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ISO: Moist Corn Bread recipe

I'm on a quest for a moist corn bread to be served along with stews. Several recipes I've tried only produced dry ones....there must be a technique to it that I don't know about.

In reading one of James Patterson's novels, his character of a black grandma apparently baked the "best and moist corn bread" using applesauce. I'm not sure if that was based on fact or purely fiction.

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  1. here is a delicious cornbread…but it is tender and fine-crumbed…. cook till light brown only. (it is a light color because you use white meal). this cornbread is flatter than many expect cornbread to be -- e.g., half the height and a finer crumb than ina's recipe (from what i can see in the photo).


    i never heard of applesauce in cornbread, but google has. i'd venture that most southerners think sugar in cornbread is a crime. (also, much of the south is not "apple country," and it seems that this applesauce ingredient would be a thrifty measure using food one has "put up").

    3 Replies
    1. re: alkapal

      I really love Ina's Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread recipe. You can leave out the jalapeno and cheddar if you just want it plain. I have made it both ways and its delicious.

      1. re: alkapal

        I've heard they do consider sweet CB a crime, but I am in the south, and most people I know love Jiffy. I like it both ways. I also really like jalapeno corn bread.

        An aside, my aunt by marriage said that her great grandmother made her corn bread in a waffle iron and that it was amazing.

      2. I always add a can of creamed corn, I like it moist too.

        4 Replies
        1. re: coll

          Doing a Google search for moist cornbread recipes, most of the recipes that claim to be moist added creamed corn.

          1. re: Antilope

            I learned it from a chef who had an upscale BBQ place, I loved their cornbread and thought it was genius. It even works if you're making Jiffy (only in a pinch, of course).

            1. re: coll

              Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix - Copy Cat recipe

              Makes: 6 muffins.

              When a recipe calls for a box of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix, here’s a copycat recipe you can make at home.

              This recipe is equal to one 8.5 ounce box of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix.

              Makes 8.5 ounces (equal to 1-box of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix) Makes 1-1/2 cups of mix. Makes 6 corn muffins.


              2/3 cup all purpose flour
              1/2 cup yellow corn meal
              3 Tbsp granulated sugar
              1 Tbsp baking powder
              1/4 tsp salt
              2 Tbsp vegetable oil
              1 egg
              1/3 cup milk


              1. Combine flour, corn meal, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix well with whisk. Whisk in vegetable oil and mix until dry mixture is smooth and lumps are gone.

              2. If another recipe is calling for a box of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix, add the above mixed ingredients to that recipe.

              3. If you wish to make Corn Muffins, continue with instructions below.

              4. Preheat oven to 400F.Combine above mixture with egg and milk. Mix well.

              Fill muffin tins 1/2 full. Bake 15-20 minutes. Makes 6 muffins.

              1. re: Antilope

                Thanks I had just printed this out the other day. Next time I can't get Jiffy for 39 cents, I will be switching over!! This is a keeper. Although I have an excellent recipe that is New Orleans style when I want to show off.

        2. Use more (corn) oil....More buttermilk/sweet milk. ~ Save the (wheat) flour and sugar for a Cake!


          11 Replies
          1. re: Uncle Bob

            So, you make cornbread with no regular flour at all?

            1. re: jvanderh

              The so called Southern cornbread uses just cornmeal. However this version tends to be drier, crumblier, and go stale quicker. It also benefits from a good crust produced by baking in a hot skillet (with bacon grease).

              Versions that use roughly equal parts corn meal and flour, and varying amounts of sugar are more common outside the South, and even in parts of the South itself. And since many people find even that simple version boring, they add all kinds of things - corn kernels, creamed corn, cheese, ham, hot pepper bits, etc.

              There is a variation on cornbread called spoon bread, which uses more eggs, and is closer to a baked pudding.

              I haven't heard of using apple sauce in cornbread, but various fruit and vegetable purees are used in quick breads and muffins to add flavor and moisture. Cornbread is a quick bread.

              1. re: jvanderh

                Correct....No Wheat flour. ~ If I were to ever add a small amount of flour it would be Corn flour.
                With the proper amount of oil/fat, egg and milk/buttermilk.. The bread is anything but dry and crumbly, Cornbread is baked to be consumed fresh out of the oven...maybe split open, buttered and toasted the next day. Staleness is, or should not be an issue. ~~ The much beloved bottom crust can be achieved by using any of the common oils, (butter burns) with the batter poured into a "smokin" hot skillet with a little hot oil in the bottom....The batter should 'fry" when it hits the pan....

                Have Fun!

                1. re: Uncle Bob

                  Interesting. I've got a glut of cornmeal. Would you mind passing along a recipe?

                  1. re: Uncle Bob

                    Thank you for that technique to getting that bottom crust. It's info like this that one hardly gets from reading recipes.

                    1. re: angustia

                      Bacon fat is a good grease too. When's the last time a recipe included bacon fat?

                      1. re: coll

                        coll do you save your bacon fat after frying?
                        I do. it's in a glass jar with lid and lives in the frig until [very soon it's gone] or it's time to chuck.

                        one thing I love to use it for is wilted spinach salad with a warm bacon dressing, so good.

                        1. re: iL Divo

                          Mine is in several glass jars, I've never thrown any out that I recall. It just keeps multiplying without an end. I fry my husbands eggs and sausage in it, for greens and ham, add it to everything Mexican or Southern, and definitely for greasing the cornbread pan. Always for greasing the skins of baked potatoes or yams. Clam chowder, pulled pork, I can't remember it all offhand. Free grease, you can't beat it!

                          1. re: coll

                            "Always for greasing the skins of baked potatoes or yams. Clam chowder, pulled pork, I can't remember it all offhand. Free grease, you can't beat it!"

                            well aren't you smart Coll! :)
                            love the idea of rubbing down spuds and clam chowder.....you be duh bom :)))

                            1. re: coll

                              Does your husband have a permanent smile on his face?

                              1. re: DougRisk

                                Thanks guys, yeah it's a great secret ingredient. I told my SIL a recipe using bacon fat once and she asked, where do you buy bacon fat? I thought it was funny until I saw some for sale somewhere.....

                2. Suzanne Goin's is the best I've ever had... and I grew up on really good corn bread and have tried many, many recipes. This is now my go-to corn bread and I make it all the time:


                  1. 1 cup corn meal
                    1 cup AP flour
                    3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
                    1/2 tsp salt
                    1 egg
                    1 cup milk
                    1/4 vegetable oil

                    Blend dry ingredients with whisk
                    Mix wet ingredients and whip with fork
                    Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add wet ingredients
                    Stir with spoon to combine until smooth (but a few small lumps won't matter)
                    Pour into greased baking dish and back at 425 degrees for 25 minute or until toothpick in center comes out relatively clean.

                    1. wish I could help and maybe some of these suggestions will be the ticker.
                      I don't know how to make a moist corn bread myself.
                      if you try these suggestions and they work, please report back.
                      I like sweet corn bread, more like, and I'm ducking here, the Maire Callender.

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: iL Divo

                        Mexican restaurant sweet corn cakes are moist & sweet.

                          1. re: paulj

                            Microwave Mexican Restaurant Sweet Corn Cakes

                            Makes 6 cups, 12 servings - On table in 15-minutes

                            Copy Cat Recipe. I wanted a quick recipe to copy the sweet corn cakes (Mexican spoon bread) that are served at Mexican restaurants like El Torito and Chi Chi's. This is ready to eat in about 15 minutes. For a less sweet dish, reduce granulated sugar to 1/3 cup. For a firmer sweet corn cake, microwave an additional 3-minutes.

                            If you've never had these at a Mexican restaurant, they are similar to a firm, sweet, grits or polenta, with a corn tortilla flavor.
                            The corn tortilla flavor comes from the masa harina flour.


                            1 cup yellow cornmeal
                            1/4 cup masa harina flour (or 3 corn tortillas, uncooked, - process in food processor to fine bits, use in place of masa harina)
                            1/2 cup granulated sugar
                            1 tablespoon baking powder
                            1/2 teaspoon table salt

                            2 cups milk
                            1 cup water
                            1 (15 ounce) can creamed corn
                            1 egg, beaten
                            4 tablespoons butter, melted


                            Stir all dry ingredients together in mixing bowl, mix well and set aside until needed.
                            Mix all wet ingredients together in another bowl. Stir until well mixed.
                            Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir out any dry lumps in batter.

                            Pour into a 3-quart covered, microwaveable casserole dish.

                            Cover and microwave on high for 6-minutes.

                            Stir well. Stir bottom and sides of dish well to remove any dry lumps.

                            Cover and microwave on high for another 6-minutes.

                            Stir a few times and serve warm using an ice cream scoop or disher.

                            This gets thicker as it cools and reaches room temperature. If you want a more
                            gritty sweet corn cake, use polenta corn meal instead of regular corn meal.

                          2. re: Antilope

                            not had it in a Mexican restaurant but this is what I was thinking of


                            and I fully expect to be thumped on the melon for even coming up with this thought especially to corn bread purists. [am I hiding good enough?]

                            1. re: iL Divo

                              That one pushes the cornbread as cake idea to an extreme. 2 Jiff mixes! :)

                              1. re: paulj

                                I know right, and you're correct, but the combo of both grainy and softish with corn yet sweet flavor, best of both.
                                of course I could make a regular corn bread recipe from scratch and then a white or yellow cake from scratch and then add them together bake and see what happens...?

                                  1. re: sandylc

                                    I've done it. it was ok but probably could have been much improved upon as both contain very similar ingredients and making a batch of both p[then combining to bake together] you probably use too much baking powder or soda, too much salt, too much fat etc.

                                    I stick by liking it more than the typical corn bread which unless I do something right [and it is moist] is too dry for any of our taste and ends up in the bin.

                        1. paulj mentioned spoonbread - it is a delicious cornbread-custard hybrid that we like a lot!

                          1. I have to admit that in recent years I've been using a corn meal mix. I don't necessarily want to but our local stores don't stock cornmeal unless it's yellow and the only way to get the white cornmeal is in a mix. I heat bacon grease in a cast iron skillet on top of the stove, enough grease that I can pour some in the batter and leave the rest in the skillet, sprinkle the skillet with a little corn meal ( or flour or not, it all works), I add milk, don't use an egg, my Grandma didn't and I don't now. Mama said to leave the cornbread skillet on the stove for the length of the time it takes to go to the sink and rinse the mixing bowl so it won't stick, then put the skillet in the oven..

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: MellieMag

                              What brand of mix? White Lilly and Martha White make very different mixes from Jiffy or M Calendars.

                              1. re: MellieMag

                                Holy heck. Bacon grease? Wow. Can't wait to try that!!!!

                              2. I used this cornbread recipe:
                                to make this stuffing at thanksgiving:

                                It was only the third time I've made cornbread but it came out beautifully. (I've definitely eaten it more often than I've baked it). The recipe was also really easy.

                                1. Thank you to all. Yes, I will post the recipe and result sometime this weekend.

                                  I have never heard of "spoon bread"....and that really sound so interesting! Can you please share your recipes?

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: angustia

                                    A good general purpose cookbook should have multiple recipes for corn bread and spoon bread. The classic Joy of Cooking has about 9, including 2 spoon breads. The 1997 edition expands on the distinction between Southern and Northern styles. They don't, though, give much attention to the more modern doctored versions, eg the ones using canned cream corn.

                                    1. re: paulj

                                      I've no idea about the spoonbread. This is really new to me.

                                      Sometime ago, America's test Kitchen on tv made corn bread and they added food processed frozen corn to add more corn flavor. I don't have membership on their website but it's somewhere there. Using canned cream of corn seem like something along this line and having that stronger flavor of corn that can enhance the corn bread.

                                  2. This was a favorite of mine as a kid. Halfway between cornbread and
                                    spoonbread, it is good with butter and honey. The recipe sounds unlikely,
                                    but it really does work!

                                    CUSTARDY CORNBREAD aka "spider bread"

                                    1 1/2 c. cornmeal
                                    1/2 c. all-purpose flour
                                    1/2 c. sugar
                                    1 c. milk
                                    1 c. buttermilk
                                    2 eggs
                                    1 tsp. baking soda
                                    1 tsp. salt
                                    2 tbsp. butter
                                    1 c. milk

                                    In large mixer bowl, combine all ingredients except butter and
                                    1 cup milk. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until smooth, about 2

                                    In a heavy oven-proof 10" skillet or a 9" square baking pan, melt butter
                                    over low heat until bubbly but not browned; pour batter into skillet. Slowly
                                    pour remaining 1 cup milk over batter, do not stir.

                                    Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes or until browned and the center is
                                    firm to the touch.

                                    Serve warm.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. If you want a savory cornbread, use bacon fat. Never fails.

                                      1. Well I made the corn bread last night and here's the recipe. It was nicely moist....HOWEVER, it lost that nice distinctive "gritty' texture.
                                        The recipe called for soaking the cornmeal in the milk for about 5 minutes (which I'll skip next time). And next time, I'll follow the advise of not using any flour, except corn flour. For that corn flavor, I'll also try it with the cream of corn instead of apple sauce.
                                        I didn't have any buttermilk, so I used homo instead.

                                        1. Soak 1 1/2 cups of corn meal in 2 cups of homo milk, 1/2 cup sour cream and 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce for 5 minutes.
                                        2. In another bowl, mix 2 cups of all purpose flour, 1 tbsp baking soda, 2/3 tsp salt, and 1/2 cup sugar.
                                        3. Whisk together in another bowl 2 large eggs and 1/2 cup oil. Combine with the milk mixture and then, pour into the flour mixture. Mix until blended.
                                        4. Bake at 400 (pre-heated) for 20 to 30 minutes or until done.

                                        I used two square pans for this measurement.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: angustia

                                          Btw, I reduced the amount of salt and sugar from 1 tsp and from 3/4 cup.