The Best Sweet Cornbread

The Best Sweet Cornbread – soft, tender moist cornbread recipe that’s sweet just like I like it.Β Reminds me of Marie Calendar’s cornbread.The Best Sweet Cornbread - soft, tender cornbread that's sweet just like I like it.

I’ve been searching for the perfect cornbread.

I was at a church function and our friends said his mom was famous for her cornbread so of course I had to try it. It tasted like cake. I like cake.

Turns out it was actually made WITH a cake mix – go figure. So yes, I like my cornbread sweet but not quite that sweet. Almost.

I’ve tried recipe after recipe and almost settled on one.

Until I happened to be at my friend’s house and her mom was telling me how good her cornbread recipe was and that it was sweet like Marie Calendar’s. The Best Sweet Cornbread - soft, tender cornbread that's sweet just like I like it. the-girl-who-ate-everything.comIt was kind of like when I was trying on wedding dresses. I found a lot that I liked but didn’t LOVE. They were all just missing that little something.

Then I tried on the dress meant for me.

It was discontinued (or as I like to look at it – one of a kind), inexpensive, modest, and the perfect mixture of satin and detail.

I knew there wasn’t any reason to look any further. I just knew.The Best Sweet Cornbread - soft, tender cornbread that's sweet just like I like it.

I left my friend’s house with one more recipe to try. My husband looked at me like I was a little crazy when I went into the kitchen at 10pm to make cornbread…yet again.

But I had to know. The result? I said YES to the cornbread.

Soft, tender, flat top – no weird bubbling (don’t ask), sweet and moist with just the right amount of cornbread texture. Hope you love it like I do!


4.82 from 22 votes
The Best Sweet Cornbread - soft, tender cornbread that's sweet just like I like it.
The Best Sweet Cornbread
The Best Sweet Cornbread
Servings: 24
  • 1 cup unsalted butter , softened
  • 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups buttermilk (see Note for easy substitution)
  • 1 1/4 cups fine cornmeal (found by the flour)
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 baking dish.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and salt and mix until combined. Add the buttermilk and mix until thoroughly combined. Next, add the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix to incorporate.

  3. Pour into prepared baking dish. Bake until golden. This will be different for every oven. START checking it for doneness at 25 minutes and bake longer until golden if needed (up to 35 minutes)

  4. Serve warm with butter and honey.
Recipe Notes

Buttermilk Substitution: If you don't have buttermilk you can add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to each cup of milk and let it sit for a couple of minutes.

This can easily be halved and baked in a 9x9 pan.

Source: my friend Rachel's mom, Kim Smith who got it from her church cookbook. Original author is listed as Cheri McClean.

The Best Sweet Cornbread - soft, tender cornbread that's sweet just like I like it.

Speak Your Mind



  1. Yes! I have been looking for a sweeter cornbread that didn’t use the cake mix or was as sweet and sticky.
    What type of cornmeal did you use? I have coarse and fine milled, and also white. Not sure why I have white!

  2. I’ve never wanted some butter and honey so bad in my life. I mean I’m sure the cornbread is good too…. πŸ™‚

  3. Shawnna Griffin says:

    hey girl this looks so tasty!

  4. Just made this and it turned out very well. Just the right amount of sweetness.

  5. Maybe I missed this but do you melt the butter before combining it or just mix it softened? Thanks

  6. These instructions are terrible. Maybe you should edit it to say that you mix the butter and sugar before adding anything else. Then the eggs and remaining wet ingredients. Combine dry ingredients then add to wet ingredients. I live in an area where the ingredients are expensive and I am not happy to have wasted them!

  7. Absolutely delicious! Easy to follow directions, it came out perfect!

  8. Do you think I can use a can of creamed corn somewhere in here??

  9. This was absolutely delicious,I’ve never hear cornbread before. However, I had cook this for over an hour and the center was still very wet. Any suggestions?

    • I halved the recipe and had the same problems.

    • Same problem with having to bake for an hour or so…I think oven temp should be 400 degrees instead of 350 degrees like other corn bread recipes…That may help with the slow baking.

      • Just pulled my second try out of the oven. I kept the oven temp at 350 degrees…I chickened out on the 400 degrees…It still took longer to bake than recipe says. This time it took 35-40 minutes. Looks really good though. With all the different types of ovens on the market nowadays, you are just going to have to watch it close and judge temp yourself and with a pick poked into the center to check to make sure it’s done.

    • Did you bake in a 9×13 pan?

  10. I had to pop it back in the oven even after 35 minutes and at 375 degrees. Any idea why there seems to be so much variability with the temperature? I followed the recipe exactly and baked in a 9 x 13 pan. My oven is pretty accurate with temperature.

  11. I had the same outcome as several others here. Wet mixture was incredibly lumpy, I followed the recipe to a T and it still was a flop. πŸ™ Hate wasting ingredients, especially butter as it’s very expensive where I live.

  12. This is the absolute best corn bread we’ve ever had in our lives.

    We’re using a Temptations 9×13 dish, and have to cook it 40 mins, and it turns out with a light crust around the edges, which is simply divine.

    As to the lady that has lumps in the mixture, are you sure you’re using softened butter?

    Or maybe you’re not mixing it enough. I use a KitchenAide mixer, and it turns out perfect

  13. OK, I never write reviews, but this time I had to. I also had the clumpy batter problem (I had not read the comments beforehand) and was so concerned that I threw away my first mixture right after I added the buttermilk and eggs. But because I’m a perfectionist and have never had a recipe defeat me, I started over. My initial thought was that my butter was too warm and I had curdled either the buttermilk, eggs, or both. The second time I halved the mixture, softened the butter the correct way and proceeded as the directions were written, and yet again the mixture was clumpy, BUT I kept going, and added the remaining ingredients. I used coarse cornmeal and went ahead and put it in the oven (lumps and all), and guess what, it turned out wonderfully! The lumps could be masked by the coarse cornmeal but who knows, the taste is so great you don’t notice. It’s sweet but not too sweet! I think the next time though I would try mixing the eggs and buttermilk together prior to adding to the creamed sugar mixture to see if that makes a difference? REGARDLESS, DON’T LET THE CLUMPS SCARE YOU, PROCEED ON!

  14. This is the best corn bread ever!! I don’t know, maybe ignorance is bliss but I just followed the instructions. I saw some lumps but hey, maybe they were supposed to be there, I don’t know.πŸ€— So I continued on. I used a 9 x 13 glass dish and it took about 40 minutes but it was worth the wait! The best golden corn bread you ever saw. Moist, just the right amount of sweet, texture was beautiful. Although, I must say, every recipe I have I have made from “the-girl-who-ate-everything ” has been delicious! Thank you!!πŸ˜‹

  15. So easy, the directions were great and easy to follow. Loved this recipe and we make it again! Thank you so much!!!


  17. being that I’m trained in pastry i treated this recipe like a cake. dry together, wet together and cream the butter and sugar. I am currently still in the oven so i can’t attest to its taste but it is taking WAY longer than 25 min. I increased the heat per other commenters recommendations. Im at 375 for another 10 min so heres hoping. But I have to agree the the instructions aren’t written very clearly. Here’s hoping!

  18. This is the best cornbread recipe EVER! My family loved it. Just the perfect amount of sweetness and the texture is wonderful. This recipe is definitely a keeper. I’m making it again today and can’t wait to eat it. As mentioned by others, my batter also was a bit lumpy but I just cooked it anyway. Turned out great! Btw, I had to extend the cooking time as well.

  19. This wasn’t bad for a sweet cornmbread recipe. My son asked for sweet southern cornbread to go with our collards and stir fried pea shoots for lunch. I felt this was too sweet for me (he loved it) and the texture was a bit too smooth for me as well. I halved the recipe and baked it in my cast iron skillet. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  20. I made the cornbread for dinner and it was a big hit. I love this cornbread and so did the family. I followed your instructions and had no problems. This was easy to make. I will be making this cornbread instead of traditional way. Has just the right amount of sweetness. Thank you for posting this recipe.

    Carol H

  21. This is definitely the best cornbread I’ve ever made. I halved the recipe and baked it in a square 9×9 glass pan. It took 30 minutes and it was perfect!! Thanks!

  22. This was my first time making cornbread from scratch. Everyone loved it. I will be using this recipe all the time now.

  23. I mixed the recipe exactly as written. The only substitution I had was I used salted butter. Yes, the mixture was thick and clumpy, but the cornbread came out perfectly. I used my cast iron frying pan and a cupcake pan. This batter was enough to fill the skillet and make six muffins. I did cook it about 15 minutes longer than stated. It was delicious! This is now my cornbread recipe.

  24. Wonderfull!!!!! i made a half batch since it was just 2 of us, used a 11×7 pan and 2/3 sugar instead of the 3/4 (for the half batch), and used regular whole organic milk. Delicious!!!!!!!! Baked for 22 min at 350 came out perfect! thanks for a great recipe!

  25. This was delicious!! My husband and kids devoured it! I divided the recipe in half. I placed a greased cast iron skillet in the cold oven and let it preheat with the oven to 350 degrees. I poured the batter into the hot skillet and baked it for 25 minutes. It was perfect!

    For those who had lump issues- I had lumps in the beginning with the wet ingredients, but once I added the dry ingredients, it all blended together. A stand mixer or hand mixer could also help smooth out the lumps when creaming the butter and sugar together. I just stirred it all by hand because I was too lazy to pull out my stand mixer. πŸ™‚

  26. I did a rough estimate for halving the ingredients and used the buttermilk substitute. Honestly I did not expect much from the recipe. The bread came out very moist and not too sweet which was a plus.
    Thanks for the wonderful recipe.

  27. Melissa Hughes says:

    This is EXACTLY how I like cornbread. Definitely, the best recipe that I’ve come across yet. After reading the comments I was nervous about this being soft in the center. However, mine was perfect. Having said that, I did make a couple of small changes. I only had self-rising cornmeal. Therefore, I omitted the baking soda and baking powder. I didn’t have buttermilk so I made homemade with half and half and vinegar. Also, I’m not sure what type of baking dish everyone was using, but the only 13×9 dishes I had were glass. I’ve not had a lot of luck with glass and cornbread in the past. I used a non-stick throw-away aluminum pan. I baked it at 400* for 30 minutes and it was PERFECT. I will definitely be saving this one as my new go-to for cornbread.

  28. This cornbread is delicious! Yes, the wet ingredients are “lumpy”, but it is no matter…the batter becomes smooth when the dry ingredients are added. It makes a very large batch, the batter filled up the 13×9 and it rose very high. If you are looking for a sweet cornbread, this is the one!

  29. Foodie Snob Debbie says:

    This cornbread is fabulous! I’m not sure why people were worried about the clumps. Baking has certain rules and you follow them.
    What I did a little difference is turned the heat to 375. First put Pam in a 11 1/2 in cast iron skillet, then added 4 Tablespoons butter to skillet and melted butter in the oven in skillet until a sizzle. Pored the batter in immediately and baked approximately 35 min. Crusty outside, moist inside. The best I ever made! DELICIOUS

  30. All you people complaining about the recipe must have never baked before. Jeez! I like that you can throw it all together without dirtying 2 bowls. I have a small oven that always bakes slowly, so mine went 10 min more… Typical for my oven. Loved this recipe more than any other. Had the leftovers for breakfast!

  31. Nicole Guerra says:

    This is very similar to my cornbread recipie already but just looking to switch things up I made it. Now this is my cornbread recipie. My picky picky kids even ate it. Thank You for this GEM !! The Guerra Family πŸ™‚ <3

  32. Nicole Guerra says:

    This is very similar to my cornbread recipie already but just looking to switch things up I made it. Now this is my cornbread recipie. My picky picky kids even ate it. Thank You for this GEM !! The Guerra Family πŸ™‚ <3

  33. I made this today, and it is delicious! I added a cup or so of thawed frozen corn, and sprinkled a light amount of sugar on top of the batter before it went in the oven. Otherwise, made the recipe exactly as directed. I didn’t find the batter lumpier than any normal cornbread batter, I stirred it well and worked the lumps out by hand. The batter was nicely thick. It took around 35 minutes in my oven and at my altitude (I live in the Denver area). This is a keeper!

  34. Without a doubt, the single worse recipe I have ever come across. Myself and 14 guests of mine all agree. Followed directions precisely and what turned out was completely void of any flavor. A complete waste of time and incredients. This from someone who is known for their awesome varieties of cornbread.

  35. Perfect compliment to a chili i made. Bread was awesome.

  36. This sounds delicious! I;m going to make it next week with some chili πŸ™‚ But it’s just for my husband & I, so I was wondering, if I halved it, could I use a 9 inch iron skillet to male it in? Wondering if you’ve ever tried it. I do make my cornbread in a skillet usually but have been in search for a different cornbread recipe.

  37. I just made this into cornbread muffins, absolutely wonderful! For me the baking time was lessened by about 8 minutes because of the muffin tin. So glad I tried this recipe!

  38. Way too much butter. The pan was pooling with melted butter. Next time I’d use one-half cup of butter. Also, definitely need to bake for at least 15-20min longer.

  39. I tried to print the recipe and what I got was pages of comments, I had to turn my printer off so I didn’t run out of ink. Had to take my laptop to the kitchen. Halved it, but used my own common sense when it came to dry ingredients, then add wet ingredients. This was the worst written recipe I’ve ever tried, but it’s in the oven and if my kids like it I’ll “speak my mind” and let you know

  40. Cheryl pressey says:

    OMGoodness!! The best cornbread I’ve EVER made. Love it. Easy to make.i can’t wait for my father to try it. He’s the worlds cornbread expert. I’ll keep you informed.

  41. I just made this recipe in muffin form for my granddaugher,s Thanksgiving lunch at school tomorrow, of course I sample everything I make (lol, good excuse right?). This recipe is DELICIOUS. A keeper for sure. Thanks for sharing. I’m sure the kiddies will enjoy these little beauties. Awesome corn muffins. Awesome!

  42. As a matter of preference, I pretty much always cut sugar in half in cornbread recipes – so I did it for this one and then followed the rest as described. Yum! I didn’t miss the sugar at all in the half-recipe that I made to go with our dinner. This recipe’s been bookmarked! πŸ™‚

  43. Charles W. Baggs says:

    I have made this recipe twice this week. It was a big hit and quite delicious. The only change to the recipe that I made is I separated the eggs and meet the whites until they reached peaks. I then folded the egg whites into the rest of the batter once it was all mixed. I also bake them in a muffin top pan.

    I hate dry crumbly cornbread, this recipe is the best I have had in a long time.

  44. Made these today – very nice. Sweet and tender with a strong butter smell and flavor. At 25 minutes they were completely liquid in the middle, so I left them in for another 10 minutes and they were completely dry although the top looked the same. So be careful on those last few minutes of cooking time!

    These were my 2nd cornbread try this winter – the first was a traditional non-sweet cornbread – the more southern version I guess – and it was gritty and dry. This version was much closer to what I want.

  45. Fantastic. For the buttermilk sub, I used lemon juice instead of vinegar and you could taste the citrus in the bread. It was amazing. This is my go-to cornbread from now on.

  46. This is the best recipe EVER! My husband made a large pot of chili for the game today and I thought a nice cornbread would be a delicious companion. Wow. It’s the best! Thank you!

  47. Esther Billingsley says:

    I made this yesterday. Both my husband and I agree that this is the best cornbread EVER!

  48. I’ve been making cornbread from a passed down recipe for over 40 years. I tried your recipe with some chili, and it was wonderful! The lumps in the batter are not going to matter once it’s baked. I always blend my batter by hand. Follow directions and then experiment a little if you want to make this recipe your own. Perfect the way it is though. Thank you Christy. β™‘