Great-Grandmother Steinbeck's Johnnycake (Cornbread)


This recipe is out of my great-grandmother Bertha Iva Steinbeck's recipe box. She really was John Steinbeck's aunt. She lived in Hollister, California, and died in the '30s. I've been making this since I was about 5 years old when my grandmother, Agnes Steinbeck Bowman decided I was old enough to learn to cook. It was actually the second thing I learned to cook...she wanted to see how I handled scrambled eggs before she introduced me to something that demanded some technique! I've never tasted better cornbread in my 47 years.

Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
45 mins
4 servings


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • ½ cup white cornmeal

  • ¼ cup white sugar

  • 4 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • ¼ cup corn oil

  • 1 egg


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease an 8 inch glass baking dish.

  2. Sift the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, corn oil and egg. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and mix just until blended. Pour into the prepared pan, and shake gently to level it out.

  3. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean and the top is golden brown. Serve hot. Just with butter will do, it is plenty sweet enough!

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

383 Calories
16g Fat
52g Carbs
8g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 383
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 16g 21%
Saturated Fat 3g 13%
Cholesterol 49mg 16%
Sodium 1053mg 46%
Total Carbohydrate 52g 19%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 16g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 1mg 3%
Calcium 283mg 22%
Iron 3mg 14%
Potassium 187mg 4%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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