How To Make Cornbread

how to make cornbread video – scroll down for recipe

The other night I was at a party and met this dude from Germany and he said something that kind of annoyed me about how “Americans have trouble with other languages”.

Obviously that is a ridiculously overarching generalization that surely would have really pissed off someone with just a touch more patriotism than me. But it did get me to thinking about something I’ve heard before that definitely does piss me off and that is how “Americans have no culture”, as stated by some snobby fucker from somewhere else or some self-loathing fucker who wishes he were from somewhere else.

And I admit, it’s kind of hard to define American Culture (and I am not accepting snarky answers like “consumerism”). But the German dude got me thinking again and it struck me that two words can basically sum up the reasoning behind every decision made by the government or the people of the United States: Fuck it.

I mean this in a positive way, for the most part. Like, in the Revolutionary War, the colonists were getting taxed by the British and they said “Fuck it” and started a war. Bam. Declaration of Independence and the US is made, brother. Fourth of July, fireworks, potato salad invented.

Or the California Gold Rush: What? There’s gold in a mountain that is two thousand miles away? “Fuck it, I’m goin’.” Bam. California gets annexed and Levi’s are invented.

Or when early American settlers wanted to make some white bread but all they had was corn and they were like “Fuck it” and cornbread got invented. And this is how they did it (sort of).

how to make cornbread- recipe



Traditional Southern Cornbread baked in a cast iron skillet

  • Yield: 8


  • 1 cup corn meal
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (or white flour)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup yogurt + 1/2 cup milk (OR 1 cup buttermilk)
  • 1/4 cup molasses, honey, or maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons butter or bacon grease
  • Optional: 1 fresh or pickled jalapeno, minced


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Whisk together dry ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Mix together wet ingredients in another bowl or large measuring cup.
  4. Melt the butter in a cast iron skillet (or 8×8″ square pan).
  5. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ones (add the jalapenos now if you like) and pour the batter into the melted butter.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes.
  7. Cut into 8 squares or wedges.
  8. Serve warm with butter

See? Thanks to the American Culture of Fuck It, we have cool shit here now. Of course, sometimes it backfires and we get in trouble, maybe get our asses beat a little, but fuck it. That’s America.


  1. Great Stone Face on November 30, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    I notice you didn’t add any salt. Is that because of the sodium in the baking soda or was the butter salted?

    The molasses sounds like a good idea. I’ll have to try it. I have some honey I got in Round Rock and some New Hampshire maple syrup, so I’ll try them later.

    How about a potato pancake episode? Doesn’t have to be for Hanukkah; it could be a Fredericksburg, TX, thing with sauerbraten.

    • Hilah Cooking on November 30, 2010 at 7:24 pm

      I just don’t use salt in baked things and I only use unsalted butter. I don’t miss it at all and I get plenty of sodium from everywhere else. You can use salted butter, though, if you like, or add 1/2 t of salt to the recipe. Bone appeteet!

  2. matt gordon on November 30, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    this is a dangeresque post for my free association. while i would agree with your german guest, i can say that americans are great as saying f%ck it to the world and this might be why they dont like us but want to be here.

    the corn bread will be tasty. the lack of sodium might be covered in the milk or baking powder/soda. this is be a tasty treat on top of my chili or the veggie chili from awhile back

    oh, and tell the german dude that his culinary traditions of braunsweiger and sauerkraut give us gas

    • Hilah Cooking on November 30, 2010 at 7:25 pm

      Wait a second. You agree that Americans have trouble learning other languages? Expound.

      • matt gordon on November 30, 2010 at 8:26 pm

        totally agree. it is in our cultural dna. think about how we behave diplomatically and economically. not to say we should be force to learn a second language, but take the german. most germans are near fluent in a second lang. after high school (french/english). also, based on economics and geopolitics, europeans need to be to survive or do business. americans are isolated on a continent and the canadians or mexicans have no pull to encourage us away from just english.
        also, some might disagree, but we are notoriously innovative in our language that other ESL speakers can become colloquial language speakers and thrive. how many american would ever tweet or facebook in a second language. non-native english language speakers do it profundly well.
        the internet is basically a social scientists wet dream come true. there is so much data for them and check what language (english) and what nationality (american) was the main driver. funny but we would never feel a compulsion to or desire to try to open a blog in a second language. foreigners do it constantly and they make $$$

        • Jamie K on December 1, 2010 at 7:51 am

          As you said, Americans are not close to the diverse languages of Europe. I teach ESL to Japanese students, and I find that much of what they learn re: English is from Hollywood, television or music. Bollywood or the Chinese television has nowhere near the reach and breadth into world cultures as many forms of American entertainment. Sure, Americans can be cocky and self-righteous, but how many Chinese phrases are spoken outside of that country? Personally, I wish Americans would learn more languages because I think it gives better insight into different cultures and their histories, as well as better vocabularies.

          • Hilah Cooking on December 1, 2010 at 1:09 pm

            Thanks, Jamie! Good points. I think learning other languages makes us smarter and more compassionate. And who doesn’t want to be smarter and nicer?!

        • Jamie K on December 1, 2010 at 7:57 am

          Oh, and I often do write on facebook in French or Japanese.

          • matt gordon on December 1, 2010 at 10:48 am

            that is awesome jaime. i want to be your facebook friend now.

        • Hilah Cooking on December 1, 2010 at 1:07 pm

          Matt, I think you are mixing up ability with action here. The fact that languages beyond English are not given attention in early childhood education (when it is way easier to learn language) in the US has no bearing on the innate ability of children here to learn languages beyond English. That “Americans have trouble with other languages” is wrong. It would be more correct to say, “Adults have trouble with other languages”. (And I think this is especially interesting given that the US has no official language.)
          I do think you are right about the self-contained continent being part of the reason that non-English languages aren’t stressed in education, but in Texas anyway, Spanish is probably spoken by as many people (first language) as English. In fact, “bilingual Sp-En” is a requirement for most jobs here.

          • matt gordon on December 1, 2010 at 1:53 pm

            yeah, i didnt think through the difference very clearly. i think that it is more in our nurture than nature. i know the neuroplasicity of the brain decreases asymptotically as we age so you are right that kids could get it if exposed.

            and it is true that austin is closer to the boarder so a working knowledge of spanglish would be crucial.
            even though we have no official language, the practical language is english. this is more for economic/legal consequences but i do know ny’ers and sf’ers who go through their day in mandarin or spanish. 1 is even a native english speaker.

          • Hilah Cooking on December 2, 2010 at 4:45 pm

            That is crazy! I have also heard from people in Northern states that French is their second language of choice due to the proximity to Canada.

          • Great Stone Face on December 3, 2010 at 3:59 am

            I’ve mentioned I’m originally from New Hampshire. I never learned French, but there was a lot of it floating around the non-French community when I was a kid, like stores with “Ici un parle Francais” signs; calling nutty kids in school “foo-foo”; pea soup for lunch; nicknaming a girl “Bijou”; etc. When I go back up there, we sometimes have pork pie.

          • Hilah Cooking on December 3, 2010 at 3:07 pm

            Really? That is interesting. I think the only times I’ve been to NH were when I lived in Boston and we had to drive up there to get booze on Sundays.

          • Great Stone Face on December 3, 2010 at 3:34 pm

            New Hampshire — where the state sells hard liquor by the bottle at highway toll plazas and the car license plates mention death. Take that, Texas!

          • Jamie K on December 3, 2010 at 11:19 am

            You mean New England states? I think that is quite interesting. I wonder if it will ever get more south because Spanish has seemed to diffuse rather quickly. Even here in KY, Spanish is quite useful because of the service industry. We have a pretty good sized population of Spanish-speakers here. I can’t speak much, but my French helps me understand a good portion of things said. Otherwise, my French is useless. The little Japanese I know is actually more useful than my French!

          • Hilah Cooking on December 3, 2010 at 3:03 pm

            I meant Maine, I guess, really. Like, way up top. I think there is Spanish all over the country now, too.

        • Kate on August 2, 2012 at 9:25 pm

          Totally agree in every way. It’s actually embarrassing that we don’t teach other languages as a compulsory subject, but other countries do. I don’t see any humor at all, as many Americans do, in so-called “Engrish” jokes or “bastardized English” by Non Native English Speakers. Go to China and try to write a sign in their language, or speak So few of us can, and yet we find it humorous that they can speak Eng”rish” and get their point across, but in a slightly quirky way. My hats off to all Non Native English Speakers. Wish I was adept at learning other languages. I tried. I am not. I wasn’t.

      • Leah Phelps on August 17, 2017 at 1:27 pm

        I speak two languages. English, and Pig Latin! Ancay Ouyay? Since I was a child, too! 🐖🐷🐗

  3. Laurel on December 1, 2010 at 4:05 am

    If I could turn back time. If I could find a way. I’d go back two or was it three nights and make this cornbread with my chili and you’d stay….

    • Hilah Cooking on December 1, 2010 at 12:53 pm

      Yes, I would, Laurel.

  4. Jamie K on December 1, 2010 at 8:24 am

    Ooo… never made cornbread with a buttermilk before. Well, f**k it. I’ll try this out, and I’ll use some good ‘ole blackstrap molasses to knock up the nutrient quotient. Looks so good!

    • Hilah Cooking on December 1, 2010 at 1:11 pm

      Yes! Molasses is so good and good for you!

  5. Pyquila on December 2, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    Imho Americans tend to overestimate the language skills of us Europeans. I’m dutch myself and speak only Dutch (doh!) and English. Can order booze (and some food) in Spanish, German, Portugese and even Italian. But making conversation in these languages, no way! Now i might not be the sharpest pencil in the box when it comes to linguistics (had to look that one up). But the French, German and English classes i had at school didn’t really help me much.

    Most bigger countries in Europe are still focused inwards. France, Germany and Spain still dub their movies for instance. And even English is not spoken (well) by many, even younger people. Something i was reminded of this weekend trying to find a packet of Gauloises Blondes in Paris. A french cigarette brand… oh the irony..

    • Hilah Cooking on December 2, 2010 at 4:43 pm

      Pyquila! Thanks for chiming in. I suspected as much…but still the fact that you speak (and apparently write) fluently in two languages puts you ahead of most people I know. But the times, they are changing, and elementary and even preschools here are taking Spanish more seriously at least. My Spanish is passable, although admittedly most of my conversations in Spanish are work-related only and so my vocabulary about non-dental-related subjects has atrophied since college. But really, thanks for writing.

  6. Moosie on December 7, 2010 at 3:00 am

    I strongly disagree with the German guy. Americans don’t have trouble with other languages. It’s just that when someone wants us to bother learning some off beat language we don’t need, like German, our natural reaction is… Fuck it.

    Tried the cornbread today, had to come here to get the ingredient list. The only variation: I used real buttermilk. Yogurt? Fuck it. LOL

    The stuff is luscious! Served it up with a big pork roast, and there are leftovers for tomorrow. Yum!

    • Jamie K on December 7, 2010 at 5:39 am

      Considering English is a Germanic language, calling German “off beat” is perhaps stretching it. Even saying that such a language is not useful is overlooking how learning any different language really does help one with vocabulary and cultural education. Of course, many Americans seem pretty good at saying, “Fuck it,” to education as a whole (and our education system shows it).

      • Moosie on December 7, 2010 at 5:54 am

        My comment has nothing to do with the merits of languages. Perhaps you missed the humor in Hilah’s story about the cornbread recipe…

    • Hilah Cooking on December 7, 2010 at 1:06 pm

      Oh Moosie, you make me laugh.

  7. JoeHell67 on December 8, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    i agree with Pyquila 100%!
    I have a german Mother and grew up in Germany.
    Germans have problems with foreign languages too….
    They love to go to Spain or Italy for Vacation but do they speak italian or spanish? Nope… (well, maybe words like yes, no, thank you, goodbye..)

    “Americans have no culture” is a classic saying here in Germany…
    I find that very offending and if somebody tells it to my face i say
    something like “if you put canned corn in Chili con carne and call it Texas Chili, (like germans do), that’s not culture!”

    People could get shot over here for doing that.
    So be glad i’m telling ’em, ’cause i don’t want anybody to get hurt…

    Messing up fine Texas recipes…..geez…Fuck it!

    Joe from Germany (no, not the dude from the party..)

    • Hilah Cooking on December 8, 2010 at 6:53 pm

      Joe from Germany! Thanks for visiting the website! I’m so happy to see you commenting here.

  8. Dissatisfied reader on March 1, 2011 at 9:33 am

    I was very shocked to see the language you felt you needed to use to describe Americans like yourself but not all Americans have foul mouths as you. Also not all Americans like the so called SWEET cornbread so why not publish the real old fashion original cornbread.

    • Hilah Cooking on March 1, 2011 at 4:39 pm

      Dear Dissatisfied,
      I’m sorry you took offense with the way I view and discuss my culture. Perhaps we are not a good match. I wish you luck in finding a cornbread recipe more suitable for your tastes.
      All the best,

  9. Gill Joseph on April 4, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    I’m just working my way back through a few of your videos, and seriously – stop doing this to me! Now I want cornbread too!

    At this rate, I’ll be HUGE in two months’ time, and I won’t fit into any of my dresses, and I’ll have gigantic thighs, and coronary problems, and…

    Fuck it.

    I’m going to make some cornbread now.

    • Hilah Cooking on April 4, 2011 at 4:54 pm

      No way, Gill! Cornbread is totally healthy…as long as you don’t put a bunch of cheese in it and eat an entire pot of chili, too. Which you could do if you wanted. 😉

  10. Great Stone Face on June 12, 2011 at 11:20 am

    I made your recipe today for a cookout. It looks great and my taste test confirmed it.

    • Hilah on June 13, 2011 at 8:12 am

      Major YUMS! Whole wheat flour and maple syrup cannot be beat!

  11. David on December 31, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Holy shite! I just made this and it’s seriously the best cornbread I have ever had!

    • Hilah on December 31, 2012 at 8:51 pm

      Score one for David! 🙂 Happy New Year!

  12. Ebonee on January 3, 2013 at 7:57 am

    I just came across your videos and website!!! I definitely have to try this recipe!! I usually just doctor up my Jiffy. Lol! When I was a little girl living in Lake Charles, we started learning French in elementary school. So, I guess it just depends on where you are in the US. Oh and BTW a second language is required for graduation in most high schools as well!

    • Hilah on January 3, 2013 at 1:23 pm

      Thanks, Ebonee! That is so cool that you learned French that young. I guess I should know it, but it still surprises me every time I am reminded that people still speak French in Louisiana. Thanks for chiming in on the discussion. 🙂

  13. Zackery on February 15, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    I just made this and used white flour and honey..smells soooo amazing! I dont quite remember what it tastes like though 😛

    • Hilah on February 18, 2013 at 11:47 am

      I’m sure it was delicious, Zackery!

  14. William on April 15, 2013 at 4:05 am

    American doesn’t have a culture. It has many cultures. Southern, Yankee, Mid-western. Plus all the different cultures who went to America.

    I am a Brit living in Denmark, half the TV here is from the US, pop music, clothes, and masses of other things. Not to forget elite culture. Yet, Euro-knobheads will say America has no culture.

    • Hilah on April 15, 2013 at 10:34 am

      Thank you, William! Well said. 🙂

  15. Rick on September 5, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Hi Hilah,

    I’ve made my cornbread the same way for years but I also make a version with some diced jalapeños, diced red bell pepper (mainly for some color), a small can of drained corn kernels and some chopped onion. Gives the cornbread a nice “kick”. I also use my big cast iron skillet and double the recipe. Can’t ever have enough cornbread !!!

    • Hilah on September 5, 2013 at 7:15 pm

      Great additions, Rick. I love having leftover cornbread for breakfast, so you’re right – never can have too much!

      • Great Stone Face on September 5, 2013 at 8:36 pm

        When I was a kid, I’d go with my Mom to a lunch counter that served grilled corn muffins. They’d slice off the top, butter the cut sides, and put the cut sides down on the griddle. They’d weight it down on top, for a nice even browning. I still do that at home with leftover cornbread.

        • Hilah on September 6, 2013 at 3:14 pm

          That is the kind of attention to detail I love in a place! Weighting them seems like it would turn them into a sweet crispy corn cake. Yum!

  16. keren on January 30, 2014 at 10:36 am

    can u bake it in the oven without the iron pan ?

    • Hilah on February 1, 2014 at 10:07 am

      Yes, you can use an 8 inch square pan or round cake pan.

  17. Paul on May 4, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    The recipe we like that we got from an old timer here in Western NC uses 2 cups White corn meal and no sweeteners. Also uses 4 Tbs butter. Technique a tad different as the cast iron pan is put in a 450 degree oven until very hot. Butter is melted and stir into the batter, then poured into the pan. Bake 25 min. I love baking this in our hearth fireplace in the winter.

    • Hilah on May 5, 2014 at 5:56 pm

      Nothing better than corn bread baked in cast iron!

  18. Melissa on May 24, 2014 at 11:54 pm

    From a Californian who lived in Texas for a while (Bryan-College Station): I shouldn’t comment, since I mayn’t eat cornbread anymore, but my favorite recipe till I lost it was a cornbread made with half white flour and half yellow corn meal; corn oil; drained kernel corn; milk; a sizable quantity of grated sharp cheddar cheese; jalapenos; something for red color, can’t remember what — pimientos? It wasn’t sweet (I’ve had GREAT sweet cornbread in New Orleans), but oily and HOT and oh so good it’s hard to stop eating it. Well, I’ve eaten a lot of good things in my life. Now that I’ve had to stop eating them doesn’t stop me from recommending them to others. Eat well, brothers & sisters! And thank you, Hilah, for your wonderful videos and blog posts!

    • Hilah on May 27, 2014 at 6:26 pm

      Oh. My. I know what I am making for dinner tonight! The way you described that hot, oily cornbread sounds like heaven, Melissa.

  19. Sam on June 9, 2015 at 12:49 am

    Can I replace yeast instead of baking powder ?

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