I’ve always had a love affair with cornbread. In fact, when I was pregnant with my daughter, it was all I craved (along with jugs of freshly squeezed orange and grapefruit juices). Almost every morning on my way to work, I would stop to get a huge corn muffin for breakfast, the kind that was super sweet and very, very moist. In hindsight, it was very unhealthy of me to eat a sugar-laden corn muffin that often, but, I was pregnant with my first child. That was my excuse and I stuck to it. I also gained more than 50 pounds with my daughter, which was very hard on my petite frame and took quite some time for me to lose. Although I don’t consume much cornbread at all anymore since I’m much more calorie-conscious, I definitely like to indulge in it from time to time. This recipe, while certainly not low calorie, is made a bit healthier by replacing the refined, white sugar with honey, a natural sweetener. Note: although honey is unrefined, it is not sugar “free.” However, It is significantly lower on the glycemic index scale than white sugar. In a 2019 study published by the International Journal of Preventive Medicine, honey was found to be suitable for those with type 2 diabetes.
I’ve made this recipe savory by adding some leftover low sodium ham and a handful of shredded manchego cheese. My kids are picky when it comes to veggies or — heaven forbid — anything green! But, here are some other add-ins that you can try to sneak in for your family:
- Diced bell peppers
- Jalapeño or chili peppers
- Chopped scallions or chives
- A variety of cheeses, such as sharp cheddar
- Bacon bits or pancetta
- Crumbled sausage or pepperoni
Serve at room temperature or warmed up in the toaster. I like to serve it with butter and jam. Keep any leftovers wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature. The bread can also be frozen. I made this recipe in a seasoned cast iron skillet, but if you don’t have a cast iron skillet, an oven safe pan will do. Or, you can bake this is a baking pan. If you do that, simply melt the butter on the stove top or in the microwave and be sure to grease your baking vessel well.
Savory Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup light-colored honey
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup stone ground yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup gluten free flour, such as King Arthur Measure for Measure
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/3 tsp. sea salt
- 1 cup fresh or frozen corn (is using frozen, thaw the corn first)
- Shredded cheese of your choice, about 1/2 cup
- 3-4 slices of low sodium ham, diced
- Step 1 Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Step 2 In a well-seasoned, 12″ cast iron skillet, melt the stick of butter over low-medium heat.
- Step 3 Pour the butter into a bowl and set aside to cool slightly.
- Step 4 In another bowl, whisk the egg, honey, buttermilk and melted butter.
- Step 5 In a large bowl, whisk the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Pour in the wet ingredients and whisk well until combined.
- Step 6 Add in the corn, ham and cheese. Stir gently to fold in.
- Step 7 Add the batter to the hot cast iron skillet, smoothing the top.
- Step 8 Place the skillet into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top if nicely golden and the center is set. You should see the edges of the bread begin to turn a deep golden brown. Test with a toothpick in the center, but don’t over bake.
- Step 9 Allow it to rest for at least 20 minutes before cutting into it.
- Step 10 Serve warm. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature. The bread should last 3 days.