This honey and buttermilk cornbread recipe is baked in a cast iron skillet and served with sweet and salty whipped honey butter! It's our all time favorite cornbread recipe - perfect for sharing at cookouts, potlucks, holidays and family parties.
For another homemade bread offering, try our easy oatmeal rolls recipe.
This easy skillet cornbread recipe uses lots of butter, buttermilk, honey and sugar for an irresistibly perfect side with a sweet flavor and a moist crumb. Here's what you'll need:
- Cornmeal - You can use any kind or cornmeal for this recipe. Personally, we like to use a medium ground yellow cornmeal for a good balance of color, fluffiness and gritty texture. For a more cake-like cornbread you can use finely ground corn flour. For more texture, use coarse ground cornmeal.
- All-purpose flour
- Baking soda - Make sure you are using fresh baking SODA and not baking powder!
- Salt - We use Diamond Crystal fine kosher salt. If using table salt, reduce quantities by about half.
- Honey & Sugar - This sweet cornbread recipe uses enough sugar to create a golden brown crust and honey for the best flavor!
- Butter - I usually bake with unsalted butter, but salted works here, too.
Baker's Journal: Baking with Buttermilk - Baking with buttermilk helps to keep baked goods tender and moist while imparting a hint of tangy flavor. If you don’t have real buttermilk, you can make your own by adding a splash of lemon juice to whole milk and letting it sit for about ten minutes.
How To Make Cast Iron Cornbread
Homemade cornbread comes together quick and easy! This recipe is designed to be baked in a 12 inch cast iron pan. It’s the perfect size for sharing at the dinner table or at your next barbecue. The cast iron skillet gives this cornbread a beautiful appearance with golden, crispy edges. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, feel free to bake this recipe in another large oven-safe dish.
Start by melting butter, sugar and honey in a small pot on the stovetop. Whisk until completely combined and the sugar is fully melted. (It should have a smooth texture when a little is rubbed between your fingers.) Set aside to cool slightly while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
Meanwhile, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking soda and fine kosher salt in a large bowl. Whisk the dry ingredients together and set aside.
In another bowl, whisk eggs together with buttermilk. For the best results, make the cornbread batter with room temperature ingredients.
Finally, pour the buttermilk and melted butter mixtures into the large bowl, over the dry ingredients. Stir together until the ingredients are just combined and cohesive.
Transfer the batter to a seasoned cast iron. Bake for about 35 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Allow the sweet skillet cornbread to cool before slicing and serving. While baking, prepare the whipped honey butter!
Silky Whipped Honey Butter
The only thing better than a hot skillet of freshly baked cornbread is a hot skillet of freshly baked cornbread with a generous topping of whipped honey butter! Take your time and allow the butter to whip for 5 - 10 minutes until it is pale, fluffy and silky smooth!
Add softened butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Allow the butter to whip on medium to medium high speed for about 5 minutes. Then, drizzle in the honey and add a pinch of flaky sea salt. Continue to whip for an additional 2 - 5 minutes until the honey butter is light and airy! Top the butter with an additional sprinkle of flaky sea salt and serve generously!
Leftover honey butter can be kept in the fridge for 2 - 3 months. It’s delightful on biscuits, muffins, pancakes and even savory foods like sweet potatoes and fried chicken!
Baking Tips & FAQ’s
Here are all of our tips and tricks for baking the perfect cornbread!
- Bake with room temperature ingredients. Allow the eggs and buttermilk to temper for a few minutes before baking. Then, after melting your butter with sugar and honey, allow that mixture to cool slightly. If too hot, you can risk scrambling the eggs in the batter!
- Do not over mix! The best cornbread has a moist, tender crumb. Mix the batter by hand (no mixers!) just until the cornmeal mixture is moistened and cohesive.
- Do not over bake. To avoid dry cornbread, watch it closely in the last minutes of baking! The top of the bread should be lightly golden and the the center should spring back when gently poked. If baking in a glass dish or cake pan, the baking time will likely vary from this recipe.
Frequently Asked Questions
This recipe is designed to be baked in a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet. If the bottom of the cornbread is sticking to your skillet, the cast iron may not be properly seasoned. Next time, try using a spritz of nonstick spray in the pan to help prevent sticking.
This cornbread recipe can be made using different types of cornmeal. Yellow, blue or white cornmeal can all be used. However, for this recipe, we prefer using yellow cornmeal. Yellow cornmeal has a slightly stronger corn flavor that pairs nicely with this recipes’ sweetness. You can use finely ground, medium ground, coarse ground, or a combination of cornmeals to achieve your desired cornbread texture.
Yes! You can add fresh, canned or frozen and thawed corn kernels to the final stage of mixing this recipe. If you are using canned corn, make sure the kernels are well drained and dried before folding them into the batter.
Storing Leftover Cornbread
- Room Temperature: Leftover cornbread can be stored in an airtight container on the countertop for 2 - 3 days. Since it can dry out a bit, we recommend microwaving slices of leftover cornbread for 15 - 30 seconds. Enjoy with a little extra butter!
- Freezer: Leftover cornbread can also be frozen. Wrap slices of leftover cornbread in plastic wrap AND place in a freezer-safe bag. Cornbread can be kept frozen for 2 - 3 months.
More Recipes To Love
Check out these other favorite recipes from The Sage Apron!
Sweet Skillet Cornbread with Honey Butter
- 1 12 Inch Cast Iron Skillet
- 1 Stand Mixer with Paddle Attachment (or Electric Mixer) (Optional for Honey Butter)
Sweet Skillet Cornbread
- 1 Cup butter (2 sticks)
- ½ Cup granulated sugar
- ½ Cup honey
- 1 ½ Cups cornmeal We like medium ground yellow cornmeal
- 1 ½ Cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 Tablespoon fine kosher salt*
- 1 Cup buttermilk room temperature
- 3 large eggs room temperature
Whipped Honey Butter
- 1 Cup butter softened to room temperature
- ¼ Cup honey
- Flaky finishing salt to taste
Sweet Skillet Cornbread
- Gather, measure and prepare the Sweet Skillet Cornbread ingredients as listed. Arrange a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat to 350° Fahrenheit (180° celsius).
- In a small sauce pot, melt the butter, sugar and honey together over medium heat. Do not boil. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Set aside to cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, baking soda and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk and eggs together.
- Pour both the melted butter and buttermilk mixtures over the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined.
- Pour the cornbread batter into a 12 inch cast iron skillet. Bake for about 35 minutes, rotating the skillet halfway through baking, or until the top is lightly golden brown and the center springs back when gently poked.
- Allow the cornbread to cool before slicing and serving. Serve with lots of whipped honey butter and an extra drizzle of honey.
Whipped Honey Butter
- Add butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a bowl with an electric mixer). Whip on medium speed for 5 minutes.
- Drizzle in honey and a sprinkle of flaky salt. Continue to whip on medium speed for 3 - 5 minutes or until honey butter is pale, light and fluffy. Serve butter on the side with an additional sprinkle of flaky finishing salt.
* A Note About Salt
Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on The Sage Apron are developed using Diamond Crystal Kosher salt. It is a great all-purpose salt for cooking and baking. If using table salt, reduce quantities by about half.