Cornbread Recipe Without Buttermilk

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Learn how to make cornbread the easy way with this moist cornbread recipe without buttermilk. Like a traditional cornbread recipe, this easy cornbread recipe calls for basic ingredients of cornmeal and flour. This is a sweet cornbread recipe, not a southern-style savory cornbread, so there is some sugar involved. If you are looking for a homemade cornbread recipe that comes together quickly for a delicious, versatile side-dish to serve with many meals, you’re in the right place. This old fashioned cornbread recipe is my go-to option to serve with chili or any other kind of savory soup, like lentil barley soup or turkey corn chowder. It’s also great with salads, like taco salad or walnut pear salad with blue cheese. I have served it countless times. The sweetness provides just the right balance when served with something spicy or salty. Ready to make this delicious, easy cornbread recipe? Let’s go!

how to make easy cornbread without buttermilk

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Why Make Cornbread Without Buttermilk?

Can you make cornbread without buttermilk?

Yes, you can make a delicious cornbread recipe with no buttermilk, and it’s super easy. Before doing research for this recipe post, I didn’t realize that so many people were looking for a cornbread recipe without buttermilk. My favorite cornbread recipe only calls for regular milk, and I’ve never thought much about it. Maybe people don’t want to go to the store to buy buttermilk? I never buy it, and I have a great shortcut if you ever need to make some mock buttermilk quickly for use in a recipe. I include that further on down in the post. For now, let’s move along with this fabulous cornbread no buttermilk recipe. I can’t wait for you to try it!

Equipment for Easy Cornbread Recipe Without Buttermilk

The equipment needed to make this southern cornbread recipe without buttermilk is very simple. That means cleanup will be a snap. All you need is a mixing bowl, measuring cup, and a square baking pan.

Ingredients for Easy Cornbread Recipe Without Buttermilk

One of the reasons I like this cornbread no buttermilk recipe so much is that all you have to remember is the number one. With only one exception, every ingredient in this recipe is one something. I originally got this recipe from a cookbook produced by a community in Kansas. I tweaked the recipe so that it would be easier for me to remember. It worked. I know the recipe by heart, and am happy to share it with you now. Here’s how to make cornbread without buttermilk. First, you will need to gather your simple ingredients for cornbread with milk instead of buttermilk. Here they are:

1 cup flour

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 pinch of salt

1/2 cup cornmeal

1 cup milk

1 egg

Isn’t it convenient that nearly every ingredient in this recipe for homemade cornbread without buttermilk starts with the number 1? Now you can see why this recipe is so easy to memorize. Read on for the simple instructions.

Instructions for Easy Cornbread Recipe Without Buttermilk

The instructions are almost as easy as the ingredients. First, grease a square baking pan and set it aside. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. In a measuring cup, measure one cup of milk, then add the egg. Stir in the measuring cup to mix, then pour the milk and egg mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir to combine. The batter will be thin, but that’s okay. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake (uncovered) for 30 minutes. I usually don’t have to do this, but if it’s your first time making this recipe, you can check for doneness by sticking a toothpick in the center of the cornbread. If the toothpick comes out clean, it’s done. The top of the cornbread should be a nice golden brown. Cut into pieces and serve it warm with butter and honey, if desired. Makes 16 small square servings or 8 large rectangular servings.

Common Cornbread Questions

Should you add sugar to cornbread? That is entirely up to you. If a recipe states that it is a recipe for Southern cornbread or Southern-style cornbread, it generally will call for added sugar. Personally, I have a sweet tooth, and the reason I like this recipe for cornbread without buttermilk is because it does call for sugar.

Should cornbread mix be thick? Some cornbread recipes are a bit thicker than this cornbread recipe without buttermilk, but usually not thicker than pancake batter. The thinness of this cornbread recipe does not make a difference in the end result.

What makes cornbread too crumbly? Sometimes cornbread becomes crumbly if too much cornmeal is used. There has to be enough flour in the cornbread recipe so the glutens in the flour can hold the bread together. The ratio of 2 to 1 flour to cornmeal in this recipe seems to work well.

Why is cornbread so popular? Cornbread is a versatile side dish that goes well with many things. In our house, we often have cornbread with chili. It also goes well with homemade meatloaf and green chili chicken casserole. Cornbread also comes together quickly, and is not as labor-intensive to make as biscuits, muffins, or other types of breads. Just mix and pour it into a pan!

Questions About Buttermilk in Cornbread

Can I use regular milk instead of buttermilk in cornbread? Yes, in this recipe only regular milk is called for. Some prefer to use buttermilk in cornbread because of the increased acid content. What happens if you use milk instead of buttermilk? You will get fewer bubbles in your cornbread as it is baking.

How does buttermilk affect cornbread? The acid in the buttermilk reacts with baking soda (it it’s included in the recipe) and causes bubbles to form, helping the cornbread to rise. In this recipe, the acid in the regular milk is enough to cause the cornbread to rise sufficiently.

Cornbread without Milk or Buttermilk

If you are desperate for some homemade cornbread and have neither milk nor buttermilk, what should you do? One intrepid reader of this post shared her story about craving cornbread and being in just such a situation. What did she do? She used nine parts sour cream to one part water, mixed it together, and had great results. You could try to replicate her success with nine tablespoons of sour cream to one tablespoon of water.

A Quick Buttermilk Trick to Make Mock Buttermilk

What can you use if you don’t have buttermilk and want to try making this cornbread recipe with it? Here is one of my favorite kitchen shortcuts. Simply add one tablespoon of lemon juice (bottled is fine) to one cup of milk. Let it sit on the counter while you are mixing the other ingredients in whatever recipe you are making. When it’s time to add the liquid, your faux buttermilk should have a nice layer of “butter” on top, and is ready to be used. I hardly ever buy buttermilk, so this shortcut comes in handy with my favorite scone recipe.

Gluten-Free Cornbread Recipe Without Buttermilk

To make this recipe gluten-free, just use a gluten-free, all-purpose flour. One brand I have had success with is Krusteaz, and you can save money by buying it in multipacks. Just use it as you would regular flour in this recipe.

Questions about the Best Baking Pan for Cornbread

Can cornbread be baked in glass? Can I bake cornbread in Pyrex? If you read my post about shopping for antiques in Wichita Falls, Texas, you know I am a big fan of Pyrex. I find Pyrex to be practical and useful for baking and serving food. The cornbread bakes well in it, and the glass allows me to see how done it is getting on the sides when it is baking.

Is it better to bake cornbread in a glass or metal pan? I would much rather set out a glass baking dish of cornbread on a dinner table than a metal pan. I just think it’s more attractive, but that’s my personal preference.

Questions about Greasing the Cornbread Pan

How do you keep cornbread from sticking to a glass pan? What do you use to grease a cornbread pan? What can I use if I don’t have butter for pan? What can I use if I don’t have Pam? All of those questions can be answered with this response: My favorite way to grease a cornbread pan is to use the wrapper from a stick of butter (I keep a supply in a container in our refrigerator door), put a little shortening on the wrapper, and use the wrapper to rub the shortening all over the inside of my glass baking dish. This method also works well for metal pans. It’s an easy, no-mess solution. When I am finished greasing the pan, I throw the wrapper away.

What happens if you don’t grease a glass pan? Since this cornbread recipe contains sugar, the cornbread will stick to the pan if the pan isn’t greased. A lot of the cornbread will stick to the sides of the pan and you won’t be able to get nice-looking pieces to serve. It’s also a big hassle to clean the pan once the cornbread has been eaten. So, please save yourself some cleaning time and remember to grease the pan, no matter what kind of pan you are using.

Cornbread with honey and butter

Easy Cornbread Recipe Without Buttermilk

Learn how to make cornbread the easy way with this moist cornbread recipe without buttermilk.
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 16
Calories 94 kcal


  • mixing bowl
  • Measuring cup
  • Square baking pan


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 pinch salt
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg


  • Grease a square baking pan and set it aside.
  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients.
  • In a measuring cup, measure one cup of milk, then add the egg.
  • Stir in the measuring cup to mix, then pour the milk and egg mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir to combine. 
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake (uncovered) for 30 minutes.
  • Check for doneness by sticking a toothpick in the center of the cornbread, if desired.
  • Cut into pieces and serve it warm with butter and honey, if desired.


The calories listed are for a small piece of cornbread when the cornbread is cut into 16 pieces in the pan.
Keyword bread, easy recipes, side dishes


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I hope you enjoy this easy sweet cornbread recipe. May all of your home baking endeavors meet with great success!

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Lisa Mitchell is a wife, mom, and school librarian who likes to create and share recipes, often using fresh ingredients from her family’s small Pacific Northwest farm. To get more easy recipes, click on over to the Food page.

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20 thoughts on “Cornbread Recipe Without Buttermilk”

  1. 5 stars
    I was craving sweet corn cake but didn’t have all the ingredients. I snooped around a little longer on Google and came across this recipe but I also didn’t have any milk.

    I made this as is except for the milk – I’m out.

    But a craving is a craving so I used 90/10 sour cream/water and it came out amazing! It’s moist, it’s soft, it’s the perfect sweetness…so good!!!

    Pinned to make again!

    • Nice! Great idea to use sour cream and water. I will have to add that variation to the post. Thanks for sharing your success!

    • Thank you! I hope this potatoes with tomatoes recipe will be a great addition to your meal plan rotation.

  2. 5 stars
    This cornbread is so soft and moist! It’s almost cake-like. So delicious!!

    • I’m so glad you like it. This easy cornbread recipe is one of my favorite side dishes.

  3. 5 stars
    Wow! Thanks for the recipe. Hubby asked for cornbread with the chili I was making. We were out of regular milk, so I used the (Kroger) Carbmasters milk I drink. I baked it in a 12 count muffin tin, otherwise followed all of your instructions to the letter. These are amazing.

    • Oh, I’m so glad. Thanks for sharing your successful cornbread experience!

  4. Thanks for sharing. I lately have made jiffy corn muffins. I love the cornbread without buttermilk.

    • I’m glad you are a fellow no-buttermilk in cornbread fan.

  5. 5 stars
    Making Cornbread without buttermilk is something I do from time to time. When making a skillet of cornbread I sometimes find I am out of buttermilk. I have added a teaspoon of vinegar to milk and made some buttermilk in a pinch. Great recipe.

    • Thanks Gina! Yes, vinegar works just like lemon juice when making mock buttermilk.

  6. Well, I suppose the old saying is true, you do learn something new every day. I love cornbread but had no idea that there was a cornbread recipe without buttermilk. I have such a hard time finding buttermilk that this recipe would be perfect for me to try.

    • Oh, I appreciate the affirmation. I’m so glad you found something new here!

  7. 5 stars
    I love this cornbread recipe without buttermilk! The bread looks so soft and moist, I know my family will love it. I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for this recipe!

    • You are most welcome! I make this recipe any chance I get. I hope it’s a hit with your family.

  8. 5 stars
    This cornbread recipe without buttermilk is just what I’m looking for. I’m often at a loss when trying to think of easy side dishes. This fits the bill!

    • I’m so glad you found what you are looking for here! May you find many ways to use this no buttermilk cornbread recipe.

  9. 5 stars
    Thanks for sharing this easy cornbread recipe without buttermilk! It looks really easy to make and delicious. I love your quick buttermilk trick to make mock buttermilk!

    • Thanks so much! If I find a shortcut that works, like the mock buttermilk, I use it over and over and am happy to share!


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