Southern cornbread is savory, slightly sweet, and has more structure to it than it’s Northern counterpart. Cooking cornbread in a cast-iron skillet ensures that the crust will be buttery, crunchy, and golden brown. The butter really bursts through in this savory dish, and the oil allows the cornbread to stay slightly moist and savory. This would be perfect alongside a bowl of chili, a plate of bbq, or smeared with butter and honey all by itself.
2 1/4 cups (11 1/4 ounces) stone- ground yellow cornmeal, fine or medium ground
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
Place oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 450 degrees. Over medium heat, toast the cornmeal in a 10-inch cast iron skillet for about 3 minutes while stirring frequently. Pour cornmeal into a large bowl and pour in sour cream and milk. Whisk mixture until combined.
Take a paper towel and wipe the skillet clean. Add the oil to the skillet and heat in oven until it is shimmering, about 10 minutes. Using a potholder, remove skillet from oven, add butter, and gently swirl to combine. Still using the potholder, pour all but 1 tablespoon of oil-butter mixture into the cornmeal mixture. Gently whisk to combine. Pour the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into cornmeal mixture and gently whisk to incorporate. Then, whisk in the eggs.
Scrape batter into skillet with the remaining fat and smooth the top of the mixture. Bake cornbread mixture in the oven until the top begins to crack and the sides are golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes, and rotate skillet halfway through the baking time. Place the skillet on a wire rack to cool for about 15 minutes.