Tasty Tuesday: Cornbread and its many variations

There are two ways to eat cornbread. You can go spicy with different chiles or peppers in the cornbread. Or you can go sweet and make cornbread that you eat with butter and honey or jam.

I remember eating cornbread with butter and maple syrup when I was a little girl. It was never my favorite, so as an adult, I set out to make cornbread that I could feel enthusiastic about.

Years ago, I learned the trick of adding an entire can of corn to the recipe. That makes wonderful cornbread and is definitely worth a try. And you can actually go in the spicy direction OR the sweet direction and it still works.

A couple of years back, I had tired apples in my fruit basket one afternoon that I chopped up and added, with 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, to the cornbread recipe. The house was filled with fabulous smells and the result was an entirely new kind of cornbread. The cinnamon apple cornbread was a wonderful side to our chili that night.

Last night, Michael, my youngest son, was making cornbread and took the Great Cornbread Experiment a step further. He added three VERY overripe bananas and 2 teaspoonsful of vanilla. The result was just delicious and Michael was just as proud as punch. The bananas made the cornbread a little moister than cornbread usually is, but not sweet like cake or banana bread. It was delicious, hot out of the oven with butter melting on the top.

Here’s the basic cornbread recipe with notations on the different additions:

  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 c. yellow cornmeal
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 8 t. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 t. salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk (regular milk will work just as well if you don’t have buttermilk)
  • 1/2 c. oil

Optional ingredients:

  • 1 can of corn, drained
  • 3 apples, peeled and diced and 1 t. cinnamon
  • 3 overripe bananas, mashed smooth, and 2 t. vanilla
  • 1 small can of green chiles
  • 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Stir together dry ingredients and then add wet ingredients. If adding extras, add corn or apples last. Bananas can be added with the wet ingredients. Mix until smooth but don’t overmix.

Bake at 425 degrees in a 10×14.5 inch glass pyrex baking dish for 20 to 25 minutes. (When the toothpick or bamboo skewer comes out clean, it’s done.)

This recipe can be halved and baked in a 9×9 inch glass pan if your family can’t eat this much cornbread. It’s a LOT of cornbread.

So now we’re wondering what ELSE we can put in cornbread to jazz it up….I’m itching to try some fresh rosemary or fresh basil from my herb garden. I like chiles, but I bet chopped bell peppers would also be tasty.

Barb Kelley- 

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