This easy homemade rosemary cornbread is baked in a cast iron skillet and ready in less than an hour with one secret ingredient: A can of creamed corn.
This easy rosemary cornbread is ready in just over half an hour, full of flavor, and perfect alongside your favorite soup and chili recipes. (There's also just a deep, inherent joy about food that's served in a cast iron skillet, am I right?)
This recipe originally comes from my lovely friend Emma's cookbook Feast by Firelight: Simple Recipes for Camping, Cabins, and the Great Outdoors! She knocked it out of the park with this book and I am so stinkin' proud of her I could cry. Or scream. Or eat an entire skillet of this skillet cornbread.
The recipe in Feast by Firelight was originally written for cooking over a fire in the great outdoors (campfire cooking ftw!) but our version features a few tweaks to make this cornbread home-oven-friendly.
A few notes on ingredients
This cornbread recipe is fairly straightforward, but we want to highlight a couple of things:
- A can of creamed corn add tons of texture and quite a bit of moisture in this recipe. Emma's original recipe in Feast by Firelight has no milk or buttermilk (which makes it much simpler when you're camping!), but we've added some milk to our at-home version to keep the cornbread soft and moist.
- Top this cornbread with a bit of flakey sea salt just before baking for an extra pop of flavor! We love Maldon Salt and Jacobsen Sea Salt.
- We'll use a bit of melted butter in the cornbread batter, and then we'll melt another pat of butter directly in the cast iron skillet just before baking (the skillet-melted butter helps our cornbread release more cleanly from the pan once it's baked!)
- Stone Ground Yellow Cornmeal (we use this cornmeal in our kitchen) is our go-to here, but stone ground white cornmeal will also work fine in this recipe. We prefer a coarse, stone-ground cornmeal for plenty of texture; a finer cornmeal will give you a smoother crumb.
There is no sugar in this recipe! This is a true savory cornbread with no added sugar (just like Emma's original version!) The texture of this cornbread is thicker and more crumbly than a sweet cornbread (which often has a finer, more cake-like crumb with a buttery finish). There is, of course, an age-old debate about the "right" way to make cornbread: if you prefer the taste of a sweeter version, try this southern sweet cornbread!
Pro tip: Use a kitchen scale
Measuring ingredients by volume (with a measuring cup) is notoriously unreliable: Because each person measures a cup of flour (or cornmeal!) a little bit differently, it's easy to accidentally use too much and end up with dry, dense cornbread.
But when you measure your ingredients in grams with a kitchen scale, you can measure them perfectly every time - so if you have a kitchen scale, please use it! (No kitchen scale? Measure your dry ingredients with the scoop and level method for best results!)
How to make this cornbread
First, heat the oven
Before you mix your batter, preheat the oven and place your cast iron skillet inside. The batter takes just a few minutes to mix together, and we want our cast iron skillet to be niiiiiiice and hot by the time we add the batter (this helps the batter start cooking as soon as it hits the pan, which gives us those gorgeous, crispy edges!)
Tip: Be sure to use a well-seasoned cast iron skillet for best results!
Make the batter
Whisk your dry ingredients (cornmeal, flour, dried rosemary, baking powder, and salt) together in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (creamed corn, melted butter, eggs, and milk).
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until you have a thick, uniform batter (you'll still have a bit of texture from the corn kernels, so it won't be completely smooth!)
Time to bake!
Use oven mitts to pull your cast iron skillet out of the oven. Drop a pat of butter into the hot skillet, then swirl it around until it's melted (you can pop the skillet back into the oven for a minute if you need to!)
Carefully pour the cornbread batter into your prepared skillet, top with a pinch of flakey sea salt, and bake! The cornbread is done when it is lightly browned on top with a slight dome in the middle, and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Note: This is a relatively thick batter. You may need to use a spoon or spatula to spread the batter into a nice, even layer inside the skillet.
Riffs and Substitutions
This rosemary cornbread is a great base recipe! A few of our favorite ways to riff:
- Mix up the herbs. Use dried thyme instead of dried rosemary, or use some fresh herbs instead! This cornbread is great with fresh rosemary, thyme, chives, or parsley. Note: A good rule of thumb is to use 3x as many fresh herbs as you would dried herbs; in this recipe, we recommend using 3 Tablespoons fresh chopped herbs in place of a single Tablespoon of dried rosemary.
- Swap the butter for leftover melted bacon fat for a salty, smoky depth of flavor.
- Prefer a sweeter cornbread? Add up to ⅓ cup of white sugar to this recipe if you like! This will give you a sweeter cornbread and a slightly finer texture. We recommend adding another 1-2 Tablespoons of milk to the batter along with the sugar if you go this route.
- Add your favorite mix-ins! Fold in a few handfuls of chopped jalapeño or roasted poblano peppers, crispy bacon pieces, or shredded cheddar cheese instead of (or in addition to) the dried rosemary in this recipe.
- No cast iron skillet? Line a square baking pan (an 8-inch brownie pan or cake pan will work) or small casserole dish with a bit of parchment paper and bake normally. You can also make rosemary cornbread muffins: Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners and use a cookie scoop to portion cornbread batter into the muffin tin. You'll need to shorten the bake time for muffins - we recommend checking them for doneness starting around the 15 minute mark. Note: If you don't use a cast iron skillet, you can skip the step where you preheat the skillet and add that extra pat of melted butter.
This cast iron cornbread is great with just a bit of butter and a drizzle of honey, but you could also serve it with your favorite apple butter or a nice, hearty chili (we love our peach whiskey chili, turkey black bean chili, or short rib chili with this corn bread!)
Use leftover cornbread as the base for a spicy eggs benedict, add it to your favorite Thanksgiving stuffing, or crumble it up and toast the breadcrumbs in some butter for a decadent mac and cheese topping.
How to store this cornbread
Store cooled leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months (defrost overnight in the fridge before serving). Reheat leftover cornbread in a hot oven for 5-10 minutes until it's warmed through.Print
This easy skillet rosemary cornbread is ready in under an hour!
- 200 grams stone ground yellow cornmeal (1 ¼ cups)
- 120 grams all purpose flour (1 cup)
- 3 grams dried rosemary (1 Tablespoon)
- 12 grams baking powder (1 Tablespoon)
- 4 grams kosher salt (1 teaspoon)
- 1 (14.75-ounce) can creamed-style corn
- 113 grams unsalted butter, melted (½ cup or 1 stick)
- 2 eggs
- 85 grams milk (⅓ cup)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (not melted – keep separate from melted butter)
- flakey sea salt, for topping (optional)
- Heat oven to 400° Fahrenheit. Place a large cast iron skillet (10-12”) in the oven to heat while you mix the batter.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, rosemary, baking powder, and salt.
- In a separate, small mixing bowl, whisk together creamed corn, melted butter, eggs, and milk.
- Add wet ingredient mixture to dry ingredient mixture and stir to combine.
- Use oven mitts to remove the cast iron skillet from the oven. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter to the hot skillet and swirl it around until butter has melted.
- Carefully pour cornbread batter into the skillet, then use a spatula to spread the batter out into an even layer. Top cornbread with a sprinkle of flakey sea salt (optional).
- Bake at 400° F for 20-30 minutes, until the top is lightly browned and a cake tester inserted into the center of the cornbread comes out clean.
- Let cornbread cool for 5-10 minutes, then slice and serve with butter, honey, or apple butter. (The skillet will be HOT – don’t forget to use potholders!)
Look for coarse or stone-ground cornmeal here - we love the texture it gives this recipe! A finer cornmeal texture will give you a smoother crumb. We used this cornmeal in these photos (and we tested this recipe with both their yellow and white cornmeal varieties - both work fine!)
Substitutions. Use 3 Tablespoons of fresh chopped rosemary in place of dried rosemary. Use dried thyme instead of rosemary if you prefer. Use bacon drippings instead of melted butter here if you like.
Adapted from Emma Frisch’s Rosemary Sea Salt Cornbread with Hard Cider Butter recipe in Feast By Firelight!
- Serving Size: 1 piece
- Calories: 287
- Sugar: 2.7 g
- Sodium: 230.1 mg
- Fat: 15.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 43.2 g
- Protein: 6.7 g
- Cholesterol: 80.9 mg
Keywords: bread, baking, chili, side dish