Bread Baker: Super Moist Cornbread

I know this recipe might be considered cheating – cornbread uses baking powder as its leavener, not yeast. You don’t need to wait for cornbread to rise before you pop it into the oven.

This bread is a perfect recipe to feature during spring cleaning week, however, because it’s important to have fresh baking powder when cooking. Got old baking powder? Toss it in the trash. Your light and airy baked goods will thank you later.

(Learn how to test the freshness of your baking powder, and find out what happens to baked goods when it’s not.)

Second only to my obsession with chewy cookies, I’m obsessed with moist cornbread. I don’t want cornbread that is dry and crumbles easily, and needs a thick pat of melted butter. Instead, I want cornbread that is slightly tacky and slightly chewy and has some heft to it, without being too dense.

All cornbread recipes are fairly similar; the recipe below incorporates all the methods and ingredients I use for super moist bread. The secret is creamed corn. Creamed corn is great for two reasons – it provides extra moisture, and it gives the bread some extra bite and texture. I’ve tried different amounts of creamed corn, and three-fourths of a cup seems about right. A whole cup (or about one small 8.5-ounce can) makes the bread just a little bit too dense, with too much added texture.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk (I’ve tried both buttermilk and “regular” milk, and I like using regular milk better. It makes the corn flavor stronger.)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (Using maple syrup is a trick I learned from King Arthur Flour – based in Vermont. Other options are honey, molasses or white sugar. I strongly prefer using maple syrup to white sugar.)
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup creamed corn

Step 1. Heat your oven to 425 degrees F and lightly grease a 8 x 8-inch pan.

Step 2. Combine the dry ingredients (flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt) and whisk together in a medium bowl.

Step 3. Combine the milk, maple syrup, melted butter and eggs in a large measuring cup and whisk together, thoroughly.

Step 4. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients, and fold in. When everything is about half mixed together, add the creamed corn. Continue folding, until everything is just combined. Lumps are good.

Step 5. Pour the batter into the greased pan, and cook for 20-25 minutes, until the top of the cornbread has browned and a toothpick comes out clean. Avoid browning your bread too much – that will dry it out.

 

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  • randeegf

    I’m going to try this recipe this week! It sounds delicious.

  • Anonymous

    Why do some recipes call for unsalted butter?  I’ve always wondered that.  For instance, your cornbread recipe calls for 1/2 tsp salt and unsalted butter.  It’s just hard to remember to keep the freezer stocked with both kinds of butter.  Anyway, I’ll be trying your recipe this week — it’ll go great with some homemade chili!

    • http://themanlyhousekeeper.com Mark Evitt

      Great question – I use unsalted butter in all my baking recipes. I find it easier to measure and monitor the exact amount of salt that’s going into the dish I’m making. One stick of salted butter has about 1/4 teaspoon of salt in it. Instead of having to keep track of how much salt I’m adding via the butter, I just keep the two measurements separate. 

      Unsalted butter is also helpful to have on hand when baking sweets.

  • Christa the BabbyMama

    Just wanted to pop my head in to say that this recipe earned me mad cred from my southern friend.

  • Lisa

    My confession is that I lived 33 years in the “Deep South” and had never made cornbread (or anything else for that matter) from scratch…This recipe is completely fool-proof! I had to substitute goat’s milk (made from powder) and “homemade” creamed-corn because I only had regular corn. Not to mention the fact that I can barely follow instructions and mixed the creamed-corn with the other wet ingredients before mixing and forgot to grease the pyrex dish. It came out GREAT! I cannot wait to have it with chili tonight!

  • Lisa G

    OMG this cornbread is amazing! Hands down, this is the best cornbread I have ever made, thanks for sharing!

  • Notfurlong

    One word: DELICIOUS.

  • connor

    can i use margarine?
    ..i dont have any butter

  • Martha Palotay

    Oh my god this stuff is delicious. “Best cornbread I’ve ever eaten” doesn’t even begin to cover it! I did need to bake it longer than instructed, but that may have to do with my sister’s convection oven being a bit finicky.

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