There may be no better way to elevate your cornbread game than with this Brown Butter Cornbread recipe! Imagine a soft and cake-like texture with a sweet, nutty flavor that will have your taste buds dancing. Baked to perfection in a skillet and served warm, topped with decadent whipped honey butter, this cornbread pairs perfectly with soups, stews, chilis, and it can even steal the show at your Thanksgiving feast!

Pieces of brown butter cornbread in a a skillet topped with butter.

What Is Brown Butter Cornbread? 

Brown butter cornbread is a standard cornbread recipe featuring butter, flour, and cornmeal. However, unlike other other cornbread recipes, this version is made with brown butter instead of regular unsalted butter. 

As a result, it’s infused with rich, nutty flavor and extra moisture. The end result is an unbelievably tasty cornbread recipe that can be served as a snack or side dish the whole family will love!

What’s the Difference Between Northern Cornbread and Southern Cornbread? 

The primary differences between Northern and Southern cornbread recipes are the flavor and texture. For instance, Northern cornbread recipes are typically thought to be sweeter and lighter than Southern variations. 

This is because Northern cornbread is made with finely milled white or yellow cornmeal, contains a higher ratio of milk than buttermilk, and uses more eggs and sugar than Southern recipes. In addition, Northern cornbread is baked in a baking dish instead of a cast iron skillet and sliced into squares.

Baked in a skillet but sweet and fluffy, this brown butter cornbread is kind of a combination of the two! 

A cast iron skillet full of baked brown butter cornbread.

Ingredients You’ll Need

This homemade cornbread recipe keeps it simple and lets the basic ingredients shine. Gather these pantry staples, and you’re on your way to deliciousness:


  • Flour – All-purpose flour forms the base of the cornbread batter. If needed, a 1:1 gluten-free all-purpose flour can be substituted. 
  • Cornmeal – Use white or yellow cornmeal. Yellow will result in a brighter color. 
  • Unsalted Butter – Adjust the amount of extra salt included if salted butter is all you have. 
  • Baking Powder and Baking Soda – These are crucial for the cornbread to rise and become tender. 
  • Salt – Just a pinch helps enhance the flavor.
  • Granulated Sugar – Used to sweeten the cornbread. 
  • Buttermilk – This adds a rich, tangy flavor and extra moistness.
  • Orange – We use both orange juice and orange zest to create a vibrant, citrus flavor you’ll love.
  • Large Egg – These provide structure to the cornbread. We haven’t tested this recipe with egg alternatives and can’t guarantee your results if you do.

Honey Butter

  • Butter – Unsalted is best. 
  • Honey – This helps sweeten the butter. 
  • Salt – Adjust to taste. 

Can I Use Regular Milk Instead of Buttermilk?

Technically, you can, but we don’t recommend it! It creates a tangy, delicious flavor and helps keep the cornbread moist and tender. 

If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can make homemade buttermilk using milk combined with white vinegar or apple cider vinegar. 

Half a skillet of brown butter cornbread topped with whipped butter and two pieces on the other side.

Step-By-Step Instructions for the BEST Cornbread Recipe

This Brown Butter Cornbread recipe is not just better than any boxed mix; it’s a culinary triumph that comes together with just a handful of simple steps! Let’s break it down:

  1. Warm the skillet. Preheat your oven, and place a skillet in it to warm. 
  2. Brown the butter. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the butter browns and has a nutty aroma. Remove it from the heat immediately, and add two tablespoons of cold butter to the saucepan. 
  3. Mix the dry ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the dry ingredients until smooth. 
  4. Whisk the wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk the wet ingredients until smooth. 
  5. Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Working slowly, pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients, and stir just until combined. Be careful not to overmix! Add the cooled brown butter, and stir again. 
  6. Bake. Coat the hot skillet with butter or cooking spray, and pour in the cornbread batter, spreading it out evenly. Place the skillet back in the oven, and bake just until the cornbread is golden and a toothpick can be inserted into the center and comes out clean. 
  7. Make the whipped honey butter. While the cornbread bakes, combine the ingredients for the honey butter in a bowl and beat with a hand mixer until they are well combined and the mixture is light and fluffy.
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03/20/2024 06:59 pm GMT

Can I Make Brown Butter Cornbread Muffins Instead? 

We haven’t tested it, but it should work! Prepare the batter as usual, and transfer the batter into a greased muffin tin, filling each cavity ⅔ of the way full. 

Bake the muffins until they’re golden and fluffy and a toothpick can be inserted into the center and comes out clean. Remember, muffins will likely bake much faster, so you’ll want to keep a close eye on your oven!

How to Store and Reheat

  • Store: Once cooled, leftover cornbread can be transferred to an airtight container or sealable bag and stored at room temperature for up to one week. Line the top and bottom of the container with clean paper towels to absorb excess moisture!

* The butter can be stored in a separate airtight container in the fridge for up to ten days. 

  • Freeze: Transfer the cornbread to an airtight container, and keep it frozen for up to three months. Let it thaw in the fridge overnight before serving. 
  • Reheat: Enjoy your cornbread cold or at room temperature. Or, warm it in the microwave or in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit just until it’s heated through. 

Serving Suggestions

There’s truly never a bad time for the delightful goodness of this Brown Butter Cornbread. Here are some of our favorite ways to enjoy it:

More Side Dishes for the Holidays

A skillet of brown butter cornbread topped with whipped butter.

Brown Butter Cornbread with Whipped Honey Butter

5 from 1 vote
Author: Food Dolls
Servings: 12 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Prepare this sweet, tender brown butter cornbread with whipped honey butter for an easy side dish to pair with all your favorite main dishes!



  • 10 Tablespoons unsalted butter divided
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup fine cornmeal
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh orange juice plus zest of an orange
  • 3 large eggs

Whipped Honey Butter:

  • 3/4 cup softened unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • Pinch of salt


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a 10-inch cast-iron skillet in the oven to heat while the batter is prepared.
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the 8 tablespoons butter. Continue cooking the butter until it browns, giving off a nutty aroma. Remove from heat, and immediately add 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter. Set aside to cool slightly.
    10 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, fine cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and granulated sugar.
    1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup fine cornmeal, 1 Tablespoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, fresh orange juice, orange zest, and eggs. Mix well.
    1 1/4 cups buttermilk, 2 Tablespoons fresh orange juice plus zest of an orange, 3 large eggs
  • Gradually pour the wet ingredients (buttermilk mixture) into the dry ingredients (flour mixture), stirring until just combined. Be careful not to overmix; a few lumps are okay.
  • Slowly pour the slightly cooled browned butter into the batter, stirring until evenly incorporated.
  • Carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven (remember it’s hot!), and coat it with a bit of butter or non-stick spray to prevent sticking. Pour the batter into the skillet.
  • Place the skillet back into the oven, and bake for approximately 20-25 minutes or until the cornbread is golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Once baked, remove the skillet from the oven, and allow the cornbread to cool for a few minutes serve with whipped honey butter.

Whipped honey butter:

  • Place everything in a mixing bowl. Beat for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
    3/4 cup softened unsalted butter, 1/3 cup honey, Pinch of salt

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Serving: 1serving | Calories: 377kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 99mg | Sodium: 272mg | Potassium: 123mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 752IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 104mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Meet Alia & Radwa

Welcome to Food Dolls! We’re so glad you found us. We are Alia and Radwa, sisters who want to share simple and easy recipes with you. We hope you find recipes here that you enjoy making as much as we do! Learn more about us!

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