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10 Easy Ways to Keep Cornbread Moist

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Have you ever had cornbread so dry that you felt like you were going to choke on it while eating it? Have you given up hope on making cornbread because it is always so dry and crumbly? Try these 10 Easy Ways to Keep Cornbread Moist to up your cornbread game.

With these 10 easy tips, you will be making moist, flavorful cornbread in no time! Let’s jump right into it, shall we?

1. Don’t overcook it.

Over-cooking cornbread is possibly the number one reason why your cornbread is dry. Any type of bread, just like a good steak, should be taken out just before it is done and allowed to rest.

Any type of food that is in the process of cooking, will continue to cook as it is cooling off. This is the reason you should remove it just shy of it being done. 

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One old trick to tell if it is done is by sticking a toothpick in the center. I like to remove my cornbread when the toothpick comes out with just a slight bit of residue on it from the center of the cornbread. 

Another way is to check the temperature. Ovens vary a lot as well as altitude. For this reason, it is always best to cook by temperature versus time. Time should just be a guideline to use, not to know when something is done or not. I like to use an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature.

The internal temperature of cornbread should be 190 to 195 Fahrenheit. I would remove it once it hits 190, then let it cool off. 

2. Don’t over-mix it.

When you over-mix your cornmeal batter, you cause it to release more glutens which can break down the structure of the batter. This will result in a loose, crumbly cornbread that can be dry and brittle. 

When mixing the cornmeal batter get all the ingredients wet until they all are mixed up. You do not have to mix all the lumps out. Actually, some are desirable as they add in air pockets and help keep the cornbread hydrated. 

Mixing by hand is the best-case scenario as it keeps you from overmixing. 

3. Add in some Flour

Cornbread recipes vary by region and are very subjective. If you use straight cornmeal, it will tend to be dryer. Adding in flour will help to keep the cornbread moist. 

I like to use a 50/50 ratio of cornmeal to flour in my recipe. I feel this gives a moist and fluffier texture.

As mentioned though, this is a very subjective topic as some feel traditional southern cornbread made in a cast-iron skillet should be 100% cornmeal. Others feel it should be 25% flour up to 75% flour. 

The main point is, that if you add in some flour, it will help lighten up the cornbread and help it stay hydrated while cooking. 

4. Use Buttermilk instead of regular milk

Buttermilk works behind the scenes breaking down the glutens in bread. This helps to soften it up and keep it moist. 

Buttermilk was traditionally the liquid that came off when making or churning butter. That liquid was left to ferment which makes it thicker and tangy tasting. It is very thick and rich. Think of Yogurt.

The thickness of buttermilk along with the extra liquid helps to keep cornbread moist. 

Rich, thick, buttermilk being poured into a glass.

5. Add in some oil

Adding in oil will help to keep the cornbread moist as well. The extra oil and fat help to keep the cornbread hydrated while it is cooking, therefore, giving an extra moist cornbread when it is done. 

6. Add in some sour cream

Just like the buttermilk, sour cream can be added to help cornbread stay moist. Just like buttermilk is fermented milk left over from making butter, sour cream is fermented cream. It is actually thicker than buttermilk and has more tang to it.

Sour cream can give your cornbread a deeper, more complex flavor while at the same time helping your Jiffy cornbread mix or cast iron skillet cornbread to stay moist. 

7. Add in an extra egg

Adding in an extra egg is another trick to helping your Jiffy cornbread stay moist. Eggs act as a binder in baking, holding ingredients together. It also gives structure to the dish and provides the protein that the cornbread will need. The extra moisture is sure to help the cornbread stay moist. 

An Extra egg will tend to make a firmer, more cakelike texture to your cornbread. This may make it less of a traditional cornbread and less likely to crumble.

This may or may not be desirable as mentioned before, food is very subjective from area to area, and person to person. 

Close up of eggs in a carton

8. Add Corn to the batter

Adding in corn or creamed corn can help the cornbread stay moist. The corn itself has lots of moisture that is released during the baking process. 

This is one of my favorite tricks for making yummy cornbread. Some Southerners make little balls out of the batter, then deep fry them similar to hushpuppies. You want to talk about delicious.

Adding in corn will help to keep your Jiffy cornbread or traditional skillet cornbread from drying out. 

Loose corn on a chopping block.

9. Add in some cheese

I love adding cheese to my cornbread. Whether it is Classic southern cornbread or you are using Jiffy cornbread mix. Adding in cheese can complement either one and give a great moist texture to it. 

Cheese has fats and oils in it that help to moisten the cornbread. It also adds texture as it helps to hold the ingredients together. 

Try adding a little cheese corn, and jalapenos together to make Mexican cornbread for the ultimate cornbread that is moist and flavorful. 

10. Top it with butter

Is there anything better than butter-topped cornbread? Once that cornbread cake comes out of the oven, cover it with butter and let it seep down into the crunchy surface of the cornbread for a rich and moist texture.

This will cut back on some of the crunchiness if you do this ahead of time but in my opinion, it is worth it for the moist and flavorful outcome you get. 

salted butter in a clear dish.

Protip: In my opinion, Southern-style cornbread is the best version of cornbread to make. What makes Southern-style cornbread different is it typically does not have sugar or it has very little. Also, the process by which it is cooked is different.

Southern-style cornbread is cooked in a cast iron skillet instead of a muffin pan or cake pan. Using a cast iron skillet is important because it helps to develop that thick, crunchy, golden crust that is synonymous with Southern-style cornbread.

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Intentionally making dry cornbread

There may be a time when you want to intentionally make dry cornbread, such as using it in a recipe. If you are making Southern Cornbread Dressing, having stale or dry cornbread actually helps create the perfect texture for this dish.

Southern cornbread dressing

Just know if your cornbread turns out dry, you can always use it to make this recipe or cornbread and milk, which is another way that Southerners eat Old Fashioned Buttermilk Cornbread.


We hope these 10 tips to keep cornbread moist will help keep your cornbread moist and delicious.

Thanks for stopping by Southern Food Junkie. It is our hope that you enjoy this recipe and share it with friends, family, and coworkers. Make sure to take time to give thanks to the creator, God, by which all blessings flow.
John 6:35

-Ronnie | Let’s Get Food Junked!
10 easy ways to keep cornbread moist infographic

While you are here check out these delicious recipes as well:

Old Fashioned Buttermilk Cornbread (Cooked in the Iron Skillet)
Chicken Bog | A Traditional South Carolina Dish
Southern Food Junkie Chili
Brunswick Stew

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