Hot Water Cornbread

Pin this Post on Pinterest Share on Facebook
Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookShare on YummlyTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on StumbleUpon

This Hot Water Cornbread recipe only calls for 2 ingredients and is the perfect complement to nearly any meal!

Pin It!

Cornbread is just a staple in the South.  There aren’t many meals that aren’t perfectly complemented by a golden brown skillet of it.  That said, we do have our variations.  And Hot Water Cornbread is one of them.

We Southerners do “fried” cornbread several ways.  My mama always made what she called “Fried Cornbread” which was a most delicious cornbread made with cornmeal and buttermilk that you simply fried.  It was a constant alongside homemade vegetable soup and often made an appearance beside chili too.  It’s also great to pile some greens or beans right on top of.

This is another variation, which produces a little bit lighter textured bread.  Now, there are 100 different ways to do this.  Some recipes call for you to make a thick dough and form it in your hands before frying.  I think this method with a pourable batter easier, neater, and I like the crispy exterior better.
This Hot Water Cornbread recipe only calls for 2 ingredients and is the perfect complement to nearly any meal!


The recipe calls for self-rising cornmeal.  That’s what my mama has always used, so that’s what I use.  However I realize it’s not readily available across the country (and dare I say world), so I’ve added a note to the recipe on how to make your own.  Y’all enjoy!

This Hot Water Cornbread recipe only calls for 2 ingredients and is the perfect complement to nearly any meal!

Pin It!

Hot Water Cornbread
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 12 to 14 pieces
  • 2 cups self-rising cornmeal
  • 1½ to 2 cups boiling water
  • vegetable oil for frying
  1. Pour about ½ inch of oil into a heavy-bottomed skillet. Heat the oil to about 350° or until glistening but not smoking. In a large bowl combine the self-rising corn meal with about 1½ cups of boiling water. Carefully stir to combine. The batter should be pourable. Add additional water until you reach the consistency of thick pancake batter. Different corn meals will require different amounts of water. Start with less and add more if you need it.
  2. Once the oil is hot, pour about ¼ cup of the batter into the oil. Cook 3 to 5 minutes or until brown around the edges then carefully flip over and cook an additional 3 to 4 minutes. Work in batches, adding additional oil if necessary. Drain the cornbread on a plate lined with paper towels. Serve warm.
Can't find self-rising cornmeal? Try this...
For every 1 cup of self-rising cornmeal: Start with 1 cup of finely ground plain corn meal in a bowl. Remove 1 tablespoon of the cornmeal and return it to the bag. To the bowl add 1 tablespoon baking powder and ½ teaspoon salt. Mix together.

You'll obviously need two cups for this recipe. 🙂

Pin It!

This Hot Water Cornbread recipe only calls for 2 ingredients and is the perfect complement to nearly any meal!


Pin It!

Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookShare on YummlyTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on StumbleUpon

Don't miss a single recipe! Subscribe to my email list.

Read Newer Post
Read Older Post


  1. Claudine Bratcher says:

    This is the way my Mama always made her Hot Water Cornbread! She never would let me get close enough to see just how she did it because she was always afraid I’d get burned by the hot water splatter even when I got much older she was still afraid I’d somehow get burned. Of course like many of our Mamas, she didn’t have a written recipe, just what was in her head so I never knew the amounts. Thank you so much for this and I am definitely going to make some this weekend to go with some good old beans!
    Many thanks again for all your wonderful recipes and stories.
    I have your great cookbook as well as I have given several to my friends and they equally love the book as do I.

  2. Wow Stacy, you’ve brought back so many memories with this recipe. Thank!

  3. Favorite of my family except add Mexican corn.

  4. I Love Hot water corn bread and milk. I also like to put cracklins in it . and pat it into patties and fry. I use self rising cornmeal and about a forth cup of course cornmeal. Pour Hot water in it. I am 82 so I make it the poor peoples cornbread. I Love it.

    • SoretaMyrick “I Love Hot water corn bread and milk.”
      One of my favorite dinners! (<Lent) or if any was left over, breakfasts! Fav, fav, fav! I didn't see how my Mom made it and it wasn't ever passed on……..(She passed too early.)
      Fit for a king or queen! In my humble opinion!
      Now the idea of putting cracklings in it sends it over the roof for me! Haven't ever had it that way, but is something will definately try!..( I like bacon grease in my oatmeal!)
      Thank you! Have got to try it!
      And Thank So much for the memories <3

    • Sounds amazing!!

  5. Thanks for sharing!!! I have always loved fried cornbread… I am originally from N.C., and love to add some cooked fresh collards (drained, of course) to make collard sandwiches!!!! Also, just love to eat crispy cornbread by itself!!!!

  6. Childhood memories..going to make some this weekend a pot of collard greens! Thank you!

  7. Jim McBride says:

    No egg in this?

    • Pam Woolbright says:

      What a fun post this is! And a coincidence, too. Last evening I cooked black-eyed peas, hot water cornbread, potato salad and fried chicken for supper. When summertime comes, I’ll add sliced homegrown tomatoes to this favorite meal. I grew up in East Texas, and our family recipe is the same as yours, but with the addition of an egg. Though our home is now in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and we love the wonderful food here, my sweetest memories are of the meals my mother and grandmother cooked for our family. Thank you, Stacey, for carrying on a great tradition with the recipes you share.

    • Not in my recipe. 🙂

    • I don’t put egg in the hot water cornbread but I do put egg when I cook cornbread in the oven.

  8. Wow!
    Thank you! Stacey! Will be having this, um…, probably daily! at least!
    SoretaMyrick gave me one idea and it lead to another and another for add ins could be infinite!
    Now I know how to make it!
    Thank you! thank you, thank you! <3

  9. Christi Dickey says:

    Can you make hush puppies out of this. My husbands aunt from Gallitin Tenn made hush puppies she put hot water in the the cornmeal grated onion they were made in little balls I live in Weatherford Tx they were just like Long John Silvers a fast food chain here.

    • You’ll want a little thicker batter for hush puppies, so add a little extra cornmeal and it’ll work perfectly.

    • That’s Gallatin TN. My hometown. I put minced onion is mine also but just make a patty and fry. The hot water cooks the onion. Also good with sour cream mixed in the batter.

  10. Bennie Yarbrough says:

    My Mother fried her cornbread. One of my favorite meals, and one I always asked for when I would return to visit was fried cornbread and corned beef and cabbage. Not the long cooking kind – the quick fixing chopped cabbage and can of corned beef kind. Takes me back everytime I make it but it is never as good as when Mama made it. Your website is wonderful.

  11. Lisa Rose says:

    Gosh! I just loved when my Granny would make fried cornbread, pinto beans, and collard greens. Seriously, nothing better. I could almost smell them frying when I looked at your pictures. Thanks for sharing!!

  12. What’s the healthiest oil to fry it in without changing the taste?

  13. I’ve never seen it done this way, can’t wait to try your recipe. My Mama is always having me make her a small batch. I make it like she does, like her Mama did before her. Ours is equal parts flour and cornmeal, a pinch of salt, boiling water added to make a thick batter. About a tablespoon formed into football shapes and fried until crisp.

  14. Claudine Toler says:

    Oh, Stacey….soooo good. I, too make corned beef from a can to go with your hot water fried cornbread. I put a handful of diced onion in a skillet, open the can of corned beef, add a few diced red potatoes, add chopped fresh garlic and a half a cup of good red wine. (cover) If you need more liquid, use up to 1/4 cup water. I, also, do turnip greens and mustard greens mixed with your cornbread. OMG….so wonderful. We also like homegrown butter beans or peas with this cornbread recipe. Nothing better. Gosh…I do believe we have had your hot water fried cornbread everyday for lunch or supper. We are not tired of it YET!

  15. Talk about nostalgia. Brought tears to this foolish old woman’s eyes. Thanks for the memory.

  16. This recipe did not work for me at all. I followed your instructions very closely and all I got was a big goopy mess in the pan. I can’t imagine what went wrong, but something sure did.

    • Oh, no! Was it too soupy? If so, adding some more cornmeal to get it to the right consistency is all you have to do. I tried to be very specific about consistency because different cornmeal will require different amounts of moisture.

  17. My mouth is watering so much right now! This isn’t how my mama made it but it looks almost like hers. She used twice as much cornmeal (self-rising) as flour, the amount depended on how many people were here to eat, lol. Then she added a little salt and water. That’s it, so simple and soooooooooooo good. You fry it up and have a feast, lol. I like it just by itself. I think I’m gonna try your recipe and see how it tastes…it sure looks wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing with us!
    Oh, by the way, my mom also used to make something called flour bread in a big cast iron skillet. We would eat it with fat back and molasses. We were a large family without a lot of money. My mom also just threw ingredients in a bowl, never measuring so I have no idea how to make it. Have you ever heard of it? If so, could you please share? I’ve been wanting some lately but have no idea where to start, lol. Any help would be greatly appreciated! And, I won’t even start on her bread pudding…LOL
    Thank you and have a wonderful day. 🙂

  18. Our little family cookbook has a recipe almost just like this (along with a story about how my great-grandmother made it on a wood stove). I never had the nerve to try it, but after reading your post I think I will.

  19. Cynthia A. Greenfeather says:

    I love, love, love! any kind of cornbread except that icky sweet stuff that comes in a box. My husband only liked the kind in the box! But when I made fried cornbread in patties, in a little more grease than I should have, he scarfed it up, ’cause he loved that crunch! (Except for that yukky sweet stuff in the blue and white box, I cook all my cornbread on top of the stove, like a pancake. When it’s half done, I flip it over and cook the other side. I can’t tell the difference between that and baked.
    Lately, though, when I’ve made beans, I’ve made Indian fry bread (as in American Indian, like my husband) That’s his all-time FAVORITE way to eat beans! And I have to admit, it’s almost as good as cornbread and beans. Almost.

  20. Could you use a box of jiffy mix instead?

  21. I made these tonight to go with some leftover chicken salad. The whole family LOVED them. We then turned them into a dessert by smothering them with honey. So yummy.

  22. Keaundra Wheaton says:

    I would like to try this recipe. I like sweet bread. How much sugar could I use?

  23. Can you use Jiffy cornbread mix instead?

  24. Stacey, I just found your site and I look forward to reading more!

  25. I’m thinking this might be good slathered with butter and maple syrup.

Leave a Comment