Homemade cornbread

Does Cornbread Rise When Baking? (How Much?)

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Cornbread is a popular American quick bread made with cornmeal. Cornbread is considered a staple food in the southern states of the United States. If you have never made cornbread before, you probably have a few questions about it. You probably have seen flat cornbread as well as fluffy ones. So, does cornbread rise when baking? And how much?

Cornbread rises when you bake them. There are different types of cornbread, and they often have some differences in ingredients. Hence, some cornbread can be flat while others rise while baking.

In this article, I will discuss how cornbread rises, and which ingredients are important for that. If you want to learn how to make fluffy and soft homemade bread, I have a recipe for you in this article.  

Does Cornbread Rise When Baking And How Much?

Cornbread will rise when you bake it in an oven. How much it will rise depends on the ingredients, especially baking powder and baking soda. Cornbread is not as soft as white bread or cakes. Cornbread rises but does not exactly double in size. It can be soft inside but also dense and crumbly. 

You may have been making cornbread, but it turned out to be flat or slightly raised. On the other hand, you might have seen others making cornbread that looks like muffins. 

You can prepare different types of cornbread. It can be as flat as pancakes when you bake them on the stove. When you bake cornbread in the oven, it rises and can become fluffy. 

The key ingredients to making any baked good rise are leavening agents like yeast, baking powder, or baking soda. Other ingredients, like buttermilk and eggs, also influence the texture. 

Before learning the high-rise cornbread recipe, let us know which factors help cornbread rise. Also, the right oven temperature is an important factor. 

What Makes Cornbread Rise When Baked?

You do not have to eat flat cornbread when you know how to raise it. You have all the ingredients at home to make raised cornbread. Baking powder or baking soda plays a vital role in making sure your cornbread rises, or at least does not have a sunken center. 

This, however, is insufficient to ensure a raised and fluffy cornbread. When I first tried baking cornbread in the oven, I mixed baking powder. Yet, I still found the bread sunken in the middle. You have probably been in the same situation. You might find the cornbread too dense and crumbly. 

There are actually many other factors, apart from mixing baking powder, that affect the texture of your cornbread. So, here are the conditions for making raised cornbread: 

Leavening Agent 

Leavening agents are crucial ingredients for baking bread, cakes, cookies, and biscuits. In short, all baked goods need leavening agents. So, you will need a leavening agent to raise your cornbread. 

There are two types of leavening agents- chemical (baking powder and baking soda) and biological (yeast). Cornbread is baked as a quick bread. It should take a short time to prepare. As yeast takes a long time to rise, it is not suitable for cornbread batter. 

On the other hand, baking soda and baking powder work fast in leavening batters. So, we use baking powder to raise the batter. Baking powder or baking soda reacts with acidic liquids and produces carbon dioxide. In the cornbread batter, the buttermilk is the liquid. 

The carbon dioxide produces air bubbles and thus expands the batter during baking. These air bubbles are the reason cornbread, or any bread rises and becomes light and fluffy. 

Cornbread Batter Thickness And Resting Period

The cornbread batter should have the ideal texture to make sure the bread rises. It should be neither too thick nor too thin. It should be thicker than pancake batter, yet thin enough to pour onto the skillet or bread pan from the mixing bowl. 

The batter should have two parts dry ingredients mixed with one part liquid ingredient. You should add milk and a few eggs. Don’t add too many eggs, as it will make the batter too runny. 

The resting period for cornbread batter should not be more than 15 to 20 minutes. Otherwise, the bread will not rise. You must not leave the batter to rest for hours, as you would with any other bread.

When the batter sits for too long, the baking powder loses its ability to rise. In less than 15 minutes, the baking powder will not have enough time to mix and produce carbon dioxide. 

Oven Temperature And Time

The oven heat causes the baking powder to interact with the ingredients of the cornbread batter. Thus, it creates more air bubbles, and the bread rises. It is essential to set a proper temperature so that the bread can rise before the structure is formed.

Traditionally, cornbread should have a crisp golden brown color. So, bake it at a high temperature. Usually, the oven is preheated from 375 degrees F to 425 degrees F. If the oven is not hot enough, the cornbread may rise but fall flat in the center. Baking time is another important factor that affects the texture of cornbread. It will not rise if you do not bake it properly. 

Recipe For High Rise Home-Made Cornbread

If you are looking for a recipe for fluffy and high-rise cornbread, then I have one for you. Get these ingredients and follow these easy steps. 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 ½ cups (279g) Yellow cornmeal
  • 2 cups (300g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups of whole milk or buttermilk 
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ tbsp of baking powder
  • ¼ tsp of baking soda
  • ½ tsp of lime juice (if you use regular milk) 
  • 1/3 cup of ground sugar 
  • 4 tbsp of honey

Instruction for Baking Cornbread

Step 1: Melt some unsalted butter and then grease an 8-9 inch preheated iron-cast skillet. Meanwhile, set the oven to preheat to 375 degrees F. 

Step 2: In a bowl, add the cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, granulated sugar, and salt. Stir all these dry ingredients together. 

Step 3: Then crack each egg one at a time and pour them into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Mix all well. After a while, add some honey and mix thoroughly. 

Step 4: Next, pour the milk/ buttermilk and continue to whisk. Later, add some butter.

Step 5: Since you want cornbread to rise a bit higher than usual, add the all-purpose flour at the end. The butter will not let the flour develop gluten. The gluten can toughen up the bread, which may affect the rising. 

Step 6: After mixing all the ingredients, make sure there are no lumps. Then pour the batter on an iron-cast skillet and place the skillet in the preheated oven. 

Step 7: Bake the batter for 20 to 25 minutes until the top rises and turns golden brown. 

Use a toothpick and press it in the center of the cornbread to make sure it is baked from the inside. Finally, serve your cornbread with your favorite topping. 

When Does The Cornbread Turnout Flat?

You used the right amount of baking powder, but still, the cornbread was flat. It can happen for many reasons. The cornbread will not rise if you make mistakes in preparing the batter or do not bake it properly. 

You may have left the batter for more than 20 minutes, and the baking powder has lost its leavening ability. Or, you may have used expired baking powder. 

Besides, the texture of the cornbread batter should not be thick or thin. It should not be runny. You should also use an ideal-sized skillet for baking your cornbread in the oven. When you pour a small amount of batter onto a large skillet, the cornbread becomes flat.

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