Southern cooking at its best with Brown Butter Cornbread baked in a skillet using fresh corn and sour cream. Make it sweet with something unexpected. A guaranteed crowd pleaser and great for summer cookouts or winter chili.
I first experimented with a skillet corn bread at the beginning of the summer when I was having friends over for a cookout. I don’t normally try out new recipes on company but Melissa Clarks’ recipes are so reliable and I was making ribs which I knew would be perfect even if the cornbread failed.
I felt certain it would at least be edible. In fact it was fabulous! I hate to admit how many times I’ve made this buttery cornbread over the summer.
Cornbread with corn and brown butter has become my go-to cornbread recipe unless I’m in a Tex-Mex mood and then it’s Mexican cornbread for me. It has just a tablespoon of maple syrup in it but somehow, combined with the fresh corn, it’s amazingly sweet, so much so that you don’t need honey. I hate to admit this but you really don’t even need to add extra butter it’s that good.
If you want a cornbread like side dish for a fancier dinner, try my tried and true Kentucky spoon bread for a change of pace.
What you’ll need
- Butter – you’ll cook the corn in half of it and then brown the rest before adding the cornbread batter. The brown butter oozes up and around the cornbread adding flavor and crispy edges.
- Corn – fresh is the best but frozen works great. It adds a sweetness to the cornbread.
- Sour Cream – this keeps it moist.
- Maple syrup – just a tablespoon
- Cornmeal and flour
- Pantry staples – egg, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt
How to make cornbread with corn in a skillet
There are just a couple of steps when you’re making cornbread in a skillet, but that doesn’t mean it’s difficult. If you have an iron skillet, use that, if not any oven proof skillet will work.
Step 1: First you’ll slightly cook the corn in some butter in the skillet. Remove the corn, make sure you remove all of it because you’re going to heat up the pan with some more butter and if you left any corn kernels in the pan, they will pop out of the pan and burn you. (yes I am speaking from experience here)
Step 2: Whisk an egg with sour cream and sugar.
Step 3: Whisk the dry ingredients together.
Step 4: Gently fold in the wet ingredients. Don’t over mix. Fold in the cooked corn into the batter.
Step 5: In the empty skillet cook butter until it’s golden brown, then add the batter to the pan and bake.
Sweet skillet cornbread comes out super moist but slightly crunchy on the edges. Friends and family all have loved this version of Southern cornbread. If you have any left over, it’s great the next day or it freezes well. And it’s perfect with a bowl of chili.
What to serve with Brown Butter Cornbread
Brown Butter Cornbread
- 8 tablespoons butter divided
- 1 cup corn
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¼ cups sour cream 14 ounces
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- Preheat oven to 375º.
- Melt 4 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat in an iron skillet. Add corn and maple syrup and saute, stirring until slightly tender, about 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.
- In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream, egg, sugar and baking soda. Gently fold the wet ingredients into the flour mixture until just combined. Fold in the corn mixture.
- In the same skillet, melt 4 tablespoons butter. (make sure all corn kernels have been removed). Cook the butter until it is golden brown. Remove from heat and add batter to the skillet, even out the surface with a spatula.
- Bake until the top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean, 10-15 minutes.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- You can substitute frozen corn for fresh.
- Make sure to remove all of the corn from the skillet before adding more butter.
- Make sure you are using cornmeal and not cornmeal mix.
- For light and fluffy cornbread, make sure you don’t over mix the batter.