Corn bread is a baker's best-kept secret. It takes about 45 minutes start-to-finish and only a handful of staple pantry ingredients to whip up a batch from scratch. We'll show you how to make the best corn bread and share some of our favorite recipes so you can share this yummy side with everyone.
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Soups, salads, and barbecue make traditional partners for corn bread, but we think this versatile quick bread goes with just about anything. Serve corn bread with butter, apple butter, honey, jam, or maple syrup. We'll teach you everything you need to know (including what kind of cornmeal to use) and show you step-by-step how to make homemade corn bread. You can also use our tips to change up your corn bread a bit by turning it into corn bread muffins or sticks, or adding corn kernels to the batter. Learning how to make corn bread has never been simpler.

Get Our Classic Corn Bread Recipe

How to Make Corn Bread

If you want to learn how to make corn bread moist, our Test Kitchen's easy corn bread recipe (pictured above) is a great place to start. That's the recipe we're using in this guide, but you can use your favorite recipe.

Step 1: Preheat Oven and Prepare Your Pan

When looking for what temperature to bake corn bread, we found 400°F to work the best. Many other baking recipes use a lower oven temperature, but corn bread develops its signature slightly crispy sides and bottom best with a hotter oven. As for your corn bread pan, grease an 8-inch baking pan ($12, Amazon) or 9-inch round baking pan ($10, Amazon).

Step 2: Mix the Dry Ingredients

In a medium bowl stir together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Set the bowl aside.

Test Kitchen Tip: Cornmeal has a low gluten content (some is gluten-free), so for optimal texture, it is usually combined with wheat flour or another higher-gluten flour, as in our recipe. If you have allergy restrictions, try swapping the all-purpose flour with our gluten-free flour mix.

How to Make Sweet Corn Bread

The sweetness of your corn bread can suit your personal preference. Some like it sweet and cakelike, while others prefer no added sugar. We give a range of sugar options (2 to 4 Tbsp.) in the recipe so you can choose how sweet you want your batch.

Step 3: Mix Together the Batter

In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, and melted butter. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture all at once. Stir until just moistened. Pour batter into prepared pan. The batter will be lumpy. Overcome the urge to mix until smooth. Overmixing can cause the corn bread to peak and have tunnels, which can result in a tough texture.

Step 4: Bake and Serve

Bake 20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. With a serrated knife ($8, Target), cut the corn bread into 8 to 10 squares or wedges. Serve the corn bread warm. Or cool completely, wrap in plastic wrap or foil, place in a resealable plastic bag or storage container, and store at room temperature for up to 3 days. You can also freeze corn bread for up to 3 months.

Buttermilk Skillet Corn Bread
Credit: Jason Donnelly
Try Our Buttermilk Skillet Corn Bread

How to Make Corn Bread in a Cast-Iron Skillet

Looking for those crispy edges on corn bread? Start with a hot buttered skillet. The butter also adds flavor. If using this method, work quickly so your batter gets into the pan while the pan is still hot.

  • Prepare corn bread in the steps above but instead of greasing the pan, add butter to a cast-iron skillet ($23, Amazon) and place it in the preheated oven for about 3 minutes or until the butter melts. Remove the skillet from the oven and swirl the melted butter to coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Pour the melted butter into the egg mixture (Step 3). Continue as directed in Step 4.

How to Choose Cornmeal for Corn Bread

White, yellow, and blue corn kernels are dried and ground to make cornmeal. The various colors of cornmeal look different but taste similar and are interchangeable in baking. The grind can vary as well, including fine, medium, and coarse. Which one you choose is a matter of preference; the various grinds can affect the texture and thickness of the batter. Medium to coarse grinds will provide a crunchier, more crumbly corn bread while fine cornmeal creates a delicate texture.

You might see the words stone-ground on some packages. This means the cornmeal is ground in the traditional way, which retains the germ. Keep in mind that stone-ground cornmeal, while more nutritious, has a shorter shelf life and should be refrigerated or frozen for longer storage.

Test Kitchen Tip: Try substituting ½ cup stone-ground whole-grain cornmeal for ½ cup of the yellow corn meal in our corn bread recipe using the steps above. This provides a slightly coarser texture to your corn bread.

Flavored Slow Cooker Corn Bread
Credit: Jason Donnelly
Try Making Corn Bread In Your Slow Cooker

Corn Bread Variations

Once you've mastered how to make corn bread from scratch, use our variations (under the same recipe) to make green chile corn bread, corn bread muffins, or corn sticks. Give your corn bread a taste of fall by making corn bread with pumpkin. Add an irresistible crunch with our bacon corn bread. Of course, you'll also want to make homemade corn bread dressing around the holidays.

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