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Sourdough Cornbread Recipe

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This  sourdough cornbread has great cornbread flavor with just a little sourdough pizzaz. Baked in a cast iron skillet, this sourdough cornbread has a crisp crust with a tender,  moist, center without being too “cake like”. It is the perfect pairing with soups, stews, and chilis, and anything else you want to pair it with.
slice of cornbread on plate in front of cast iron skillet

I know, you don’t think you need another cornbread recipe, but really, you do. You need this cornbread recipe in your life.

Imagine combining the crumbly but soft and slightly sweet flavors of your favorite cornbread with the subtle undertones of slightly tart-sour flavor from your sourdough starter discard. Then add on a pat of melting butter and an overly generous drizzle of honey and ooooooh! Trust me, its heaven on a plate!

Other sourdough recipes to try:

These recipes are simple ways to use your sourdough starter that don’t require much work, but do need some bulk ferment time before baking.

overhead view of cast iron skillet with cornbread

Sourdough Cornbread 

This might be one of my new favorite ways to use cornbread. Ever.

This sourdough cornbread recipe is so quick to throw it together in the morning, let it sit all day, and then have a delicious cornbread for dinner that night. It is nice and moist, without being too “cake like”. 

The sourdough flavor here is slightly more than subtle, but not overpowering. It still tastes like cornbread, but with a bit extra something-something that is hard to directly point out, but is so, so good..

overhead of two plates with slices of cornbread beside cast iron skillet

How to make this recipe:

This sourdough cornbread is an easy recipe to make, you just need to remember to start it early enough in the day so it can have some time to bulk ferment. Here is a brief overview of the recipe, but for the full directions, make sure you scroll down to the recipe card below:

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the sourdough starter, cornmeal, flour, and milk. 
  2. Cover and allow to bulk ferment for about 4-8 hours at room temperature (you could also do a bulk ferment in the fridge for up to 24 hours).
  3. Preheat the oven to 350. (You can preheat your cast iron skillet at this point, too! I like to do this because it helps make the bottom nice and crisp, but you don’t have to do this.)
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, eggs, melted butter, and sea salt (affiliate link)
  5. Stir the wet ingredients into the soured batter.
  6. Sprinkle the baking soda and baking powder over the top and stir well to incorporate.
  7. Prepare your skillet but greasing it with butter. If it has been preheating in the oven, be careful so you don’t burn yourself!
  8. Pour the batter into a greased 9” cast iron skillet (or muffin pans, or bread pans).
  9. Bake for 35 minutes (or 15-18 minutes for muffins). 
  10. When the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before slicing.
  11. Serve with butter and honey.
collage of steps showing how to make sourdough cornbread batter

Do I need a sourdough starter to make this recipe?

Yes. Yes, you do.

What kind of sourdough starter do I need for this recipe?

This recipe uses 100% hydration starter. You can use either fed and active starter, or inactive discard. It does not matter what kind of flour your starter is fed with, either.

Read “Feeding your sourdough starter” to get information on hydration rates and how to properly feed and maintain your sourdough starter. 

New to sourdough? Read my Ultimate Guide to Sourdough for Beginners to answer all the questions you have!

plate of cornbread with cast iron behind

How to serve this cornbread

Cornbread goes great with just about everything! Add a pat of butter and all the honey you desire, and enjoy! 

Personally I like to serve this great cornbread beside Bison and Chocolate Chili, or a bbq meat like baby back ribs or beside a great southern classic recipe like chicken and sausage gumbo

How to store leftovers

Remove any leftover pieces of cornbread from the cast iron skillet and place in an air-tight container. You can store your sourdough cornbread like this for up to 4 days on the counter.

Food tastes better when its shared! If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and rate below!

graphic for sourdough course - reads "new to sourdough? learn the skills to impress your family and friends with your sourdough baking. Click here".
Yield: 8 Servings

Sourdough Cornbread

cropped-Sourdough-Cornbread-Recipe-15.jpg

This skillet cornbread has great cornbread flavor with just a little sourdough pizzaz. It is nice and moist, without being too "cake like".

Prep Time 8 hours
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 8 hours 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sourdough starter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup unbleached flour
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl mix together the starter milk, cornmeal and flour.
  2. Cover and let sit on the counter for 8-24 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 350F.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, eggs, melted butter, and sea salt.
  5. Stir the wet ingredients into the soured batter.
  6. Sprinkle the baking powder and baking soda over top and stir well to incorporate.
  7. Pour the batter into a greased 8″ cast iron skillet (or 12 muffin pans, or 2 5″x9″ bread pans).
  8. Bake 35 minutes (or 15 for muffins).
  9. When golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before slicing.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 328Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 79mgSodium: 624mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 7g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram, and don't forget to tag #gingeredwhisk.

sourdough cornbread in skillet
sourdough cornbread on plate with butter and honey
piece of sourdough cornbread split open with honey and butter on plate
sourdough cornbread in cast iron skillet

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Hollie

Tuesday 18th of October 2022

Can you leave out the maple syrup? Can I just sub with some oil for moisture? My husband loves cornbread but hates eating even the slightest sweet food. Thanks do much!!

Jenni

Wednesday 26th of October 2022

I would not sub out the maple syrup for vegetable oil, that will change the texture of the cornbread a lot. The recipe is not very sweet, there is only 1/4 cup of maple syrup in the recipe. Omitting it or substituting it with something else will change the texture and the taste of the recipe. I suggest making it as written and seeing what your husband thinks of it!

Maitlynn

Sunday 17th of July 2022

Hello why does it have to sit out for 8-24 hours?

Jenni

Tuesday 19th of July 2022

It sits out so that it can ferment and get that great sourdough flavor to it! It also gives it a softer texture because the yeast is activating.

Chuck

Wednesday 18th of May 2022

Sadly was too cake like and crumby, but the flavour was awesome. May try reducing the flour and increasing the cornmeal next time.

Sam

Friday 22nd of April 2022

It is April 21, 2022: First off, my 100% hydration starter is very active. I feed it mostly all purpose flour and keep it in the fridge when I don’t use it. Every othe rtime I feed it with rye to get it going. I have kept it going since April 2020.

For this recipe, I let the dough portion sit on my counter for 24 hours. It was already rising when I proceeded to add the other ingredients. As soon as I added the baking powder and baking soda, I had to quickly get it into the oven as it was rapidly rising in my mixing bowl… like REALLY quick. I use fresh Canadian Maple syrup from this spring as I am from Quebec.

In the oven, it continued to rise to then form the golden color within 35 minutes et 350F as suggested.

Can’t wait to taste! Will definitely make again.

Laura

Thursday 21st of April 2022

Lovely recipe! I made it with spelt flour and nixtamalized white corn ground to medium coarse. I opted to do 1/2 tsp of salt which was plenty and honey instead of maple syrup with almond milk as the liquid. Bulk fermented overnight and then at room temp for a few hours. It was quite sour (rye discard) so I think I would add a touch more honey next time. I also like pre-heating the cast iron for a few minutes before baking. This might be my new favourite corn bread! If you have a chance to grind your own corn it is super flavourful and adds a whole other flavour profile to the mix. Cheers :)

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