Lodge Cast Iron Has Four New Cornbread Mixes—This One Is My Favorite

They take half the time of making cornbread from scratch.

<p>Simply Recipes / Meghan Splawn </p>

Simply Recipes / Meghan Splawn

I’ve lived in the South long enough to know the rules of cornbread: Cornbread should be made with buttermilk, never sweetened with sugar, and always baked in a cast iron skillet. So when I learned that Lodge Cast Iron had a new line of cornbread mixes specifically designed for skillet baking, I had to get my hands on them immediately to try them out.

Lodge Cast Iron is a well-loved Southern brand best known for its skillets. It even hosts a Cornbread Festival every April in its home city of South Pittsburg, Tennessee, so a line of skillet-ready mixes is a natural fit for the brand.

The cornbread mixes come in four varieties:

  • True Southern is a classic cornbread mix, decidedly savory and full of buttermilk flavor with only a wee bit of sweetness from the cornmeal.

  • Hotshot Jalapeño is a spicy version of True Southern with a punch of dried jalapeño added to the mix.

  • Despite what I claimed about most Southerners being wholly against sweet cornbread, Lodge offers two sweet cornbread choices, too. Sweet Spot has just a hint of sweetness that’s delicately balanced with the nuttiness of the cornmeal.

  • Sweet as Honey is the sweetest of the four, with a bright honey flavor that isn’t cloying.

<p>Simply Recipes / Meghan Splawn</p>

Simply Recipes / Meghan Splawn

How To Prepare Lodge's Cornbread Mixes

The savory skillet cornbread mixes call for eggs, melted and cooled butter, and buttermilk, plus you’ll need canola oil or non-stick spray for the skillet. The sweet varieties also call for eggs but opt for plain milk and canola oil for the mix, which ultimately adds to their sweetness.

All the mixes call for a 10-inch cast iron skillet to be preheated in a 425°F oven. Baking times vary by variety (again, different for savory versus sweet).  The packaging does offer suggestions for baking the mixes as muffins, but not for baking the mixes in any other pans—though I did try this with one.

My Favorite Lodge Skillet Cornbread Mix

While I wouldn’t turn down any of these cornbreads, the True Southern mix will be a staple in my kitchen. This cornbread had the best tender crisp exterior and fluffy interior of any cornbread mix I’ve ever tried and tasted almost identical to my favorite homemade recipe—and it took me about half the time to throw together.

My kids devoured the Sweet as Honey cornbread with ridiculous amounts of butter and an extra drizzle of honey, and I can’t wait to try this mix as a cobbler topper or upside-down cake with peaches this summer.

<p>Simply Recipes / Meghan Splawn</p>

Simply Recipes / Meghan Splawn

Where You Can Find Lodge's New Cornbread Mixes

Lodge launched its skillet cornbread mixes with Walmart nationwide, with plenty of stores selling three of the four varieties. You can also buy all four varieties online at Walmart.com, on Amazon, or directly from Lodge. The variety pack is perfect for anyone who wants to try all four. My local Walmart store had the best pricing on the cornbread mixes, but if your store doesn’t carry them yet I suggest ordering them directly from Lodge.

Tips for Baking With Lodge Cornbread Mixes

After testing these mixes a few times, I learned that I could make mixing a one-bowl job by combining the eggs, fat, and dairy in a large mixing bowl first (rather than adding the wet to dry as the package directs).

If you don’t have a 10-inch skillet, an eight-inch square metal baking pan can be heated in the oven for 10 minutes and used for baking according to package directions—just keep an eye on the sweet varieties as they brown the fastest.

Once you decide which variety your family likes best, all that’s left to determine is if you prefer your cornbread cut into wedges or squares.

Read the original article on Simply Recipes.