Truman Capote’s Family’s Cornbread

Good morning!  Today we’re going to switch gears a bit and head back to the basics with some good old-fashioned cornbread.  Is that okay with y’all?  Okay, good.  And well, it’s my blog, so you don’t have much of a choice anyway.

Let me begin by saying I am not a food snob, but I do have a short list of things that I think just should not be messed with, and cornbread is right there at the top.  That being said, this cornbread I’m sharing today is most decidedly a Southern cornbread because, to quote the great Mark Twain, “Perhaps no bread in the world is quite as good as Southern cornbread, and perhaps no bread in the world is quite so bad as the Northern imitation of it”.  Truer words were never spoken.

These are my simple rules for a good cornbread, in no particular order.  First, unless it’s Mexican cornbread which is the exception, there should be no fruits, nuts, or other fancy additions.  Second, a little flour to lighten the texture is fine, but there should never ever be more flour than cornmeal.  Lastly, cornbread should never be sugary sweet.  If your cornbread breaks any of those rules, then it’s probably a Yankee cornbread, and I’ve already established my feelings about that.

I have a couple different basic cornbread recipes, and this one is about as basic as it gets.  I have to admit I also like to make this one because, as the title says, this was Truman Capote’s family’s cornbread recipe.  Maybe some magic will happen if I make it enough, and some of his literary geniusness (is that a word?) will rub off on me.  Plus, it just seems cool to think that I’m eating the same cornbread Truman Capote ate.  I know what you’re thinking, and it’s okay, I know I’m a nerd.  I also know that that’s only the tip of the iceberg of my nerdiness.  Scary thought.  But I’ve come to terms with it.

Now go get out your cast-iron skillet and make yourself some cornbread! 🙂

Truman Capote’s Family’s Cornbread


  • 1 Tb bacon grease
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups cornmeal


Preheat the oven to 450F.  Place the bacon grease in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, and place it in the oven. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all the remaining ingredients until well-incorporated.  When the skillet is good and hot, pull it out of the oven.  Swirl the bacon grease around to make sure the skillet is coated.  Pour in the batter.  You should hear a nice sizzle.  Return the skillet to the oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.


1 Comment

Filed under Breads

One response to “Truman Capote’s Family’s Cornbread

  1. Pingback: Southern Living’s Best Mexican Cornbread | Cookin' with Cat

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s