One of my family’s favourites Thanksgiving traditions He debates whether we should make cornbread. If your list includes a cornbread recipe every year, you’re probably wondering why it’s up for debate. And I get it, when certain recipes are considered Holiday classicsIt’s hard to imagine the table without them. But for us, cornbread is always on the chopping block in favor of a soft Parker House-style roll or biscuit. This year, however, my brother’s argument for having cornbread on the table won out.
This meant I immediately went into search mode to find the best cornbread recipe (one that would get everyone excited about the addition). So in classic bakery fashion, I set out scouring the Internet for the best cornbread recipe—and put the contenders to a taste test.
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Rules of the road for the best baked cornbread recipe
As always, all recipes are followed exactly as written without any modifications to personal taste or flavor preferences.
I had to poll some cornbread loving friends to find out their official opinion on what makes good cornbread. Consensus gave us the following guidelines for testing our recipes. We picked a selection of cornbread recipes, spanning from plain to sweet to jalapeno cheddar, but they were all ranked compared to each other in the following:
- texture. What our cornbread lovers loved about cornbread over a regular roll or cookie was just a little bit of that bite and chewiness that gives the cornbread more texture. The moist texture was also a must-no dry or crumbly cornbread here.
- flavor. While there were differences in the recipes we tested, they did have a few things in common that we had to compare. Ideally, we wanted the sweetness of the corn to come through regardless of whether the recipe was sweeter or savory. With the savory varieties, we wanted a little spice from the jalapeños and saltiness from the cheddar. From sweet cornbread, we wanted a recipe that’s just as delicious on the Thanksgiving table as it would be with coffee for breakfast.
- Is this a second helping recipe for Thanksgiving? This was a crucial and fundamental question for Thanksgiving recipes: When there are so many options on the buffet for seconds, will I add this to my plate?
Keep scrolling to see which recipe passed all three tests with flying colors!
This cornbread had a mixture of ideas that could theoretically have been put on top. Between the cream cheese nuggets, whole corn kernels, jalapeños, and pure cornbread dough, this cornbread was the most interesting. However, many tasters thought it was too crumbly in texture due to the whole cornmeal mixture. Plus, there was just too much going on for it to be appropriate for Thanksgiving. We’ll save this for chili nights instead.
Our taste testers enjoyed this cornbread on its own, but compared to some others, it ranked lowest based on texture. Flavor-wise, this cornbread is delicious. The extra step of cornmeal toasting and balanced portions of jalapeños and sharp cheddar cheese gave this cornbread a savory, savory flavor that was absolutely delicious. I like to bake this a little less when I make it again because it leans a bit on the drier side.
We’re big fans of the Smitten Kitchen here and this cornbread has garnered some loud awards. So you might be wondering why this recipe is rated in the right place. Well, when our tasters were comparing this one to more flavorful varieties (i.e., those with jalapeños and other toppings), this recipe was right in the middle. If we were to compare this recipe to classic and regular cornbread, it would definitely be on top. The texture is very moist and anti-corn thanks to the addition of whole grains in the mixture. It also has a nice bite of cornmeal. We’ll definitely come back to this for a sec.
This was one of my personal favorites of the group. The most delicious recipe of the group, this cornbread uses chopped green onions to add an extra layer of flavor that many tasters enjoy. Others think it also tasted great, thanks to the jalapeños. Ina Garten never leads us astray, and almost everyone who loves savory cornbread has said they’d go back to the buffet for seconds on this one.
I know, another jalapeno cheese cornbread recipe. But this was the best in the Jalapeno Cheddar variety. Adrianna has created an amazing recipe that everyone loves. It was delicious and spicy all round, with a slightly nutty flavor, as well as a moist texture. Everyone was a fan and totally going back for seconds this Thanksgiving. If you’re craving a cornbread recipe that blends tradition with a modern spin, include this recipe in your repertoire.
Consider this cornbread a permanent addition to our Thanksgiving menu. Even my skeptical self was so obsessed with this recipe that I had to settle for some humble pie. I’ll admit, if all cornbread could be like this, then yeah, I’d get the hype. Jesse Sheehan’s recipe leans a bit on the sweet side of cornbread, but it still fits the bill for a dinner side. It’s very moist in texture thanks to the butter and honey coating that’s poured over it when it comes out of the oven. This recipe is classic cornbread, elevated and made even more delicious. Jesse, we’ll join you for dinner.
Have we tried your favorite cornbread recipe? Let us know in the comments.