The presence of sugar is what distinguishes Northern-style cornbread from its Southern-style cousin. Southerners claim that Northern cornbread is cake, not bread. If you enjoy some sweetness in your bread and prefer a light and airy texture, then some delicious cornbread from the North is likely for you. If, on the other hand, you prefer the dense texture and savory taste created by bacon drippings, buttermilk, and white cornmeal, you will love our Southern cornbread.

Note: This recipe requires one-fourth of a cup and one tablespoon of bacon grease.



  • 1 tablespoon bacon grease (for coating the skillet)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups self-rising white cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup bacon grease, melted


  1. Coat a 9-inch cast iron skillet with the bacon grease and place the skillet in the oven. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

  2. In a small bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk.

  3. In a large bowl, mix the cornmeal, buttermilk, salt, and melted bacon grease. Pour in the beaten eggs. Stir to combine.

  4. Carefully remove the skillet from the oven. Pour the cornbread batter into the hot skillet.

  5. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the cornbread is golden brown. Serve immediately. Enjoy!


  • 9-inch cast iron skillet
  • small bowl
  • whisk
  • large bowl

Families have served this delicious, savory bread for generations and have customized this simple homestyle recipe to their tastes. Let's explore some ways to make Southern-style cornbread even more delectable.

A Hearty Cornbread

bacon in cast iron skillet

A simple no-frills cornbread can shine on its own, but sometimes you're just hankering for a little something extra. Several ingredients can be added to cornbread to enhance its flavor and texture. Here are a few ideas:

  • Try blending in some poblano or jalapeño peppers to crank up the heat in your cornbread.
  • If you're a cheese lover, sprinkle some sharp shredded cheddar cheese on top of your cornbread -- or better yet, mix some cheese into the batter for a gooey, melty treat.
  • Toss in some corn kernels for additional flavor and texture, or blend in some creamed corn for a little sweetness and moisture.
  • In addition to bacon grease, bacon cracklings will boost the savory level to new heights and add some crunch.

Food Pairings

bowl of chili

Cornbread is the perfect accompaniment to any satisfying comfort food. Consider pairing cornbread with the following tasty options:

  • Cornbread and chili go together like peanut butter and jelly. Chili wouldn't be the same without a side of cornbread to soak up the warm savory sauce.
  • Serving up some barbecue ribs with some Southern-style cornbread is an absolute must. It's a fantastic combination that will have everyone asking for seconds.
  • Enjoy some cornbread with a weeknight classic: sloppy Joes. Put the sloppy Joes mixture on the cornbread wedges for a simple meal everyone will love.
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