This homemade Crackling Cornbread recipe is a Southern favorite. It’s embellished with chopped pork rinds or “cracklin’s” and smoky bacon to give it another level of flavor. Serve it warm straight from the oven with a bowl of soup, pinto beans or as a side dish with any of your favorite entrées.
Easy Crackling Cornbread Recipe
What is Cracklin’ Cornbread? It’s a basic savory Southern cornbread that features a generous amount of chopped pork cracklings or pork rinds in the batter. Pork cracklings and pork rinds are fried twice which results in a light and airy crackling best suited for this application. In my cornbread recipe, I include cooked bacon for the added flavor but you can omit the bacon should you prefer. How do you make Crackling Cornbread? First, fry the bacon and chop or crumble reserving some of the drippings for coating the skillet. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornmeal and flour with the salt then add the buttermilk and eggs. Roughly chop the cracklings by hand with a knife or pulse them in a food processor being careful not to grind them too small. Add them to the batter with the bacon, then pour into the skillet and bake until golden. How to make Crackling Cornbread from scratch:
- Cornmeal – Self rising yellow cornmeal.
- flour – All purpose flour.
- Bacon – 4 Slices of bacon cooked and crumbled, reserve drippings.
- Butter – Salted butter
- Seasoning – Salt.
- Milk – Buttermilk preferably not fat free, well shaken.
- Eggs – 2 large eggs.
- Cracklings – Pork cracklings i.e. plain salted fried pork rinds or chicharrones.
How to Make the Best Crackling Cornbread Recipe
- Ingredients you’ll need to make homemade Crackling Cornbread: Self rising yellow cornmeal, all purpose flour, salt, butter, cooked bacon, bacon drippings, buttermilk, eggs and chopped pork rinds (pork skins).
- Kitchen gadgets you’ll need: A 10 inch cast iron skillet, mixing bowls, measuring cups and spoons, a sharp knife and chopping board or small food processor to roughly chop the cracklings.
- Included in this recipe is cooked bacon. I add it because I don’t always have bacon drippings on hand and need them to coat the skillet. Should you prefer, you can use the same amount of all butter and omit the bacon drippings. Likewise, you can omit the butter and use only bacon drippings. You could also use solid vegetable shortening or lard.
- You can be generous when measuring the cracklings for the batter. When chopping them don’t turn them to dust but rather try to keep them in big enough pieces that you can see and taste them after baking.
- Crackling cornbread like any other, can be made with a variety of added mix-ins. You may like to experiment adding ingredients such as cooked sausage, Cajun or Creole seasoning, diced bell peppers, green onions or creamed corn and so on depending on the recipe.
- Store leftover Crackling Cornbread tightly wrapped and chilled in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in single servings in the microwave.
- You can also freeze this cornbread after baking. Cool completely then freeze, thawing in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave for a few seconds prior to serving.
More Southern Cornbread Recipes to Make
We are cornbread lovers and I make it in many different variations depending on how I plan to serve it. More Cornbread recipes you may also like to make:
- Skillet Ham and Cheddar Cornbread is a tasty way to reinvent leftover holiday ham.
- Fully Loaded Cornbread is packed with flavor.
- My recipe for Sweet Potato Cornbread is a fan favorite!
- Skillet Honey Cornbread is a basic cornbread that goes with any meal.
- Hot Water Cornbread is a humble dish that only takes 4 ingredients to make.
- My Southern Cornbread Dressing recipe is a holiday must-make.
- Cornbread Croutons from Southern Living.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
- 4 slices bacon cooked and crumbled, reserve 2 Tbsp drippings
- 2 Tbsp salted butter
- 2 1/2 cups self rising yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cups buttermilk (well shaken)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cup roughly chopped pork cracklings (plain salted fried pork rinds) divided use
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and reserved 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings to a 10 inch cast iron skillet or similar size oven safe skillet or baking dish. Place the skillet into the oven while it preheats.
- Meanwhile, in a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour and salt. Make a well in the center.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk and eggs. Add to the dry ingredients, mixing until fully combined. Stir in cooked bacon and 1 heaping cup of cracklings by hand.
- Remove skillet from oven and swirl to coat the bottom and sides. Pour the batter into the hot skillet sprinkling the reserved 1/2 cracklings on top.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes back clean.
- Slice and serve while warm with butter.