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Easy Southern Cornbread Without Buttermilk (Skillet Recipe)

Southern cornbread without buttermilk is an easy skillet recipe that only takes a few minutes to whip up and get into the oven.

The cornbread is a comforting and delicious side dish that is perfect any time of year and is made with simple ingredients.

Homemade Cornbread

Cornbread without buttermilk on a white plate.

We all love homemade cornbread, and it’s such a great recipe for any occasion.

But if you’re not a big buttermilk fan, you can switch it out for milk and still have a tasty dish.

Southern Cornbread Recipe

Southerners love their cornbread. It’s a part of a lot of meals and has been around for generations.

Southern cornbread can come in a lot of different forms. It’s typically made without sugar and is a little bit crumbly.

Traditional cornbread is also usually made with buttermilk but tastes wonderful with regular milk, as well.

And I think we would all agree that we all love some butter melting on top.

Should I Add Sugar?

There are lots of arguments for and against adding sugar to the recipe and making it a sweet cornbread recipe. But here’s the thing–it’s your cornbread, so if you want to add some, go right ahead.

For this recipe, I didn’t add it to the ingredients, but it is optional.

Some people love Jiffy Cornbread, which has a touch of sweetness to it. We eat a lot of Jiffy meals around here.

If you love Jiffy, head on over to my moist cornbread post to get the recipe.

A slice of cornbread on a white plate topped with butter.

What Ingredients Do I Need For Southern Cornbread?

Wet Ingredients

  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Sour cream
  • Vegetable oil
  • Butter (for spreading in the pan and topping your cornbread…mmm, yum)

Dry Ingredients

  • Yellow cornmeal
  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda

Full printable recipe with measurements and instructions listed at the bottom of the post in the recipe card.

Cornbread in a cast iron skillet.
  • Eggs – Eggs are going to help add some moisture to the recipe. They will also help bind the ingredients together.
  • Milk – Cornbread is typically made with buttermilk, but a lot of people don’t like the flavor of buttermilk. So, you can use milk instead for this recipe.
  • Sour creamsour cream is going to add some of the acidity back into the dish since you are not using buttermilk. Sour cream will also add a touch more flavor.
  • Vegetable Oil – vegetable oil is going to help add some moisture to the cornbread so it doesn’t fall apart on your fork.
  • Yellow cornmeal – this is one of the staples of Southern cornbread. It gives it that “cornbread” taste.
  • All-purpose flour – adding flour to your recipe is going to keep the cornbread from getting too crumbly. We all like a little bit of crumble, but we like to be able to keep it together on its way to our mouth.
  • Baking soda and baking powder – these two ingredients will help the cornbread rise.
  • Salt – this will add a lot of flavor to the dish.
  • Butter – for spreading in the pan and melting on your slice of cornbread.

What Type Of Cooking Dish Should I Use?

For this recipe, I used a cast-iron skillet for a couple of reasons.

You can heat the skillet in the oven, slather some melted butter around the inside, and pour the cornbread mix into the pan.

Once you pour the cornbread into the piping hot skillet, it will begin to cook the side dish and make it crispy and buttery on the outside.

Cast-iron skillets are non-stick, so clean-up is a breeze, and it distributes the heat evenly as it cooks.

If you don’t have a skillet, never fear; you can use a square baking dish instead, and it will work just fine.

I used a 10-inch cast-iron pan for the recipe.

Here are some pans you can use:

  • 8-inch by 8-inch square cake pan
  • 9-inch by 9-inch square cake pan

Step-By-Step Instructions for Easy Southern Cornbread without Buttermilk

A hot cast iron skillet with melted butter.

While you prepare the recipe, preheat the oven. Place your skillet into the oven and let it get hot.

Once you’re ready to pour the ingredients into the pan, take it out of the oven and spread the butter around the skillet. Be careful–it will be hot!

Yellow cornmeal in a bowl.

Start by adding some yellow cornmeal to a large bowl.

The great thing about this dish is that you only need to dirty one bowl. Just get a large enough bowl and you’re in business.

Cornmeal, flour, and baking soda in a glass bowl.

Next, add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to the bowl.

Pouring eggs into a bowl with flour and cornmeal.

Next, add the eggs to the bowl.

Pouring vegetable oil into a bowl,.

Pour the vegetable oil into the bowl.

This recipe calls for 1/2 cup of vegetable oil.

If it’s still a little more crumbly than you’d like it to be, add one more tablespoon of oil the next time you cook it, and that should help moisten it up a tad.

Adding sour cream to cornbread

Next, add the sour cream and mix the ingredients.

Pouring milk into cornbread.

Pour the milk into the bowl and mix well. Be sure to mix until the ingredients are incorporated, but don’t over-mix.

I used 2-percent milk for this recipe, but if you’d like to use whole milk or skim milk, you can do that, as well.

Cornbread in a cast iron skillet.

For best results, pour the cornbread batter into the hot skillet or prepared pan, and bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean and the top is golden brown.

Some people love to cook some bacon and use the bacon grease in this recipe. And let’s be real, you can’t go wrong with bacon or bacon grease.

Feel free to try it and crumble some bacon bits into the cornbread mixture. Talk about flavor.

Golden cornbread in a skillet.

If you love cornbread dressing, give this recipe for Jiffy Cornbread dressing a try.

A slice of cornbread on a plate.

Y’all will love this easy recipe. It’s a dense cornbread but a really good one.

More cornbread recipes:

Cornbread with butter on top

What is the Difference Between Northern and Southern Cornbread?

Most true Southerners will cook their cornbread in a cast-iron skillet. I can remember my grandmother cooking a lot of things in a cast iron skillet, including her cornbread.

Southern cornbread tends to be a little more dense and crumbly.

You will find plenty of Southerners who do like sugar in their cornbread, but if you go read some of my Facebook posts featuring cornbread, you will see it is hotly contested.

Northern cornbread is a little more fluffy, contains sugar, and is almost more like a slice of cake.

Northerners typically like their cornbread cooked in a baking dish, not cast iron, and they use milk instead of the traditional buttermilk.

How do you like your cornbread? Let me know in the comments below.

Extra Ingredients You Can Add to Cornbread

If you’re looking for some different ways to make your cornbread, here are a few ideas.

  • Bacon drippings – use a few tablespoons of bacon drippings from breakfast, add it to the batter, and mix for a delicious cornbread recipe. (We love bacon around here). You can make the bacon in a cast iron pan and then bake the cornbread with the drippings.
  • Bacon – crumble up about four pieces of cooked bacon and add it to the batter. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
  • Shredded cheddar cheese – Add 1/2 a cup to a cup (depending on how much cheese you like) to the batter and mix. Sprinkle a small handful on top before baking. It is the perfect side dish.
  • Green chile and cheddar cheese – Simply add 1/4 cup of green chile and 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese to the batter.
  • Cooked and crumbled sausage – there’s not much better than cooked sausage mixed in with the easy cornbread recipe. Just add 1/3 cup of cooked sausage, and you’ve got some delicious comfort food.
  • Jalapeno peppers – If you like things spicy and hot, add 1/3 cup of jalapeno peppers to your mix and sprinkle a few on top for good measure.
  • Sweet cornbread – to get a hint of sweetness, add one tablespoon of sugar to the recipe. If you like it a little sweeter, you can vary the amount of sugar and add more.
  • Brown sugar and pecans – this might be my favorite choice. Add 1/3 cup of chopped pecans and 3 tablespoons of brown sugar to the mix, and you’ve got one amazingly delicious sweet cornbread. Finish by topping with some butter while it’s hot.

Can You Use Muffin Tins?

Yes, you can grease a muffin tin or use cupcake liners and make corn muffins instead of cornbread. Bake the muffins for approximately 20 minutes.

You can test the cornbread muffins in the same way by using a cake tester or a toothpick, and if it comes out clean after baking, it is done.

Can You Freeze Cornbread?

Simply allow the cornbread to cool to room temperature after baking, store it in an airtight container, and freeze it for up to three months.

When you’re ready to eat the cornbread, leave it out on the counter for at least two to three hours to thaw out.

After thawing, you can reheat by placing the cornbread in a pan and covering it with aluminum foil. Heat up at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes or until the cornbread is hot.

Top with some butter, and enjoy.

Meals to Eat with Cornbread:

Easy Southern Cornbread Without Buttermilk (Skillet Recipe)

Ditch the buttermilk and still nail that perfect skillet cornbread recipe! Get ready for some delicious, crispy crust Southern-style goodness.

Cornbread with butter on top. The cornbread has some butter melting on the top and there is a fork next to the cornbread. The cornbread is sitting on a white plate.

Easy Southern Cornbread Without Buttermilk (Skillet Recipe)

Yield: 8 pieces
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Southern cornbread without buttermilk is an easy skillet recipe that only takes a few minutes to whip up and get into the oven.


  • 2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup of 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 425-degrees and place the cast iron skillet into the oven while you prepare the cornbread.
  2. Add the cornmeal, flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder to a bowl and mix.
  3. Next, add the eggs, vegetable oil, sour cream, milk, and mix.
  4. Remove the skillet from the oven and grease with butter - be careful it will be hot!
  5. Pour the cornbread batter into the skillet and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. The top of the cornbread will also be light golden brown.


TIP: If you want the cornbread to have a little more moisture, add one more tablespoon of oil to the recipe and mix.

To store leftover cornbread cover it with plastic wrap or store it in an airtight container.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 388Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 81mgSodium: 919mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 3gSugar: 1gProtein: 9g

Nutrition is approximate.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest


Sunday 5th of February 2023

Looked gorgeous, way too much salt! Added the “2 tsp.” listed on the recipe. Everything else (look, moisture, etc.) was stunning but it’s sadly headed for the compost because it is too salty to eat (and I don’t mind salty food!). Please consider adjusting the recipe; similar recipes take half or less of what you listed.

Julie Pollitt

Tuesday 7th of February 2023

Thanks for the heads-up, Charity!

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