The Best Way To Keep Your Cornbread Moist

If you ever baked cornbread, chances are your first few pans weren't quite up to snuff, with batch after batch all yielding similarly disappointing results. Baking is often compared to science, as changes to the ingredients, process, or timing often snowball into the ultimate kitchen nightmare scenario — in this case, dry cornbread.

It happens to the best of us: The flour was measured right, your oven temperature perfectly calibrated ... but alas, the cornbread fell apart before you could even cut into it, leaving you with something more akin to mediocre corn croutons. Not crispy enough for a satisfying crunch, yet far too dense to chew, and a dry, crumbly mess. 

How can you offset such a disaster when even boxed cornbread can yield unpalatable results? The culprit can be hard to pinpoint, but with one simple tip and a little experimenting, you can make reliably moist cornbread every time.

Try adding sour cream

Back To My Southern Roots shares a tip for elevating cornbread, adding one simple ingredient you likely already have in your fridge (especially if you're planning to pair your cornbread with spicy chili) — sour cream.

In addition to added moisture, sour cream brings a little fat and acid to your cornbread recipe, which Back To My Southern Roots describes as nicely complimenting the sweet and savory flavors without being overpowering. If you're uneasy about the addition, Blog Chef says you can add a drop of vanilla to mellow it out; while those who want even more of the tangy flavor can replace the milk in the recipe with sour cream entirely. (If you find only using sour cream makes your cornbread too dense, thin the batter out a bit with water.) It all depends on personal preference, and once you understand the basics, you can start experimenting to see what works best for you. 

Back To My Southern Roots notes that while adding sugar to your recipe isn't vital, it can help balance the sour cream's flavor and keep your cornbread sweet. According to Imperial Sugar, the ingredient also helps baked goods stay moist and soft.