Delicious Crackling Cornbread Recipe for Your Soul

Listen up, foodies! If you’re looking for the ultimate in Southern comfort food, then let me introduce you to my crackling cornbread recipe. This is the kind of cornbread that will have you salivating before it even comes out of the oven. The kind that makes your mouth water and your heart warm just at the thought of it.

Now, I know what some of you may be thinking. “I’ve tried cornbread before, what’s so special about this?” Well, let me tell you, this isn’t your run-of-the-mill cornbread recipe. This is the kind of recipe that will make you rethink everything you thought you knew about cornbread.

What makes this recipe so special? For starters, there’s bacon grease involved. Yes, I said bacon grease. Trust me, it adds a whole new dimension to the flavor that you didn’t know was missing. Add to that some perfectly crisp and salty pork cracklings, extra-sharp cheddar cheese, and some sweet onion – and you’ve got yourself a recipe for decadence.

But don’t just take my word for it. Paula Deen herself declared this the best cornbread she had ever tasted – if that doesn’t tell you something about how good this stuff is, then I don’t know what will.

So strap on your apron and get ready to experience what might just be the best thing to ever come out of your oven – my crackling cornbread recipe.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Best Crackling Cornbread
Best Crackling Cornbread

Let me tell you why you’ll fall head over heels in love with this crackling cornbread recipe. First, it’s got that perfect balance of savory and sweet that all good Southern cornbread should have. Second, it’s loaded with crispy, crunchy pork cracklings that add an extra layer of texture and flavor (trust me – once you’ve had crackling cornbread, there’s no going back). And finally, it’s just plain delicious.

But don’t take my word for it. Try making this recipe yourself and see just how amazing it is. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. Whether you’re a die-hard cornbread fan or just looking for something new to try in the kitchen, this recipe is sure to become a family favorite in no time.

And what’s more, it’s incredibly versatile. You can serve it as a side dish for chili or barbecue, or even use it as a base for a savory bread pudding dish. And if you’re feeling really creative, try using this crackling cornbread as the foundation for a variation on classic Southern-style eggs Benedict.

So go ahead, give this recipe a try and discover for yourself why it’s the best crackling cornbread recipe out there. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Ingredient List

 Golden brown and crispy on the outside, fluffy and flavorful on the inside: the perfect cornbread!
Golden brown and crispy on the outside, fluffy and flavorful on the inside: the perfect cornbread!

Here is a detailed list of ingredients you will need to make the Best Crackling Cornbread Recipe:

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 cups yellow cornmeal, preferably Anson Mills Antebellum Coarse Yellow Cornmeal
  • 1 cup self-rising cornmeal, preferably Anson Mills Antebellum Coarse Yellow Cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder

Wet Ingredients

  • 2 cups buttermilk, divided
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 4 ounces bacon, preferably Benton’s, chopped into small pieces
    • Note: If you can’t find Benton’s bacon, use any high-quality bacon.
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup whole kernel corn (fresh or canned)
  • 4 tablespoons bacon grease or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

Optional Ingredients

  • 4 ounces pork cracklins or pork rinds, crushed into small pieces
    • Note: Some recipes use fried pork cracklings instead of bacon. You may also omit this ingredient if desired.
  • 1/4 cup extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
    • Note: This ingredient will give a nice cheesy flavor to your cornbread.
  • Louisiana Cracklins or fried pork skins for garnish
    • Note: These are typically used for garnish in Southern-style cornbreads.

Make sure to have all these ingredients ready before starting the recipe.

The Recipe How-To

Now that we have gathered all the necessary ingredients, we can begin making our crackling cornbread. This recipe is a perfect blend of savory and sweet, with the added crunch of pork cracklings. Follow these instructions to achieve the perfect texture and flavor.

Step 1: Preheat and Prep

Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). While the oven heats up, prepare your cast-iron skillet by adding three tablespoons of bacon grease and placing it in the oven to heat.

Step 2: Combine Dry Ingredients

In a large bowl, mix together 2 cups of yellow cornmeal, 1 cup of self-rising cornmeal, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Make sure they are well combined.

Step 3: Combine Wet Ingredients

In another bowl, whisk together 2 beaten eggs, 2 cups of buttermilk, and a finely chopped medium-sized onion. Gradually pour in melted butter (about ¼ cup) into the mixture while stirring constantly until everything is thoroughly combined.

Step 4: Combining Wet and Dry Ingredients

Slowly pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture. Mix together until they just combine.

Step 5: Fold in Pork Cracklings and Cheese

Now fold in about 4 ounces of pork cracklings or pork rinds that are coarsely chopped. Add about half a cup of grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese into the batter.

Step 6: Bake

Remove the skillet from the oven once the bacon grease has melted. Pour in the batter into the hot skillet, evenly spread out around the pan, and place it back into the oven. Bake for around 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

Once it’s done cooking, take out your deliciously crispy crackling cornbread from the oven carefully using potholders so you don’t burn yourself! Allow it to cool for about five minutes before serving.

Now that you are finished with this recipe let’s move on to some substitutions and variations [link] that you can try for next time!

Substitutions and Variations

Calling all culinary daredevils! If you’re a risk-taker in the kitchen and like to experiment with ingredient swaps, substitutions, and variations, then this section is for you. While the original crackling cornbread recipe is already pretty darn tasty (if I do say so myself), it never hurts to mix things up and give your taste buds a little adventure.

First off, let’s talk about the key ingredients. If you don’t have bacon grease on hand, you can swap it out for an equal amount of melted butter or vegetable oil. Feel free to mix up the cheese too – feta, pepper jack, or asiago would make some interesting substitutions for extra-sharp cheddar.

For a vegetarian twist on this recipe, simply omit the bacon or pork cracklings altogether. Instead, try adding in some diced red bell pepper or roasted sweet potatoes for a pop of color and flavor.

If you’re looking to add more sweetness to your crackling cornbread, try tossing in some honey or maple syrup to the batter. You can also swap out some of the cornmeal with wheat flour for a slightly different texture.

For a spicier flair, try mixing in some diced jalapeños or hot sauce to give your crackling cornbread a kick.

And finally, if you want to take your crackling cornbread game to new heights with some extra crunch and texture, try substituting pork rinds for bacon or cracklings. Trust me – this substitution is not for the faint of heart but may just be worth it if you’re adventurous enough.

Remember, cooking is all about having fun and experimenting! So don’t be afraid to get creative and make this recipe your own by swapping out ingredients or adding your own unique twist to it.

Serving and Pairing

Now that you’ve baked the ultimate crackling cornbread, it’s time to serve it up and enjoy the fruits of your labor. And believe me, this recipe is definitely worth the wait.

Being a Southern staple, this delicious dish can be paired with a variety of sides and mains. Here are some of my favorite ways to serve and pair the crackling cornbread:

1) Classic Southern combo: The most natural pairing for crackling cornbread is a piping hot bowl of red beans and rice or black-eyed peas – this combination is also known as “soul food”. You can even top off the dish with some crispy fried chicken or country fried steak.

2) Hearty chili: Crackling cornbread pairs incredibly well with a hearty bowl of chili – whether it’s beef chili or vegetarian chili, this recipe adds an extra layer of texture to your meal.

3) Breakfast sandwich: This versatile cornbread can be transformed into a breakfast sandwich when paired with homemade or store-bought sausage patties or bacon strips for a delicious early morning meal.

4) BBQ: Pairing crackling cornbread with ribs or pulled pork is an excellent way to add texture and flavor to your favorite BBQ meat.

5) Over easy eggs: Believe it or not, crackling cornbread goes amazing with a simple breakfast dish of over easy eggs. The sweet and savory flavors make for an excellent combination, making it perfect for brunch.

No matter how you decide to serve your crackling cornbread, make sure you have some extra bacon grease on hand, so you can slather on some more love. Trust me; you’ll want every single bite to be coated in that flavorful goodness.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

Ah, nothing is worse than realizing you’ve spent all day preparing a recipe only to discover it won’t last beyond dinner. Thankfully, this crackling cornbread recipe is an exception.

If you’re in a pinch, one of my favorite aspects of this recipe is its make-ahead potential. Simply prepare the batter as instructed, then transfer it to an airtight container and chill it in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Easy as pie!

And let’s not forget about leftovers! Store your leftover crackling cornbread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. If you find that it’s getting stale, try reheating it briefly in the oven or on the stovetop with some butter — trust me, it’s worth it.

If you want your cornbread to last longer than three days, simply pop it in the freezer. To reheat, let it thaw in the fridge overnight, then reheat it in the oven or on the stovetop.

Overall, this recipe is a winner when it comes to convenience and versatility. Make it ahead of time or savor the leftovers for days to come – either way your taste buds will thank you!

Tips for Perfect Results

When it comes to making crackling cornbread, a little care and attention can take you a long way towards achieving the perfect texture and flavor. Here are some tips to help you make the best of this lip-smacking southern delicacy:

1. Use bacon grease: Instead of using regular cooking oil, try substituting with bacon grease. This will give your crackling cornbread an extra dose of flavor that can’t be beat.

2. Sift the dry ingredients: Sifting the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together will result in a smoother texture for your batter.

3. Don’t overmix: When mixing your wet and dry ingredients together, be careful not to overdo it. Overmixing can cause your bread to be tough and dry. Just stir until ingredients are combined.

4. Preheat your oven: Make sure you preheat your oven before putting in your cast iron skillet so that it reaches the proper temperature for even cooking.

5. Don’t open the oven door: Resist the temptation to open the oven door while your crackling cornbread is baking. Doing so will cause heat to escape and disrupt the cooking process.

6. Let it rest: Once you’ve taken your crackling cornbread out of the oven, let it rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing into it. This will allow time for the bread to set and result in cleaner cuts.

7. Get creative with toppings: While classic toppings like butter or honey are always a good choice, feel free to experiment with something new like jalapeño jelly, bacon bits or maple syrup for an added boost of savory or sweet notes.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to making the best crackling cornbread recipe that will have everyone scrambling for a piece of southern heaven. Enjoy!


Now that you’ve read through the ingredient list, made your crackling cornbread and have enjoyed it thoroughly, you probably have some questions about the recipe. No need to worry because I’ve prepared a list of frequently asked questions to address any of your concerns.

Why is my cornbread not crunchy?

If you’re having trouble achieving a perfectly crispy cornbread, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, check that your skillet or griddle is well-seasoned and ready to go. Additionally, be mindful of how much batter you’re putting in the pan at once. Overcrowding can cause the cornbread to become soggy. Finally, make sure the skillet is fully preheated before adding any oil or batter to ensure even cooking.

What is cracklin cornbread made of?

I’ve got a great recipe for a classic cornbread that’s easy to make and doesn’t require many ingredients. Using yellow self-rising cornmeal, flour, 2 eggs, buttermilk, and butter, this cornbread is perfect for those who prefer savory over sweet. By omitting sugar, the natural flavor of the cracklings shines through, making for a truly delicious and traditional cornbread.

What ingredient keeps cornbread from crumbling?

To improve the consistency of cornbread and prevent it from being too dry and crumbly, incorporating oil and sour cream into the batter can be beneficial. As of January 23, 2023, this is a commonly suggested method in cornbread recipes.

What is Mockingbird bread?

In the famous novel To Kill a Mockingbird, the character Scout has a beloved treat called crackling bread which is made by the family’s cook, Calpurnia. It is a snack that Scout particularly cherishes and looks forward to, especially after a long day at school.

Bottom Line

…And that, my friends, is how you create the best crackling cornbread recipe that will have your taste buds exploding with flavor.

After testing out numerous variations, I can say with confidence that this recipe is the real deal. The combination of bacon grease, whole kernel corn, extra-sharp cheddar cheese, and crackling corn creates a unique and mouth-watering flavor. The addition of onion adds depth to the dish while buttermilk and egg create a tender texture that leaves you wanting more.

So, the next time you’re craving comfort food or want to impress your loved ones at a dinner party, whip out this recipe cracklin cornbread recipe. With simple ingredients and easy-to-follow steps, it’s the perfect Southern dish that’s always a hit.

I promise that once you’ve tried this recipe, it will become a staple in your cooking repertoire. So grab your cast iron skillet and get ready to make one of the best cornbreads you’ve ever tasted. Trust me; your taste buds will thank you!

Best Crackling Cornbread

Best Crackling Cornbread Recipe

This recipe was my Grandmothers which I got from my mother. I added to it and made what I think is the best tasting cornbread that has ever been (just my opinion). I have made this for my family for years and also have used this same recipe to make 500 little 1 oz muffins that we use in Chili cookoffs as well as in Brunswick Stew cookoffs. This recipe is for a batch that will make a large 10" cast Iron skillet of cornbread or will make about 5 dozen of the 1oz muffins. Hope you enjoy. Mr. "T"
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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Southern American
Servings 60 1-oz muffins
Calories 121.7 kcal


  • 2 cups self-rising buttermilk cornmeal mix (I use Martha White )
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped jalapeno
  • 1 cup extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup pork cracklings or 1 cup pork rind
  • 1 cup whole kernel corn, drained with liquid reserved
  • lard, to grease frying pan or Pam cooking spray, to spray on muffin pans


  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.,.
  • Grease frying pan or spray muffin tins with pam.
  • Chop the onion into 1/8" - 1/4" cubes or pieces.
  • Seed the jalapenos and chop into 1/8" pieces.
  • Cut the cheese into 1/8" - 1/4" cubes or pieces.
  • In large mixing bowl add 2 cups cornmeal.
  • In small mixing bowl add 1 egg and beat, add buttermilk and mix well.
  • Add egg & buttermilk mixture to cornmeal and mix well.
  • Add the onions, jalapenos, cheese to the cornmeal and mix well.
  • Add the cracklins to the cornmeal mixture and mix well.
  • If the mixture is to thick add the reserved corn liquid and mix well.
  • Fill the frying pan or the corn muffin tins and bake in the preheated oven for 12 to 15 minute or untill golden brown. Enjoy.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 16gCalories: 121.7kcalCarbohydrates: 8.9gProtein: 7.3gFat: 6.7gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 42.4mgSodium: 226.9mgFiber: 1.1gSugar: 4.1g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Breads, Easy
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