A honey dipper drizzles honey onto a tall square of cornbread topped with two pats of butter.

When I was little, I was known as “the cornbread kid” in my family because goodness, I could put back some cornbread! Decades later, cornbread is still one of my favorite side dishes to serve with soups, stews, and other hearty meals.

There are a lot of regional variations on cornbread, but this honey-sweetened version is a favorite in my house. It’s sweet enough to cut spicy foods like chili, but not so sweet that it tastes like you’re eating dessert. Let’s get baking!

Birdseye of twelve squares of honey cornbread on a cooling rack surrounded by toppings such as honey and butter.Overhead of ingredients used to make honey cornbread, including yellow cornmeal, flour, and buttermilk.

What is cornbread made of?

If you occasionally bake, you probably already have most of the ingredients for honey cornbread in your pantry: all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, vegetable oil, egg, and honey.

This recipe calls for whole milk, but you can also use buttermilk for a tangier flavor. Plant-based milk or other types of cow’s milk will also work, but the fat in whole milk will give the cornbread a richer, deeper flavor.

And of course, cornmeal is a necessity for cornbread. Both white and yellow cornmeal will work, though many Southern bakers will argue that only white cornmeal will do.

Wholefully Protip

Traditionally, the only flour in cornbread is—you guessed it—straight cornmeal. While that’s great for an authentic, rustic flavor, we prefer the softness and tenderness you get when you cut cornmeal with wheat flour.

How do you make honey cornbread?

Start to finish, cornbread will be ready in about half an hour.

To make honey cornbread:

Collage showing six steps to make this honey cornbread recipe.

  1. Preheat the oven and grease a 9″x9″ baking pan.
  2. Whisk together the dry ingredients.
  3. Add all the wet ingredients, except for the honey, and stir thoroughly.
  4. Fold the honey into the cornbread mixture, stirring until just mixed.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the top and edges are golden brown.

That’s it—cornbread is ready!

Tender squares of cornbread on a cooling rack with a blue and white kitchen linen nearby.

Is oil or butter better for cornbread?

This is a great debate among cornbread aficionados. Some swear that melted butter makes a superior cornbread, while others believe that oil will give a more tender cornbread. We don’t want to take sides, but for this particular cornbread, we use oil.

The butter flavor would get overpowered by the honey anyways, and oil does just as good a job at keeping the cornbread from drying out.

What kind of oil do you use for cornbread?

Any kind of mildly flavored oil will work for this cornbread: vegetable, canola, avocado, or grapeseed are all good choices. We don’t recommend super distinctive oils like extra virgin olive oil or peanut oil, because the taste of the honey will get lost beneath them.

A honey dipper drizzles honey into cornbread batter in a glass bowl.

Can I make this cornbread gluten-free?

Sure can! Just swap in a high-quality one-for-one gluten-free all-purpose flour (we like Cup 4 Cup Multipurpose Flour) in place of the all-purpose flour. Also double-check to make sure the baking powder you use is gluten-free—most are nowadays.

Can I make this honey cornbread vegan, dairy-free, or egg-free?

Yup, easy peasy! Just swap the dairy milk for plant-based milk (we like unsweetened almond milk or oat milk here) and use your favorite egg replacer. The final results will be a little less rich and fluffy than the original recipe, but it’ll still do the trick! This does depend on whether you consider honey to be vegan or not.

Top view of baked honey cornbread in a parchment lined square baking pan.

What’s the best pan to make this cornbread in?

We recommend either using a 9″ x 9″ cake pan or a 10″ cast iron skillet. Both work beautifully!

Can I make this into corn muffins instead?

Absolutely! Pour the batter into a greased or lined muffin tin. Bake at 400°F for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

How do you serve honey cornbread?

This sweet cornbread is delicious as-is, but for an even better experience, spread the bread with butter and drizzle with more honey.

Close view of fluffy squares of buttermilk cornbread on a cooling rack.

What goes well with honey cornbread?

A honey dipper drizzles honey onto a tall square of cornbread topped with two pats of butter.

Sweet Honey Cornbread Recipe

Yield: 9 squares
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

A quick and easy honey cornbread recipe is the perfect accompaniment to stews, barbecues, and holiday meals.


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour or gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk or plant-based milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg, beaten, or equivalent egg replacer
  • 1/4 cup honey


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and prepare a 9"x9" baking dish or 10” cast iron skillet with cooking spray and/or line with parchment paper. 
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt until well mixed. 
  3. Add the milk, oil, and egg. Use an electric mixer on low speed until fully incorporated. 
  4. Gently fold in the honey and mix just until combined. 
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the top begins to turn golden brown. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean. 
  6. Remove from the oven and serve warm. 
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 9 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 292Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 271mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 2gSugar: 11gProtein: 8g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *