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.
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.
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.
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.
My Recipe Videos
Savory Cornbread with Cheddar & Thyme
- 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
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spray a 9-inch glass or metal baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, sugar and thyme until well combined. Stir in the corn and cheese.
- 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. Cornbread tastes best when served right out of the oven but leftovers can be wrapped in foil and reheated in a 350-degree oven for 10-15 minutes.
- Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The cornbread can be frozen in an airtight container or sealable plastic bag for up to 3 months. To reheat, just wrap in foil and warm it in a 350°F oven until hot.