Savory Cornbread with Cheddar & Thyme

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When it comes to cornbread, there are two devout camps: the Southerners and the Northerners, and both are passionate about their cornbread. Southerners, of course, are a bit more opinionated on the matter…cornbread is their specialty and they take it very seriously. I’ve lived most my life in the DC area – right smack in the middle – so I could really go either way.

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There’s nothing quite like a crispy, thin wedge of authentic Southern cornbread from a cast iron skillet, but this savory Northern-style cornbread is just as special. It has a high flour to cornmeal ratio, which makes it “cakier” than its Southern cousin, and it’s made in a cake pan as opposed to a skillet. It’s wonderfully moist, not too crumbly, and has great – albeit subtle – flavor from the addition of corn, Cheddar cheese and fresh thyme.

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I know I’m inviting all kinds of controversy…truth is, there are many shades of gray when it comes to regional cornbread recipes. But suffice it to say, this one is delicious and satisfying, and you’ll love how easy it is to throw together.

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And since you might just be making chili this weekend, this is the perfect thing to serve with it, no matter which camp you’re in.

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Enjoy!

Savory Cornbread with Cheddar & Thyme

Print Recipe
Servings: 16 2-inch squares
Total Time: 45 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn kernels (no need to thaw; just be sure they are not stuck together)
  • 1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1-1/4 cups milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spray a 9-inch glass or metal baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, sugar and thyme until well combined. Stir in the corn and cheese.
  3. In a small bowl, break up the eggs with a wire whisk, then add the milk and whisk to combine. Add the wet mixture and melted butter to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until just combined. Do not overmix. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon or spatula. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until puffed and lightly golden. Cool slightly in the pan on a wire rack, then cut into pieces and serve warm. Leftovers can be wrapped in foil and reheated in a 350-degree oven for 10-15 minutes.
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  • bethy

    I made this tonight with some black bean soup and they were a great pair. This cornbread is incredibly delicious, so moist and flavorful. I love the whole corn which adds yummy texture. Bravo!!!

  • I live in Virginia. My mom and her family are all from North Carolina. Yet somehow we all LOVE northern cornbread! We like it sweet, soft, and cakey!! :D This looks so delicious!

  • I was making Chicken and White Bean Chili when I ran into your post so I made the cornbread too! Simply PERFECT as a muffin too! I blogged about it here: link to sisboomblog.com

    Thank you!!! Trevor.

  • Gosh I just love your pics! Yum! I ma going to try this Thursday! (chili day!)

  • Naailah

    hello..do u use metric cup or US cup? because i am going to convert it in grams

  • jay

    This cornbread looks insanely delicious. You’re right, this would make a great accompiant to chili.

    I just found your blog and realy enjoy it.

  • my grandpa would have a conniption fit if i served this to him, but i personally don’t mind a fluffy, sweeter, CHEESY cornbread from time to time. beautiful work!

  • Naailah

    Hello..i would like to try this out but i have a few questions before..
    do u use US cup or metric cup?
    also i do not have specified pan size, would it be ok if i bake it in a medium size loaf pan?
    plz reply asap because i wanna try this :)
    thx

  • Julie

    I made this for Father’s Day dinner, and have to say it was WONDERFUL. The corn in it, the fresh thyme, everything made it a savory and delicious cornbread. YUM!

  • Brandi

    I just made this and it turned out super yummy! Served it with some chili that I made last night. I didn’t have fresh thyme or white cheddar cheese, so I used 1 tsp of dried thyme and sharp cheddar cheese. I also just ate 4 pieces.. :-/

  • Elizabeth

    What is cornmeal exactly? Is it rough like for making porridge r is it fine like flour?

  • Hi Elizabeth, Cornmeal is a kind of flour or meal that is made from ground sweet corn. It can be ground course or fine, and is not as soft as flour.

  • [...] serving this with my savory Cheddar & Thyme Cornbread or Cornbread Muffins. [...]

  • Andrew

    I made this recently and loved it. Unfortunately I couldn’t eat the whole pan by myself, although I gave it a good try. I actually used an 8 in pan, and increased the baking time a bit, and it still turned out great.

  • Amanda

    These are terrific. The thyme is that little something we’ve been missing. Thank you!

  • Colleen

    I loved this cornbread–very moist. The 2nd time I made it, I left out the thyme and added some finely chopped green chile and chopped bacon. Good for breakfast. . . can’t say whether it might have been good for lunch, as there were no leftovers!

  • Janice

    I also made this to go with chili, and added jalepenos….the bacon sounds like a great idea, too! Loved the cornbread, and I am a true Southerner! :)

  • Julie

    Made this in my mom’s 65 year old cast iron skillet, served with bbq pork tenderloin and mashed sweet potatoes. Perfectly crisp on the outside, moist on the inside.

  • Julie

    Wonderful with your beef stew recipe! My kids like it served with honey. I’ve made this several times, it’s perfect when you’re looking for a bread that is more substantial.

  • Jackie

    Hi Jennifer – is it possible to use a cupcake tin rather than a 9″ baking pan? Will it affect cooking time? Thanks!

    • Jenn

      Hi Jackie, Yes that would be fine and it should cook faster. Start checking at about 15 min. Hope you enjoy and please come back and let me know how they come out.

  • I made this yesterday for dinner and we all LOVED it. This will become a staple for my family. Thank you!

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