Martha White Southern Cornbread

Martha White Southern Cornbread is an easy cornbread recipe with just 6 ingredients that makes a classic homemade cornbread with buttermilk.

homemade cornbread slices

What makes a Cornbread Recipe “southern?”

Southern Cornbread is different than the cornbread you find in most restaurants. This cornbread is not sweet, it is distinctly corn flavored and generally used in stuffing recipes. The other great thing about it though? It tastes like what you’d want a real homemade cornbread to taste like instead of a corn muffin.

Homemade Cornbread – The Perfect Soup Side

This homemade cornbread is a perfect addition to a bowl of warm chili (like yesterday’s Slow Cooker Chili) or any soup for that matter, and is delicious on the side of your favorite bbq dishes.

Another positive for this homemade cornbread? This cornbread recipe is great for making a quick side dish – with just a few ingredients you’ll have this Southern Cornbread ready to bake before you cast iron skillet even warms up!

piece of homemade cornbread made from southern cornbread recipe

What is White Cornbread vs Yellow Cornbread?

White cornbread uses white cornmeal as the base and tends to have a less bold flavor than yellow cornbread. Many will say the only difference is in the color of the corn that is used to create the cornmeal, but white corn tends to have a muted, less sweet flavor than yellow corn.

Why is this Southern Cornbread?

Most cornmeal you’ll find in the south is white cornmeal. The use of yellow cornmeal or cornmeal mixes are primarily used outside of the Southern United States. Outside of the area you’ll find almost all cornbread is a sweeter, yellow variety.

Looking for more bread options?

Homemade cornbread made from Southern Cornbread recipe that's not too sweet

Tools Used in this Martha White Southern Cornbread recipe:

Cast Iron Skillet: My most used pan in my kitchen, heavy, keeps heat well and gives the BEST sear ever and makes the best crust on your cornbread!
White Cornmeal: A southern staple, this cornmeal is different than the yellow variety and different than the cornbread mixes.
Buttermilk Powder: An easy substitute to keeping fresh buttermilk on hand! Easy to mix into replacement buttermilk.

Martha White Southern Cornbread

Martha White Southern Cornbread is an easy recipe with just 6 ingredients that makes a classic Southern cornbread with buttermilk.

Course Side Dish, Starch Side
Cuisine American
Keyword Southern Cornbread Recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 Servings
Calories 195 kcal
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1 large egg
  • 1 3/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup oil (or shortening)
  • 2 cups white cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar optional
  • 2 tablespoons butter melted (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Grease a cast iron skillet with oil or shortening and put it in the oven.
  3. In a large bowl add the egg, buttermilk, oil, cornmeal, baking powder and salt (sugar would be added here too if you want a hint of sweetness).
  4. Whisk to combine.
  5. Bake for 25-28 minutes or until golden brown.

  6. Brush on melted butter when it comes out of the oven (optional).
Nutrition Facts
Martha White Southern Cornbread
Amount Per Serving
Calories 195 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 23mg8%
Sodium 254mg11%
Potassium 271mg8%
Carbohydrates 24g8%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 136IU3%
Calcium 89mg9%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Quick and Easy to make, this Southern Cornbread is perfect and not too sweet!
Martha White Southern Cornbread is an easy recipe with just 6 ingredients that makes a classic Southern cornbread with buttermilk.

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. This might sound like a dumb question, but why do you list the step to put the skillet in the oven before pouring the mixture in? Is that a mistake? If not, how long do you leave it in until you take it out to pour the mixture in?

    1. You want to put your cast iron skillet in the oven while it’s preheating so get it warm before adding the cornbread mixture. Once it’s heat to 450 degrees, take it out and add the batter and bake it for 25-28 minutes. Hope this helps clear things up.

  2. Don’t really like to taste of it with buttermilk I really use regular milk and I don’t have a skillet that’s made of I cast iron so I would just use a regular pan to bake it in

  3. Being from Texas, I love cornbread and Martha White is a must. As far as white or yellow cornbread….well…that has started many a fight! Let’s Eat!!

    1. It’d be better to use yogurt or sour cream as a substitute since they’re both a dairy product that’s high in lactic acid.

  4. We bought Martha White corn meal that is white. My husband would not eat it, it has no taste at all. What do I do with it??? Thank you.

    1. Are you saying he didn’t like this cornbread or just doesn’t like white cornmeal at all? Sorry, just confused. If it’s the taste of the this cornbread, you can add extras to it to give it more flavor like jalapeño, cheese, etc.

  5. Might have to try your recipe, I have always used white cornmeal, I am using Lamb’s since we have moved to Texas. I have always used some flour in mine, so we will see, Am making your chili as I e-mail you smell’s delicious. Love your recipes.Thanks.

    1. I am a Southern gal from Kentucky and have made Southern cornbread for 60 years. As stated, our cornbread has not a hint of sweetness. Until I married, I didn’t know that cornbread could be made any other way besides with buttermilk. My mother-in-law made corn bread with sweet milk, and I soon developed the taste for corn bread made with sweet milk. That would be up to your taste. My mom would sometimes make cornbread flap jacks. She made these by dropping a few spoonfuls in the skillet in heated cooking oil, then turning them once they were browned on each side. These are delicious with homemade stew, soup. or chili. I am a country cornbread girl from way back. If you haven’t had country cornbread stir up a batch today!

      1. Hello Rosella hope ur having a great morning and hope ur day goes great also reason I’m replying to ur post is cause I’m also from Ky and wanted to say there’s nothing better then a BIG BOWL OF BEANS, CORNBREAD, AND SOME FRIED TATERS. Now that is something that will fill you up and make you have a great nites sleep. Oh btw,
        God bless, again have a great day. Gig

        1. Haha, a big bowl of beans is exactly why I was looking for a cornbread recipe. My gladiola mix has been in the pantry forever so I thought it would be nice to try it from scratch. I’m only 33, but I grew up eating beans and cornbread (in Texas), and I make it exactly the way my Mama taught me (learned from her grandmother) but we’ve always used a mix for cornbread so this should be interesting. Probably my favorite home cooked meal!

  6. Mmm! I can imagine eating this with soup or a fresh salad, or sloppy joes…the list goes on and on! Delicious!