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My first recipe: RoRo’s cornbread

My first recipe: RoRo’s cornbread

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Words & recipe by Meredith Steele

My feet hit the pavement as fast as they could after school when I knew my nanny, RoRo, was going to be cooking. Smells of stewed green beans, sweet black-eyed peas and chicken hung heavier in the air the closer I got to the house. My excitement grew with every step because I knew that she always saved cooking the best recipe – her cornbread – for last! The moment I got home, I’d sling my backpack off my shoulders not caring where it would land, wash my hands and grab a spoon, ready to help her create the most delicious cornbread in the world.

Her name was Rosa Bell Johnson. I called her RoRo, and she had been with my family as long as I could remember – she even helped my great grandparents once they had become elderly. When I was born she immediately helped care for me because both of my parents worked. She had a snarky sense of humour and was a master in the kitchen; I loved her dearly.

Always her aide in the kitchen, I learned much more than how to make a recipe. She knew that not only do we show care, thought, and love through food, but that knowing how to cook for yourself was just as important as knowing how to tie your shoelaces.

I look back on those days with a full heart and am grateful that someone took the time to teach me the joys and benefits of cooking. Just like she taught me how to cook, I now teach my daughter. It doesn’t matter how good we are at cooking, just spending time together in the kitchen together brings us closer and makes us more aware of what we’re eating/

So, my daughter Mia and I would like to share with you a lightened version of RoRo’s cornbread recipe – I say lightened because RoRo was a good ol’ southern cook with no fear of a pound of bacon fat. Our version replaces the bacon fat and sugar with skim ricotta and just a touch of honey for an incredibly moist and flavourful cornbread to indulge in.

Tender, moist, and delicious, this ricotta cornbread is a guaranteed family favourite. Grab this recipe, or any recipe for that matter, and get cooking with your kids.

Ricotta cornbread recipe

Makes 9 slices


  • Butter, for greasing
  • 1 ¼ cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup/130g flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 15 ounces (weight) part-skim ricotta
  • 1 cup/240ml semi-skimmed or 2% milk
  • 2 tablespoons honey


Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/. Grease an 8×8 inch-deep baking pan with butter. In a large bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt, then stir. In another bowl, combine the eggs, ricotta, milk and honey, then whisk until smooth.

Add the wet ingredients into the dry and stir to combine. Pour into the prepared baking pan and place in the oven to bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Carefully remove the cornbread from pan by flipping it out onto a cooling rack, then allow to cool slightly. With a knife, slice into 9 squares and serve with butter and a touch of honey, or as an accompaniment to soup, chilli, beans or stews.

Cornbread recipe

To-die-for Cornbread! Crispy edges, it’s soft on the inside, savoury with a touch of sweet and so moist, you don’t need butter to scoff it down (but who in their right mind would skip butter…??) This is quick cornbread recipe that will be on your table in 30 minutes.

Serve it as a side dish, dunk into stews, take it to gatherings or have it as a snack!

The Cornbread Recipe That Convinced My Mother To Give Up Her Decades-Long Favorite One

It’s important to begin with a note of context: We take cornbread very seriously in our house. As long as I can remember, my mother has had a regular rotation of no less than at least four different cornbread recipes that she will make according to what we’re having to eat and which fleeting mood she’s in. A warm, comforting soup? She’s going jalapeno cornbread with sausage and cheese. No question. A classic plate of pork chops, collards, and rice? Fluffy big-batch cornbread, because everyone’s going back for seconds and thirds. 

However, there was always one simple cornbread recipe she would turn to when in need of something easy, Southern, and dependable—that is, until early this year. Her old one was a fine recipe. By that, I mean that I’ve had better. By better, I mean that I’ve made Ben Mims’ Perfect Cornbread before, and after that you just never go back. And when I finally forced her to veer from the trusty skillet cornbread recipe she’s been making for decades, I didn’t have very high hopes. She’s stubborner than a mule with a chip on its shoulder. 

To put it in her words: “That’s the best cornbread I’ve ever tasted in my entire life.” So, yep. It’s the kind of cornbread that can even make a great Southern cook stop and gawk. I𠆝 say that I gloated for being right, but I was too busy sinking teeth into a second slice. From then on, we’ve only served Ben Mims’ Perfect Cornbread. It’s benched the whole team of other cornbread recipes, and we’re somehow finding a lot more reasons to make cornbread on a Monday. 

What makes this cornbread recipe worlds away from just any old recipe is actually pretty simple: a whole stick of butter. It always comes back to butter down here. You just brown a whole stick of butter right there in the empty cast-iron skillet before stirring it into the batter and pouring back into the skillet to bake. (It should go without saying that cast-iron is the only vessel in which to cook really good cornbread.)

From there, the recipe relies on just a perfect ratio of ingredients. It’s nothing fancy, but the flavor can’t be matched. You get crusty caramelization from the cast-iron and browned butter and the most perfect fluffy, never-ever-dry texture. Find Ben Mims’ Perfect Cornbread recipe here.

So if you’re looking to become obsessed with cornbread all over again, try this truly spectacular recipe and prepare to let those other recipe cards gather dust. 

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I’ve been using the same recipe for cornbread for years but thought I’d just give this a try because I needed to use up some left over buttermilk and this recipe asked for more buttermilk than my usual one.

Am I ever so glad! This may have been the best tasting thing I’ve ever made! SO GOOD. Needless to say, this is my go to recipe now! Thank you!

I had given up on ever making a cornbread that is the best and stays together! I found it now. Thank you!

Bomb indeed! I made this as written except that I reduced the amount of sugar to 1/8 cup and used whole wheat AP flour. It is my new go-to cornbread recipe. Thank you!

This is seriously the best cornbread I’ve ever eaten. As a southerner, I’ve grown up on it and have never really found any that I’ve just fallen in love with but THIS IS IT. This is the cornbread that has won me over. Absolutely the BEST. THANK YOU.

I am 62 years old and have always been searching for the best cornbread. I have finally found it! This cornbread is delicious! I will keep making this recipe for always. Thank you for ending my search.

Oh goodness! Oh really goodness.

This is the best cornbread recipe that I have ever made. I added only a little bit of sugar cause I was not in the mood for sweet cornbread

Very good, maybe a little more sugar if you like a sweeter cornbread. Made for dinner with bean soup, my southern raised company raved about it and requested the recipe.

Super delicious recipe! I don’t own a cast iron skillet so i just used a metal pie plate and still came out great!

Delicious! Used a 12 inch cast iron skillet and reduced cooking time by a couple of minutes. Substituted 2T of vegetable oil for for 2 of the tablespoons of butter for texture. It was amazing.

I want to make this but I don’t have a cast iron skillet. I read all the reviews and I saw you said a 9″ cake pan is ok but don’t pre-heat the pan. If that’s the case, what do you do with the extra 3 tablespoons of butter?

I will use my 8 inch square baking pan, not preheated. Stir the extra butter into the batter.

Making it now, reading the comments. Have half the amount of buttermilk, but fortunately have milk and lemons to make up for it. Like that there is more cornmeal than white flour. Using turbinado sugar. My big question, not being up on the science of baking – why SO MUCH baking powder? What happens if I reduce?

Best ever! I cut 3 tablespoons of butter in to
Batter. Did not notice melt and Separate. Lol
I think it paid off. Normally a slap of butter
Is required for me to eat cornbread. Not this
Good to go right out of the skillet.

The best cornbread! I’d send a pic but it’s gone!

This is the best and easiest recipe EVER. I’ve made it several times over the last year and it comes out perfectly every time. Thanks for another great one, Chungah!

Help! I only have a 12 inch cast iron pan and I don’t want the cornbread to be too thin…would it be terrible to cook it in a glass pan? Thank you! Happy Thanksgiving

I made in 12” cast Iron skillet and definitely not too thin

Delicious! I added a little more butter and I think next time I would cut the sugar in half. Super fluffy and amazing!

The weather finally cooled off here in north California so it was chili and cornbread tonight. 1st time with this buttermilk cornbread but it’s won’t be the last. It was awesome! Came out with thin crispy crust on the bottom and a wonderful texture inside. This is going to be my go to cornbread from here on out. It was that good! I did cut the sugar in half and a little less salt but other than that, by the book. And it was the easiest thing to make besides. A little honey butter on top and it’s was cornbread heaven!

I’ve made cornbread for decades, but this was the best cornbread thus far. Thank you! Light, crispy crust, and just the right amount of sweetness.

Good C-Bread recipe (I doubled the recipe) . . . used three eggs instead of two . . . . don’t normally eat eggs (they tend to take up residence in the fridge), whole buttermilk and turbinado sugar. Thanks for sharing . . . will use this one again (committing it to memory).

What size pan did you use for doubling? I only have a 12 inch pan and that may work!

Can we use regular or skim milk?

You can make a buttermilk substitute by adding 1 tablespoon white vinegar per cup of milk, and letting it sit for 10 minutes prior to use.

Tastes great first time I made it. I did cut the salt 500 mg a quarter teaspoon. Still tastes great have watch sodium intake.

Is the batter supposed to be SUPER thick?

The flavor is terrific. But this is far too much baking powder. Maybe one teaspoon would work. But 4 made it a buzzard consistency.

Too much of a sugar taste for me and 425 degree temp burned the top of my cornbread in 20 mins.

You must bring the heat down because of the buttermilk it burn fast

This recipe went together easily, and it really worked. I would describe it as having a character all it’s own, distinguished by a crunchy crust, a hearty crumb, and an overall robust texture and flavor. I set the timer for 15 minutes (middle rack of the oven), and it was already plenty golden brown and starting to pull away from pan edges. I set timer for 6 minutes and decided to pull. It was pretty perfectly done and presented beautifully.

This is my second time making it. Both of us loved it. It is still i the oven. I added a little more sugar as my husband likes sweeter taste. I love the recipe as it is. Next time I will remember to keep buttermilk and egg in the room temperature, as the melted butter got hardened when mixed.

Your directions were unclear to me:

“Remove skillet from the oven and add remaining 3 tablespoons until heated through, about 1-2 minutes.”

Add remaining 3 teaspoons of melted butter to hot skillet or to batter?

The above comment is not mine! I read this before replying to someone else’s comment below. How is this happening?

She’s talking about taking the heated skillet from the oven and adding three tablespoons of butter to ensure that yummy crispy crust around the outside. Then adding the completed cornbread batter to the prepared skillet and baking.

I’m eating this right now with some chili I made. I loved how I put the chili together & made this while the chili was cooking. I cut the recipe in half & batter in 6″ cast iron pan. It came out perfect. Also I put corn in my chili so I folded 3/4 cup corn into the cornbread batter for a stronger corn flavor. Really great recipe, moist yet crisp.

Have never reviewed a recipe before. But this was the best cornbread I’ve ever made. I added a few tblsp of canned corn and finely chopped jalapenos. Perhaps a little more salt (cook only with unsalted butter). Served it with pintos and pork. Very yum.

I do not have cast iron skillet – what’s the best alternative for that?

You can just use a cake pan or muffin tins if you want cornbread muffins.

Tasted just like Mom’s. I halved the recipe and omitted the sugar as Mom doesn’t out sugar in hers. I used an 8-inch skillet and cooked it in my toaster oven. Perfect size for a couple. Mom eyeballs he’s and doesn’t use a recipe. This is the closest I’ve found. Perfect!

I loved this recipe. I’ve been looking for the perfect recipe for my taste and this is it. I thought it would be too sweet but I decided to follow the recipe and I’m glad I did, not too sweet at all. The only change I made was using 1 cup of Bob’s Red Mill regular grind and 1/2 cup coarse grind. It turned out great. I will definitely make this again.

Great easy cornbread recipe for a bread that really tastes like corn, not cake but here’s a way to make it twice as good. Soak the cornmeal in the buttermilk, sugar and salt overnight or at least for a few hours. You want the cornmeal to plump up and get soft and moist instead of gritty. Everyone will remark on how moist the cornbread is. Then add the eggs, butter, flour and NON- ALUMINUM baking powder to avoid that metallic baking powder taste.

I read your comment with a ‘twice as good, yeah right’ attitude. But oh boy you weren’t kidding. Best cornbread I ever made. Including the fact that I had no wheat flour in the house and used all brown rice flour. With that I’m generally ready to accept a crumbly, less slice-able thing, but this holds together beautifully. A scootch too sweet to be strictly southern, will probably reduce to 2T sugar (and I used 1/2 erythritol, it was fine).
So thank you to Chungah for the delicious recipe and to Marie for the preparation tip. I’ll never make cornbread again without soaking the cornmeal!!

Your idea of soaking the cornmeal in the buttermilk the night before made my try at this recipe the fluffiest, most delightful cornbread ever!! Thank you so much for suggesting that!!

Fantastic recipe! This is my second time making it. Got a pan in the oven right now. It is so moist and flavorful and I love the crispy edges. Absolutely delicious!

Me too, lol! 2nd time making it and pan is in the oven!

EVERYTHING I’ve made from your site is amazeballs!! During these strange times where I’m not able to cook at work and happen to find myself staying with my mother, experimenting in the kitchen is keeping me sane. Made this cornbread tonight alongside bison and 3 bean chili and it was a big hit. So moist, so fall apart buttery, perfect. Gonna try your jalapeno cheddar corn muffins tomorrow as the 3 of us nearly polished off the pan of cornbread tonight! Thanks!

I am using the butter milk left over from mixing heavy cream into butter. Two questions, can I use the fresh butter milk without adding vinegar or lemon juice and do you soak the cornmeal in the two cups of milk and then combine everything?

I don’t use GF mixes as they are all very sweet ‘corn muffin’ style mixes. This recipe turned out the best of the ones I’ve converted to GF.
I made this recipe tonight…it was so good!! We are gluten free so instead of regular flour…I used Bob’s Red Mill GF 1 to 1 all purpose flour, added 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, increased the salt to 1&1/4 tsp & decreased the sugar to 3 Tablespoons. I used canola oil in the batter & in the skillet as I am short on butter. I also used regular milk with vinegar for buttermilk. It was really, really good. I’ll keep this one!
Notes: I’m also out of bacon drippings which is what I typically use in the skillet along with a little canola oil. If I was making sweet cornbread…I would use butter, for sure. We have a few “sweet cornbread only” in our family that a make a second skillet for. Always use iron skillets to bake in & serve from but remember not to store it in the skillet. That creates moisture which can start a little rust & the cornbread takes on a metallic taste.

This cornbread recipe was fantastic! I also used the chili recipe that is given from damndelicious and it was just as great. The two were absolutely terrific together! The family loved both!

Thank You Damn Delicious, you ROCK!

I’ve made this several times, substuting 1/2 the buttermilk with whole milk, or plain Greek yogurt and whole milk when I didn’t have buttermilk. Every single time it turned out delicious! Using melted butter in the hot cast iron skillet gives it the most crispy, buttery crust. I’ll never make boxed cornbread again!

Great suggestion of the yogurt and milk instead of buttermilk. Perfect!

This is a great recipe that does exactly what it says: fluffy interior, crunchy brown exterior. Easy and quick to do. It is too sweet for my tastes, so I halved the sugar and it was a nice amount. I would definitely consider swapping for honey or not using any sweetener at all if you want a more traditional/savoury cornbread. I tried two recipes from other sites before this and the texture was never right, so this one is a blessing.

This is a delicious recipe. I did not have quite enough cornmeal so substituted 1/4 cup masa. It worked fine!
Thanks so much,

Wonderful recipe but not Southern. Southern cornbread is made with white cornmeal and not sweet…then they put sweet stuff on it. This is more like Yankee cornbread where I come from.

Yearwood's buttermilk cornbread recipe requires just 3 ingredients

Yearwood, by far, has the simplest of all of the recipes.

Of the three ingredients it requires, one is self-rising cornmeal mix. I couldn't find this at my neighborhood grocery store, but a quick online search told me to add about 1 teaspoon of baking powder for each cup of cornmeal to make my own self-rising base.

The recipe also calls for corn oil or bacon drippings. I don't eat bacon, so I opted for the first option.

You can add some south-of-the-border flavors to just about any basic cornbread recipe. I change up ingredients, depending on my mood and on what ingredients I might have on hand when the homemade bread mood hits me.

Some of the ingredients I’ve used in my Mexican cornbread recipes include whole kernel corn, creamed corn, onions, scallions, bell peppers, jalapeño peppers, garlic, ground beef, and sausage. Today, I included pork cracklings𠅊 lot of them. In fact, I used a whole pound. The crackling bread ended up being more crackling than bread, but that was okay with us. There was just enough cornbread to hold the tasty morsels of pork together. The top, sides, and bottom were brown and crusty, and the cracklings were soft but chewy, except for those near the surface. They were wonderfully crunchy!


  • 1 cup plain yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter

Preheat oven to 425°. Whisk together first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together buttermilk and eggs stir into cornmeal mixture just until combined. Heat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until it just begins to smoke. Add butter, and stir until butter is melted. Stir melted butter into cornbread batter. Pour batter into hot skillet.

Bake at 425° for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden and cornbread pulls away from sides of skillet. Invert cornbread onto a wire rack serve warm

All About Cornbread

"First thing I do is put the grease in my iron skillet, then I put it in a hot oven. "
That's how every good Southern cornbread begins. If you've ever lived in the South, or if you've spent time chatting or exchanging email with a Southerner, you probably know how particular they are about their cornbread, and how proud every Southern cook is with his or her own method. Considered a staple here, real Southern cornbread is near and dear to the hearts of all.

Cornbread was being made by Native Americans long before the first Europeans settled the Americas. The earliest cornbreads were called "pone", from the Algonquin word "apan", and were a simple mixture of cornmeal, salt, and water. No one really knows why cornbread recipes differ so much between the Northern and Southern states. Northern cornbreads use significant amounts of sugar and flour, while Southern cornbreads use very little or none at all.

In the 1928 cookbook, "Southern Cooking," Mrs. Dull advises, " If the batter is too thin, the muffins will be sticky if too stiff, dry and tough. No flour is used in corn sticks, muffins or egg-bread. The real Southern cornmeal is sufficiently fine to hold the bread together. The bran is sifted from the meal."

Here in the South the supermarket shelves are stocked with a variety of cornmeal products, including self-rising meal, cornbread mixes and different grinds. If you can't find self-rising meal in your area, add 2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt for each cup of regular meal.

Home Milled Cornbread

This simple and delicious cornbread recipe uses fresh-milled pima club soft white wheat from Ramona American Indian Farms in Arizona and heirloom yellow mushito corn from the highlands of Michoácan, Mexico. The batter takes minutes to mix up and the corn bread stays fresh for days.

Yellow mushito corn has a bright color, fluffy texture, and notes of cheese rind in its flavor while pima club wheat has a soft wheat flavor and tender texture. You can, of course, make corn and wheat substitutions, but this is quite a delicious combination and full of whole grain goodness. I included a video of the batter being stirred below so if you don’t have a grain mill or want to substitute different corn and wheat flour you can have a target consistency to aim at by using more or less liquid.

I make the cornbread with light olive oil, but you can also use melted butter or another oil. If you want to give the batter some sourdough leavening, replace equal parts of some of the flour and milk with sourdough starter and reserve the baking powder until after you’ve fermented the cornbread batter for a desired timeframe. Mix in the baking powder just before you pour the batter into the baking pan, similar to Eric’s sourdough waffles and pancakes recipe. You can bake this cornbread in an 8″ square pan, 9″ round pan, or as muffins. For the latter, adjust the bake time down to about 15 minutes.

Here’s a quick video clip to show you the desired batter consistency in case you use different corn or wheat flours that absorb more or less liquid.

Today's Cornmeal

By the end of the Depression, old fashioned stone-ground cornmeal and grits had all but disappeared from the South, replaced by paper bags of finely-ground corn powder. The new cornmeal tended to be yellow, while the meal used for cornbread in much of the coastal South traditionally had been white. (There is a whole complex set of issues associated with the color of cornmeal that will have to wait for a later time.)

Cooks who paid attention knew there was a difference. "A very different product from the yellow cornmeal of the North is this white water-ground meal of the South," wrote Dorothy Robinson in the Richmond Times Dispatch in 1952. "The two are not interchangeable in recipes. Most standard cookbooks, with the exception of a comparative few devoted to Southern cooking, have concerned themselves with yellow cornmeal recipes as if they did not know any other kind! They do not even distinguish between the two. They simply say, naively, 'a cup of cornmeal' when listing ingredients in a recipe."

But even those who knew the difference had trouble finding the old stone-ground stuff. In 1950, a desperate Mrs. Francine J. Parr of Houma, Louisiana, posted a notice in the Times-Picayune with the headline "Who's Got Coarse Grits?" and explained, "the only grits we can get is very fine and no better than mush. In short, I'm advertising for some grocer or other individual selling coarse grits to drop me a line."

Cornbread Tamale Pie Is the Greatest Recipe of All Time

You know those recipes we hold near and dear to our hearts because they are really the greatest ever of all time? Well, we're using this new series as an opportunity to wax poetic about them. Today, staff writer Rochelle Bilow gets nostalgic about cornbread tamale pie (whatever the heck that is).

Most little kids are picky eaters to the nth degree. As a youngster, I was no different. Grocery-store salami on white bread (no condiments, thanks) with the occasional canned tomato soup stand-in was where it was at, and no matter how you tried, you couldn't convince me otherwise. If it was spicy, peppery, salted, challenging, or otherwise flavorful, I wanted no part of it. Until. Until my mother made cornbread tamale pie.

What is cornbread tamale pie, besides the most delicious thing there ever was? This question is perhaps better answered by addressing what it isn't. It isn't a pie. It definitely has nothing to do with tamales. There is cornbread involved, happily, but beyond that, the name's origin is anyone's guess. It's a relatively spicy mix of browned ground beef, onions, bell peppers (eat it, haters), and tomato sauce, all smothered in a cornbread batter and baked in the oven. Obviously, it is the best thing ever to come out of an oven because it involves both meat and carbohydrates, and is baked in a cast-iron skillet to boot.

I have a storied history with cornbread tamale pie, and for that, it will always hold a very special place in my heart. My mother made it for dinner one night when I was a child of three or four, and she was expecting to split the portion between my father and herself—it was doubtful, she figured, that my sister and I would want any. She figured wrong. We housed that stuff, then continued to request it for dinner for weeks to come. This was a perplexing development for my mother, because not only did the cornbread tamale pie resemble a salami sandwich in no discernible way, it was spicy. Not vindaloo-level spicy, of course, but it had a solid hit of red pepper flakes and was not shy on flavor. Plus, there was meat in it. And vegetables. There was an disconcerting lack of cheese, refined flour, and sugar. I wasn't supposed to like this thing.

And yet cornbread tamale pie remains, in my heart and mind (and also everywhere else because obviously I am right) the Greatest Recipe of All Time. Here's how you make it:

First, get out your cast-iron skillet. If you don't have one, steal one from your parents' attic. That is what I did, and I honestly don't think they even know it's gone yet. Then, brown some ground beef in that pan. Remove the ground beef and add chopped onions, green bell peppers, and a hit of red pepper flakes. This is not the time for Aleppo pepper, harissa, or imported dried whole chiles. This is the time for a shaker container of red pepper flakes, so embrace it and add ɾm in. Once the veggies have softened, add the meat back in, along with a can or two of diced tomatoes. Simmer it all together, then slather on your favorite cornbread batter.

You're going to want to bake this until the cornbread topping is deeply golden and a little crusty—the whole point of this dish is breaking through a crunchy exterior to get to the spicy, saucy chili (it is, essentially, a chili) underneath. But the very best part of the pan lies between that upper crust and the meaty sauce: the layer of cornbread that abuts the tomatoes. It's drenched in sauce and soggy, but, you know, the good kind of soggy. Like when you use a piece of bread to mop up the last bit of a ragu. That's where the magic happens in cornbread tamale pie, and it still gets me. Every single time.

Watch the video: Καλαμποκόψωμο. Ώρα για φαγητό με την Αργυρώ. 12042021 (August 2022).