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Cornbread Without Buttermilk

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Is it possible to make cornbread without buttermilk?  Recently, I was getting ready to make some cornbread when I realized that I didn’t have any buttermilk at home. 

Although the recipe I usually follow calls for buttermilk, I wanted to see if it was possible to adapt it to use other ingredients in its place. 

The result was this delicious sweetened cornbread that uses milk and baking soda to create the light fluffy crumb.  I have to admit it…this recipe is out of this world good!

I make this cornbread in a cake pan and bake it in the oven.  I know a lot of die-hard cornbread fans prefer to use a cast-iron skillet, but when I first made this recipe, I didn’t have a skillet, so I improvised.  I got amazing results from baking it in the oven, so now that’s how I always make it!

You can enjoy this sweetened cornbread for breakfast with some butter and honey, or on the side of a steaming bowl of chili.  However you decide to enjoy it, I can promise that you won’t be disappointed!

What You’ll Need to Make Cornbread Without Buttermilk

8-inch square cake pan (this one from Amazon is perfect)– make sure to grease the pan with a bit of butter or cooking spray. 

I also like to line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper; leaving an overhang of paper on two sides of the pan to use as ‘handles’ to lift the cornbread out of the pan once it has cooled.

  • Flour – all-purpose works well 
  • Cornmeal – you can usually find this next to the flour in most grocery stores
  • Sugar – granulated sugar is a good option
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt
  • Melted Butter
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Milk – 2% is a good choice
  • Eggs – use large eggs with this recipe

One of the great things about this cornbread is that it doesn’t require any fancy equipment.  Just a couple of bowls, a whisk or a fork, a wooden spoon, and some good old-fashioned elbow grease is all you need.

Tips for Making Cornbread Without Buttermilk

  1. Preheat your oven 20 minutes or so before you need it.  You want to make sure your oven is nice and hot so that the batter starts to rise as soon as it comes into contact with the heat.
  2. Use fresh baking soda for the most effective results.  Usually, an opened package of baking soda will last up to six months.
  3. Don’t overmix your batter.  Like muffins, the overmixed batter can result in dry, crumbly cornbread.
  4. If you’re mixing add-ins into your batter (see below), add them into the dry ingredients first.  A light coating of flour will ensure that everything doesn’t sink to the bottom of your cornbread.

Can I mix other things into my cornbread batter?

Sometimes plain is exactly what you’re looking for; however, when you want to dress your cornbread up a little bit, there are a lot of options to choose from. Feel free to throw in anything that speaks to you.

You might want to try:

  • Cheese
  • Bacon
  • Jalapenos or other hot peppers
  • Dried fruits such as currants or cranberries
  • Fresh fruit such as blueberries or apple
  • More corn – throwing in freshly cooked corn enhances the corn flavor

Can I use a different pan to bake my cornbread?

Yes, you can.  I like to use a metal baking pan in this recipe.  It gives the cornbread a golden-brown crust on the top, sides, and bottom.  

You can also use a glass baking dish which will give similar results to a metal one.

If you have a cast-iron skillet, this would also be a good option to use.

The main thing you want to remember is that whichever dish you choose to use, just make sure that it is ovenproof.

How do I store this cornbread?

Store leftover cornbread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. You can also freeze the cornbread for up to 1 month. Frozen cornbread can be thawed at room temperature for one hour.

You’ll love the results of this cornbread without buttermilk!  Let me know in the comments how it goes!

Make Cornbread Without Buttermilk in 5 Easy Steps

Preheat your oven and prepare your pan.

Step 1: Whisk together all of the dry ingredients.

Step 2: Combine all of the wet ingredients and beat in the eggs.

Step 3: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon to combine.

Something really cool happens here…the baking soda and the liquids combine and there’s a lot of fizzing action.  This is good.  You want to get your cornbread into the oven quickly to take advantage of all of this leavening power.

Step 4: Bake for 35 minutes. 

Step 5: Let the cornbread cool for 30 minutes and enjoy!

Cornbread Without Buttermilk

Cornbread Without Buttermilk

Yield: 9 large pieces of cornbread
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

The easiest cornbread recipe ever: no buttermilk, no problem!


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup of unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 ¼ cups of milk (2% or whole)
  • 3 large eggs


Preheat your oven to 350 F/180C.

Grease your baking pan with butter or non-stick cooking spray.  Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper; leaving an overhang on two sides.

Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter, oil, milk, and eggs until combined.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined.  Do not over mix.

Pour the batter in your prepared pan and bake on the center rack for 35 – 40 minutes.  The cornbread will be done when it has turned light golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Leave to cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then remove from the pan to cool completely on a wire rack.

Serve warm with butter and honey.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 9 Serving Size: 1 large piece
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 475Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 92mgSodium: 936mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 2gSugar: 22gProtein: 7g

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One Comment

  1. Super delicious cornbread recipe. The taste reminds me of my Grandmother’s cornbread. She was one of the best cooks who never measured any of the ingredients for recipes she had been making since childhood because she was so experienced. She was born in a sod cabin in the western territories where they made everything from scratch. Thankyou for this recipe, Jaron!

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