Classic Martha White Cornbread Recipe: A Southern Staple

Prep. time:
30 min
8 dishes

Martha White cornbread is a beloved Southern tradition, cherished for its simplicity and delicious flavor. Originating from generations of home cooks in the South, this cornbread recipe has been passed down through families and shared at gatherings for years. 

Yield and Difficulty:

This recipe makes one 9-inch skillet of cornbread and takes approximately 30 minutes to prepare. It is rated as easy, suitable for beginner cooks.

Ingredients for making Classic Martha White Cornbread Recipe

  • · 1 cup Martha White self-rising cornmeal mix
  • · 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • · 1 tablespoon granulated sugar (optional, for sweetness)
  • · 1 cup buttermilk
  • · 1/4 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
  • · 1 large egg

How to Make Classic Martha White Cornbread Recipe - Step by step Instructions:

  1. Preheat Oven: Start by preheating your oven to 425°F (220°C). Grease a 9-inch cast iron skillet or baking dish with butter or cooking spray.
  2. Mix Dry Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the Martha White self-rising cornmeal mix, all-purpose flour, and granulated sugar (if using). Stir until well combined.
  3. Add Wet Ingredients: In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, vegetable oil or melted butter, and egg until smooth.
  4. Combine and Mix: Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined, being careful not to overmix. The batter should be thick but pourable.
  5. Pour into Skillet: Pour the cornbread batter into the prepared skillet or baking dish, spreading it out evenly with a spatula.
  6. Bake: Place the skillet or baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cornbread is golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Cool and Serve: Allow the cornbread to cool in the skillet for a few minutes before slicing and serving. Serve warm with butter, honey, or your favorite toppings.

Nutritional Advantages

  • Cornmeal is a good source of fiber and essential nutrients, including iron and magnesium.
  • Buttermilk adds calcium and probiotics, beneficial for bone health and digestion.
  • This recipe is naturally gluten-free if made with gluten-free cornmeal mix.

Recipe Alternatives

  • For a dairy-free option, you can substitute the buttermilk with a dairy-free milk alternative such as almond milk or coconut milk mixed with lemon juice or vinegar to mimic the tanginess of buttermilk.
  • Use a sugar substitute such as honey or maple syrup in place of granulated sugar for a natural sweetener option.
  • Experiment with adding mix-ins such as chopped jalapeños, shredded cheese, or cooked bacon for extra flavor and texture.

Tips for Enhancing the Recipe

  • For a crispy crust, preheat the cast iron skillet in the oven before pouring in the batter.
  • Brush the top of the cornbread with melted butter before baking for added richness and flavor.
  • Serve leftover cornbread slices toasted with a dollop of cream cheese and a drizzle of honey for a delicious breakfast treat.

With just a handful of basic ingredients, you can create a batch of golden, moist cornbread that pairs perfectly with a variety of dishes, from barbecue to chili.

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