I’m sure a lot of Southerner’s might be surprised to hear this, but did you know that cornbread actually originated with Native Americans?
The Evolution of Cornbread
Of course, the original cornbread was nothing like it is today. It was simply cornmeal and water stirred together and baked over an open fire. Doesn’t sound very tasty, does it?
That cornbread evolved into “hoecakes”. Believed to be created by slaves in the South by adding salt to the cornmeal and water mixture, then frying the batter over an open flame on a garden hoe coated in butter or lard.
Eventually, home cooks began adding other ingredients in to the batter such as butter, eggs, milk, yeast, buttermilk, sugar, and molasses, which transformed the hoecake into something resembling the cornbread of today.
I love making something that resembles a hoecake. Well, it’s more like a hybrid of a hoecake and a pancake. It’s crispy on the outside and a bit dense like a hoecake, but soft, sweet, and yummy on the inside like a pancake. My kids aren’t huge fans, so I don’t make them very often. But we all love a good, moist cornbread.
Making Moist & Delicious Cornbread is Easier Than You Think
I found a plain version this Sweet and Spicy Buttermilk Cornbread recipe a few years back in an old Southern cookbook a friend gave to me. I’ve added things here and there to match my tastes, but the basic recipe is still the best tasting cornbread I’ve ever had.
This cornbread has just the right balance between sweet and heat and cooks up in about 25 minutes. The buttermilk, sour cream, and canola oil creates a moist texture on the inside while the melted butter in the pan gives it a nice crunchy crust with a light nutty flavor. Diced chipotles and offer a little smoky kick.
While you don’t have to cook the cornbread in a cast iron pan (I used a glass Pyrex baking pan because I don’t have a 10″ cast iron pan yet), it really does make a difference. Whatever you cook it in, just don’t skip the melted butter in the preheated pan.
If you want just plain old cornbread, omit the bacon, cheese, peppers, and relish. You will have a perfectly delicious, moist on the inside, crispy on the outside cornbread that people will beg you to make again and again. It goes great with chili or soup, especially on a cold, rainy day!
I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
This cornbread has just the right balance between sweet and heat and cooks up in about 25 minutes. The buttermilk, sour cream, and canola oil creates a moist texture on the inside while the melted butter in the pan gives it a nice crunchy crust with a light nutty flavor. Diced chipotles and Wickles Spicy Red Sandwich Relish offer a little smoky kick.
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 3 tablespoons melted butter, cooled slightly
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
- 10-12 slices of bacon, cooked and roughly chopped into chunks
- 1 cup Thick Cut Four Cheese Mexican Style Shredded Cheese (cheddar, Monterey jack, asadero, and queso blanco)
- 1/2 cup Wickles Spicy Red Sandwich Relish (or chopped jalapenos)
- 1/2 tablespoon diced chipotle peppers (if desired, gives the cornbread a smoky heat)
- 1 tablespoon butter, for pan
- Place a 10-inch cast iron skillet or 8X8" Pyrex pan on middle rack in oven and preheat to 425°F.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. In a separate bowl, mix the buttermilk, eggs, sour cream, 3 tablespoons melted butter, and canola oil. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and whisk until combined. Stir in corn, bacon, cheese, relish, and peppers.
- Using pot holders, carefully remove hot pan from the oven. Place 1 tablespoon butter in the bottom of the skillet/pan and swirl to completely melt and coat bottom and sides. Pour in cornbread batter and place in oven.
- Bake until skewer inserted into middle of cornbread comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let bread cool in pan for 5 minutes before serving.
If you aren't a fan of spicy cornbread, omit the chipotle peppers, increase the cheese to 1 1/3 cups and increase the bacon to 12-15 slices. Customize the cornbread any way you want.
If you want just a delicious plain cornbread, omit the bacon, cheese, peppers, and relish.
While you don't have to cook the cornbread in a cast iron pan (I used a glass Pyrex baking pan because I don't have a 10" cast iron pan yet), it really does make a difference. Whatever you cook it in, just don't skip the melted butter in the preheated pan.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 291Total Fat: 16.7gSaturated Fat: 7.1gUnsaturated Fat: 9.6gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 707mgCarbohydrates: 27.3gFiber: 1.2gSugar: 9.2gProtein: 9.2g