This sweet cornbread recipe is my favorite. It’s an easy, moist, mildly sweet cornbread with buttermilk and fresh corn, baked as a homey loaf that’s ready in about an hour.
Meet this sweet cornbread recipe with buttermilk
I love cornbread (and baking with cornmeal, generally). Whether savory or sweet, cornbread feels intrinsically homey and tastes deeply satisfying.
I grew up on sweet cornbread. Recipes abound. Some sweet cornbread recipes taste almost like cake. Some cornbreads bake up crumbly and dense. But this recipe is my favorite sweet cornbread recipe. With buttermilk, corn, and sugar, melted butter, this lovely cornbread loaf is:
- Sweet, but not overly so,
- Dense and moist, and
- Keeps fresh for several days without drying out
I adapted this cornbread recipe from well-known Philadelphia bakery Le Bus’s cornbread loaf recipe. I simplified the baking time and ingredients, but the result is the same: the best cornbread loaf ever.
Sweet cornbread recipe ingredients
This sweet cornbread loaf recipe with buttermilk and corn can be made in minutes with only a mixing bowl and wooden spoon. You will need the following ingredients:
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Melted butter
- Buttermilk, and
- Corn kernels, such as fresh frozen corn
How to make this easy buttermilk cornbread loaf
To make this sweet cornbread recipe, you will need only two mixing bowls, a spoon, and a greased standard loaf pan.
- Mix together the dry ingredients. Separately mix together the eggs, melted butter, and buttermilk.
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix just until combined, adding the frozen or fresh corn kernels.
- Bake for about one hour.
Is cornbread supposed to be sweet?
Yes! Cornbread is supposed to be sweet. Cornbread is also “supposed” to be savory. There is no right or wrong when it comes to the sweetness of cornbread, only differing tastes and opinions based on regionalism and tradition. This sweet cornbread recipe is just as “correct” as its savory cousin. Neither is better or worse, just different. Some are both, such as this sweet and savory skillet cornbread recipe from Toni Tipton-Martin. More below.
Northern vs. Southern cornbread: the sweet vs. savory cornbread debate
The great cornbread sweet vs. savory debate elicits strong opinions. But the answer is that both sweet and savory cornbreads are correct.
The general assumption is that sweet cornbread is Northern cornbread, and savory cornbread hails from the South. But while generally accurate, this explanation is too general. The history of Northern vs. Southern/sweet vs. savory cornbread also touches on race, slavery, poverty and wealth, and indigenous American and African-American foodways.
P.S. How to Make Jiffy Cornbread Mix Sweet
Ok, this is a bit of an aside since this sweet cornbread recipe is made from scratch. But for all the Jiffy cornbread mix true believers out there, I have a great article all about how to hack Jiffy cornbread mix to make it sweet — plus lots more Jiffy mix add-in ideas and improvements.
Enjoy this simple buttermilk cornbread loaf on its own, or warm with good butter.
Love this easy cornbread loaf recipe? You’ll also like:
- Kamala’s Sausage Cornbread Dressing
- Skillet Cheddar and Green Chile Cornbread
- How to Make Jiffy Cornbread Mix Better
Sweet Buttermilk Cornbread Loaf
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt (I use Diamond Crystal)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup melted butter, slightly cooled (1 stick, or 4 ounces)
- 1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen (no need to thaw)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a standard loaf pan.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together: flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, bakings soda, and salt.
- In another mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and melted butter.PRO TIP: You can temper the butter and prevent it from seizing in the cold buttermilk. To do this, whisk a tablespoon or two of buttermilk into the melted butter, then add the tempered butter into the mixing bowl with the remaining buttermilk and eggs.
- Add the dry ingredients to the liquid along with the corn kernels, and stir just until combined.
- Bake the cornbread on the center rack for about 1 hour, give or take a few minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the loaf pan for about 20 minutes before turning onto a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.