It doesn't get better than a deep pan of cornbread cooked over coals in a cast-iron skillet old-timey style. Here's my own super-moist recipe, with additional instructions if you prefer to use your oven. Serve with butter, honey, your favorite jam, or molasses.


Recipe Summary

20 mins
40 mins
10 mins
1 hr 10 mins
8 servings


Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • You will need a cast iron chicken frying pan with a lid and a few iron S-hooks to raise the pan up off the ground.

  • Build a campfire with wood and allow the fire to burn until you have some good embers going. Add a layer of coal. Rake the coals into a flat bed on one side of the fire. Completely grease the inside of the cast iron pan and the lid with lard. Set the pan next to the fire on some coals to preheat for 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Sift cornmeal, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl. Make a hole in the middle of the mixture. Add buttermilk, melted butter, eggs, sour cream, and vanilla extract into the hole. Stir together until a lumpy batter forms, but don't overmix. Allow batter to sit while you check the pan; grease should not be smoking but only be hot and melted. If it is smoking, remove from heat and cool down until it no longer smokes. Pour batter into the hot pan and cover with the lid.

  • Place a very thin layer of embers on the ground and use the S hooks to raise the bottom of the pan and allow air to circulate. Place about 1/3 of the amount of embers you used underneath on the top of the pan. Bake without removing the lid until cornbread is cooked through and a toothpick comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes.

Cook's Notes:

If you don't have buttermilk, use 1 cup milk and sour it by adding 1 teaspoon vinegar or lemon juice.

If you like to bake it in the oven, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Place cornbread in the oven without a lid and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

301 calories; protein 5.8g 12% DV; carbohydrates 41.5g 13% DV; fat 12.4g 19% DV; cholesterol 69.2mg 23% DV; sodium 506.6mg 20% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (1)

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Rating: 4 stars
I live out in the country so every day is like a camping adventure to me. With that being said though I did prepare the cornbread mixture in my kitchen and not out in the woods. We had a lot of limbs down from heavy storms and lit a fire in our natural stone fire pit this weekend. I have a grate from an old BBQ grill that I used and it worked perfectly. I used butter instead of lard and cut back on the brown sugar due to personal preference. I'm not a cornbread fan but hubs said this was excellent. I didn't eat it but what I will say is that the texture was excellent. It was not dense whatsoever. He loved the vanilla in it and this is one I will make again and in the stove if need be. Read More