Buttermilk Cheddar Cornbread
No mixer required to make this classic Buttermilk Cornbread with cheddar cheese! It mixes up quickly and bakes to perfection, with a tender center and slightly crisp edges.
Make this to go with white chicken chili, classic beef chili, or Tuscan chickpea stew.
This easy recipe for buttermilk cornbread with cheddar cheese is a perfect go-to when you want something homemade, yet super simple and quick to serve alongside your favorite chili or soup. It has a tender center, slightly crisp edges, and a delicious flavor thanks to a smidge of chipotle chili pepper powder and a generous helping of cheddar cheese.
This is most similar, height- and texture-wise, to a skillet cornbread, but with the hands-off convenience of baking in a standard pan.
Ingredients & Common Substitutions
The ingredients to this cornbread are quite straightforward. You’ll need some baking basics – flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, and baking powder – to start with.
Chipotle chili powder is a spice you may not already keep in your pantry, but it’s brilliant for adding a hint of flavor with minimal effort. You can leave it out of this cornbread if you don’t have it on hand.
You’ll also need:
- One egg.
- Cheddar cheese: use your favorite, from mild to extra sharp. It all works!
Help! I don’t have buttermilk. What’s a good substitute?
Buttermilk is a key ingredient to this cornbread, both because it adds tang and creaminess, and because it reacts with the baking powder to make the bread rise. No buttermilk, though? No problem! Measure 2 teaspoons of vinegar or lemon juice into a liquid measuring cup, then pour in 2% or whole milk to bring the mixture up to the 3/4 cup line.
Curious? Read more about why this works as a buttermilk substitute!
How To Make Buttermilk Cornbread
The best thing about this cornbread is the taste. The second best thing is how easy it is to make! You’ll begin by separately combining the dry ingredients in one bowl, and the liquid ingredients in another, then pouring the liquid over top of the dry.
Working in this order ensures that everything is evenly mixed with no clumps and that you do not need to overmix the batter, which is what leads to dry cornbread.
Fold the wet and dry ingredients together, then sprinkle in the grated cheddar, and fold again.
Spread the batter out into a lightly greased baking pan – 9″x9″ works well, or a roughly equivalent rectangular pan, as shown here – and smooth into an even layer.
Bake for 18-20 minutes at 350 degrees F, and you’re ready to dig in.
Serve with generous slathers of butter and a drizzle of honey if you’re really going for it. So good!
Storage and Reheating
Buttermilk cornbread keeps well at room temperature for 2-3 days if tightly covered. Slices can be rewarmed in the microwave in 15-second bursts, in an oven set to about 175 degrees F, or in a cast iron skillet set over medium heat.
More Breads and Rolls
Love making bread and rolls from scratch? Try these miracle one-hour breadsticks or this no-knead seeded Dutch oven bread next.
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Buttermilk Cheddar Cornbread
- 1/4 cup (4 Tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
- honey for serving (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9×9” baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- Melt the butter in a large liquid measuring cup or bowl. Set aside to cool slightly.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and chipotle chili powder. Whisk or blend with a fork, then set aside.
- Add buttermilk and egg to the melted butter, and whisk or blend with a fork until the liquid mixture is smooth. Pour liquid ingredients into the mixing bowl with the dry, and fold together just until evenly combined. Gently fold in the cheddar.
- Scrape the batter out into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes, just until the cornbread is set and the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Let cool on a wire rack before slicing and serving.
- The chipotle chili powder is optional, if you don’t have it on hand, but it does add a nice touch of flavor. It’s such a small amount that it will not make the cornbread spicy!