This is your old-fashioned cornbread made insanely moist and delicious. It is the opposite of dry, and can really stand on its own without needing to be slathered with butter. This recipe is wildly versatile. Use fresh corn if you can; if it’s not in season, you don’t need it. For a fun jalapeño Cheddar version, increase the salt to 2 tsp, omit the honey, add ½ cup/120 g grated Cheddar, 2 jalapeños, finely chopped, and 2 tbsp chopped parsley. Take it any direction you please. The honey glaze is optional; if you go in a more savory direction, I would omit it. If you are making this cornbread for use in our Cornbread Pudding (page 164), omit the fresh corn and reduce the sugar to 6 tbsp/60 g.
RECIPE: Fresh Corn Cornbread
Yields sixteen 2-in/5-cm squares
6 tbsp/85 g unsalted butter
½ cup + 1 tbsp/110 g sugar
1¾ tsp kosher salt
1 cup/160 g cornmeal
¾ cup + 2 tbsp/100 g all-purpose flour
¼ cup/30 g whole-wheat flour
1 tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
½ cup/120 ml whole milk
1 cup/240 ml buttermilk
¾ cup/180 ml canola oil
2 tbsp honey, plus ¼ cup/85 g for glazing (optional)
1½ cups/365 g fresh corn kernels (about 2 cobs; optional)
Preheat your oven to 350°F/180°C and grease an 8-by-8-in/20-by-20 cm pan.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, and salt on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Incorporate the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl well. Pause mixing and add the cornmeal, all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, and baking powder.
With the mixer on low speed, pour in the milk, buttermilk, canola oil, and 2 tbsp honey and mix. This is a very loose batter. Small lumps of butter are no problem, but avoid any lumps of flour. If you see them, mix a little longer or work them out with your fingers.
Fold in the corn, if in season; if not, omit.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Do not overbake!
If you are choosing to glaze, slightly warm the ¼ cup/85 g honey in a small saucepan and lightly brush the top of the warm cake.
This is best served the day it’s made but keeps, wrapped well, at room temperature, for up to 2 days.