Fresh Corn Iron Skillet Cornbread


In my kitchen, there is a giant binder of the recipes that I come back to regularly. A few are computer print-outs, but most are clipped squares from magazines and newspapers that I’ve accumulated over the years. Even though they’re in plastic page protectors, the recipes are stained, wrinkly, and written-on. Before a recipe can earn a space in the binder, I have to like it enough to make it three or four times. (Binder real estate is precious, so the standards are high.) And by the time I’ve made a recipe three or four times, it’s covered in hand-written notes about ingredient substitutions, skipped or changed directions, when I first made it, who it was served to, and whether or not people liked it. Weird, I know. But it’s fun to look back through the book and remember some really excellent meals with some really wonderful people. Sometimes, there’s enough writing on the paper that I have a hard time making out the original recipe and I can’t even tell where it came from. That’s the case with this week’s recipe.


Fresh Corn Iron Skillet Cornbread is a newspaper clipping from who knows where or when. According to my notes, I first made it in September 2008, but forgot to write down who it was served to. I’ve baked it a couple of times each year since then, with a bunch of ingredient substitutions that are also preserved in the notes. The first time I made it, I used a smaller skillet than the original recipe called for. That didn’t go well: the batter spilled and burned all over the oven. Pan size is apparently one of those things worth paying attention to, the notes on the recipe remind me.

This cornbread makes good use of summer-fresh corn and thyme. (And you can save the cobs for making vegetable broth later.) It’s a lovely addition to a light supper now, or you can freeze it and serve in the fall with soup. Enjoy!


Fresh Corn Iron Skillet Cornbread


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tbs. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 cup sour cream, yogurt, or buttermilk (or some combination of these)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbs. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup fresh corn, cut from about two ears
  • 1 tbs. chopped fresh thyme
  • 3/4 cup farmer cheese (optional)
  • 2 1/2 tbs. butter


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the sour cream/yogurt/buttermilk, oil, egg, sugar, and baking soda.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones, and carefully fold them together. Do not overmix. Stir in the corn, cheese (if using), and thyme. Set aside.
  4. Using medium heat, melt the butter in a 9-inch iron skillet until it begins to brown, about 2-3 minutes. Tilt the skillet so that the sides and bottom are coated. Add the batter to the pan.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean.