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DIY Old Fashioned Cornbread Mix Recipe

Although in Atlanta now, I moved here from New Orleans. Most of my family still lives there. While known for its fabulous food, some of the absolute best is the simplest.  One of my favorites is red beans and rice.  In Louisiana, if it’s Monday, it’s red beans and rice for dinner, with fresh corn bread on the side.  I can’t count how many times I’ve reached for that little blue and white box of store-bought cornbread mix and found that I didn’t have any in the pantry.   I know, it’s super easy to make it from scratch, but until now, I hadn’t come across a good recipe that I could use to make a big batch ahead of time, and just use what I need.  This one fit the bill and comes from Heather at Craft Cravings.

Corn Bread Mix

The older I get, the more I am paying attention to the ingredients in boxed mixes.  Looking at one of the popular mixes out there, you’ll find this:

INGREDIENTS: WHEAT FLOUR, DEGERMINATED YELLOW CORN MEAL, SUGAR, ANIMAL SHORTENING (CONTAINS ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING: LARD, HYDROGENATED LARD, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED LARD), CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF EACH OF THE FOLLOWING: BAKING SODA, SODIUM ACID PYROPHOSPHATE, SALT, MONOCALCIUM PHOSPHATE, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMINE MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID.

I recognize some of those, but lard?  Yuck. I’d rather not. I bring to you today, a recipe for your own DIY cornbread mix.  You know what’s in it because you put it in there yourself! I usually quadruple this basic recipe and split it up for storage in a jar or even a tupperware type container. Ziploc bags work well, too, then write on the bag with a sharpie. This mix will store well just in the pantry, but you can keep it in the fridge or even freeze it for longer term storage.

Ingredients for the mix only:

1/2 cup yellow corn meal

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

2 tablespoons canola or vegetable Oil

Add in the oil and mix thoroughly to get out the lumps. I find that a whisk works well for this. Try to get this as smooth and lump free as you can.

Once that’s done, you can put your mix in a container and store it away.

To use: 

Pour your mix in a bowl and add 1 cup of milk (buttermilk is also good) and 2 eggs. Mix just until it’s not lumpy.

Let mix sit for 5-10 minutes.

Fill muffin cups 1/2 way with batter – or pour into a greased 9×9 pan.

Bake for 15-18 minutes at 375 degrees.

I love using my cast iron skillet for cornbread. When I make the cornbread that way, I melt 3 or 4 tablespoons of butter in the skillet until its pretty hot, pour in the batter and pop it in the oven. This gives it another pop of flavor and a yummy, crispy crust on the outside.

Finally, this recipe is very versatile and you can add in your cornbread favorites like jalapenos, bacon, cayenne, cheese, red and or green bell pepper, onions, even blueberries, nuts, honey, whole kernel corn…whatever your family enjoys. This recipe also make delicious hush puppies and corn dogs.

Bring on the red beans and rice!