Fresh Corn Cornbread

Huckleberry_Fresh Corn CornbreadEvery time we visit our relatives in L.A., Huckleberry Cafe is one of the first places I want to go. Alex describes it as the “ultimate girl food”—salads, soups, pastries—and everything is mouthwateringly delicious. So I was psyched when I saw their new cookbook! Today, Zoe from Huckleberry shares her cornbread recipe, which can be customized any way you like: sweet, savory or bursting with fresh fall corn. Here’s how to bake it…

Fresh Corn Cornbread
by Zoe Nathan of Huckleberry

This is your old-fashioned cornbread made insanely more delicious. It is the opposite of dry, and can really stand on its own without needing to be slathered with butter.

This recipe is wildly versatile. Use fresh corn if you can; if it’s not in season, you don’t need it. For a fun japaleño cheddar version, increase the salt to 2 tsp, omit the honey, add 1/2 cup grated cheddar, 2 japaleños, finely chopped and 2 tsp chopped parsley. Take it any direction you please. The honey glaze is optional; if you go in a more savory direction, I would omit it.

Recipe: Fresh Corn Cornbread

You’ll need:

6 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp sugar
1 3/4 tsp kosher salt
4 eggs
1 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup whole milk
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup canola oil
2 tbsp honey, plus 1/4 cup for glazing (optional)
1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (about two cobs; optional)

Preheat your own to 350F and grease an 8×8 inch pan.

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar and salt on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Incorporate the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl well. Pause mixing and add the cornmeal, all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour and baking powder.

With the mixer on low speed, pour in the milk, buttermilk, canola oil, and 2 tbsp honey and mix. This is a very loose batter. Small lumps of butter are no problem, but avoid any lumps of flour. If you see them, mix a little longer or work them out with your fingers.

Fold in in the corn, if in season; if not, omit.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Do not over bake!

If you are choosing to glaze, slightly warm the 1/4 cup honey in a small saucepan and lightly brush the top of the warm cake.

This is best served the day it’s made but keeps, well wrapped, at room temperature for up to two days.

Thank you so much, Zoe! Your book is beautiful!

P.S. More recipes, including roast chicken and apple crisp.

(Photo by Matt Armendariz. Huckleberry: Stories, Secrets, and Recipes from Our Kitchen, by Zoe Nathan with Josh Loeb and Laurel Almerinda, Chronicle Books 2014. Thanks to Caroline Donofrio for helping with this series)

  1. Cali says...

    This was a huge hit with my family! I agree it’s indulgently greasy (not in an unappetizing way). I found it needed about 10 extra minutes in the oven. I love that I didn’t need a cast iron pan too…

  2. It sounds good. It’s a bit different from how we make it. We use cream cheese , sugar, cream of corn ,irish butter and corn bread mix. It’s super good and I make it for a snack.

  3. I wish I had read the comments before starting this cornbread…After 50 minutes, it was still swimming in oil…We felt like we just ate pure oil. For those who reduced the amount of oil, by how much? Is there another way to make it moist without that level of oil? I’m a novice cook, so I followed the directions to the T and wishing I hadn’t, but not sure how to tweak it properly.

  4. I made this for a chili dinner party last night and it was a hit! Moist and delicious with the touch of honey glaze on top. Thanks for the great post – my 18 month old adored it too :)

  5. I agree with Kate, I made this and it turned out extremely greasy… delicious but greasy. I used coconut oil and coconut sugar. The liquid/dry ratio seemed fine when I poured in the pan, but after baking it came out sopping. Oh well, still tasted amazing.

  6. Just picked up a canister of corn meal for polenta…..looks like I’ll be adding this to the list next! Yum!!!

  7. I agree with whoever recommended cutting the oil – made it last night, and while delicious, it ended up so greasy! :( We crumbled it up into some spicy smokey pinto beans with bacon and it wasn’t as noticeable as when you just ate a chunk. :)

  8. Oooh, adding Huckleberry to my list of spots for my next LA trip! And pinning this cornbread to make later – it looks fabulous!

  9. Corn bread is one of my favorite food groups and this looks just sinful. Just the cover picture is enough for me to want this cookbook! Adding it to my Amazon wish list!

  10. I’m from Mississippi and live in New Orleans now, and I always put sugar in my cornbread! Y’all should try cutting the oil and adding a small container of sour cream instead. That’s how my great-grandma did it in her Mississippi Delta restaurant in the 1950’s, and it’s sooo delicious. All you need is sugar, salt, corn (I cheat and use canned corn…usually white shoe peg), sour cream, buttermilk, and chopped onions (and cornmeal, of course. Again, I cheat and get self-rising). I like to make a batch in a round cast iron, cut it up like pizza slices, and then stick a big ole slab of olive oil based butter in the middle of each slice. It’s basically a butter sandwich (thus why Mississippian’s are obese). I’m definitely going to drizzle honey next time!

  11. Um, born in Tennessee, raised in Louisiana from parents born and raised in Alabama. You most certainly do see sugar in cornbread recipes. The recipe on the Aunt Jemima cornmeal package has sugar in it as do all the recipes I grew up with. If it offends your southern sensibilities so, I suggest you find another recipe that suits you. But maybe realize that just because you think of something one way does not mean there only is one way.

  12. I looooove love love sweet, cakey cornbread. And I love it even more if it has a sweet crunchy crust on top!

  13. Opinionated southerners, there are oftentimes more than one way to do something. Just a heads up :)

  14. The recipes you post always look fantastic, would love it if you could post a vegan recipe sometime! :)

  15. Oh my dear heavens the pastry on the book cover is absolutely delightful. There’s something about cornbread that is homey & comfortable. Yum. :] // ☼ ☯

  16. A third opinionated Southerner chiming in to say that cornbread doesn’t need sugar!

  17. I’m excited to try this one. It looks delicious. And, I was planning to make cornbread with our dinner tonight. Perfect warm, fall food.

  18. Looks spectacular! Question: can we use frozen, if fresh is not available?

  19. I’m such a sucker for beautiful cookbooks. That bread on the front! #nom

    I was just browsing the Amazon top selling cookbooks and there’s a vegan one called, Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give A F*ck. Made me laugh :)

  20. 1/2 cup of sugar in cornbread!? Opinionated Southerner is offended :)

    Omit the sugar and it looks lovely!

  21. That looks yummy!! There’s nothing like fresh cornbread in the fall!

  22. In Texas, we have jalepeno cornbread with bits of corn. its delicious!

  23. Today has been a day full of recipes in the blog world! I love cornbread and this looks like a pretty simple recipe to follow and perfect for the fall weather. I cant wait to give this a try.
    I posted a recipe for gluten free pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting to start this fall weather with a big belly. Would love for you to take a look.

  24. I’m from Virginia, and I cannot imagine cornbread with any sugar and certainly not as much as that recipe calls for. They should call this concoction something else—it doesn’t even look like cornbread.

  25. I wish I’d known about this place last week when I was in Santa Monica! Will definitely check out the book :)

  26. I will be making this tonight! Perfect timing, I have 2 fresh corn cobs on the counter.

    I love these recipe series, very inspiring, thank you!

  27. Looks moist and delish!

  28. This sounds delicious! I bet it would make our tiny apartment smell wonderful too!

    The City and Us

  29. Quick question! Should the fresh corn be cooked in some way first or raw?
    Excited to try this – I live in London and corn bread isn’t something they make over here very often. I will introduce it to my British boyfriend and his family :)