This sourdough cornbread couldn’t be easier to mix up! The recipe uses sourdough discard, buttermilk, and honey resulting in a sweet, moist cornbread that I just love serving with chilis, soups, and as a summer side dish to barbeques.
I don’t know what it is but I have a hard time resisting a slice of cornbread. Honey cornbread is something that I grew up on. In fact, when I was younger and a member of 4-H I entered a honey cornbread recipe passed down from my grandmother. It won me a blue ribbon and a chance to go to the State Fair.
So yea me and cornbread go way back.
But these past couple years I’ve become obsessed with sourdough baking. So I decided to take my Buttermilk Honey Cornbread recipe here on the blog and revamp it to use my sourdough discard that I always have a jar of chilling in my fridge.
What Does Cornbread Taste Like?
Cornbread is a bread that originates from ‘native’ American settlers. It can be sweet or more on the plain side, crumbly and has a slightly grainy texture due to the cornmeal.
This cornbread made with sourdough discard can be a wonderful side dish. Great to serve with chili, barbeque, or just enjoy on its own!
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Quick To Throw Together – This recipe comes together quickly because it uses melted butter. It still has all the butter flavor, but with half the effort. That means it takes just a few minutes to throw it together.
- Moist – Oh yeah I used the M word. I used buttermilk in this cornbread recipe and it helped make it super moist!
- Freezes Well – You can eat it all over a few days, or go ahead and freeze some for later.
- No Fancy Equipment Required – It’s a simple quick bread. So that means whisk your dry together, then your wet, then stir to combine. That’s it!
So you ready to make some crazy good sourdough cornbread? I thought so.
- Butter – I recommend always using unsalted butter vs. salted butter because it’s fresher, and you can control the amount of salt.
- Buttermilk – This is what gives it great flavor and keeps it moist! If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make your own –> How To Make Homemade Buttermilk.
Use Sourdough Discard
These are of course sourdough so we are using our discard from when we feed our starter. When I feed my starter fresh flour and water I remove half of the original starter and move it to a second jar. That jar is my “discard” and I keep this in my fridge for about a month.
I keep a jar of discard in the fridge and when I have enough built up I use it in a discard recipe. So this means it’s not “active” and isn’t what is responsible for making our baked goods rise, but replacing some of the flour and liquids called for in our recipe. I usually keep a jar going for a month, then start it over again.
We will use baking powder and baking soda to help our cornbread rise instead. The sourdough discard does also give the cornbread a hint of sourdough flavor. The amount of “sourdough” taste will depend on how sour your discard is to begin with.
Heather’s Baking Tip: If you find your discard has some gray liquid on top, called hooch, just simply pour this off. It’s harmless and won’t affect your discard.
If you haven’t gotten around yet to making your sourdough starter, and have no discard then let’s get going! What are you waiting for? It will take about 5 days to make your starter and have a discard worth using. But it will be worth it. Here is the full guide on How To Make Sourdough Starter From Scratch.
Once you have your starter raring to go then you will need to feed and mantain your starter.
Want to jump in to sourdough but don’t want to make your own starter? Totally fine! Just buy a sourdough starter and it will be ready to use faster.
How To Make The Recipe
Like I said making this cornbread recipe using sourdough discard couldn’t be easier….
Step One: Whisk Together Your Dry Ingredients
In a large mixing bowl you want to whisk together your flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Then set aside.
Step Two: Combine The Wet Ingredients
Now in a second bowl, go ahead and combine the melted butter, sugar, honey, eggs, discard and buttermilk.
Pro Tip: Make sure your melted butter isn’t too hot before adding those eggs. If it’s too hot it could scramble them!
Step Three: Combine The Dry And Wet Ingredients
Now you want to make a well (fancy word for push the dry ingredients aside and make a hole in the middle of your dry ingredients) and pour in the wet ingredients.
And then just simply stir the ingredients together just until the last of the flour is combined.
Baking 101: Do not overmix. Once your dry ingredients are added to the wet ingredients you have to be careful to not overmix. Overmixing results in gluten forming and this change the texture. Too much gluten = tough cornbread. So stop mixing once the flour has just mixed in.
Step 4: Pour Into Pan And Bake
Now the batter is ready for the pan! I sprayed and then lined my pan with parchment. I used a 9-inch square pan to bake the cornbread in.
And it bakes at 350F for about 30-40 minutes. Different pans will bake differently. I found a cast iron or my darker 9-inch square pan took less time (around 30 minutes) where my glass and lighter colored cake pans took around 40 minutes.
Heather’s Baking Tip: If the top of your cornbread gets too dark cover loosely with tinfoil. I found on some batches the tops start to get a little dark, so I just covered loosely with tinfoil to prevent it from burning.
Step 5: Test With A Toothpick And Cool
When the timer goes off, be sure to test with a toothpick. You want some moist crumbs clinging to the toothpick, but not wet batter.
Then be sure to let the pan cool before cutting into it. I know it’s going to take some patience!
Can I Bake This Cornbread In A Cast Iron Skillet?
Yes you can! I baked one batch in a cast iron. I did find it was a bit darker on the edges, but I was perfectly fine with that. If yours is getting too dark around the edges, just cover with foil.
It might not take as long in the oven if you bake it in the skillet, so start checking it a few minutes earlier.
I mean a slice of cornbread on its own with an extra drizzle of honey and a slather of butter is all I need. However I get it. You might want to get creative and throw some fun stuff in. Try adding:
- Bacon – 4 slices of cooked chopped bacon
- Jalapenos – 1 or 2 (depending on how spicy you like!) chopped fresh jalapenos
- Cheese – try adding a 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
- Herbs – try 2 tablespoons fresh chopped chives, sage, rosemary, or thyme
- Corn – 1 cup fresh or frozen corn
- Fruit – Add some fresh fruit into the batter like 1 cup of blueberries!
Or try mixing and matching a few of the add-ins! Maybe bacon jalapeno cheddar cornbread anyone?!
Here are some of the common questions that might come up as you are making this honey cornbread.
Do NOT use regular milk in its place. Regular milk will react differently than buttermilk and throw off the “chemistry” of the baking reaction going on with the baking powder and baking soda. But you can make your own buttermilk. Will it be exactly like storebought buttermilk? No. However, it will do in a pinch.
For this recipe:
Add 1 tablespoons to a liquid measuring cup. Pour in your milk to the 1 1/4 cup line. Stir and wait 10 minutes before using.
I haven’t baked these into cornbread muffins, but you certainly can. I would recommend baking these for about 18-20 minutes. Set your timer for a few minutes early to check on them and be safe.
Be sure to allow the cornbread to cool completely. Then wrap any leftovers and store at room temperature. It will keep for 2 days. Or you can store it wrapped up in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Or freeze it! Wrap it up well. I like to wrap it in plastic wrap, then place in a plastic bag. And then freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, unwrap and thaw at room temperature.
More Recipes To Try
- 1 1/2 cups (180 g) all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups (225 g) yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 12 tablespoons (170g, 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter melted and slightly cooled
- 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated white sugar
- 1/2 cup (170 g) honey
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups (300 mL) buttermilk
- 120 g (generous ½ cup) sourdough discard
- Preheat the oven to 400oF. Butter a 9-inch round pan, square pan, or cast iron skillet.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
- In a second large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, butter, buttermilk, honey, and sourdough discard.
- In the second bowl, make a well in the dry ingredients. Pour in the wet mixture. Stir just until combined. Do NOT overmix!
- Pour the batter into the pan. Bake on center rack for 30-40minutes (If baking in a cast iron or dark colored pan it only took around 30 minutes. Lighter or glass pans took longer. If the top starts to burn or get too dark, just cover loosely with tinfoil. Bake until golden brown and toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven allow pan to cool on a cooling rack.
- Tools: 9 inch baking pan | Bob’s Red Mill cornmeal
- Storage: Be sure to allow the cornbread to cool completely. Then wrap any leftovers and store at room temperature. It will keep for 2 days. Or you can store it wrapped up in the fridge for up to 1 week. Or freeze it! Wrap it up well. I like to wrap it in plastic wrap, then place in a plastic bag. And then freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, unwrap and thaw at room temperature.
- Reducing The Sugar: I grew up eating sweet honey cornbread. And I’ve seen many recipes use a lot less (not all! some use more) so if you like yours a little less sweet then you can try reducing the amount of sugar.
- Buttermilk substitution: Add 1 tablespoon to a liquid measuring cup. Pour in your milk to the 1 1/4 cup line. Stir and wait 10 minutes before using.
- Can I Bake These Into Muffins?- I haven’t baked these into cornbread muffins, but you certainly can. I would recommend baking these for about 18-20 minutes. Set your timer for a few minutes early to check on them and be safe.