Cornbread Compromise

Cornbread Compromise


Cornbread growing up was bacon fat melted in a pan, then added to a batter that was 2/3 cornmeal and 1/3 flour, leavening, milk, egg, no sugar.  Have I mentioned that my mom grew up in Louisiana?  When low fat eating became the “correct” way to eat, I developed a recipe that was low fat, had a small amount of sugar and used some whole wheat flour with the white flour and an amount of cornmeal equal to the flours.  What I really like is a soft, sweet cornbread like Marie Callender’s.   I really would like to eat a piece of cake and call it cornbread.  I’ve made the “jiffy” version by taking a box of Jiffy corn muffin mix and a box of Jiffy yellow cake mix, and combining the ingredients of both directions.  According to one calorie counting web site the, Marie Callender’s corn bread had 150 cal, 3 g fat (no saturated), 28 g carb and 1.8g of fiber.  Get your ruler out, though because that is a (68grams) 2 by 2 inch piece!  An ounce is about 28 grams so this would be 2.4 ounces.  Another site listed the nutrition per 4.1oz serving as 430 calories, 32 grams sugar, 20 grams fat.  That’s a pretty big range even if you compute the nutrition information for equal amounts.  Keep in mind that a typical “serving” of bread is 1 ounce.


I wanted a 100% whole grain version that actually tasted a little on the sweet side and had that same soft tender texture.  Here’s my compromise:

Compromise Cornbread

Number of servings: 9

Per Serving 198 calories

Fat 7 g

Carbs 29 g

Protein 5 g



  • 2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 2 Tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 c canola oil (or oil of choice)
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or kefir)
  • 1 egg


combine dry ingredients in a bowl

combine liquid ingredients in a small bowl and mix lightly

make a well in the dry ingredients and add the liquid ingredients, stir until combined.

Bake in a 9x9 or round cake pan at 425 degrees, 20-25 minutes.

This turned out to be a 2 ounce serving size.  I used whole wheat pastry flour but regular whole wheat flour is fine.  I also used coconut oil instead of canola but it shows up as a saturated fat in nutrition analysis even though it is a medium chain fat.  I also used kefir which is a type of cultured milk very similar to buttermilk.  I usually make a half recipe (except one egg) and bake it in a 6 inch round pan.  If you are going to spread your cornbread with honey butter, I think it would be fine to reduce or eliminate the sugar.  Make this a clean recipe by using honey in place of sugar.  You can substitute an equal or slightly lesser amount of honey for the sugar and reduce the liquid by adding the last 1/4 cup a little at a time until you get the desired consistency (about like cake batter).  Also honey is acidic and you may find that adding 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of baking soda will help it rise.   Additional variations include adding drained whole kernel corn, shredded cheese, or bacon bits.  This goes great with a hot bowl of ham, bean and bowtie pasta soup.

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