Evaporated Milk Is The Secret To Ultra-Rich Cornbread

Cornbread recipes can become a contentious subject among many bakers, particularly when you're discussing how much sugar to put in. But for those wanting to inject a subtle sweetness into their moist, tender bake, evaporated milk is the answer. Instead of using fresh milk to stir into your mixing bowl, reach for the evaporated variety. The fat content of the ingredient swap plumps up the bread with rich flavor and chewy moisture, and you'll notice a creamier mouthfeel as you sink your teeth into a freshly cut slice, too. This isn't your grandmother's cornbread recipe — well, maybe it is, and that explains the chewy, fluffy sweetness of the cornbread that was served at your family's gatherings.

Use the evaporated milk just as you would regular milk, and whisk the wet ingredients together until smooth before folding them into the combined dry ingredients. Your next batch of cornbread will never be the same. And while you're shaking things up, why not try our honey sweet potato cornbread as your base recipe? You may want to make a preemptive extra loaf to accommodate guests' requests for seconds. 

This recipe will require restraint

To balance out the richness from the evaporated milk and sweetness from any honey or sugar you have added to your cornbread recipe, consider sprinkling a pinch of cayenne pepper into your mixed ingredients to zhuzh up your cornbread, as Mark Steuer suggests. After taking this golden bread fresh out of the oven, finish your culinary creation with a garnish of flaky sea salt crumbles. In both appearance and taste, this is a side dish that can quickly steal center stage. 

Served with a slather of quality butter and an extra drizzle of honey, your perked-up cornbread will require some serious fortitude and gumption from those who want to control any urges to reach for additional slices. When offered with steaming bowls of sour-cream-topped smoky chicken chili or our vegan 3-bean recipe that is perfect for anyone avoiding meat, this meal combination will satisfy both bellies and palates in all the right ways.