Thin and Crispy Cornbread

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In many a glossy food magazine, you’ll see cornbread, served directly from the skillet in thick, golden wedges. These look nothing like April McGreger’s Mississippi grandmother’s thin & crispy cornbread. The crunch to tender ratio is closer to crunch, making it ideal for soaking up delicious broths like potlikker. Baked best in a well seasoned 12-inch cast iron skillet, although the batter can be divided across two smaller skillets, or even cake pans if desired. To make the cornbread extra crunchy, scatter some dry coarse cornmeal in the hot skillet just before pouring in the batter. Once cooked, make sure to flip onto a rack or plate, to help keep the crust crispy! Alternatively, make a thicker cornbread, cook ahead of time, and then split & toast when you choose to serve.


  • ¼ cup bacon drippings or vegetable oil
  • 2 cups coarse cornmeal, preferably white, and roughly 2 tablespoons more for the skillet
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ¼ cups buttermilk (whole preferred)
  • ¼ cup hot tap water

Nutritional Information

      • Nutritional analysis per serving (8 servings)
        232 calories; 8 grams fat; 4 grams protein; 2 grams saturated fat; 3 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 33 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram dietary fiber; 2 grams sugars; 31 milligrams cholesterol; 229 milligrams sodium


The information shown is only an estimate based on the available ingredients and specified preparation. This should not take the place of a professional nutritionist’s advice.


  1. Heat oven to 500 degrees. Into a 12-inch skillet add your bacon drippings (or vegetable oil), then place into oven to warm.
  2. Use a whisk or fork to combine the cornmeal, baking soda and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Add the egg, water and buttermilk, stirring well to combine. When the bacon grease is sizzling, and the skillet quite hot, carefully take out of oven and pour half of the hot fat into your cornbread batter. Whisk thoroughly to combine.
  3. Being sure to work quickly, sprinkle the hot skillet with the remainder of the coarse cornmeal – it should smell like popcorn. Into the hot pan pour the batter, and place back in the oven. After 20 minutes, check the cornbread – continue baking until it turns a deep golden brown.
  4. Take hot pan out of the oven, and immediately flip onto a wire rack or plate. Cut into wedges and serve.