Cast Iron Cooking: Easy Appalachian-Style Cornbread

Appalachian Corn Bread in Cast Iron Skillet

Cooking in cast iron is a completely different experience than cooking in other types of cookware, and we know we’re not alone in our admiration. We love cornbread, and our go-to recipe uses 7 ingredients, no flour (just cornmeal – we use locally-sourced, non-GMO, white or yellow cornmeal), and it incorporates the wonderful flavor of lard. There are different (and often regional) versions of cornbread, but we’re of the opinion that cornbread doesn’t include flour or sugar – that’s a corncake.

Try pairing this toothsome cornbread with slow-cooked pot roast or a stew – break it right into the bowl!

Appalachian-Style Cornbread


    • 1/3 cup lard and/or bacon drippings
    • 2 cups cornmeal
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 egg
    • Approximately 1 1/2 cups milk kefir


  1. Place the lard and/or bacon drippings in the skillet and place it in the oven.
  2. Turn the oven on bake and set to 425 degrees.
  3. Mix the cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl and stir together.
  4. In a large measuring cup, break and beat the egg, and add enough milk kefir to make 1 1/2 cups. Do not continue to the next step until the oven has reached 425 degrees.
  5. Pour the liquids into the dry ingredients and mix.
  6. Remove the skillet from the oven and swirl the melted lard and/or bacon drippings around to coat the skillet.
  7. Pour the melted lard and/or bacon drippings from the skillet into the batter and stir in quickly – it will sizzle!
  8. Pour the batter into the skillet and place the skillet back into the oven.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes. The cornbread is done when golden brown and pulled away from the sides of the skillet.
  10. Remove the skillet from the oven, shake to be sure the cornbread is loose, place a plate over the skillet, and invert it.
Making Appalachian Corn Bread in a Cast Iron Skillet
Clockwise from top left: wet and dry ingredients waiting for the oven to preheat; swirling the melted fat in the skillet; pouring the batter in the skillet; the skillet after plating the cornbread.

Did you try making this cornbread? Let us know in the comments!