Brenda absolutely loves making cornbread! It brings back so many wonderful memories from her childhood of her mother and grandmother baking up pans of that delicious, golden cornbread in the kitchen. Even now, just getting out the ingredients to make cornbread makes Brenda feel nostalgic.
In this post, Brenda is excited to share her easy recipe for the fluffiest, most delicious cornbread you’ve ever tried – her famous cornbread! She’ll walk you through why she loves this recipe so much, the simple ingredients you’ll need, step-by-step instructions, serving ideas, storage tips, and more so that you can make this iconic cornbread at home. Let’s get started!
Why Brenda Loves This Cornbread Recipe
There are so many reasons why this cornbread recipe holds such a special place in Brenda’s heart! For one, it’s made with simple pantry ingredients that most people have on hand – no fancy equipment or unusual ingredients required. It’s also quick and easy for Brenda to throw together. And the results are pure cornbread perfection every time!
What really sets this cornbread apart is its incredibly soft, fluffy, and moist texture. Each tender, golden bite just melts in your mouth. Brenda especially loves enjoying a piece while it’s still warm from the oven, slathered with a pat of butter. That buttery cornbread flavor combination can’t be beat!
The recipe is also endlessly versatile. Feel free to tweak it by adding diced vegetables like corn, peppers, or onions for some extra flavor and texture. It can be served alongside any Southern or soul food meal, crumbled on top of chili or soup, or just enjoyed all on its own!
How to Make Brenda Gantt’s Cornbread
Making Brenda’s easy cornbread couldn’t be simpler. Here’s an overview of what you’ll need:
- 1/4 cup oil (for the skillet)
- 1 big scoop of self-rising white lily cornmeal
- Buttermilk (quantity not specified, use as needed for consistency)
- 1 egg
- Sugar (about a tablespoon, adjust to taste)
- Salt to taste
- Mixing bowl
- 9-inch cast iron skillet
- Place a 10-inch cast iron skillet into the oven and preheat to 375°F to get it piping hot. This allows the cornbread to form a nice crispy, golden brown crust when baking.
- Measure out 1 and 1/4 cups of self-rising white Lily cornmeal and place it into a medium mixing bowl. Use a spoon to create a well in the center. Self-rising cornmeal already contains baking powder, salt and sometimes sugar mixed in. The white Lily brand has the finest texture.
- Pour 1 and 1/4 cups of buttermilk into the well in the cornmeal. Buttermilk adds extra moisture and tangy flavor. Using a whisk, gradually draw the cornmeal into the buttermilk, stirring continuously to fully incorporate and break up any lumps. Beat until smooth and uniform.
- Crack 1 large egg into the batter and whisk vigorously for 30 seconds until fully blended in. The egg lightens the texture and lends richness.
- Add an additional tablespoon of granulated sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of salt, whisking for 10-15 seconds more. The extra sweetness and salt balance out the flavors. Taste and add more salt/sugar if desired.
- Remove the hot cast iron skillet from the oven carefully using thick oven mitts. On the stovetop, pour 1/4 cup of canola oil into it and let heat for 1 minute. Have the cornbread batter nearby.
- Quickly but carefully pour about half the hot oil from the skillet into the cornbread batter. Whisk rapidly to incorporate. This extra hit of oil gives the cornbread crust an extra crunch!
- Immediately pour the cornbread batter into the cast iron skillet with the remaining hot oil. Smooth the top lightly with a spoon or spatula. Place into the oven.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating halfway through. Test doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center. When it comes out clean with no wet crumbs, it is finished baking.
- Remove cornbread from the oven and let cool in the skillet for 5 minutes. Then run a thin knife carefully along the edges and invert onto a cooling rack. This allows steam to escape, keeping the bottom from getting soggy. Slice and serve warm!
Brenda has a few special tips picked up over the years for making the ultimate cornbread:
- Use fresh ingredients – old baking powder or milk can make it dense or flat
- Mix the batter gently so it stays light and fluffy
- Always bake in a piping hot cast iron skillet for the crispiest crust
- Brush edges with extra butter for an ultra golden color
- Insert a knife to check doneness – it should come out clean when done
- Cool bread slightly before cutting or it may crumble apart
Follow those guidelines and the cornbread is guaranteed to impress!
Fun Cornbread Variations
While Brenda loves the classic version, playing around with mix-ins is one of her favorite things about this recipe. Get creative with any of these tasty variations:
- Mexican Cornbread – add diced green chilies, corn, shredded cheese, and cilantro
- Jalapeno Cornbread – stir in chopped pickled jalapenos for heat
- Bacon Cheddar Cornbread – crispy cooked bacon and sharp cheddar is amazing
- Corn and Squash Cornbread – the sweet flavor combo can’t be beat
- Fruit and Nut Cornbread – raisins, dried cranberries, or walnuts make it festive
No matter which version is made, this cornbread is guaranteed to be a hit!
Brenda loves cornbread any time of day, but it’s especially perfect alongside classic Southern meals and soul food favorites, like:
- Fried chicken, collard greens, and mac and cheese
- Chili or beef stew
- Beans and greens
- Soup beans
- Barbecue pork ribs
It’s also wonderful for breakfast served up with some scrambled eggs, bacon, fruit, and coffee. However it’s served up, cornbread just seems to make every meal a little more comforting!
And be sure to slather each slice with butter or honey for ultimate yumminess. Just thinking about it makes Brenda’s mouth water!
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
Somehow there always seems to be leftover cornbread, even when multiple pans are made! Here are Brenda’s tips for storing and reheating it:
To store, let the cornbread cool completely then place it in an airtight container or wrap tightly in plastic wrap. It will keep fresh at room temperature for up to 5 days. The fridge will extend its lifespan for up to a week.
To reheat, cornbread slices and wedges can go straight onto a baking sheet in a 350°F oven for 10-15 minutes until warmed through. Wrapping individual pieces in foil makes for easy grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches.
Leftover cornbread slices can also be fried in butter in a skillet to make them crispy. The crispy, buttery edges are heavenly! Quickly reheating over the stove in a skillet works great for crumbling cornbread into soup beans too.
So instead of letting leftover cornbread go to waste, try one of these handy storage and reheating tips!
Brenda Gantt Cornbread Recipe
Brenda’s famous, fluffy cornbread recipe revealed! Learn how to make this classic Southern staple with simple ingredients and easy instructions for tender, golden cornbread perfection every time. Get the recipe now!
- Preheat a skillet with 1/4 cup of oil.
- In a bowl, combine a big scoop of self-rising white lily cornmeal.
- Add buttermilk gradually until you achieve the right consistency.
- Stir in one egg.
- Optionally, add a tablespoon of sugar for sweetness.
- Add salt to taste.
- Once the skillet and oil are hot, pour some oil into the cornmeal mixture and stir. Then pour the rest of the oil into the hot skillet.
- Pour the batter into the skillet and spread it evenly.
- Bake at 375°F (normally 400°F) until the cornbread is ready.
- Optionally, let the cornbread cool a bit, then run a knife around it before removing from the skillet to prevent sogginess.
- Adjust quantities based on your preferences and taste. You can also customize the recipe by adding ingredients like onions, peppers, squash, or other vegetables from your garden. Enjoy your cornbread with turnip greens, fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, and a sweet treat like vanilla ice cream or chocolate cookies for dessert!
Over the years making this recipe for family and friends, Brenda has collected quite a bit of cornbread making wisdom! Here are answers to some of the questions she gets asked most often:
What if there’s no buttermilk?
Regular milk can be substituted. Or make sour milk – mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice per cup of milk and let stand 5 minutes.
It was too dry/gritty! What did I do wrong?
Overmixing can cause gluten development leading to toughness. Try stirring the batter as little as possible. And make sure to use fresh baking powder.
Can aluminum pans be used instead of cast iron?
While aluminum pans will work, cast iron is best! The even heating and crunchy crust can’t be replicated.
What’s the difference between white and yellow cornmeal?
White cornmeal is more refined with a milder flavor and finer texture. Yellow has a richer corn taste and slightly grittier texture. Either works great!
How can the cornbread be made even better?
Adding creamed corn or some grilled corn kernels off the cob takes it over the top!
Feel free to ask Brenda any other cornbread questions – she’s always happy help troubleshoot!
The Perfect Southern Side
As you can see, cornbread really is the ultimate Southern staple that has a cherished place in Brenda’s heart – and stomach! There’s just something so nostalgic about that golden cornbread coming fresh out of the oven and seeing those first cracks form across the top.
It’s hoped you’ll give this easy, time-tested recipe a try soon. Let Brenda know if you have any special twists or favorite add-ins to try in the future! And whether you prefer honey, butter, or just eat it plain.
However it’s enjoyed, this tender, fluffy cornbread is the perfect accompaniment to complete any Southern meal. It just warms the heart and takes one right back home every time a batch is whipped up. Now who wants seconds?!