Cornbread Without Buttermilk

5 from 3 votes
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This Cornbread Without Buttermilk recipe is easy and only requires one bowl. It is moist, buttery, crispy around the edges, and just a delight to enjoy by itself or with some honey drizzled on top.

Square slices of cornbread without buttermilk with honey drizzling on top.

Forget the store-bought boxed cornbread mix. This cornbread from scratch without buttermilk is the real deal! You only need 8 ingredients and 30 minutes to make this easy recipe.

If you love tasty homemade baked goods, also check out our 3 Ingredient Biscuits, Zucchini Muffins With Applesauce, Perfect Plain Cake, and Vanilla Pound Cake.

I love corn in every form. My love for corn is right up there with my love for plantains and coconut. That’s why Koki Corn, which is like some savory form of cornbread never lasts long in my house.

I often have huge plans for making cornbread and freezing for the future but my plans never come to fruition.

Because once there is cornbread at home, I won’t rest until it is all gone! I just can’t resist that flavor of corn in a baked good!

Cornbread Without Buttermilk In Skillet.

Cornbread Recipe Without Buttermilk

Can you make cornbread without buttermilk? The answer is a resounding yes! This recipe works because sometimes buttermilk can be hard to come by.

Without buttermilk, you can still make perfectly moist cornbread. Just use a combination of whole milk, baking powder, and melted butter.

You’ll get really tasty cornbread with the right texture, you won’t miss the buttermilk.

You’ll love this cornbread recipe because you only need one bowl for the batter and it is not too sweet, which makes it perfect for drizzling some good honey or maple syrup on top.

Please don’t be shy with the honey.

Honey wand drizzling honey on cornbread.

Different Kinds of Fat For Cornbread

I tried a couple of batches of cornbread with different kinds of fat before settling on this version which is sufficiently buttery. Here is what I experienced when I used different kinds of fat:

  • Cornbread with oil: I tried cornbread with oil and it was less than satisfactory for me. It was missing the flavor and richness that butter brings to baked goods.
  • Cornbread with melted butter: The first time I tried cornbread with melted butter, I didn’t like it. Maybe I used more butter than needed because it was greasy and had an off-taste. I retried with the right quantity of melted butter and I totally loved it!
  • Cornbread with softened butter: This is another great way to make cornbread. Soften the butter at room temperature then cream the butter together with the sugar before adding the other ingredients. The butter melts further into the cornbread as it bakes and yields a really good buttery flavor.

This recipe has been updated with a better ratio of ingredients yielding moister cornbread.

This cornbread can be baked either in a cast iron skillet or in an 8 by 8 inch baking dish.

Cornbread in square baking dish.

Ingredients For Cornbread

Here are the ingredients you need to make tasty cornbread without buttermilk:

Labeled cornbread ingredients.
  • Cornmeal: Use fine yellow cornmeal as it gives a yellow hue to the cornbread which is really attractive.
  • Flour: Regular all-purpose flour will work.
  • Sugar: Granulated or cane sugar would work.
  • Baking powder: Makes the cornbread rise creating a less dense cake.
  • Salt: Enhances flavor and balances the sweetness.
  • Whole milk: Provides moisture and flavor. You could also use evaporated milk but please avoid low-fat milk as it doesn’t add as much moisture.
  • Eggs: Add moisture and richness. Essential for binding the cornbread so it doesn’t fall apart.
  • Melted butter: Adds moisture and flavor. Brown the butter for an even deeper flavor.

See the recipe card below with a detailed list of ingredients and instructions.

How To Make Cornbread Without Buttermilk

  • Whisk together the dry ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  • Add the wet ingredients. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients then to the well add the milk, eggs, and butter. Whisk to form a batter. It’s okay if there are still lumps.
Batter for cornbread with a whisk in a bowl.
  • Pour the batter into a buttered baking dish and bake. Bake at 350 degrees Celcius (180 degrees Fahrenheit) for about 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cornbread comes out clean.
Cornbread batter in cast iron skillet.
Baked cornbread in cast iron skillet.

Be careful not to overbake cornbread as it dries out quickly. Once it is fully cooked, pull it out of the oven for a moister cornbread.

To add more flavor and enjoy a moist cornbread, add 2 tablespoons of salted butter to the top of the cornbread as soon as it is done baking. The butter will melt and seep into the cake creating more moisture and flavor.

Cornbread Without Buttermilk Variations

Here are variations you could try with your cornbread:

  • Blueberry Cornbread: Add some blueberries to the batter to make blueberry cornbread. My kids love this version.
  • Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread: Add some diced jalapenos and shredded cheese to the batter to make Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread. My Hispanic friend loves this version.
  • Mashed Sweet Potatoes: Add mashed sweet potatoes to the batter to make Sweet Potato Cornbread.
  • Corny Cornbread: Add fresh corn kernels or creamed corn for more texture and corn flavor.

Also, check out these recipes for Cinnamon Rolls With Cream Cheese Frosting and My Favorite Ambrosia Salad.

Slice of cornbread being lifted from a cast iron skillet.

Cornbread Recipe FAQs

How do I substitute buttermilk for cornbread?

You can substitute buttermilk by combining whole milk and lemon juice. Add one tablespoon of lemon juice to a liquid measuring cup. Add enough milk to make one cup. Let it sit for 5 minutes and you’ll have a cup of buttermilk substitute. Scale the recipe as needed.

Or use this cornbread without buttermilk recipe and you won’t have to make a buttermilk substitute. Milk and baking powder a sufficient for excellent cornbread.

Is it better to use buttermilk or milk in cornbread?

Both buttermilk and milk could work in cornbread depending on the ratio of other ingredients in the recipe.

Can I substitute water for milk in cornbread?

You can but it will take away from the richness milk brings to cornbread resulting in drier cornbread. Getting milk to use in cornbread is important. Consider substituting milk with evaporated milk or half and half.

What Goes Good With Cornbread?

Cornbread can be eaten by itself or it can be paired with the following recipes:

Our favorite way to enjoy cornbread is warm with some butter smeared on top and some honey drizzled on top. So good!

More Thanksgiving Recipes

Love this recipe for Cornbread Without Buttermilk? Also, save these recipes to add to your Thanksgiving table:

If you make this recipe please leave a star rating below. Your rating helps others find the recipe plus I love hearing from you! Thank you!

Square slices of cornbread without buttermilk with honey drizzling on top.

Cornbread Without Buttermilk

5 from 3 votes
Super easy Cornbread Without Buttermilk recipe that happens in one bowl! The cornbread is moist, buttery, and not too sweet with sufficient corn flavor. This is the cornbread recipe you'll want to make over and over again!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 servings


  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, melted


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (218 degrees C). Grease a 10-inch cast iron skillet or an 8 by 8 square baking dish with oil or butter.
  • Whisk together the dry ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt until well combined.
  • Add the wet ingredients: Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients. To the well add the milk, eggs and melted butter. Whisk the dry and wet ingredients together to combine. Don't overmix and lumps are okay.
  • Pour into pan and bake: Pour the batter into the greased pan and level the top using a spatula. Place in the preheated oven to bake for about 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Start checking around 18 minutes. Be careful not to overbake so it doesn't turn out dry.
  • Add butter to top: As soon as the cornbread comes out of the oven, top with more butter (about 2 tablespoons) then let the butter melt and seep into the cornbread.
  • Slice and share: Enjoy warm. Wrap and store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze for up to a month.


Baking dish choice: Use a cast iron skillet or a square 8-inch baking dish. Both yield amazing results but you you want crunchy edges, go with a well-buttered 10-inch cast iron skillet.
Cornbread muffins: If you would love to make cornbread muffins instead, pour the batter of this recipe into greased muffin tins to be 2/3 full. Then bake for about 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. 
Storing leftover cornbread: Store leftover cornbread at room temperature for 1-2 days or store tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to a month.


Calories: 242kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 378mg | Potassium: 144mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 284IU | Calcium: 137mg | Iron: 2mg

Additional Info

Course: Breakfast, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Southern
Calories: 242
Tried this recipe?Mention @preciouscore or tag #PreciousCore!

About Precious

Welcome to my core! I am Precious Nkeih, the recipe developer and writer right here on my blog, Precious Core. My goal is to show you insanely delicious recipes you can replicate in your kitchen. And I love to tell stories too. Hope you find recipes here that will make cooking easier for you! Check me out on YouTube at

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  1. Hello Precious,
    I would like to try this corn bread. Can I make the corn meal by just blending white corn to flour and then using it for the cornbread?

  2. Hello Precious thanks for this recipe.I would like to try it, how do I make or get cornmeal?pls do let me know how its made.

    1. Hi May, cornmeal is ground corn. Depending on where you live, you could purchase already ground corn or you could grind corn to make yours. Hope this helps.

  3. Good Day Precious,

    I have not tried your cornbread recipe yet, but I’m sure I will. I do believe it will have a buttery rich and slightly sweet flavor. My maternal grandfather was born and raised in the Show Me State and later moved to Wisconsin to own a smaller dairy farm. He tired of growing fields of rocks in Missouri.

    He would often make the cornbread while my grandmother prepared the rest of our dinner (supper as we called it.) The next day my grandfather would break up a piece of the cornbread into a glass. Then he’d fill the glass with ice cold whole milk we saved from our milking herd. That IS whole milk. He would let the cornbread and milk sit for a minute or two for the cornbread to absorb milk. Then eat the mixture out of the cup with a spoon. Not quite a dessert, but very good and refreshing.

  4. Good day Ma.
    Will love to try out this recipe but i don’t know what kind of milk to use. i am in Cameroon. can i use powder milk or evaporated milk such as peak milk will be good?