Skillet Cornbread with Homemade Butter

This is a great recipe and tastes better, I find, when cooked in a cast-iron skillet and served tableside. I have also served this recipe for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. Whether with jam and butter or fried chicken on the side, there are rarely leftovers! I usually make a seasonal jam or some butter from scratch. Pretty easy and really impresses your friends and family. In an ideal world, the cornbread ingredients are all around room temperature and not ice cold from the fridge…
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 50 min (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings
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Ingredients

Skillet Cornbread:

1 1/4 cups coarsely ground cornmeal

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/3 cup whole milk, at room temperature

1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature

2 large eggs, lightly beaten, at room temperature

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted, plus 1 tablespoon for greasing the skillet

Homemade Butter:

2 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 cup sour cream 

1 teaspoon coarse sea salt 

Freshly ground black pepper 

Directions

Special equipment:
a 9-inch cast-iron skillet
  1. For the skillet cornbread: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F place a 9-inch cast iron skillet inside to heat while you make the batter.
  2. Make the batter: In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk in the milk, buttermilk and eggs. Stir in 1 stick (8 tablespoons) of melted butter.
  3. Bake: Carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven and coat the bottom and sides with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Pour the batter into the skillet and place it in the center of the oven. Bake until the center is firm and a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool.
  4. For the homemade butter:
  5. Prepare a medium-size bowl of ice water. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, gradually whip the cream and sour cream together. Increase the speed of the mixer and continue whipping until the cream separates and the mixture thickens. 
  6. Use a rubber spatula to gather up the butter and remove it from the bowl. There will be some liquid that is a natural result of this process. That liquid is actually buttermilk. Gather the ball of butter together into a double layer of cheesecloth or a thin kitchen towel and plunge it into the ice bath to wash any buttermilk off the surface. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Pack the butter into a bowl or roll it into a ball or log shape using plastic wrap. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator.

Cook’s Note

For the homemade butter: When I make breakfast on my day off, I always use the opportunity to get back to the basics. I love making my own butter and jams for toast. I have found it's very important to use a natural sour cream that doesn't have any thickeners (like Guar gum) when making this recipe.

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