A Southern dinner isn’t complete without a side of cornbread or a buttery biscuit. Try these easy Buttermilk Cornbread Biscuits for the best of both worlds! They’re moist and fluffy with a great cornbread taste.
I wasn’t sure what to call this recipe, it’s a cross between a biscuit, cornbread and scone, so I went with buttermilk cornbread biscuits. Whatever the name, this cheesy bread will be a great addition to your next meal.
It’s as simple as a cornmeal drop biscuit, but even better. I made these cheddar flavored cornmeal biscuits for the first time a few weeks ago and was won over by the flavor.
Cheese and butter combine to make a rich dense bread. However, my first batch was a little crumbly and I didn’t cook it quite long enough. Don’t worry, that didn’t keep us from eating them.
The second time around, I increased the amount of buttermilk and let it cook about 10 minutes longer. They came out perfect! A hearty, slightly sweet, light and buttery cornbread recipe. Biscuit like, but with a cornmeal texture which gives the biscuits their memorable crunch as you bite into them. My family loves these, I’m confident yours will too.
Why You’ll Love Buttermilk Cornmeal Biscuits
- Easier to make than biscuits
- A slightly sweet rich buttery taste
- Not too crumbly
- Dense enough that you can eat it with your fingers
- You can make them ahead of time
- Even better with honey drizzled on top
Ingredients for Corn Biscuits
- Cornmeal – either white or yellow, I prefer a coarser stone ground variety like we can get from our local mill, Old Guilford Mill. They will ship, or try Bob’s Red Mill medium ground.
- Buttermilk – I live in the South so of course it has buttermilk, it you don’t have any, see an easy substitute below.
- White cheddar cheese – you can use any type of cheddar, I love the flavor from an aged white cheddar.
- Butter – this makes them melt-in-your-mouth
- Pantry ingredients – flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt
Pro tip: Not sure which is the best flour to use for biscuits, I’ve broken down all the pros and cons for bread flour vs all-purpose flour.
How to Make Cornbread Biscuits
You treat this dough like you would biscuit dough, cutting in the butter and not handling the dough any more than you have to.
Combine all the dry ingredients in a food processor and then add chunks of cold butter and process until you have pea size clumps of butter. Alternatively you can cut in the butter with a pastry cutter.
Add cold buttermilk and process just until it comes together. Form it into a disc and chill for 1 hour.
Pro tip: Your biscuits will remain lighter and fluffier if you don’t overmix your dough. Once the ingredients are incorporated, form it into a disc and resist the urge to combine it further.
Press the dough into a nine inch square baking pan and brush with a little cream and sprinkle with flaky salt. Bake for about 35 minutes.
The result is a fluffy and light biscuit-like pan of cheesy cornbread. It’s so moist and buttery that you don’t need any butter on top.
This recipe has been featured in a weekend potluck.
How to Serve Sweet Corn Biscuits
The slightly sweet dough creates an amazing biscuit that seems to go with anything.
- A slab of butter with some honey drizzled on each side of the halved biscuit is delicious.
- I think these biscuits are especially good with chili or a plate of ribs.
What to serve with cornbread
Storing & Reheating Buttermilk Cornmeal Biscuits
Can you freeze leftover biscuits?
Yes, freeze them in a single layer, then add them to a ziploc or freezer container. To re-heat, wrap in aluminum foil and bake them at 350º for 10 minutes.
Can you freeze the biscuit dough?
The best way to freeze biscuit dough is to cut it into whatever shape you are using, for this recipe, cut them into squares. Place them on a cookie sheet and freeze them. Once frozen, store in an airtight container. When ready to bake, remove them and let them thaw on the pan you are going to bake them in. They can be cold, but not frozen when placed in the oven.
Notes for Cornmeal Biscuits
- I love the simplicity of baking these in a 9×9 pan and cutting out squares, but you can use a biscuit cutter to cut out shapes and bake them on a baking sheet too.
- This slightly sweet Southern cornbread recipe will stay fresh in a container at room temperature for a day or two. It’s best to freeze any leftovers.
What if you don’t have buttermilk?
If you’re out of buttermilk there are three easy methods for how to make your own buttermilk depending on what you have in your pantry.
Cornmeal Buttermilk Biscuits FAQ
Corn grits, just like they sound are a larger grain that hasn’t been broken down as much as fine cornmeal, coming from dent corn. This means that it has a low sugar content and a strong corn flavor.
Cornmeal on the other hand, offers a fine texture that is meant for baking because the hull and the germ are removed from the kernels.
If you have a local mill, like Old Guilford Mills, it’s the best and they ship. Otherwise, try Bob’s Red Mill for great stone ground cornmeal or any type of cornmeal. You don’t want to use a cornbread mix.
The cornmeal offers a great texture and flavor to biscuits. However, gluten from the flour plays in important part in getting the biscuits to rise and create those layers.
Yes, just refrigerate the dough until you’re ready to bake.
Great question! I have a few recipes I’d recommend. It’s great in tamale pie, cornmeal sausage pie, or in shortbread cookies and of course skillet cornbread. It’s also used in sloppy joes topped with cornbread.
For the best biscuits, you should only use butter. Crisco will not give you that buttery taste.
While cornbread is a staple in the South, you’ll find it cooked with both sugar and without whether you’re in the North or South. I prefer a little sweetness in my cornbread. In North Carolina, you’ll find it both ways.
There are several factors that go into making a biscuit fluffy. The two most important things are to use cold butter and buttermilk and to handle the dough as little as possible.
The secret to making good biscuits is to keep everything cold and to not handle the dough any more than you have to.
More Bread Recipes You’ll Enjoy
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Easy Buttermilk Cornbread Biscuits
- 3 cups flour
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 ½ cups aged white cheddar 6 ounces
- 1 cup butter 2 sticks, cut into 1 inch squares
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- flaky salt
- Combine the dry ingredients in a food processor, add cheese and pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse until you have pea size chunks. Add buttermilk and pulse until dough forms. If it is dry, add more buttermilk, a tablespoon at a time. Form into a disc and chill for one hour.
- Preheat oven to 350º. Lightly coat a 9 x 9 pan with butter. Gently press the dough into the pan and brush with cream and sprinkle flaky salt over the top. Bake until the top is golden brown and the sides start to pull away from the pan 35-40 minutes.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- Don’t over mix the dough, stop mixing when it just comes together.
- Keep the butter and buttermilk cold until ready to add.
- If you don’t want to use a food processor, use a pastry cutter.
- You can refrigerate the dough for longer than an hour.
- You can freeze any left over biscuits. To reheat, thaw, wrap in aluminum foil and place in a 350º oven for 10 minutes.