looks moist and wonderful!

  9. Javelin Warrior March 30, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

    Cornbread (like most bread) is high on my list of favorites – and I’ve never used buttermilk when making it. I always have buttermilk in the fridge for other recipes, so I’ll have to give that a try. And bacon drippings! Woot woot! :)

  10. balvinder ( Neetu) March 30, 2012 at 12:14 pm #

    Corn bread when I make it, gets dry. Yours look nice with holes. got to try yours.

  11. France @ Beyond The Peel March 30, 2012 at 11:41 am #

    I love that there’s hardly any flour in this recipe. I have a bunch of buttermilk left over from making butter and this sounds perfect! And I happen to have a jar of bacon fat on my counter begging to be used. PERFECT.

  12. Deeps @ Naughty Curry March 30, 2012 at 11:22 am #

    the cornbread looks so airy, croutons outa it sounds heavenly!

  13. Tina (PinayInTexas) March 30, 2012 at 10:06 am #

    The texture of your cornbread looks absolutely perfect, MJ. I have tried making cornbread before but it didn’t come out as gorgeous as yours. I will have to try your recipe!
    Enjoy your weekend!

  14. spiceblogger March 30, 2012 at 9:42 am #

    I love, love, love cornbread.
    But I must admit, as often as I make it I have never put onions in mine. Makes sense when you consider the moisture it adds–as well as the flavor. I’m gonna have to try this the next time.
    I switch my recipes up all the time. I love adding bacon or jalapeno. :))))

  15. Katherine Martinelli March 30, 2012 at 8:27 am #

    I love cornbread and don’t think I’ve ever had buttermilk cornbread – but it looks and sounds amazing!! Great recipe, MJ – thanks for sharing!

  16. Nami | Just One Cookbook March 30, 2012 at 1:44 am #

    Hi MJ! Naturally from what you told us, this recipe is going to be in my next to make list! I can’t wait to try it. You kept making this for a long time – that tells everything. It looks very moist and I am sure my family will enjoy it. I often rely on Trader Joe’s cornbread mix…. Time for change! I really liked that there are minced onions. I’ve never seen a recipe like that. Making me hungry!

    • mj April 1, 2012 at 8:02 am #

      Nami, if you need more than the 4 servings, this recipe double quite easily. However, if you do double it, I would recommend 1 cup buttermilk and 1 cup regular milk. Hope you make it and love it as much as we do!

  17. Giulietta | Alterkitchen March 30, 2012 at 1:10 am #

    For an Italian, this cornbread is a complete stranger… but I love it!
    And I love this baker MJ. You actually followed your good intentions ;)

    On a totally different topic, I’m sorry I didn’t send you the prizes from my giveaway, yet. I’m trying to find a US e-store where I can pay by paypal, to send everything being sure it arrives to you… This afternoon I’ll search better and I’ll send!
    Sorry for my delay, though!

  18. Baker Street March 30, 2012 at 12:13 am #

    Any recipe that starts with a teaspoon of bacon drippings is my kinda recipe. Love the texture of your bread.

  19. Anne@FromMySweetHeart March 29, 2012 at 10:27 pm #

    MJ….that cornbread is just beautiful! I know you suggested it with your amazing succotash. But I would love to have a slice of that with a drizzle of honey with my cup of tea for breakfast! What a lovely texture. And I am always in such awe of your beautiful photography! : )

  20. Jane March 29, 2012 at 6:04 pm #

    Yum! I love cornbread, and I agree about the bacon drippings — I am always saving them, and then figuring out how to use them! haha

  21. Ivy March 29, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

    Looks so beautiful and so airy almost like a cake.

  22. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles March 29, 2012 at 10:39 am #

    I have this thing with the word ‘buttermilk’ – whenever I hear it, I start to swoon; it’s rather involuntary and I don’t even have to see the recipe, I’m there… ;-). In this case, I’m glad I came over to view… what a lovely, airy cornbread MJ *with* bacon drippings – Oh.My.Goodness… sounds positively divine! I should treat my boys to this as an after school snack… and I just happen to have some cornmeal in the pantry; genius.

    • mj April 1, 2012 at 7:59 am #

      Kelly – for the boys you might add a tablespoon of honey or sugar to the batter, or honey or jam as a topping. YUM!

  23. Nisa Homey March 29, 2012 at 10:33 am #

    Cornbread with buttermilk..YUM!

  24. Eftychia March 29, 2012 at 10:22 am #

    Nice recipe. In Cyprus it is difficult to find buttermilk though… Can I use Greek style yogurt?

    • mj April 1, 2012 at 7:57 am #

      I don’t see why you couldn’t use yogurt; however, I would probably use half yogurt and half milk, otherwise the batter might be way to thick and the result gummy. Thanks for stopping by!

  25. Valerie @ From Valerie's Kitchen March 29, 2012 at 9:39 am #

    Mmmmm cornbread. I’m a big fan. Buttermilk does something really special to baked goods.

  26. Monica @ TheYummyLife March 29, 2012 at 9:37 am #

    This reminds me of my grandmother’s cornbread. She put a little bit of bacon grease in almost everything! (No wonder I loved her cooking so much.) I do love cornbread–a staple around here, too. :-)

  27. Eri March 29, 2012 at 9:04 am #

    It looks amazing, I’ve never ever tried to make cornbread, I think I will do it asap!
    I love the leftover ideas!

  28. Ramona March 29, 2012 at 8:57 am #

    This cornbread looks perfect! I love the idea of making an egg in a whole with cornbread. Mmmmmm! :)

  29. Bobby March 29, 2012 at 8:31 am #

    You said cornbread. Yummmmm!

    • mj March 29, 2012 at 8:53 am #

      :) :) You should make it for folks! You know they love it!

  30. Michelle @ Simplify, Live, Love March 29, 2012 at 8:16 am #

    Yum! We love cornbread around here. I have my staple recipe memorized. I also make it in a cast iron skillet. I’ve never used bacon grease – but that is a GREAT idea! :-)


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