On Line Cookbook

Southern Cornbread

Recipe Information
True Southern cornbread handed down since the Civil War -- more commonly known as "The Late Great Unpleasantness"

Wanda Devereaux


  • 3 cups (700 ml) buttermilk corn meal (or regular corn meal) OR
  • 2-1/2 cups (600 ml) corn meal and 1/2 cup (125 ml) all-purpose flour (for a more bread-like consistency)
  • 3 jumbo eggs
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) plus Buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml). shortening
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml). sugar (optional)
  • In a large mixing bowl, preferably glass, add corn meal or meal/flour mix and sugar(optional), making a bowl in the center.
  • Lightly beat eggs and pour into center of meal.
  • Add about 1/2 cup (125 ml) of buttermilk to center and mix by hand.
  • Gradually add buttermilk, continuing to mix until you have a "pouring" batter.
  • Heat shortening at 425 degrees (225 C.) in a 10-inch iron skillet until melted.
  • Pour cornbread batter into pan, making a swirl around the top with a spoon.
  • Cook at 425 degrees (225 C.) for 25 minutes or until golden brown on top.
  • Traditional serving method: pie-shaped wedges
This recipe came to me from my father, who got it from his mother, all the way back to the Civil War. During the Depression, cornbread and buttermilk were often the entire meal for my North Georgia family, frequently eaten by crumbling the cornbread into the buttermilk. The debate over whether to put sugar in cornbread still rages. In my family, sugar was unthinkable so I don't include it. It does add an interesting flavor. You MUST use an iron skillet.