Recipe for Corn Bread, Two Ways

Though only two of the tasty options are presented here — airy and sweet or dense and filling — cast-iron is perfect for any cornbread variety you desire.

November 2016

  • This version of cornbread has all of the cornmeal flavor you’re looking for, but with the sweetness and lightness of cake.
    Photo by Keller + Keller Photography
  • “Cast-Iron Cooking: Recipes and Tips for Getting the Most out of Your Cast-Iron Cookware” by Rachael Narins.
    Photo courtesy Storey Publishing

Yield: 4-6 servings

Cast-iron pans are the most versatile utensil you could have in your kitchen. Good for everything from baking to slow-cooking, ovens to campfires, steaks to desserts, there’s almost no dish you can’t make better with this well-seasoned, non-stick skillet. So how do you keep it cooking to perfection? And with which recipes do you start? In Cast-Iron Cooking (Storey Publishing, 2016), Rachael Narins has the answers. With tips and tricks for caring for your cast-iron, as well as delicious food ideas for every occasion, this cookbook is a must-have for readers looking to get the most out of this ideal pan.

You can purchase this book from the Capper's Farmer store: Cast-Iron Cooking.

Corn bread has been made in as many versions as there are stars in the sky. There’s Northern, which is sweet, and Southern, which is typically made with white corn. Then there’s Southwestern-style, with chiles and fresh corn kernels; and the list goes on. Here I present two variations: a “sweet and light” version that is light and cakey, and a “dense and intense” option that is perfect for drowning in buttermilk and eating with a spoon.


Sweet & Light Corn Bread

• 3 cups all-purpose flour
• 1-1/2 cups fine cornmeal
• 1-1/2 cups sugar
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
• 5 eggs
• 2 cups milk
• 1/2 cup vegetable oil
• 2 tablespoons butter

Dense & Intense Corn Bread

• 2-1/2 cups medium-grind cornmeal
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 2 tablespoons sugar (optional)
• 1 tablespoon kosher salt
• 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil


Sweet & Light Corn Bread

1. Place a 12-inch cast-iron skillet in the oven on the middle rack and preheat to 350 degrees F/175 C.

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

3. Separate the eggs, putting the yolks in a large bowl and the whites in a medium bowl. Add the milk and oil to the yolks and stir to combine. Using a hand mixer or a whisk, whip the whites until they hold a medium peak.

4. Meanwhile, remove the pan from the oven and add the butter. Return the pan to the oven to melt the butter.

5. Stir the egg yolk mixture into the dry ingredients. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter until just combined. Pour the batter into the pan and return it to the oven for 40 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan, slice, and serve.

Dense & Intense Corn Bread

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F/175 C.

2. Combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar (if using), salt, and baking powder in a large bowl. Add the oil and enough water to form a loose batter.

3. Pour into a well-oiled 10-inch cast-iron skillet. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The bread will be dense and dark golden brown. Serve warm.

More from Cast-Iron Cooking:

Tzimmes with Seitan Recipe
Cast-Iron Dutch Baby with Blueberry Sauce Recipe
Cast-Iron Salmon Cakes Recipe

Excerpted from Cast-Iron Cooking, © by Rachael Narins, photography © by Keller + Keller Photography, used with permission from Storey Publishing. Buy this book from our store: Cast-Iron Cooking.

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