Dixie Cornbread (Go Dawgs!)


I got an email from a reader, Terri (Who is originally from Georgia -Go Dawgs!) telling me she made world famous cornbread. I was intrigued.

Then she told me that her husband said she made better cornbread than his MAMA. I was stunned.

THEN she told me that her cornbread recipe included TWO CUPS OF BUTTERMILK. My jaw was hanging open.

I had to try this. She offered the recipe (on accounta she’s so nice!) and of course I said yes (on accounta I do NOT make it a habit to turn down world famous recipes of cornbread that include two cups of buttermilk and make husbands turn on their Mamas).

It took her a week or so to get it to me and I have to admit I was getting kind of worried that she may have decided to keep it a secret after all. When I did finally get it, Terri (Go Dawgs!) and I had us a bit of an oh-my-word moment. It turns out the very cookbook she got this from, which is a rare one printed in the seventies, just happened to be the very same cookbook I was laying in bed leafing through as her email came through on my iphone. Spooky or Fate? After having been fortunate enough to get to know Terri (Go Dawgs!) through email, I can definitely say it was the latter.

Let me tell you my personal experience with this cornbread :EVERYONE IN MY FAMILY GOBBLED IT DOWN. That may not seem like that big a deal until I tell you that up until I made this, cornbread had not ever passed the lips of either of my children (they are weird). My husband (whom I’ve mentioned before must have been dropped on his head as a child because of his extremely strange aversions to some staple southern dishes despite having been born and raised just outside of Atlanta) even ate a rather large piece and came back for seconds.

I have never had cornbread so moist in all of my born days. I am flabbergasted and feel certain that no small amount of my existance has been wasted up until tasting this. My in laws are coming to visit this weekend from Georgia (Go Dawgs!) and I plan on having this in the oven when they pull in the driveway.

It feels awful good to be able to grant meaning to the lives of others simply by making cornbread. ~grins~

So without further fuss (On accounta I don’t want to stand between you and this cornbread, because standing in between anyone and THIS cornbread is NOT a safe place to be), here is Terri’s (Go Dawgs!) Dixie Cornbread!

You’ll need: White corn meal, buttermilk (Or put a tablespoon of lemon juice in whole milk and just don’t tell anyone you did that!), an egg, baking soda, flour, salt, and…bacon grease.
We might have just lost some of you on that one! Southerners reading this just had their mouths set to watering, but if you aren’t from here you might not feel so fondly about the thought of using bacon grease in cooking. You might not even look so fondly on my little mason jar of collected bacon grease. Hey, we all have them. Go to any Southerner’s house that actually cooks and look around. You’ll likely see an old soup can on their stove or a little grease jar with a lid. Open it up, Bacon Grease.
Oh alright, if you just really can’t manage bacon grease, you can use melted butter in place of it, but try to do better next time, okay?
Preheat oven to 450. Slather a cast iron skillet with Vegetable Shortening (Crisco). If you really want to make this and don’t have a cast iron skillet, you can use a cake pan. Do this same thing with it.
Stick skillet (or pan) in oven while it preheats so it will be good and hot.
Whisk your corn meal, flour, baking soda and salt together in a bowl.
Add melted bacon grease, or melted butter for the faint of heart.
Add your egg…
And buttermilk.
(Yes, I actually bought buttermilk for this instead of using my usual shortcut of lemon juice to whole milk. Shocking, I know)
Like so. Now we’re going to stir it all up.
Until it looks like this.
Now get your hot skillet from the oven (Carefully) and pour the batter in. It should be hot enough that the batter sizzles when it comes into contact.
Place that back in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until you can’t stand the waiting anymore!
Twenty minutes was just agony.
To top it off, family members kept emerging from their respective holes and asking “What is that smell? When is it going to be ready?”
Remove from oven when you can’t take it anymore….
Turn it out onto a plate. For this cornbread, I used one of my grandmother’s plates. It just seemed fittin’.
Eat it hot, with butter.
Take a bite and see if you don’t yell out “Go Dawgs!”
Dixie Cornbread
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • 1-1/2 cups enriched white cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons of bacon drippin’s or melted real butter
  • 1 tablespoon solid vegetable shortening
  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. In a 10-inch cast iron skillet, add a tablespoon of shortening and preheat.
  3. Sift together dry ingredients; add buttermilk, egg, and drippings, mixing just until dry ingredients are moistened.
  4. Pour into the greased, hot skillet. Bake in preheated hot oven at 450 for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Serve warm with butter.

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  1. RLJP says

    My husband has been making this Aunt Jemima Dixie White Cornbread for me for more than 30 years – he got it from his Georgia mama who got it from her father-in-law. But we eat it with buttermilk OVER it, too! – me in a bowl with a small spoon and my husband prefers his in a tall glass with a long, iced tea spoon. We both cut or break it into small squares – about an inch square or less. Then we pour over enough buttermilk to almost cover all. Yummy!!! He used to make it with bacon drippings, but since we’re older and concerned about out health, he makes it with Smart Balance and puts 2 T in the cast iron skillet as it heats up in the oven. I make it with EVOO when he’s out of town…

    • Kimberley says

      I loved eating it that way when I was a kid. We used it as a type of substitute for cereal. We always used the day old drier cornbread because it held up well to the buttermilk.

  2. Ruby says

    One of my favorite memories is my Momma making cornbread (a staple for Daddy, for every meal, regardless of the other food.). She’d pull that hot skillet out of the oven, pour in the batter, then spoon the hot bacon grease back over the top of the batter before it went back in the oven. Daddy was happy just as long as he had a ‘pone’ of cornbread. I prefer the milled yellow cornmeal from Nora Mill near Helen, just a few minutes from our cabin, but as long as it doesn’t include sugar, it’s all good. I make mini muffins for my grandsons, and because of the influence of their health-nut daddy, they slather them in raw honey and pronouce them ‘Candy Corn’!

    • HMH says

      I ordered my cornmeal & grits from Nora Mill for years (and man, if you’ve not made the no-flour sour cream cornbread recipe on that little tag she encloses w/the cornmeal, you really oughta!). I still get my grits from her, but discovered Indian Head stone-ground (fine grind) cornmeal at Walmart–2 lb. bag for about a dollar. It is lovely-tasting cornmeal and so much cheaper since there’s no shipping cost.

  3. Ruby says

    Oh, and one neat idea I got from them when they’re making samples for the tourists at Nora Mill is for quick and handy cornbread waffles. Pour the batter into a hot waffle iron and you’ll have some quick and easy cornbread to go with your seasoned pintos and mixed greens.

  4. HMH says

    Please tell your readers to keep the bacon drippings container (a peanut butter jar w/lid works fine) IN THE FRIDGE! If it’s left on the stove, even at room temp, it will quickly go rancid and ruin your cornbread or whatever. And it is so much easier to measure out when it’s cold & solidified.

  5. Sharon says

    My mother made some of the best cornbread I ever had . I thought so, and so did our whole family. Aunts ,uncles, and all of the cousins.She did not add soda or salt as this is already in selfriseing flour and selfriseing cornmeal . She also used oil about i/4 ina way up in her hot skillet . Hers to would sizzle when batter was poured in . Trick to good cornbread is enough oil , and flour added to meal and only use buttermilktto add moister . People say mine is very good also . Mine will stay moist for a few days .

  6. Sharon Collins says

    Christy, I love your web-site!! My Mama always made her cornbread with buttermilk. She never used a recipe, either, and your recipe is just like hers. Thank you for this wonderful site!!

  7. Bethany says

    I made this cornbread the other day and after all the hype, was so disappointed. Maybe it was the white cornmeal, maybe the brand, maybe I’m the kind who likes a lil’ suga in my cornbread, but it tasted quite bland to me. I did however enjoy the texture. Although I had to load it with butter and honey to palette it and threw the remaining half out after supper.

  8. Tricia says

    This is how my mother & I make cornbread. Bacon grease gives it a delicious taste. I put a little extra grease in the iron skillet, heat it up in the oven & pour about 2 tbs. back in the batter before pouring into the pan. Sometimes I add one or two tablespoons of sugar. This bread is great crumbled up with soup beans (pintos) & I like chopped onions on top. Mama’s homemade chow chow also goes well with this.

  9. Lisa O. says

    Can I add sugar to sweeten it up? If yes, how much would you suggest? I have always had a cornbread that had a sweeter taste, this really had no flavor for us but I did love the texture.
    Also, I thought Southerners liked their cornbread like they liked their tea. Happy New Year!!!

  10. Linda N. Fleming says

    This is the way I have made cornbread for years. I was born and raised Georgia(go Dawgs). Don’t use the bacon grease any longer just vegetable oil or EVOO. Still just as good. Taught all my children how to make it also.

  11. Edna says

    I’m originally from Georgia, and this blog makes me so happy and brings back great memories of my grandmother teaching me how to make cornbread. She always used an old tea cup with a broken handle for her measuring cup. She used the grease where she fried streak-o-lean which I can’t seem to find anymore in the stores “up north” here in Virginia. Streak-o-lean was the all purpose seasoning meat at our house. She used the buttermilk she “clabbered” over night in a big white enamel pot using a buttermilk starter and Cloverleaf dry milk. When I asked how much buttermilk, she’d say enough to make it look like “loose” grits. She didn’t use an egg, but her cornbread was fabulous, so dense yet so tender and delicious with either sweet or buttermilk and some raw onion on the side.

    The cornbread wars in my family were nearly as intense as the who makes the best potato salad debates. My aunt insisted on the egg, and my rebellious uncle added a dollop of mayonnaise, an addition I urge everyone to try.

  12. Elizabeth (Liz) says

    My Grandma my mama and aunts and all madecornbread with buttermilkcooked in a iron skillet. The recipe is the same.Cornbread is not cornbread in North Carolina if not made with buttermilk. Thanks for taking me back home. Our family reunion was the same,also home made icecream. Great food and good people, family and friends.My prayers for your book.God bless.

  13. Leslie says

    I have made this cornbread several times. I follow the directions exactly, and it comes out perfectly. My husband is crazy for it. Thank you for sharing such delicious and easy recipes.

  14. Rachel says

    I have never tried southern style cornbread, but your Dixie cornbread was very good. ( I normally make my corn bread with sugar and then put butter and honey on top when I serve it. =D ) I’ll still make my “corn cake” but will also be making this cornbread in the future. I also tried your pintos, which was my first
    attempt at making dried beans, and like all your other recipes they turned out wonderful. I really enjoy your website and want to thank you for all your hard work. God bless you and your family

  15. SweetCarol says

    My mother and grandmother often used bacon grease and Grandma used Lard instead of Crisco which was what my Mom used. They always made the white cornbread though I like the sweet yellow. The white goes better in a glass of milk though. Mom always used buttermilk with hers if we had it but I never acquired that taste. I am looking forward to trying this because I don’t remember Mom’s being soft .It was more substantial and moe like a bread. So will try it.

  16. SweetCarol says

    This type of cornbread goes great with pinto beans and put a few chopped onions in your pinto beans. Some even put in “chow-chow” or relish. I preferred them with just cornbread and onions and the cornbread is crumbled up in the beans, too to absorb some of the juice. Leftover can be put in your glass of milk and eat it with a spoon. I’d think I were in Tennessee.


  1. […] My mother got this recipe out of a 1974 issue of Good Housekeeping. There was a photograph of a little old lady next to the title and Mama said “She just looked like her food would be really good”. Since then, I cannot even begin to tell you how often we make it. Everyone in my family makes this and loves it. My in laws are coming in from Georgia this weekend for the Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddler’s Convention as they do every year and this stew is always a request for their first meal. Tonight I’m serving it with Dixie Cornbread. […]

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