Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread

Cornbread should be tender which can be made more difficult if you live North of the Mason Dixon line like I do. Our hard winter wheat has a higher protein content than the soft winter wheat grown and milled in the South. In order to mimic the properties of flour produced in the South, I substitute a bit of cornstarch for the All-purpose flour normally used in a cornbread recipe. I know from my experience creating a homemade cake flour substitute that this combination would work very well to create a light, airy cake batter.

I like my cornbread to have a hint of sweetness. If you prefer a traditional Southern preparation, you can omit the sugar from the batter. Molasses can be substituted for the honey when mixing up the softened butter to spread on top of the warm cornbread. Leftover cornbread keeps very well for several days at room temperature. A warm slice makes a delicious breakfast when paired with a hot cup of coffee or tea.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6
Author Jennifer from 1840 Farm


  • 1 Tablespoons butter
  • 6 Tablespoons butter , room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons lard or bacon fat , room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs , room temperature
  • ¾ cup All-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 2 Tablespoons butter , room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon honey


  1. Place 1 Tablespoon of butter in a 9 inch cast iron skillet before placing on an oven rack positioned in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit as you mix the batter.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the butter, lard, and sugar until well combined. Add the eggs and stir to mix.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, cornmeal, salt, and baking powder. Use a whisk to combine. In a small bowl or cup, combine the butter milk and sour cream. Whisk or stir until smooth.
  4. Add half of the dry ingredients to the sugar and egg mixture, stirring to fully combine. Add the buttermilk and sour cream and stir before adding the remaining dry ingredients and stir until smooth.
  5. Carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven and tilt the pan to fully coat the bottom of the skillet with the melted butter. Don’t worry if the butter has browned. Add the batter carefully to the hot skillet and spread evenly to the edges of the pan. Return the skillet to the hot oven and bake for 25 – 30 minutes until the edges begin to pull away from the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out cleanly or with small crumbs attached.
  6. In a small bowl, combine the softened butter and honey. Spread the entire butter mixture over the top surface of the hot cornbread. Allow to cool slightly before slicing into wedges and serving warm.