Favorite Cornbread, Northern style with a Crust

Cornbread is close to my heart. I have so many memories of going to Boston Market, hashing out an absurd amount of cornbread for myself. I’m sure I wished I was allowed to eat a whole meal of it (but then, also a whole meal of mashed potatoes too….). And while I haven’t been in a Boston Market for years, cornbread has remained a great love. And for me, when I say cornbread I mean soft, moist, and sweet (i.e. Northern style) cornbread.


I found this recipe years ago, and I’ve never looked back. This satisfies all my cornbread craving (and has me convincing myself every time I make it that cornbread really tastes best the day it’s made, so 2+ pieces is not just okay, but basically a must. Right?).

Best thing about this recipe, it steals a bit from the South and has an amazingly crisp & buttery crust. Oh, and it can be baked in a variety of different pans to no ill affect.


Northern Style Cornbread

Makes one cast iron skillet* or 12 muffins**


  • 1 cup cornmeal

  • 1 cup flour

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 3/4 cup sour cream

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk or kefir

  • 2 eggs

  • 3 tbs melted butter, plus another tablespoon for pan

  • 2 tbs olive oil (or other cooking oil)


  1. Cast iron skillet in the oven on the middle rack and preheat oven to 425.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Whisk to combine.

  3. Remove skillet from oven. BE CAREFUL! Cast iron can burn badly. Place remaining tbs of butter*** into the skillet. Swirl to coat. Pour in batter and return to oven.

  4. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until nicely golden and a toothpick comes out clean.

  5. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then flip unto a wire rack and let cool for an additional 10 minutes. Cut up and serve right away. Enjoy!


* The original recipe says to use a 10in skillet. I prefer the thicker slices that come from using an 8-9inch skillet. I’ve also one and a halved the recipe to make a 12in skillet.

** One recipe will make a very full pan of 12 muffins. Feel free to make them a little smaller with a few odd muffins in a separate pan. But if you don’t mind overfull muffins — why bother dirtying another pan? (Or if you really do prefer perfect sized muffins and don’t mind extras, a 1 and 1/2 recipe makes 24 muffins nicely.)

*** If making muffins, use two tbs and cut into a total of 12 pieces. Drop a piece into each cup.

Adapted from Serious Eats.