Hot water cornbread is a wonderful Southern recipe you will make over and over again for your family.  This quick and easy recipe is delicious.

Hot Water Cornbread The Southern Lady Cooks


My niece used to make herself sick on this hot water cornbread every time she had it at my house.  She loved it and you will, too! This southern classic is always a hit! It is a great addition to any meal. This cornbread is great served hot. However, I love it cold, too! Trust us, it’s so good you won’t have any left no matter how much you make of this crunchy treat.

Ingredients for hot water cornbread:

2 cups self-rising cornmeal

1 teaspoon salt

hot water, boiling

Oil for frying

Scroll down for full recipe.

Recipe Notes: This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled. This cornbread is good for several days and reheats well in the microwave. You can also freeze and reheat later.

Some people confuse these with Hushpuppies, but they are very different at my house. Click to view my recipe for hushpuppies. 

Recipe Comments: “Definitely a classic recipe! Reminds me so much of my childhood. Thank you so much for this authentic recipe for hot water cornbread!”-Mimi

“Thank you for this cornbread recipe. You made my meal for today.”-Jennifer

“Definitely a classic recipe! Reminds me so much of my childhood. Thank you so much for this authentic cornbread recipe”-Anne

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Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Southern Hot Water Cornbread

Hot water cornbread is a wonderful Southern recipe you will make over and over again for your family. This quick and easy recipe is delicious.
Prep Time2 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time7 mins
Course: bread
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Hot Water Cornbread
Author: The Southern Lady Cooks


  • 2 cups self-rising cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • hot water boiling
  • Oil for frying


  • Mix cornmeal and salt in bowl. Add boiling hot water until batter just sticks together. Scoop and mold into balls. (I do this with my hands and make balls about the size of a walnut. Drop in hot grease and fry until golden brown.
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  1. My grandmother made this and called them cornpons. Delicioud and very simple to make, she used white cornmeal, salt and boiling hot water. Shapef them like a scone almost and fried them in a hot iron skillet. Delicious!!!!!5 stars

  2. Definitely a classic recipe! Reminds me so much of my childhood. Thank you so much for this authentic recipe for hot water cornbread!5 stars

      1. Just pour enough water over the cornmeal to where it barely sticks together and you can make it into a ball with your hands.

  3. My name is Sandra Banks and I live in Hephzibah Georgia. I am originally from N.C. I love your recipes because they remind me of home. I wish that you had a cookbook.

  4. Made these today to go with our chillibeans so good! I also made your 7-up biscuit’s using self-rising flour this morning for breakfast. My family loves them! So simple, thank you for sharing these recipes.

    1. Thank you so much for being a part of the site, Kimberly. I am so happy you are enjoying the recipes and thank you for letting me know.

  5. My husband’s Aunt that lived in Florida used to make this but she used Bolted Corn Meal. It was absolutely delicious !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. I make these often, only I roll them between my hands. Sort of into the shape of a hotdog. They are great dipped into hot soup or beans!

    1. I guess I should have said that I roll them between my hands and then fry them crispy. Then we dip them into hot soup or beans!

  7. We enjoy these lovely gems every time we visit friends in Tennessee. We go to this little cafeteria and eat these til we can’t eat no more. OH MY!!! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. Pinning!!

    1. I live in the UK and can’t get self raising cornmeal can I use baking powder with my cornmeal instead?

  8. I make these all the time only I wet my hands and make patties. They are sooooo good with a bowl of hot homemade soup..yum yum…

  9. Made these today. So good, reminds me of David Beairds catfish restaurant. I added a little minced sweet onion and some black pepper . Just like I used to eat years ago, delicious.

  10. One of my favorite things. I’ve never made it this way, without flour, but I’m anxious to try. I always just spoon it, without handling it because you get tons of crunch that. We love it with turnip greens and pinto beans. Oh, my gracious! Gotta make some up soon. 🙂 thanks

  11. Just one more comment, I make mine into a patty and fry them. Have to cook them a little longer than the hushpuppy size but that’s just what we like. Like I said before, Love this site!!!

  12. Yes, growing up we called it “Dog Bread” Love, love,love it. My husband had never tried it (Or tomato gravy!) and now he loves both. My little secret to handling the hot dough is to wet you hands and work fast. It also keeps the dough from sticking to your hands. I love this site and enjoy reading the notes from people.

    1. Finally! Somebody else knows what TOMATO gravy is! My momma raised us on TOMATO gravy and biscuits but when I moved to NC from MI no one has ever heard of it! She also taught me to make cornbread with selfrising cornmeal, splash of buttermilk, hot water, and lots of hot oil in an iron skillet! Cooked in the oven but sounds like your bread bc if there is no milk I just use water and sometimes a little flour!

  13. Sounds wonderful. I cannot buy sr cornmeal in our area…I have been adding B.P and Salt …is this all I need to add?

  14. I make HW cornbread all the time. I tell people about it because I love it and they all look at me like I was crazy! I tell them, you don’t know what you are missing. My Mom and Grandma’s made it all the time when we were growing up.. Love your website, brings back a lot of memories. I am a Kentucky girl, too. Thanks!!

  15. I just found your site through Southern Bite, I have been searching for this recipe for ages, I’ve tried a few trying to make it the way my grandmother made it many years ago. Can’t wait to try this tonight!!! Thank you!!!

  16. I absolutely love this hotwater cornbread!! My Mother never made this, she always made oven cornbread, which was good, but, when I married my Mother-in-Law always cooked HW Cornbread and I learned from her. The top secret to perfect Hot Water Cornbread is your water has to be BOILING!! It won’t turn out right if it’s not.
    I love your web-site and all the recipes are to die for!!
    Thanks for designing this.

  17. Hey,
    I have spent the whole afternoon on your blog. If I cooked all the good stuff I have seen ,I wouldn’t weigh 180 lbs., I would weigh 280 . Will try several, first is Molasses cookies.

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