Old-Fashioned Hot Water Cornbread Recipe

If you are a cornbread fan and want to try your hand at a version with a twist, read on to learn how to make old-fashioned hot water cornbread. Recipe developer Miriam Hahn brings us this recipe which she says is delicious and super easy to make. "The main difference," Hahn shares, "is this type of cornbread is shaped into patties and cooked on the stove instead of pouring the batter into a baking dish and cooking in the oven. The patties come out crispy on the outside and soft on the inside." You can serve the cornbread patties with butter and honey as a side dish, or use them to soak up sauces in a dish like this Texas red chili.

So, you might be wondering where the boiling water comes in? You use it when mixing the cornmeal to make your batter. This technique softens the cornmeal and gives the dough a good consistency for forming into patties. It's a unique but truly easy way to make perfect cornbread — so let's get right into it!

Gather the ingredients for hot water cornbread

As the title tells us we are going to need some hot water and along with that, there are only a few other ingredients. You'll need cornmeal, sugar, salt, and oil. We love a good recipe using pantry staples!

Make the dough

The first step is to boil some water. "I like to use an electric tea kettle because it heats up water super fast, but the microwave is another quick option," Hahn tells us. Then grab a large bowl and combine the water with the cornmeal, sugar, and salt. Stir with a whisk or wooden spoon until you have a thick dough.

Shape the dough

The next step is to shape the dough into patties. This batch will make eight patties that measure 3-inches in diameter. As you form each one, place them on a surface lined with parchment paper so they don't stick. They can also break apart pretty easily, so Hahn advises that placing them in a single layer is the best method for making sure they hold together.

Fry the patties and serve

The final step in this quick cornbread recipe is to fry them. Take out a large cast-iron or stainless steel frying pan. Add the oil and turn the heat to high. Give the pan about 5 solid minutes to heat up or if you have a food thermometer, you can test the oil temperature — when it has reached 350 F, you are ready to fry up the patties.

Drop four of the patties into the oil and set your timer for 2 minutes. Then carefully flip them over and cook 2 more minutes. Remove them from the hot oil and place them on a surface lined with paper towels. Repeat with the remaining patties, then your hot-water cornbread is ready to serve nice and steamy. Store leftovers in the fridge in a sealed container for a couple of days and reheat in the oven or air-fryer.

Old-Fashioned Hot Water Cornbread Recipe
5 from 74 ratings
This old-fashioned hot water cornbread comes together quickly and easily, and you don't need to turn on the oven or fuss with baking.
Prep Time
Cook Time
corn bread with honey dripper
Total time: 13 minutes
  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups boiling hot water
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable oil
  1. In a large bowl combine the cornmeal, sugar, and salt. Add the boiling water and stir with a whisk or wooden spoon to blend into a thick dough.
  2. Shape the dough into 8 patties about 3-inches in diameter. Place the patties in a single layer on parchment paper to keep them from sticking to each other.
  3. Put the oil in a large frying pan and heat to high for at least 5 minutes. The temperature should reach 350 F. Drop in 4 of the patties and cook in the hot oil for 2 minutes on each side until they are golden brown. Flip the patties and cook for another 2 minutes, then remove from the pan. Repeat the process with the remaining 4 cornbread patties.
  4. Serve the cornbread as desired.
Calories per Serving 347
Total Fat 28.5 g
Saturated Fat 1.9 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 21.5 g
Dietary Fiber 1.0 g
Total Sugars 1.1 g
Sodium 196.5 mg
Protein 1.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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