Give Your Cornbread An Easy Upgrade With Bright Fruit Flavors

Should cornbread be sweet or savory? While we're not here to settle that hotly contested debate (although we do have several honeyed cornbread recipes), we'd like to suggest adding fruit to your cornbread to the people who stand 10 toes down in their savory conviction to brighten it up.

Sure, many fruits are sweet, but not all of them are. Even a bit of zest from a lemon or orange mixed into the batter can add a slight tang to the treat. Cornbread is warm and comforting but it can also be quite dense. Whether you choose fruit for its piquant qualities or unabashedly aim for sweetness, a little bright flavor uplifts your cornbread while making it moist.

How you add fruit is up to you. Swirl frozen blueberries into the batter or delicately place chopped figs into it to make cast iron fig cornbread. You can even make a quick berry coulis to drizzle over a slice of freshly baked cornbread. If you enjoy your cornbread with a scoop of ice cream or lather honey on top, bringing some fruit into the equation should be right down your alley.

What fruits should you add to cornbread?

If you have a batch of bitter blueberries that you don't know what to do with, cook them down with sugar and water to easily mix the berries into your cornbread batter once it cools. The blueberry compote will bring swirls of rich indigo to your cornbread. An age-old classic is mixing in some vanilla extract to mellow blueberries' acidic bite. However, you can swap out the vanilla for lemon zest if you prefer the sour punch.

Peach cobbler will always be a delightful Southern dessert and the stone fruit shines in cornbread, too. Slice up a peach or two and place them into the cornbread batter before baking. With a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg, the juicy fruit brings a dash of sweetness to cornbread. Mix a splash of bourbon or whiskey for a rich, honeyed treat.

It's hard to imagine honey sweet potato cornbread being more perfect than it already is. Yet, somehow the addition of apples makes it even better. Ground cloves and cinnamon, along with the apples, turn sweet potato cornbread into a cozy, cold-weather dessert. You can thinly slice the apples and cook them down slightly before placing them into the batter or grate them to add tiny flecks of fruity flavor.