Cast Iron Fig Cornbread Recipe

Cornbread is one of those versatile sides that works well with a wide variety of add-ins (or, in this case, add-ons). Some cooks go savory with chile peppers, bacon, or cheese, while others go sweet with sugar or honey. In this recipe, developer Jessica Case is opting for the latter approach, adding sugar to the batter and then giving the cornbread what she calls "a bit of a twist" by topping it with fresh figs made even sweeter by a lemon-honey glaze.

Instead of serving this fig-topped cornbread as a side dish, Case feels it makes "a nice perfect breakfast treat." She describes the bread as "light, fluffy, moist, and a little sweet," enthusing, "It's divine," as well as calling it " a nice way to start your day" when accompanied by a cup of tea or coffee. You won't need any fruit juice, as you'll get a healthy dose of nutrients from the fresh figs.

Collect the ingredients for the cast iron fig cornbread

To make the cornbread, you'll need butter, sugar, eggs, flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, vanilla, and buttermilk, plus some fresh figs to go on top. In addition to these ingredients, you will also need lemon juice and honey for the glaze.

Make the cornbread batter

Before you start stirring up the batter, set the oven to 375 F, then take a small amount of the butter and use it to grease a 9-inch cast iron pan. The rest of the butter is to be creamed with the sugar — about 3 minutes of beating should make it nice and fluffy if you're using an electric mixer of some sort, although you might need to beat a bit longer if you're mixing by hand. After you've achieved fluffiness, beat an egg into the butter mixture, then scrape the sides of the bowl. Repeat the process until all of the eggs have been used, then mix in the cornmeal.

Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, then add ⅓ of this mixture to the cornmeal mixture. Beat in ½ cup buttermilk, then another ⅓ of the dry ingredients, then another ½ cup buttermilk, followed by the rest of the flour mixture, and finish with the rest of the buttermilk.

Bake the cornbread

Pour the batter into the cast iron pan, then cover the top of the cornbread with fig halves. Bake the cornbread for 40 to 45 minutes. When it's done, it will appear golden brown (except for the figs, of course) and if you stick a toothpick between the figs and down into the center, it should come out clean.

Glaze the cornbread

Melt the butter with the honey and lemon juice — Case notes that you can do this on the stovetop or in the microwave, whichever you prefer. Stir the glaze ingredients together, then pour the stuff over the cornbread while it's still warm.

Case tells us that the cornbread can be covered and stored at room temperature for 5 days. She suggests leftovers can be toasted to reheat them, adding, "You can spread some extra honey on top or a scoop of ricotta."

Cast Iron Fig Cornbread Recipe
5 from 24 ratings
This light, fluffy, moist, and a little sweet cast iron cornbread recipe makes for a great and unique breakfast treat when accompanied by tea or coffee.
Prep Time
Cook Time
pan of cornbread with figs
Total time: 55 minutes
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cup buttermilk
  • 8 ounces fresh figs, stemmed and halved
  • Glaze
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup raw honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  2. Grease a 9-inch cast iron pan with a little of the butter, then cream the rest of the butter with the sugar for about 3 minutes until it is light and fluffy.
  3. Beat one egg at a time into the butter mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition.
  4. Beat in the cornmeal until well combined.
  5. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  6. Add ⅓ of the dry ingredients to the cornmeal mixture along with the vanilla, alternating with ½ cup buttermilk, until all of the ingredients have been combined.
  7. Pour the batter into the pan and arrange the dried figs over the top.
  8. Bake the cornbread for 40 to 45 minutes or until it appears golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  9. Make the glaze by melting the butter with the honey and lemon juice.
  10. Spread the glaze over the warm fig cornbread.
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