With a delicious blend of buttermilk, cornmeal, and sugars, this subtly sweet and spongy buttermilk cornbread is an iconic side dish for any dinner or holiday.

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Buttermilk cornbread cut into squares and stacked in a bowl.

About Buttermilk Cornbread

There are few things that complete a comforting meal like cornbread.

Unless, of course, you’re talking about buttermilk cornbread.

But then again, that could be the southerner in me talking. I grew up having cornbread as a staple for holidays and events, so I had a bit of culture shock when I moved to the southwest. Cornmeal is used in abundance out here, but cornbread? And quality cornbread, too, with rich flavor?

It’s surprisingly hard to find.

Which, of course, lead to me fixing that problem myself by whipping up one of the most well-rounded cornbread recipes I’ve ever had. It’s become my go-to whenever the occasion arises.

What kind of spreads can you use with cornbread?

This cornbread recipe has a mild, subtle flavor, so it’d be ideal for jazzing up with a flavorful buttery spread. If you’re looking for some ideas, any of the following spreads would be delicious:

Close up of a square of buttermilk cornbread.

Should cornbread be sweet?

The sweetness of cornbread is a topic of much debate, especially if you’re from the southern United States.

In the south, they’re adamant that sugar does not belong in cornbread. They liken sweet cornbread to Jiffy mix and prefer their cornbread have very few sweeteners and smaller amounts of flour (or no flour at all).

In the northern United States, the sugar and flour content in cornbread tends to be is higher, giving the cornbread that sweet (and Jiffy-like?) taste.

As far as this recipe, it does include two types of sugar and four, making it more like the northern variety of cornbread than the southern.

How long is buttermilk cornbread good for?

Once prepared and cooled, buttermilk cornbread can be stored in a sealed container in the counter for up to three days.

Can you freeze cornbread?

Yes, you totally can!

When stored in an airtight container or freezer bag, this buttermilk cornbread will keep its “best” quality for about two or three months. After that point, the texture of the bread might change, but it will remain good for up to four months frozen.

notes & tips for buttermilk cornbread

  • Don’t have any buttermilk? No problem! To make 1 cup of buttermilk: Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to a measuring cup. Next, pour in milk, filling up to 1 full cup. Let mixture sit for at least 5 minutes or until mixture begins to curdle. Give the mixture a whisk to fully incorporate, then use it in a recipe as directed. If you need more than 1 cup, just adjust the amounts accordingly. For example, this recipe uses 2 1/2 cups, so you’d use 2 1/2 tablespoons of lemon juice or vinegar and then fill the measuring cup up with milk to 2 1/2 cups.
Spreading butter on a half of buttermilk cornbread.

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How to make buttermilk cornbread

This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.

Step 1 – In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: yellow cornmeal, flour, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, baking powder, and kosher salt.

Step 2 – In another bowl, add the buttermilk and eggs. Use a hand mixer to blend them together until the egg yolks are incorporated. Add the vegetable oil, then mix a bit more.

Step 3 – Working in batches, add the dry ingredients to the wet until a liquid batter forms (a few clumps is okay).

Step 4 – Pour the batter into a 9×13 baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Gently tap the edges of the pan to shake out any big air bubbles.

Step 5 – Bake!

Step 6 – Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Details

Buttermilk cornbread cut into squares and stacked in a bowl.
4.65 from 14 votes

Buttermilk Cornbread

15 minutes prep + 50 minutes cook
225 kcal
Yields: 16 squares
With a delicious blend of buttermilk, cornmeal, and sugars, this subtly sweet and spongy buttermilk cornbread is an iconic side dish for any dinner or holiday.



  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a deep 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray, then set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together yellow cornmeal, flour, sugar, light brown sugar, baking powder, and kosher salt until thoroughly mixed, then set aside.
  • In another large mixing bowl, add buttermilk and eggs. Using a hand mixer, beat together on low speed until eggs are thoroughly incorporated. Add the vegetable oil then mix for another 15-20 seconds.
  • Begin adding the dry ingredients to the wet, adding 1-2 cups at a time and mixing in between. Continue until all dry ingredients have been added and mixture just begins to look smooth (a few lumps are okay.)
  • Pour batter into prepared baking dish and gently shake to even out the top and release any bubbles.
  • Bake cornbread for 50 to 55 minutes or until a tester toothpick comes out completely clean. Let cornbread cool completely in the baking dish. Once cool, lay a towel across the top of the cornbread, hold it flat with your hand, then flip the baking dish over to release the cornbread. If desired, cut away any dark parts of the cornbread that touched the sides of the pan.
  • Cut cornbread into 16 squares (or whatever size you see fit).
  • Serve immediately.


Serving: 1square | Calories: 225kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 351mg | Potassium: 305mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 129IU | Calcium: 122mg | Iron: 2mg

I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.

Author: Chrisy

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Recipe Rating


    • Shelia

    Yes I used to use dried buttermilk in some things I baked also don’t remember the brand only that the can was red and white I believe, it worked well, no altering the flavor or anything.

    • Diann A.

    There is a baking product, dried Powdered Buttermilk. It comes in a canister and is stored in the kitchen cabinet. It is mixed with water as you need it & it lasts almost forever. The one I buy is The Saco Pantry brand, there may be others on line. Dee

    • Richa Gupta
    • 5 stars

    I recently had cornbread muffins and loved them! I have to try your recipe now!