That bowl of chili on your kitchen table? It is begging to be paired with a slice of Sweet Potato Cornbread. Tender and sweet, perfect for topping with a generous pat of butter, and easier to make than any other bread, this recipe will easily slide into your regular rotation.
Why You’ll Love This Sweet Potato Cornbread Recipe
- A New Spin on a Familiar Favorite. Just like my Mexican Cornbread and Jalapeño Cornbread, this sweet potato cornbread is a delicious twist on an old standby. Not that I’d ever turn down a slice of classic Southern cornbread or Cornbread Muffins, but add sweet potatoes and it’s that much more special.
- Healthy and Hearty. Cornmeal is somehow infinitely more satisfying than regular all-purpose flour, and sweet potatoes bring all kinds of nutrition— fiber, vitamin C, and beta carotene to be exact.
- Quick and Easy to Make. Although we usually associate quick breads with sweet treats like Chocolate Zucchini Bread and Apple Bread, cornbread is actually a quick bread too since it uses baking soda and powder for leavening instead of yeast. That means there’s no rising and no kneading!
- Sweet Potato Puree is Perfect for Baking. It’s not only pumpkin, folks! Sweet Potato Brownies and Sweet Potato Cookies agree.
- A Cozy Accompaniment to Any Meal. Sweet potato cornbread instantly elevates your dinner. Enjoy it with a warm bowl of Vegetarian Chili topped with sour cream, a Sunday dinner alongside Instant Pot Roast, or with backyard barbecue favorites like Grilled Chicken Breast.
How to Make Sweet Potato Cornbread
- Unsalted Butter. Melt the butter, then let it cool a bit.
- Finely Ground Cornmeal. White or yellow cornmeal both work.
- All-Purpose Flour. Cornmeal is the star, but all-purpose flour is a key supporting player.
- Baking Powder and Soda. These react with the buttermilk to give your sweet potato cornbread lots of lift.
- Kosher Salt. Always my choice for baking and cooking.
- Greek Yogurt. I used 2%.
- Mashed Sweet Potato. An orange or red sweet potato is best, since they’re sweeter and more moist than white or purple.
- Eggs. Let these come to room temperature if you remember; it’s not a big deal, but room temperature eggs will hold more air when beaten.
- Buttermilk. For a splendidly tender crumb and perfect texture.
- Pure Maple Syrup or Honey. For just the right amount of sweetness (yes, I put sugar in my cornbread!).
- Corn Kernels. Fresh, canned, or frozen and thawed.
- Prepare. Place an oven-safe skillet in the oven and preheat it.
- Mix the Dry Ingredients. Whisk them together in a mixing bowl until well-combined.
- Mix the Wet Ingredients. In another large bowl, whisk most of the butter with the other wet ingredients.
- Finish the Batter. Stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients, then fold in the corn.
- Bake. Brush the preheated skillet with melted butter, then pour in the batter. Bake the sweet potato cornbread until it’s golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
- Serve. Let the cornbread cool for 5 minutes, then slice, serve, and ENJOY!
- Swap Out the Sweet Potato. I haven’t tried it, but I think pumpkin puree, mashed winter squash (like butternut or kabocha), or carrot puree could be swapped in for the sweet potato.
- Make It Tex-Mex Style. Use a can of Mexican corn instead of regular corn kernels. Top with pepper Jack cheese prior to baking.
- Add Herbs and Spices. Rosemary or thyme would be delicious in this sweet potato cornbread; use finely minced fresh herbs or dried. Smoked paprika or freshly cracked black pepper also pair well with the flavors in this recipe.
- Fold in Some Cheese. Shredded sharp cheddar or Parmesan will add some extra savory flavor.
- To Store. Keep your sweet potato cornbread in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
- To Freeze. Store this cornbread for up to 6 months in the freezer. Let it cool completely, then wrap it tightly in a layer of plastic, followed by aluminum foil. Thaw overnight in the fridge before serving.
- To Reheat. Let the cornbread come to room temperature on the counter before serving or reheat it in a 350 degree F oven until warm.
Meal Prep Tip
Get a head start on this recipe by making the sweet potato mash a few days prior. You can microwave or boil sweet potatoes until they’re fork tender, or make Baked Sweet Potatoes for dinner and reserve one of them for the sweet potato puree.
What to Serve with Sweet Potato Cornbread
- Chili. A natural pairing! Serve this sweet potato cornbread with Turkey Chili or Pumpkin Chili for a satisfying meal.
- Soups. This recipe also pairs well with soup. Try it with my Hamburger Soup or 15 Bean Soup.
- Barbecue Favorites. Cornbread is a staple on barbecue restaurant menus, so you can’t go wrong serving it with Boston Baked Beans and Instant Pot Mac and Cheese.
- Sunday Dinner Staples. Love a big Sunday dinner? Serve your cornbread with Baked Pork Tenderloin and side dishes like Air Fryer Green Beans and Sauteed Mushrooms.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Metal Measuring Cups. I love metal measuring cups because they never stain or get dingy over time.
- Whisk. The size of this whisk makes it easy to use in both large and small mixing bowls.
- Cast Iron Skillet. An heirloom item at a ridiculously low price. You can’t beat it!
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Use a Cast Iron Skillet. It heats evenly and will give your cornbread nicely browned edges. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, make sure the skillet you use is safe to put in the oven.
- Don’t Skip the Cooling. “Cooling” is actually a misnomer because typically when we allow things to cool after baking, they’re still cooking from the residual heat. That’s true of this cornbread, too. It’s more likely to crumble if you cut it immediately after taking it out of the oven.
- Be Careful Not to Over-Mix. The batter will be thick and lumpy—and that’s okay! It’s better to have some clumps of flour in the batter than to over-mix and end up with tough bread that barely rises in the oven.
- Make Sure the Corn Is Dry. If you’re using fresh corn kernels, there can be a lot of liquid at the bottom of the bowl you put them in; canned and frozen corn can also have some liquid clinging to the kernels. If needed, place the corn in a colander so any excess can drain off.
Sweet Potato Cornbread
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled, divided
- 1 1/4 cups finely ground cornmeal
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt I used 2%
- 1/2 cup mashed sweet potato*
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup or honey
- 1/2 cup corn kernels thawed if frozen
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place a 9- or 10-inch oven-safe (preferably cast-iron) skillet in the oven while it preheats. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the butter for greasing the pan.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
- In a separate mixing bowl, combine 7 of the tablespoons butter, yogurt, mashed sweet potato, eggs, buttermilk, and maple syrup. If the butter resolidifies, warm the bowl briefly in the microwave until it melts.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined and the batter is thick and lumpy. A few lumps of flour remaining are fine. Fold in the corn.
- Carefully remove the skillet from the oven. Brush with the reserved tablespoon butter. Pour the batter into the skillet.
- Bake sweet potato cornbread for 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let cool for 5 minutes in the skillet. Slice and serve warm right from the skillet, or carefully turn the cornbread out onto a cutting board to cool fully.
- *To make mashed sweet potato, poke one medium sweet potato all over with a fork. Place on a microwave safe plate and microwave for 5-8 minutes (depending on the size of the sweet potato), until easily pierced with a fork, flipping the potato every 2 minutes so it heats evenly. Remove from the microwave and with a knife, carefully slice it open so it can cool more quickly. When cool enough to handle, remove the skin and mash the flesh with a fork or potato masher until mostly smooth (some fibers will remain intact, that’s totally fine).
- I haven’t tried this, but I think pumpkin or mashed squash could work for the sweet potato.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate your sweet potato cornbread in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
- TO FREEZE: Store this cornbread for up to 6 months in the freezer wrapped. Let it cool completely, then wrap it tightly in a layer of plastic, then aluminum foil. Thaw overnight in the fridge before serving.
- TO REHEAT: Let the cornbread come to room temperature on the counter before serving or reheat it in a 350°F oven until warm.
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