The Foolproof Addition For Cornbread That's Actually Moist

Nothing screams Southern comfort food quite like a pan of freshly-baked cornbread. Cornbread's hallmark is, of course, corn, but beyond the bread's actual flavor, the key to a great cornbread lies in its texture. You can't beat an ultra-moist buttermilk cornbread that's soft and rich, rather than dry and grainy. As for how to ensure a delicious and pillowy cornbread? Add a spoonful — or more — of sour cream. Tangy sour cream is the not-so-secret ingredient that works wonders in any and all cornbread recipes. And yes, that means any and all, whether you're making cornbread from scratch or looking to spruce up a boxed recipe.

Butter, who? Sour cream adds that desired creaminess and helps to combat the dreaded risk of a finished product that comes out too dry or too crumbly. Of course, while it's easy to accept sour cream as the perfect antidote to dry cornbread, there's actually a scientific reason it works so well in cornbread recipes. Namely, the fact that sour cream is a fat, so it supplies moisture in addition to flavor. 

As a fail-safe cornbread addition, fats bring the moisture

So long to crumbly cornbreads; fats in any and all forms — from sour cream to butter to oil — help shorten gluten strands and ultimately enhance the moisture and tenderness of the baked good in question. Sour cream especially has a high level of milk fat, so it's prime for cornbreads. 

As for how to best utilize sour cream in your next endeavor? It depends on the recipe and your preferences. Some scratch recipes put sour cream front and center, employing a few cups of the fat; other recipes call for just a few spoonfuls. So, if you're looking to enhance boxed cornbread, start small. Trial and error may be the name of the game, but you'll soon find that the thick and creamy consistency of sour cream lends itself perfectly to cornbread. And, because fats across the board are known to enhance moisture, you don't have to settle for just sour cream; greek yogurt similarly gets the job done. For the absolute best cornbread possible, add whichever fat you have on hand, and see how your dish transforms. We promise you'll end up with a cornbread worthy of any chili.