Honey Cornbread

Serve slightly sweet Honey Cornbread alongside dinner tonight! Made with simple ingredients, this naturally sweetened cornbread recipe is perfect for sharing. Makes 12 servings.

Homemade cornbread is stacked in a pan, sliced, before serving

Like any Southerner, I have opinions when it comes to cornbread… and I fear my cornbread opinions aren’t the most popular down here because, well, I like my cornbread on the sweeter end of things.

That said, I like HONEY in my cornbread instead of granulated sugar, so I wanted to share with y’all a recipe we’ve been making for years at our house that does just this.

This Honey Cornbread has that hint of natural sweetness that’s pleasant (and not overwhelming, in my opinion.) You can make it in advance or let the kids help you throw it together as a side dish for your dinner.

Whenever you make it, it’s good. And it’s great for sharing, too, if you’re into that kind of thing. And—spoiler alert—I am, so we make this cornbread every year for our New Year’s Day party.

As a Southerner, I think cornbread pairs with everything, but it’s especially good with… Texas ChiliSweet Tea Oven Fried ChickenCinnamon Apple Pork ChopsMemphis-Style Barbecue Ribs

Cornmeal and other ingredients in bowls, from above

What you’ll need to make Homemade Sweet Cornbread

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Collage of two images showing how to mix ingredients and what the cornbread should look like before it goes into the oven

How to make Honey Cornbread from scratch

Preheat the oven, and spray your baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. You can also brush it with oil or unsalted butter, too, if you don’t use cooking spray. Set this aside for later.

Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. This includes the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk ‘em until combined.

Combine the wet ingredients in a smaller bowl or a liquid measuring cup. This includes the honey, egg, melted butter and milk. Whisk these together, too.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and mix with a rubber spatula until just combined. You don’t want to overmix these because if you do, they won’t rise as beautifully.

Pour the batter into your prepared baking dish. Smooth out the top with your spatula, a butter knife or an angled spatula. Your call. 🙂

Bake the cornbread until golden brown. Confirm it’s completely cooked through by inserting a toothpick into the center. If it comes out with crumbs or clean, you’re good to go. If it has batter on the end, bake the cornbread for longer and keep an eye on it!

Let the cornbread cool slightly before slicing into pieces and serving with your favorite meal!

Honey drizzles on top of stacked, sliced cornbread

Erin’s Easy Entertaining Tips

We bake this cornbread every year for New Year’s Day because cornbread = gold = coins/money/financial prosperity for the new year.

It also pairs really well with our gumbo.

If you’re going to make this Honey Cornbread recipe to serve to a crowd, here’s what I suggest doing:

  • Bake the cornbread in advance! Cornbread doesn’t have to be hot to serve, and if your guests or you like it work with a pat of butter, you can always warm it in the oven before serving.
  • Make a second pan if you’re feeding a lot of people! This naturally sweetened cornbread pairs so nicely with so many dishes that it’s going to go fast.
  • Serve it with extra honey and room temperature butter. Because that’s simply the best.

A piece of Honey Cornbread, with other slices, has a bite taken out of it

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of honey should I use in this homemade cornbread?

Personally, I like to use a local honey, but you can use whatever type you have on hand!

I don’t like honey. Will I like this cornbread?

I’d venture to say that if you’re not a honey fan, you will not like this cornbread. It’s best for you to find another cornbread recipe (like my Creamed Cornbread Casserole) or just to skip this one completely.

How do you make cornbread moist from scratch?

I find the that combination of milk, butter and honey in this recipe does wonders for the texture, as well as the moisture factor. While the cornbread has a good crumb, it’s still plenty moist and not crumbly.

How will I know my cornbread is done?

I like to look at the color of a baked good before I pull it from the oven, and then I do a toothpick test. Take a clean toothpick, and insert it into the middle of the cornbread. When you pull it out, the toothpick should be clean and not have any batter on it. Keep in mind that it’s OK if the toothpick has a few crumbs on it.

Can I use agave instead of honey?

I’ve never tried this and do not recommend swapping agave for honey at this time.

Can I freeze this homemade cornbread?

Yes, you can! Package it in a freezer safe, airtight container, and freeze for up to a few months. When you’re ready to enjoy it, defrost it in the fridge and then eat at room temp or toast in the toaster oven.

How long does this cornbread last, and how do I store it?

This cornbread can last on the counter of your house, covered, for 4-5 days, but it rarely lasts that long for us. To have it keep, wrap it in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container.

Can I double the recipe? Does it need to bake longer if I do?

I don’t recommend doubling the recipe. If you want extra cornbread, prepare a second pan of it instead, as the baking time would be off and things might go astray.

Close up of Honey Cornbread, stacked, from above

Quick tips for making Honey Cornbread

  • Swap out the flour for your favorite gluten free baking flour to make it gluten free.
  • Don’t skimp on the honey. It adds such lovely sweetness, as well as moisture to the dish. If you want a cornbread that’s not sweet, this recipe is NOT for you, and I do not advise changing it.
  • Store the cornbread on a plate, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, or in an airtight food storage container on the counter top for up to 5 days.

Cornbread, stacked in a baking dish, is shown with chili and ingredients from above

Homemade cornbread is stacked in a pan, sliced, before serving
Yield: 12 servings

Homemade Honey Cornbread

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Serve slightly sweet Honey Cornbread alongside dinner tonight! Made with simple ingredients, this naturally sweetened cornbread recipe is perfect for sharing.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup stoneground yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 teaspoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spray a 9x13” baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Alternately, you can brush the dish with a high smoking point oil or butter, too.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk until combined.
  3. In a smaller bowl, combine the honey, egg, melted butter and milk, and whisk until incorporated.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix with a rubber spatula until the batter comes together.
  5. Pour the batter into the baking dish, and smooth out the top with an angled spatula or a butter knife.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the top has browned slightly. Carefully insert a toothpick into the center of the cornbread. If it has crumbs when removed, you’re good to go! If it still has batter on the end, bake for another 5(ish) minutes, then test again.
  7. Enjoy warm with your dinner and enjoy slightly warm.

Notes

You can use any type of milk you have on hand. We've successfully made this recipe with nonfat milk and whole milk. Please note that the whole milk version packed a lot more flavor, but the nonfat milk version was not lacking.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12 servings

Serving Size:

1 serving

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 146Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 190mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 1gSugar: 12gProtein: 3g

Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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