Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread


cornbread in cast iron

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, I probably tried to bake cornbread in my cast iron skillet. I have had the skillet for at least fifty years and used the heck out of it, but can’t recall the details of having made cornbread in it.

Well, the other day I saw a tempting recipe that called for buttermilk AND a cast iron skillet, so I was encouraged to give it a whirl. The biggest impetus, though, was the inclusion of buttermilk in the recipe. I am very fond of buttermilk, but am NOT fond of the ridiculous price ($3./quart) that is asked for the commercial variety, so many years ago, I learned to make my own buttermilk.

It is dead simple – bring a cup and a half of milk (I use full fat, organic milk for the buttermilk and yogurt that I make) to room temperature, either by just leaving it out on the counter or using the microwave. Bring a small amount (maybe two or three tablespoons) of already-clabbered buttermilk to the same temperature – but don’t use the microwave to do that. It is a small amount and will come to room temperature fairly quickly.

When they are both room temperature, mix them together and put them in a secure place where the jar won’t be jiggled, preferably overnight. Store the finished buttermilk in the refrigerator.

If you leave it too long, it will separate, but that doesn’t hurt anything. If it doesn’t separate, it is yummy to just eat like a light pudding. I add fruit and sometimes some maple syrup. Can also toss in a bit of leftover rice for a quickie rice pudding. I usually add chopped pecans, too, because I loves ’em! ;->

I use empty jars with blue tops that hold 12 ounces from the refrigerated salad dressing section of the grocery store, but any size container that suits your needs is suitable. This size allows me to make a new batch frequently, but there are usually at least two jars available at any given time. It seems to stay nice and fresh this way – rather than having one huge container of it. As I use one container, I start another, leaving one unopened jar always in reserve.

So now I have a nice batch of buttermilk to make delicious pancakes or cornbread. At some point in my earlier life, I had a fabulous recipe for a rich Devil’s Food Cake that called for buttermilk, but a concerted search a while ago did not produce it. Probably just as well!

About judilyn

RV'er, foody, caregiver, knowledge seeker
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10 Responses to Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread

  1. gypsy97 says:

    I quit making cornbread because I just can’t eat that much of it before it gets stale, and by then I’m tired of it for a while. I never did like buttermilk except in pancakes and some recipes, but I used to buy buttermilk powder that worked well for me. Once I went back to the workforce I just didn;t have time to make certain things from scratch, although I always cooked a big meal for the kids using fresh ingredients. Remember the days when there was no GMO and just about everything was organic?


    • judilyn says:

      I bought a big bag of the dry buttermilk, but so far haven’t used it because I like this homemade stuff so much, both to gobble down plain or to cook/bake with.

      Fry’s had blueberries on sale today, so probably I’ll make some pancakes tomorrow morning. They go good with the poached duck eggs.


  2. Kim says:

    Mmmmm. John makes cornbread (with store-bought buttermilk ) in the skillet. His trick is to coat the skillet with oil and pre-heat it. The batter sizzles as it goes into the hot skillet. Makes the bottom and sides golden and super-crunchy.


    • judilyn says:

      Oh, absolutely on the pre-heat. I used ghee and it was totally heavenly! Delicious as it is as it comes out of the oven, re-toasting split pieces the next day in the toaster oven . . . oh, my . . . makes my eyes roll back in my head with all the crunchy deliciousness!


  3. patti leonhardt says:

    My grandmother would make skillet cornbread and then when there was a lot of it left, she would break up some pieces in a glass of milk. I guess it was a treat to her. I love to make cornbread in a skillet too and also a pineapple upside down cake I make in cast iron. Really good and crispy on the edges!


  4. taphian says:

    this bread looks fantastic, Judie. Fortunately buttermilk is quite cheap here, less than one Euro about 500 ml. Virtual hugs, Mitza

    Liked by 1 person

  5. LFFL says:

    Gotta love a cast iron!

    Liked by 1 person

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