Better’n Granny’s Cornbread

But not better than Grandmother Betty's.

One of my favorite things about being southern is being southern but not really being southern. I was born in Kentucky but raised in northern Illinois by parents who were born and raised in small-town Kentucky and backwoods Georgia. I grew up just outside of Chicago but we ate grits and drank sweet tea and (much to the delight of my friends) my parents said “y’all.”

I feel like this “biculturalism,” if you will, affords me a sort of dual citizenship. I get to pick and choose what I like about each region and apply it to my identity and abandon the rest. From the Midwest it’s all cornfields and cumulous clouds and crisp fall mornings. Down south it’s yes ma’am and no sir and family and tradition and cornbread.

Hey y'all.

My Grandmother Betty makes the best cornbread I’ve ever eaten in my life, and I’ve mentioned before here that I suspect it is most certainly made with some sort of animal fat in an iron skillet older than this fine country we call home. Some things I just choose to ignore.

While I can’t replicate Grandmother’s cornbread (even with the recipe it wouldn’t be the same), I did find at least a suitable stand in earlier this week.

This recipe is a vegan adaptation of Bittman’s cornbread from How to Make Everything Vegetarian. (This is the best cookbook I own.)

5.0 from 1 reviews

Better’n Granny’s Cornbread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 


  • 1.25 cups nondairy milk + 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance
  • 1.5 cups cornmeal
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

  1. Combine the milk, vinegar and flax and let sit.
  2. Place an 8×8 dish over medium heat on the stove to melt Earth Balance. Remove from heat once the butter melts to prevent burning. Set aside.
  3. In a bowl, combine all remaining dry ingredients.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry. Stir to incorporate. Pour into greased dish.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes on 375 degrees until the top is lightly browned.

Sing me home, cornbread.

For the record, cornbread is to be salty, not sweet. If you must have sweet cornbread (there is something wrong with you and) you can add 1 tablespoon of sugar to your dry ingredients. Don’t do this.

10 thoughts on “Better’n Granny’s Cornbread

  1. I’m a sucker for some good cornbread…but I like mine SWEET. Don’t hate me!! lol My first blog post was for vegan cornbread that I then covered in non-vegan honey. And it was awesome. :)

  2. Sweet cornbread is just weird. It tastes like a dessert! I’ve been trying to perfect my cornbread recipe for years, and I feel like it’s getting close haha :D The whole time I was reading this, I kept thinking of that movie with Martin Lawrence, Eddie Murphy called “Life”. When that big guy is like “You gon’ eatcho’ cownbread?” LOL I’m weird, please forgive me.

  3. Totally with you on love for southern traditions/food. I have a similar background: family from the south, didn’t really grow up there for most of my childhood but got the best parts of the culture and spent most holidays there. I also went to college in the deep south. I think that where I live now is technically considered to be in the south, but to me that seems laughable compared to where I spent my undergrad.

    I have to say, though, cornbread is at its absolute best when cooked in an iron skillet.

    I think one of my favorite things about being southern (and I do say y’all) is that you can toss out ANY sarcastic/insulting comment and get away with it scot-free but just tagging a “bless your heart” on the end. ;)

  4. Bless your heart, Cammy. I must say it unknowingly because one of my kindergartners ask me once, “what does bless your heart mean?” I didn’t have the heart to say, “you can tell someone that they have a big butt and follow it with bless your heart AND get away with it!!! It’s a good thing.

    • Hahahaha…This is awesome. I also have a habit of saying “Bless your (or his/her) heart!” I was born In Denver, but mostly raised in Kentucky (GO CATS! Sorry – couldn’t help myself.) :)

      Bless your hearts, Cammy & Ta MO (and Katie too)! Now, I’m really craving some cornbread. :)

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