Spoon Bread - The Southern Lady Cooks

Southern Spoon bread is a must in our house. We could eat it for every meal! Spoon bread is prevalent to the South. There used to be a Spoon Bread Festival every year in September in Berea, Kentucky. Boone Tavern in Berea is famous for its spoon bread.   The bread is made with cornmeal and this recipe is for basic spoon bread.  Some people add cheeses, green onions, chives or even corn to the recipe. You may also love this Sweet Alabama Pecan Bread!

Southern Spoon Bread Simple Ingredients:


Hot milk (I use 2%)



Egg yolks

Egg whites

Many people who have never had this dish always ask if it is a side dish or a bread? I think it is a side dish and it’s delicious topped with lots of butter. Some people even like it with honey to make it sweet. This is a spoon bread.. served with a spoon.. and it is like a soufflé! If you haven’t tried this delicious dish you really should. It’s such a classic and only a few ingredients.

“Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. Part of my family hails from Virginia, and I remember my great-grandmother making this. It was so light, moist and tender. We’d have it with butter and King syrup. She added a bit of sugar to her batter though. I’ve been looking everywhere for a recipe that seemed even remotely close to hers and this is the one. I can’t wait to make this for my mom for Mother’s Day this year. She’s going to be so happily surprised. Thanks again for stoking the culinary flames of great food and family memories!” – Kita 

“Never had spoon bread before so I decided to make it as a side dish with dinner tonight. Love it! Even my nine year old son loves it, which is a miracle because he is such a picky eater. Thanks for sharing your recipes.” -Susan

Printable recipe in recipe card below.

Spoon Bread - The Southern Lady Cooks


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Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Southern Spoon Bread

Southern Spoon Bread is a must in the South. This recipe will quickly become one of your favorites.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, southern
Keyword: Spoon Bread
Servings: 6 people


  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 2 cups hot milk I use 2%
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 egg whites


  • Heat the milk on top of the stove until hot (do not boil).
  • Add cornmeal and continue cooking for about 3 or 4 minutes until thickens. Remove from heat and mix in the butter and salt. Let cool for about 15 minutes.
  • While the cornmeal is cooking separate the eggs into two different bowls. Beat egg yolks and egg whites separately. Make sure you beat whites until stiff.
  • Once cornmeal is cooled, add egg yolks mixing with a spoon. Fold in whites and spoon mix. Pour into a 1 1/2 quart sprayed baking dish and bake in preheated 325 degree oven for 45 minutes or until brown on top and center is cooked.
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  1. Tried this recipe for the first time last weekend. It was wonderful! My elderly mom asked me last night, “when are you making that “conebread” again?” (she drops the “r” in half the words she says… lol) So, I went over to her house and made her another batch of it. (she enjoys the left overs too) I’m wondering if this recipe can be doubled for family get togethers where 6 servings won’t be enough. Do you think doubling and cooking in a bigger casserole dish that the center will get done without the edges getting too done? Or should I make two separate batches in two separate 1 1/2 quart dishes? Thank you for the great recipe!5 stars

  2. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. Part of my family hails from Virginia, and I remember my great-grandmother making this. It was so light, moist and tender. We’d have it with butter and King syrup. She added a bit of sugar to her batter though. I’ve been looking everywhere for a recipe that seemed even remotely close to hers and this is the one. I can’t wait to make this for my mom for Mother’s Day this year. She’s going to be so happily surprised. Thanks again for stoking the culinary flames of great food and family memories!5 stars

  3. I am a western girl from CA originally. Just made spoon bread for the first time tonight from the recipe in my OLD Betty Crocker cookbook. Very similar to yours, but with buttermilk. I thought it was like a combination of cornbread and Yorkshire Pudding. My husband’s grandmother was from England and she served yorkshire Pudding with roast beef. I was making Pot Roast and the Yorkshire Pudding doesn’t do well with our altitude in Colorado where we live at 7,000 ft. The Spoon Bread worked just fine with no adjustments.
    I got to your website looking for what entrees with which it is normally served. All the comments here were great. Thank You, Joan5 stars

    1. I too lived in CO and my husband is British. Add an extra egg to the Yorkshire Pudding and it will work. I can’t wait to try this spoon bread now I’m living in Japan, it looks right up our alley!

  4. I am in East Tennessee and I made spoonbread many times in the past, but I can’t remember if I used white plain cornmeal or yellow since I haven’r made it in a good while. I used the Southern Plantation recipe from Virginia. It is almost identical to your recipe with the exception that some water is used. My Mam Ma made this often. We had this with ham, pinto beans, slaw and apple or peach pie for dessert.5 stars

  5. My grandma use to cook biscuit pudding on top of the stove. She passed in 1960 and I am trying to find the recipe. Do you by any chance have one. Keep the recipes coming

  6. My Mother used to make spoon bread all the time and it was very light and fluffy. I can’t find her recipe, so I am going to try this. I hope it is light and fluffy We used to eat it with lots of butter.

  7. To me, this is an entirely different dish. It tastes nothing like cornbread to me. I’ve been eating this for well over 40 years…had it the first time at a beautiful place in Harrodsburg, Kentucky. It’s almost a souffle! I always eat way too much butter on it, though. 🙂 One of my all time favorite dishes!

  8. My grandmother’s recipe does not separate the eggs. Always good, puffs up like a souffle. She grew up in southern Delaware. I put individual servings in the freezer, thaw overnight, warm it in the microwave and top it with a poached egg. So good!

  9. I have lived in North Mississippi in a rural area…church potlucks, women’s luncheons, etc. all of my life, and I have never heard of ‘Spoonbread’. I can’t wait to try this!

    1. You might cook it a few minutes less or try it with less time. I would just cook it till it is nice and brown on top.

  10. Ur spoon bread is so beautiful. For the outcome to be as delicious looking as you have pictured, do I have to bake it in a bowl like you have pictured, or can I use a rectangular baking dish as well? I will be trying your delicious looking recipe today.

    1. Look at the bottom of the recipe and you will see a small printer icon, click on that and you can remove the photo and any text you don’t want and print just the recipe. You can also click the other buttons there to share on Facebook, Pinterest, e-mail, etc.

  11. Could I add Sugar to this? If so How much would you think? I add sugar to my cornbread as well. In fact my cornbread is 50/50 corn meal and Flour. It’s more like corn cake

  12. I want to know if you can add cream corn to this recipe and would you change anything if you do? All the other recipes I saw had corn in it but yours looks better
    Thanks Gloria.

    1. I cannot advise you Gloria. I don’t add corn to mine. All I can tell you is try and see how it comes out.

  13. I am assuming this is like a very light, fluffy cornbread????? My biggest complaint about cornbread is that it is so dense and heavy…

  14. I made spoon bread when I was a young bride way back in the fifties. I enjoyed trying new recipes and had always lived in New York state. I’m sure it was different but am going to try yours. I have lived it Florida for almost thirty years.

  15. Never had spoonbread before so I decided to make it as a side dish with dinner tonight. Love it! Even my nine yr old son loves it, which is a miracle because he is such a picky eater. Thanks for sharing your recipes.

  16. I haven’t had this since the mid 60’s. The first time Mom made it, I took a piece to eat with me while I was out playing with friends….it was that good!!

  17. Hi- found your site thru FB and this recipe for spoonbread. I’ve lived in Louisiana most of my life. I’d heard of spoonbread but never seen a recipe. I’m going to make it to go with our Easter ham and candied sweet potatoes. Thanks for posting it.

  18. I can’t believe all the people that have never heard of this! It must be something that has faded away with all the processed food now. Shame!

  19. Growing up my neighbors Grandma used to make something called “hoecake”. She baked it in the oven in a cast iron skillet. It was delicious. Could this be the same thing?

      1. I lived in the south all my life too and never heard of this. Love cornbread and corn fritters. Have to try this. I guess the beaten egg whites is what makes it lighter.

  20. I was raised on spoon bread. It’s hard to believe anyone from the South has not even heard of spoon bread. Have they heard about corn meal mush?

    1. I lived in the South (Tennessee) until I moved to Texas at the age of 38 and I’ve never heard of spoon bread but I have heard of corn meal mush. My parents and grandparents never made spoon bread but they did make corn meal mush. Maybe it is popular in some parts of the South and not in other parts.

  21. My mom always used 2 cups. self rising flour, 1 cup of milk or water maybe 1 teaspoon of sugar. Grease iron skillet,pour n bake until top is golden brown. Spread butter over top.

    1. That is a completely different bread not spoon bread. Spoon bread is always made with meal. A well know college in central KY, Berea College has a restaurant called Boone Tavern (no alcoholic beverage served–a dry community) where spoonbread is served each evening as a side dish. In September the community has a festival called the Spoonbread Festival. Spoonbread will be available both at the Boone Tavern and at the park in another part of town. There will be several events that weekend to celebrate this festival. Berea is about 45 miles south of Lexington, KY and has a history dating back to the Civil War. Many crafts will be featured during this week throughout the town.

  22. I just stumbled across your site via FB. Can this be made ahead and warmed up in the microwave?
    We are having a carry in at church in a couple of weeks that’s featuring Southern cooking and would love to take this!

  23. My husband and I were dining at the Wayside Inn of 1797 many years ago, in Middletown, VA and a lone diner had ordered spoon bread for a side dish with his dinner and asked the waitress if she would offer some to us. She explained that he was a regular guest and just wanted to share with us since their portion was very generous. We loved it. It is a comfort food, for sure, and that fact that we were introduced to it in a lovely old inn by a generous and thoughtful patron only adds to the memory of our first time tasting spoon bread. I look forward to trying this tasty recipe.

  24. Ok, I hope I’m not the only wanting to know this, (please, don’t laugh) but, is spoon bread served on the side or as dessert like bread pudding?

    1. It is served both ways. It is great with greens, pork or fried chicken and some people serve it as a dessert as well.

      1. I tell people it’s like the polenta of the US south. Love me some spoon bread!! I used to buy it in a mix, super easy and good but I can’t find the mix anymore. I’m sure this homemade recipe is better and I can’t wait to try it!

  25. Thanks so much for this recipe. My sister-in-law & I were discussing spoon bread just the other day & was wondering how it was made. They had served it at the nursing home where my mother is at & she loved it! So I just made her a copy of recipe for us both!

  26. I love spoon bread and so did my father. He used to make it out of a box until I would make him a homemade batch like his mother used to make. I will have to try this recipe with the egg whites. It sounds really good!

  27. Hi! I am from the South but have never heard of Spoonbread either. I am confused as to whether it is savory or is to be used, say, with berries or ice cream? Thank you for sharing your recipes. I really appreciate them!! 🙂 Barb

    1. It is served with a meal just like cornbread except you spoon it onto your plate and add butter.

  28. I’m from Australia, but have been living in New Orleans for about 18 months. I LOVE Southern cooking – it forced me to learn to cook, because I couldn’t eat food in Australian restaurants after visiting the South. Thanks for this recipe, it looks almost like a desert but I guess you eat it as a savory dish? (I relate to what Donna Reed said about gaining a few pounds…oops). 🙂

    1. Hi! So glad you loved Southern Comfort food! Spoonbread is usually served savory or at breakfast (like a toast replacement) because its made with cornmeal, but can be made as a desert too! My great grandmother used to serve it with a molasses sauce, yummy!

  29. I hate to be picky, but does it matter if I use white or yellow cornmeal? Thank You! You are my favorite recipe site! Love it!

  30. Wow. All my life in the South surrounded by amazing cooks and wonderful food and have never heard of this, much less had it! Thank you for the recipe. I will make it very soon!

  31. I/My family LOVE your recipes – we have put on a few more pounds but everyone loves coming to my house for Sunday dinners – it makes family time that much better! Your spoon bread will be served this Sunday 🙂 Keep posting and thanks again for all do – I know it takes time doing this – we really appreciate YOU!!!
    Love from Yorktown, VA

    1. Thank you Donna. I appreciate your comment so much and am happy your family enjoys the recipes. It’s people like you that make it all worthwhile.

  32. Spoonbread would be good on a flip flop. It is wonderful and is great with any meal. The Wise Inn in Wise, Virginia (just 18 miles from my home in Kentucky made the most delicious spoonbread and it sounds like this recipe. I will definitely try itl.

  33. I’m gonna make this tonight!!! Can’t wait to try it! Thanks for all the wonderful ideas!! You’re the best!

  34. I made your spoon bread and oatmeal pancakes this weekend. Both were very delicious. I have used a different spoonbread recipe in the past, but this one is much better! I’m looking forward to trying barley side dish and mashed potato pancakes. Glad I found your site.

    1. So glad you liked this recipe Sally. Thanks for trying the recipes. Happy to have you on my site.

  35. Eight years in the South and we JUST had this at a party. It’s wonderful. Can’t wait to try yours.

  36. I’m so excited to try this recipe. I live up North and have never heard of Spoon Bread before. I’ve tried many recipes from your site, which were all so delicious. I just want to thank you for sharing with all of us.

    1. Kathy, Click on the name of the recipe and look at the bottom of the page where it says, “print/pdf”. Click on that and you can print or save.

  37. I had heard of spoon bread but never checked into the recipe till today.
    I plan to make it and with its various additions. Thank you very much.

  38. Love your posts and recipes!!! Am 67, a suthun’ lady thru and thru, and have never had this recipe!!! Will give it a ‘go’ tho–thanks again!!! Angie Cox from Mississippi!!

  39. I have spent my whole life in the South and had never heard of spoonbread until I attended Berea College. I wonder if there are only a few pockets of spoonbread Southerners?

    1. It’s very prevalent in Eastern KY and surrounding areas. Being from KY even other areas of the state it becomes uncommon unless someone has family that makes it. It may be common in some other areas/states as well, but in my experience it stems from poorer areas where cornmeal is the choice. Potatoe breads are common too here and both are delicious!

    1. Nothing happened on this end, Helen. You must not be getting my posts anymore. If you don’t comment or “like” my posts they stop showing up in your newsfeed on Facebook. Here is a link to my page. I don’t want to lose you. Just click on this link and “Like” a bunch of stuff on the page and I should start showing up again.http://www.facebook.com/#!/thesouthernladycooks

  40. My wife and I want to thank you for all these wonderful recipes. They are really greatand my wife makes good use of tham. Thanks a million.

    Bill Cloud

    1. You are so welcome, Bill. So happy you are enjoying the recipes and happy to have you on my site.

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