Learn how to make a Southern staple - spoon bread - with this tried-and-true homemade recipe! You'll be rewarded with light, fluffy baked spoon bread.
Learn how to make spoon bread from scratch with this homemade recipe! A Southern staple and Kentucky classic, I describe spoon bread as grits meets cornbread in all the right ways. Light and fluffy, this bread dish is the ultimate southern comfort food! Serve hot immediately out of the oven.
Spoon bread is one of my favorite things in the world! This is something my mom would make growing up and we would demolish it! It is so comforting and a perfect side dish (or bread) to serve with any southern meal.
It is not only a southern staple but a historic Kentucky staple! Made famous from the Boone Tavern restaurant (named after Daniel Boone who is Kentucky's founding father) in Berea, KY about 45 minutes from where I grew up in Lexington, KY. So it is only fitting that I share my family's recipe that we grew up with - it would be a crime if not!
Southern spoon bread is more of a souffle-type dish meant to be scooped out and eaten with a spoon (hence the name) and made with a few common pantry ingredients like
- and baking powder
The base of milk and cornmeal is cooked on the stove until it's nice and thick and creamy. Then the rest of the ingredients are added and it is baked off until it's a light fluffy DELICIOUS dish ready to be devoured! This is perfect for serving with any classic southern dish like fried chicken, green beans, mashed potatoes, or honestly just serve with any dinner you make!
Why is it called Spoon Bread?
It gets its name because it is so soft that it is literally eaten with a spoon. Hence - SPOON BREAD. Get it?! Clever lol?
And THE ONLY PROPER way to eat it is with a big pad of butter on top of it straight out of the oven! This dish is best enjoyed hot and right away. And all those puddles of melted butter running through it.....BLESS IT! If you are a sweets fan and want to be a little extra, top it with homemade honey butter!
This is not for your no-carb low-fat diet plan over here. Sorry. It can wait. This treat is #worthit!
- 1 Cup Cornmeal
- 4 Cups Milk
- 3 Tablespoon Melted Butter
- 1 ½ Teaspoon Salt
- 1 ½ Teaspoon Baking Powder
- 4 Eggs - whisked
How to Make
This is an easy beginner recipe that only requires a couple of steps.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large saucepan, add the cornmeal and milk and place on the stove on medium heat. Whisk continually until thick, about 10-15 minutes.
- Once thick, remove from the heat all the butter, salt, and baking powder. Whisk until mixed.
- Slowly add the beaten eggs to the cornmeal mixture until everything is incorporated together.
- Pour into a greased 1 ½ quart baking dish - the whole prep time should take about 20 minutes.
- Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes.
- Remove and serve immediately to 6-8 lucky friends or family hot out of the oven. This is best enjoyed with a pad of butter on each serving!
What Dish Do I Bake This In?
My mom, as well as I now, make southern spoon bread in the same vintage CorningWare dish every time. Your grandmother or relatives I am sure had one similar floral design on the sides that often were in colors like white, green, and pink.
The recipe calls for a 1 ½ quart baking dish - which can be in a couple of different shapes. We have used something deep and square with high sides.
But there are also some round quart baking dishes that would work well too. You just need this dish to be more small and deep (more bowl-like), instead of large and thin (more cake and brownie-like).
Oh, and you'll need a good whisk to make this recipe too - makes getting all the lumps out super easy!
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What is the Difference Between Spoon Bread and Cornbread?
Spoonbread is made with more eggs and baking powder resulting in a fluffier almost souffle-like consistency, resulting in needing to be eaten with a spoon and not held.
Frequently Asked Questions
Unfortunately, in my opinion, no. Because this has a delicate souffle-like texture, this is best eaten fresh and hot right out of the oven and needs to be made right before getting ready to enjoy.
No. For the same reasons above. Because this has a delicate souffle-like texture, this is best eaten fresh and hot right out of the oven and needs to be made right before getting ready to enjoy. It cannot be premade and frozen, and leftovers do not keep well enough to freeze.
You can keep leftovers (if there are any left), but in my opinion, they are not as good. As it cools and sits in a fridge overnight, it becomes denser and less fluffy and loses its signature texture. You can definitely still enjoy it, just warm it in the microwave and top it with butter. But it is still best enjoyed fresh.
Yes! Kentucky spoon bread is gluten-free. There is no flour required for this recipe, and the cornmeal itself is gluten-free. So this makes a great carb and bread option for anyone who needs to avoid gluten!
More Bread Recipes
- Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread
- Southern Cornbread and Biscuit Dressing
- Homemade Yeast Rolls
- Cast Iron Buttermilk Biscuits
- Fluffy Popovers