Cheesy Buttermilk Skillet Cornbread

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This cheesy buttermilk skillet cornbread is super fluffy on the inside & crisp on the outside! Full of sharp cheddar & glazed with honey butter.

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cheesy buttermilk skillet cornbread

In this recipe, we’re making a classic, skillet-baked buttermilk cornbread but taking it to another level by adding a whole load of mature cheddar to the batter then glazing it with honey butter once baked.

The result? A homemade cornbread that’s super soft & fluffy in the middle, incredibly crisp on the outside & jam packed full of flavour. Proper tasty stuff!

What Is Cornbread?

Cornbread is a type of quick bread that is made with cornmeal (this is a type of coarse flour made from dried corn). Incredibly popular across America, cornbread is made with a batter & has a light & fluffy crumb and a super crisp crust. However, the flavour, texture & level of sweetness of this bread will vary between region.

Quick bread – A bread made with chemical raising agents instead of yeast.

skillet cornbread cut into portions

What You’ll Need

  • Cornmeal/Polenta – Fine yellow cornmeal is best for cornbread but white cornmeal or polenta will work just as well!
  • Flour – Using plain flour as well as cornmeal prevents the bread being too crumbly.
  • Buttermilk – This gives our cornbread a subtle tangy flavour & a soft texture.
  • Butter – Make sure to use unsalted butter in the batter, for cooking & in the glaze.
  • Eggs – You’ll need two large eggs for this recipe. Room temperature is best!
  • Raising Agents – We’re using baking powder & bicarbonate of soda for this cornbread. The buttermilk will react with the bicarb, making the cornbread even lighter!
  • Salt – We’re using a tsp of table salt in the batter for the best flavour.
  • Cheese – I’d recommend using a mature cheddar for this cornbread but feel free to use a different cheese if you’d prefer! Gruyere or Red Leicester would work as well.
  • Honey – We’re glazing the cornbread with honey & butter once it has baked. The sweetness cuts through the sharpness from the cheddar nicely.

How To Make Cheesy Buttermilk Skillet Cornbread

The full, printable recipe card for this cornbread can be found at the bottom of this post!

  1. Melt butter – First we need to melt butter (either in a microwave or on the stove) then leave it to cool slightly.
  2. Mix dry ingredients – Next, we add cornmeal (or polenta), plain flour, baking powder, bicarb & salt into a mixing bowl then whisk together.
  3. Whisk wet ingredients – Now we add buttermilk & eggs to the melted butter & whisk until smooth.
  4. Mix batter – The wet ingredients are then added into the dry then we whisk the batter until combined & smooth. Be careful not to over mix though!
  5. Fold in cheese – Next, we fold grated cheese into the batter.
  6. Bake – To cook, we take the skillet out of the oven then set it on the stove, over a medium-high heat. Now we add in butter, swirling the skillet to grease all sides then pour in the cornbread batter. We then return the skillet to the oven & bake for 15-20 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cornbread comes out clean.
  7. Glaze – We’re glazing the cornbread with honey butter which is made by mixing together melted butter & honey. We brush this onto the cornbread as soon as it comes out of the oven.
  8. Serving – Before serving, the cornbread needs to cool down for 15 minutes then it can be turned out of the skillet & cut into portions.

What To Serve With Cheesy Cornbread

I like to serve my cheesy cornbread with a generous amount of salted butter. It would also make a great side to serve with a homemade chilli, soup or stew! If you’ve made this recipe, we’ve love to hear what you served yours with in the comments below!

Cornbread Tips & Tricks

  • Use a skillet – Using a cast iron skillet is the best way to cook cornbread as it gets super hot all over, making the crust extra crisp & crunchy. If you haven’t got a skillet, a frying pan will work as well.
  • Preheat the skillet – This is key to getting the best crust on your cornbread. Make sure to let your skillet preheat in the oven for as long as possible before cooking!
  • Use buttermilk – Buttermilk adds a subtle tanginess to the cornbread & also gives it a softer, moister texture.
  • Glaze with honey butter – A classic way to finish cornbread! The sweetness from the honey cuts through the sharpness from the cheddar & the butter soaks into the bread, making it extra moist.
  • Serve warm – Cornbread is best served warm! Make sure to let it cool down for 15 minutes or so before cutting into it though.
cornbread with salted butter

Cooking Cornbread In An Aga

With all of my recipes, I include cooking instructions for conventional ovens, fan ovens & also Agas. Here’s how to cook this recipe on an Aga…

Cook the cornbread in the roasting oven, on the second from bottom set of runners. Use the boiling plate to melt the butter in the skillet/when you add in the batter.

Frequently Asked Questions

What cornmeal is best for cornbread?

Fine yellow cornmeal is best for cornbread but white cornmeal will work as well.

What can I use instead of cornmeal?

If you can’t find cornmeal, fine polenta will work just as well. It’s best not to use instant polenta though as this is too fine.

Do I need a skillet to cook cornbread?

Cooking cornbread in a skillet is best but if you haven’t got one, a deep frying pan will also work.

How do you keep cornbread moist?

The key to making moist cornbread is adding enough fat (buttermilk & melted butter) into the batter. Over cooking can also dry out cornbread so it’s best to stop cooking as soon as a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. This will only take 15-20 minutes.

Can I substitute buttermilk in cornbread?

Unfortunately, not for this recipe. Using buttermilk is key for giving our cornbread the best flavour & texture.

Can this cornbread be made without cheese?

Absolutely! If you’d prefer to make a regular cornbread, simply leave the cheese out. Other mix-ins like jalapeños, sweetcorn & bacon will also work great.

Why cook cornbread in a skillet?

Cooking cornbread in a preheated, buttered skillet is the secret to getting the crispest crust ever. Whilst the crust gets crispy, the crumb will stay soft & fluffy! If you haven’t got a skillet, a deep frying pan will work as well.

What is the best way to reheat cornbread?

The best way to reheat cornbread is to slice it up then toast in a frying pan with a good amount of butter. Alternatively, cornbread can be warmed in a 180°c/356°f oven, also with butter.

Equipment Used

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Cheesy Buttermilk Skillet Cornbread

This cheesy buttermilk skillet cornbread is super fluffy on the inside & crisp on the outside! Full of sharp cheddar & glazed with honey butter.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Course: Bread, Lunch, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 Portions
Author: Ben Racey

Equipment

  • 10" Skillet/Frying Pan
  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Measuring Jug
  • Cheese Grater

Ingredients

Cornbread

  • 150 g Unsalted Butter
  • 200 g Fine Cornmeal Or Polenta
  • 120 g Plain Flour
  • tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp Bicarbonate Of Soda
  • 1 tsp Table Salt
  • 300 g Buttermilk
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 100 g Grated Cheddar

To Cook

  • 20 g Unsalted Butter

Honey Butter

  • 30 g Unsalted Butter
  • 30 g Honey

Instructions

  • Preheat an oven to 210°c/190°c fan (410°f/374°f). Place a 10" skillet (or frying pan) in the oven & leave to heat up at the same time.
    The hotter the skillet, the better, this is key to giving the cornbread the best crust!

Cornbread Batter

  • Place the butter into a heatproof jug, melt in a microwave then set aside to cool slightly.
    If you haven't got a microwave, melt the butter in a pan, on the stove.
  • Add the cornmeal, plain flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda & salt into a large mixing bowl then whisk together.
  • Next, add the buttermilk & eggs to the melted butter & whisk together.
  • Pour the buttermilk mix into the dry ingredients then whisk until combined & smooth – be careful not to over mix though!
  • Add the grated cheddar into the batter then fold in with a spatula.
    The raising agents will start to react as soon as the liquid is added so the batter needs to be cooked immediately!

To Cook

  • Take the skillet out of the oven & place on the stove, over a medium-high heat.
  • Add in the butter, swirling around to grease the skillet as it melts then pour in the cornbread batter.
  • Return the skillet to the oven then bake the cornbread for 15-20 minutes, until the top is a deep, golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

To Finish

  • Make the honey butter just before your cornbread comes out of the oven. To do this, melt the butter then whisk in the honey.
  • Brush the honey butter over the top of the cornbread as soon as it comes out of the oven then let it cool for 15 minutes.
  • Turn the cornbread out of the skillet, on a chopping board then cut into wedges & serve warm.

Notes

1. To Cook In An Aga – Cook the cornbread in the roasting oven, on the second from bottom set of runners. Use the boiling plate to melt the butter in the skillet/when you add in the batter.
2. Skillet – A 10″ cast iron skillet is best for cooking cornbread but a deep frying pan will work as well.
3. Cornmeal – Fine yellow cornmeal is best for cornbread but if you can’t get any, polenta works just as well.
4. Cheese – A strong mature cheddar gives this cornbread a good amount of flavour but other cheeses will work as well. Gruyere or Red Leicester would be some other good choices.
5. Storage – Cornbread is best served whilst still warm! Any leftover should be stored in an airtight container & eaten within 2 days.
6. Reheating – The best way to reheat cornbread is to slice it up then toast in a frying pan in a good amount of butter.

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