sour cream cornbread with aleppo

Despite living in New York City, a place where one could theoretically go to some fabulous new restaurant every night and not run out of places to eat for some time, we’re not big new-hot-thing chasers. When we go out to eat, we want to experience new tastes but also disappear for a couple hours, not ooh and aah over the celebrity at the next table while feeling bad about our clothes. But. Every so often a restaurant gets talked up so much that we’re unable to resist its magnetism and have to go as soon as humanly possible. This happened a few weekends ago and I’m so glad that it did.

wet, dry

Of course, the Red Rooster isn’t just any old restaurant. First, it’s neither below 14th Street or in Brooklyn, which alone makes it unlike the other 100 restaurants there’s been buzz about in recent years. Mostly, though, the food tastes different. The chef, Marcus Samuelsson, was born in Ethiopia, raised in Sweden and moved to New York where he fell in love with soul food and manages to blend these influences together into food like we’ve never tasted before. I’ll spare you the point-by-point on the menu, the web is full of gasping Yard Bird and Uptown Steak Frites reviews. I’ll only admit that we ordered too much, which we always do when the menu looks so good it is impossible to make decisions. Also, there was cornbread.

lumpy batter

No doubt you would hate being at a communal table (the only place where schlubs like us could get a seat) with nosy old me because I will totally spy on your meal. Because of this, I couldn’t help but notice that not a single party skipped the cornbread. We took the hint and indeed, it was fantastic. With a little kick from Turkish red pepper flakes, it was served thickly sliced and toasted with slathering options of honey butter or an African-spiced tomato jam. Or you can use both at once, if nobody is looking. I know we had a lot of good food that night — and, while we’re being honest, a few bourbon negronis to soften the blow of paying taxes that morning — but I couldn’t forget about the cornbread so I went to seek it out. It turned out that I didn’t have to go far because Samuelsson, on top of being an awesome chef and food activist is also a blogger and a share-r of his recipes, the the Red Rooster Cornbread was there for your home enjoyment. But first, mine.

red rooster cornbread, honey, butter

One year ago: Creamed Chard and Spring Onions and Avocado Salad with Carrot-Ginger Dressing
Two years ago: Buttermilk Ice Cream
Three years ago: Cauliflower, Bean and Feta Salad and Pizza Bianca
Four years ago: Margarita Cookies, Tequila Lime Chicken and Green Onion Slaw

Sour Cream Cornbread with Aleppo
Adapted, barely, from Red Rooster Harlem via Marcus Samuelsson

If my archives are any indication, I am on a constant hunt for my Cornbread Nirvana. I’ve made Yankee cornbread (sweet, cake-like), Southern cornbread (nominal sugar, with a cast-iron skillet crunchy edges) and even my own bastardized version (goat cheese, caramelized onions) but this one is different. There’s no butter or lard in it. There’s very little buttermilk but a lot of sour cream. There’s a bit of sugar, but only enough to balance the salt and heat. It’s as good toasted with honey and butter as it is with spicier fare, like chili, and it makes a really fun addition to your weekend scrambled eggs. So is this it? I’m not positive, but I liked it enough that I plan to make it six or seven more times, just to think real hard about it. What I’m trying to say is, it’s addictive.

Aleppo is a Turkish bright red pepper flake with a mild-to-moderate kick and a bit of tartness. I bought mine from Penzey’s in Grand Central. If you don’t have aleppo, a regular red pepper flake, cayenne or hot paprika, in a much smaller quantity, would be a nice substitution.

1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
1 cup (145 grams) yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoon (25 grams) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon dried aleppo flakes
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400 °F. Generously butter a 9×5-inch loaf pan, or coat it with a nonstick spray.

Whisk flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, aleppo and salt together in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the egg, sour cream, buttermilk and olive oil. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ones, mixing until just barely combined. Spread the batter in your prepared and bake for 22 to 25 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean.

Serve in slices, toasted with honey butter or salted and honeyed brown butter.

Leave a Reply to Jenny Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New here? You might want to check out the comment guidelines before chiming in.

224 comments on sour cream cornbread with aleppo

  1. I’m a cornbread addict, too! So nice to see a twist on it!

    My usual cornbread method is to add pickled jalapenos, grated white cheddar and sesame seeds on top. Or sometimes I go sweet and use a little molasses :)

    Thanks for sharing the chef’s blog link!!

  2. I love the spicy, smokey, fruity flavor of aleppo. Never thought of adding it to corn bread! Thanks for sharing.

    Oh and African-spiced tomato jam?! Yes please…


  3. My husband refuses to cook his cornbread in anything but his beloved cast iron skillet, so we might have some sort of kitchen showdown over this one. I, on the other hand, am psyched to finally use the Aleppo I picked up at Fairway last time we made it into the city. Win Win for me!

  4. Married to a Texan – I am always on the hunt for a perfect cornbread, not for his sake but purely mine and he is my excuse (like I need one). I can eat cornbread for breakfast, there is a deep love there and a true comfort. Thanks for the new recipe!

  5. Here in the south, we’re very particular about our cornbread. I’ve also been on the hunt, though, for a new and improved version. I grew up with the cornbread in the cast iron skillet, but sometimes it’s just time for new things. My favorite thing to do with cornbread is to add fresh corn kernels to the batter. I’m thinking now that I must get my hands on some Aleppo pepper flakes. Thanks for the recipe!

  6. I love baking with sour cream as it gives the finished product a really lovely texture. Anything with a kick of spice is always going to be a winner in my book. Thanks for sharing the recipe; the restaurant menu looks fascinating as well.

  7. Jake

    Wait. Is there a difference between a bourbon Negroni and a Manhattan?

    Also, recipe looks great. I’ll be hunting down Aleppo soon.

  8. I love cornbread so much – I’ve made so many variations with jalapenos, onions and also with green beans (surprisingly good). I look forward to trying this one.

    I also love the fact that you use Penzey’s Spices. I’m essentially using all of their stuff for my baking – I love their vanilla extract (literally a vanilla extract) and the high quality of their other products. (I have no affiliation with Penzey’s – I just love their spices)

  9. I’m always looking for excuses to make cornbread. I’ll have to add this one to the roster–it looks fantastic. Have you tried the cornbread out of Peter Reinhart’s BBA? You have to soak the cornmeal the night before, but it’s by far the best I’ve ever made…and that was without the bacon and bacon fat.

  10. Oh man, this looks awesome! I love cornbread with a little kick of heat to it. Fresh from the oven with honey butter – yes please! My fam lives in Kentucky and I will definitely be making this next time I am down visiting them!

  11. I’ve got to get up to Red Rooster soon; it’s practically in my ‘hood. For now I’ll try making the aleppo cornbread — something about cornbread always feels right to me in the warmer months. And definitely with some honey butter.

  12. looks and sounds delish! Marcus Samuelsson is probably one of my most favorites of the celebrity chefs. From everything I’ve seen/ read about him, he certainly sounds like a really stand up guy who can cook some pretty darn amazing food. I’d love to try one of his restaurants sometime. Thanks for the recipe!

  13. I’ll be honest, I have never made cornbread, but I am a keen baker and love the recipe so i’m going to give this a go. I went to one of marcus samuelsson’s restaurants last time I was in the states and fell in love with the wasabi hummous which was part of the starter. Love the pictures as always

  14. Michelle

    Since you are much more of a cornbread expert than I am, do you know from experience if I can substitute white cornmeal for the yellow without changing the flavor too much? I have about enough to make this recipe and finally use up what is in the cupboard.

  15. I’ve had Red Rooster on my Places To Try list for a while, and you’ve now given me extra incentive to go there. Thanks for teasing our palates with this yummy-looking recipe, not to mention the reminder of that crazy salted&honeyed brown butter!

  16. You know, I’ve not really been into savory breads in the past, but I’ve been getting a taste for them recently and that red pepper flake addition sounds awesome. I made a swirled apple bread this week that was sweet and satisfying but I’ve been imagining olive bread and cheese bread so this cornbread with pepper sounds like it needs to be next on my list!

  17. Susan

    I have been on the hunt for cornbread nirvana for many years, too. I’ve tried dozens of recipes, and many are good, some very good, but haven’t found “IT” yet. This looks interesting with the alepo. One thing I have adopted from Cook’s Ill, is to warm the cornmeal in the oven before using it. It seems to really bring out the corn flavor by bringing up the sugar and oils in the meal. It’s fussy, I know, but it does make a difference in my opinion. I’m not interested in the battle between north and south with regards to sugar in cornbread. I add whatever it takes to enhance the corn flavor. Really, you can’t say you don’t like unsweetend cornbread and then slather it with honey, can you?

  18. Momcat

    This looks so good! I love cornbread of any style, sweet or unsweet, and I’m dying to make this one. Gotta find me some of those peppers, though. Ashamed to admit that my “crushed red peppers” are so old that they are not even red any more! Maybe this is the push I need to update my spices.

  19. I think that cooking the cornbread in a loaf pan is quite unique. I will be ordering some Penzey’s aleppo pepper so that I can try this. I am interested as another reader in how it might work in a cast iron skillet. What do you think? And Jacob is so cute in his jeans and t-shirt!

  20. this sounds so delicious. growing up in the South means lots of cornbread and Im always a big fan of different kinds (especially mexican cornbread). the guy that owns that restaurant is on Chopped a lot and is very cool

  21. I love Penzy’s and am stoked they have this spice. Our friends brought us a chili powder from Turkey and it was amazing. Nice recipe and great photos too.

  22. I love learning about new spices. Definitely going to have to find aleppo and make this bread. The mix of the sweet cornbread with the heat of the pepper flakes sounds amazing!

  23. The gift that keeps giving is my stash of Aleppo chili flakes. I first discovered the joys of Aleppo while travelling/eating through Turkey. I picked some up for under $1 while I was there, and it has revolutionized my cooking. I love its flavouful spicy tang. Not hot, but nice flavour. :) Looks great in the cornbread!

  24. I have that same little jar of aleppo from Penzey’s in my cabinet, about half full. Perhaps methinks I should use some of the rest of it for this. Lovely. Awesome that Samuelsson’s a sharer.

  25. Kim

    I miss northern cornbread terribly! I live in the south and miss the sweetness we give it. Though i know i’d miss southern if i moved north again!

  26. I have never heard of this Turkish pepper, aleppo, I just received an order from Penzey’s about an hour ago, but used up my ginger yesterday so now with a couple items on the list I can justify ordering again, right?, yeah I can. We love cornbread and an extra kick in our dishes so this one goes on the menu soon.


  27. is there anything better than cornbread? It has been a staple in my life since childhood and this recipe sounds (and looks) like a must try! I will have to order some aleppo first though! Have a great day!

  28. Stephanie

    I’m from Wisconsin which means that this year our comfort food season is not yet over. sigh. No worries though when there is corn bread to be savored. Thank you for this great recipe and excuse to use my Penzeys coupon!

  29. Oh boy, this looks pretty incredible! I’ve never made cornbread with sour cream before but it sounds delicious and probably makes it much more moist! Can’t wait to try it out. Thanks for the great recipe! I’ll let you know how mine turns out!

  30. meg

    Penzey’s! Love browsing their catalog, but it still comes second to rummaging through the spice aisle of an Asian supermarket. I am a huge fan of Penzey’s Rogan Josh seasoning, though. Mix it into goat cheese with candied ginger and apricot preserves.

  31. Everyone is going on about the awesome looking cornbread but you stopped me in my tracks with the mention of bourbon negroni. Does the bourbon replace the traditional gin in their recipe?

  32. I spent 2 months in Turkey, and being a pepper-feen, I fell in love with the red chilies we found on every table in Turkey! I brought back an obscene amount of Aleppo, but my stash recently ran out. Thankfully, I just discovered Penzey’s on my last trip to Portland and replaced my stash :) Great lookin’ recipe…

  33. I love chefs with blogs. They share the most amazing recipes, don’t they? I didn’t know of Marcus Samuelsson’s blog. Thanks!
    I must try this cornbread. It looks amazing and when I saw that it has aleppo pepper as an ingredient, I think my heart skip a bit. It’s one of the best red peppers and I use it all the time. In Greece we have a similar pepper called boukovo which you must try (it is more pungent and hotter than aleppo)

    Congratulations on your nominations on Saveur Deb. Needless to say, I voted for you!

  34. samarahuel

    Who needs to live in New York to ohh and ahh? I’m doing it right now at the prospect of experiencing this deliciousness in my own home. I live in Iowa, far, far away from any restaurants like this (the best we’ve got is a wood-fired pizza joint with big-city prices and not much else. Otherwise, this state is populated with an obscene amount of Applebees and its variants.) On a visit to Des Moines, in the hoity-toity part of town (which I literally walked around three times and found there is no coffee shop at all), I did spot a boutique-y store filled with all kinds of spices, and only spices. While intrigued, I initially doubted why I’d ever actually go to a boutique in the fancy part of town just for spices, but now I’m thinking if I can’t find aleppo in bulk at my local natural foods co-op, it’ll be a good excuse to step foot inside their doors and see if it really is worth an ooh and an ahh, as I’m sure they’re trying to go for.

    I realize this comment makes me sound terribly grouchy and cynical, but I’m pregnant and battling a recurring UTI, so instead of focusing on the pleasant fact that you’ve just shared what looks to be a wonderful recipe that I can’t wait to try, I choose to gripe about the dearth of nice restaurants and uppity spice boutiques. Please forgive me.

  35. This looks amazing Deb. Now that I think about it, I’ve always loved restaurants with a communal table for the very same reason – you always end up ordering the best. I don’t care about privacy when I can have food.

    Speaking of which, can you (or someone else) kindly remind me exactly what cornmeal is? Is it the thick corn flour you’d use for polenta, or is it thinner flour you’d use for baking cakes? Or something in between? I always get confused on this one, and I think I’m not the only European. Thanks so much.

  36. Nickki

    You do think this would go well with a spicy chili? It hasn’t gotten warm or stopped raining here in the Pacific Northwest so I was thinking I’d make chili on Sunday, May 1st, ’cause its Spring and all.

  37. Michelle

    Now I’m planning a meal around cornbread. Also, we kicked red pepper flakes out of our spice cabinet and replaced them with Penzey’s aleppo pepper; we like it so much I had to upgrade to the larger jar.

  38. Listening to the news this morning they were talking about Aleppo and of course, my instant association was with the pepper, not the city in Syria! This reminded me to move it from my mental shopping list to my actual one. Kind of scared to go to Penzey’s though, the last time I ended up with a cartful of items I hadn’t planned on purchasing!

  39. Sarah

    Wow. I love corn bread; thanks so much for sharing this recipe. I’m really curious though about how long you had to wait in line at the Red Rooster. I’ve been wanting to go for a long time (especially since I live closer to it than all those fancy below-14th street hot spots) but have been afraid of the wait.

    1. deb

      Sarah — We went on a Saturday night, three days after the Obama fundraiser, and arrived at 5:45 planning to wait. Getting there that early, we were able to snag the last two seats at the bar (so could have eaten at the bar). We were told the wait would be an hour but they had two seats for us in about 40 minutes.

      Also, Martha Stewart brushed by Alex to talk to the people at the table behind us. Didn’t even say hi! Harrumph. :)

      Caffettiera — Thick like polenta.

  40. Hillary

    The born-and-raised southerner in me screams blasphemy, while the relocated-southerner living in Philadelphia screams that I must branch out! You present a very tempting offer, Deb.

    On a completely unrelated note: you once posted a conversion chart for volumes and relative equivalencies for baking pans and the like…but i can’t remember for the LIFE of me where you referenced it (I think it may have even been in a comments section?)
    Would you mind saving the day and posting it again, or give an idea of where i can find it? In the meantime I’ll spend my days pining for your cookbook release :)

  41. Whenever I think of cornbread, I immediately think of honey butter. The two go so good together…and this makes me miss NYC more and more. When I go to NYC, it’s usually consumed by the pursuit of food and I don’t care about who I see. Although, we did sit a couple of tables away from Robert DeNiro and Matt Damon one night, which was pretty awesome.

  42. Stefanie

    You always seem one step ahead of me! I have several cornbread recipes clipped for trying and now I have one more. Thanks for the lovely images for my breakfast reading this morning.

  43. Sounds like a nice variation of cornbread! Growing up in North Carolina, I can only wonder what these would be like deep fried as hushpuppies! What else did you eat at the Red Rooster??

  44. Even over here in Scotland we have heard of the Red Rooster and their totally outrageous cornbread. Being a transplanted Florida girl (err, 40-something) I love making and experimenting with cornbread. Probably can’t get the aleppo in edinburgh but will try ground guajillo mixed with sumac to mimic the tart-hot thing. Beautiful photos and funny commentary, as usual.

  45. Laura B.

    I love Aleppo pepper! I’ve put it in so many things. I used to always get it at Penzey’s, but I found it for slightly cheaper at an Armenian grocery near me!

  46. Yum! I went to Penzey’s not too long ago when I was in Raleigh, and it was awesome! Not only did they have this hilarious chatty woman working who told us where to find the international grocery and Indian food market in town, but I bought tons of spices, including this pepper. I love it. So good on so many things!

  47. This sounds fantastic! I’ve been seeing Aleppo pepper pop up all over the place lately but have yet to try it – it seems like now I have a very good reason. Williams-Sonoma carries it in their new, and very interesting, line of spices.

  48. charlotte

    Salt. I love using your recipes, but this is the first time one for a baked food, and I really don’t like tasting raw batter (silly me). So do you always mean kosher/coarser salt or fine salt? I won’t forget for the future, but in this day of many salts, it’s hard to keep up with the recipe writer. thanks. (And of course I love your site and read it regularly).

  49. ailia

    OMG. You’re on NPR right now, Deb. And I’m baking a cake for my nephew’s birthday. Its like all my favorite things have converged.

  50. Deb, I’m so glad you posted this! I read that you were having a “photographer meltdown” over these photos on flickr and was worried this would become one of those marvelous dishes you don’t talk about because you don’t like the photos (couscous and feta-stuffed peppers!). Personally, I think these photos are wonderful and I’ll be making this as soon as I get my hands on aleppo flakes. :)

    Hillary – I’m not sure which site Deb linked to, but I always go here for pan conversions.

  51. I absolutely LOVE Aleppo pepper. My brothet bought me a huge bag of it for Xmas and I’m always looking to do new things with it. This looks FAB! As usual, Deb. Thanks.

  52. Jeffred

    Jake: the Negroni contain Campari, which a Manhattan does not.

    Tory: Yes, a Bourbon Negroni, swaps the Gin for Bourbon, Technically the name for a Negroni made with bourbon is a Boulevardier.

    Personally I haven’t had, nor mixed a Negroni since my college mixology class.

    1. deb

      Jeffred — You took a mixology class in college? Jealous!

      kari — We were TOO FULL. It was not right. I even thought about ordering them to-go but Alex talked me out of it.

      Charlotte — I called for table salt, which is a fine salt, in the recipe. Was it too salty with fine salt?

      Hillary — I use this here resource. It’s not perfect, though. Things in loaf pans tend to have more leavener than a flatter cake would need.

      Mercedes — Well, that makes a tremendous amount more sense, doesn’t it?! I had briefly considered that, and then became distracted by 20 other things, never finished my research and lazily defaulted to what the Penzey’s jar/description says. Wonder why they call it Aleppo if it is indeed from Turkey! I will do more research… Thanks.

  53. Caitlin

    oh god I love cornbread! But my boyfriend and I have allergies, I know how to make this wheat-free but what to do about the sour cream…? Buttermilk I have worked out. Tofutti would be a terrible idea, wouldn’t it.

  54. Lucy

    Hi Deb! I am a HUGE FAN of yours! Just small suggestion – If you ever tweaked the design of your site, I was wondering if you’d want to have more than one category/tab for comments – one for general comments (e.g., “ooh I love cornbread”), one for reviews (e.g., “tried this w whole-wheat flour and it was still great”), and maybe one for Qs/answers. I get a lot out of people’s review comments but sometimes spend a long time digging for them to answer my own Qs. In any case, I dont know what i would do w/o smittenkitchen and cannnnot wait for the book :)

  55. Liz

    Oh yum, looks delish! Glad you had such a fun night out and found such tasty, creative food. I’ve been meaning to place a Penzey’s order, including for Aleppo pepper, and this is just the excuse I need to go place it!

  56. Unbelievable – I’m making my favorite chili tonight but wanted to try a new cornbread recipe. I went to your site to see what you have and this is your latest post! Excellent timing!

  57. Billie

    I just made this, swapping nonfat Greek yogurt for the sour cream and dried buttermilk powder for the liquid (7.6 grams mixed in with the dry ingredients and 1/3 cup water with the wet). It’s a little sour and dry so next time I will try half yogurt and half sour cream. The odd thing is that it didn’t rise at all and I’m wondering if that was due to the substitutions. Tastes great, though. Another great use for the Aleppo flakes. Thanks!

  58. Mae

    I rarely ever post anything, but I just loved your commentary on this post. I would feel the same about going out to eat too (1st paragraph), and coming from Alaska I cant imagine the regular prospects of running into a celebrity! Anyway, not usually a huge cornbread fan, but I think I may try this recipe, do you think it would go good with butter and a drizzle of maple syrup?!

  59. Vidya

    So I think I’ve just made the cornbread of my life. Already planning my next batch…tomorrow. Since today’s supply has been seriously depleted. Thanks Deb!

  60. This sounds like a really interesting recipe – I’ve never even tried cornbread before. Also that restaurant sounds awesome! I’m very jealous of you NY city eats (even if you don’t go all the time)! Thanks for a great post!

  61. Thanks so much for this recipe. I made it last night with your brisket recipe. It was my first time even tasting either (cornbread isn’t really a British thing!) and both were delicious! Great with honey carrots. I only had low fat creme fraiche in the house so used that instead of sour cream, it was still great and a lovely light texture. Xxx

  62. Irina

    thank you, great corn bread! Just made it and it came out perfect. I am wondering about the baking time: mine took about an hour (56 min) at 400 in a loaf pan to bake through. It is not dry at all (just ate the end piece…) – how did you get yours to bake in 25 min or is it a typo? thank you again

  63. Kathryn

    I had some red cornmeal and some aleppo in the fridge, so I made this, and it too did not rise that well but eventually finished well (it took about 10 minutes longer than the recipe). It had a lovely pale reddish color. Aleppo is not hot enough for me, but I understand that subtlety is key with some recipes. My issue with this recipe is that it didn’t seem to have much flavor, of anything. The red cornmeal smells wonderful in the bag but did not translate to the loaf. I’m thinking that yellow cornmeal might develop in the oven to give a more ‘corn’ flavor to the bread. I liked the crumb of this bread a lot. It has a lot of potential. I then combined butter, mango butter (from Trader’s) and more aleppo for the spread. Delish!

  64. indeed!

    our favorite cornbread, hands-down, has 2/3 cup of sour cream, plus another 6 tbs. of melted butter. oh my.

    try it sometime in a pre-heated cast-iron skillet, generously buttered and heated for two minutes before the batter hits. it sizzles and goes instantly golden crisp on impact. soooo good.

  65. This recipe is fantastic! I completely agree with it being, quite possibly, the best cornbread recipe! I used red chili flakes, and a heavy pinch at that, and it was spicy! Just the way I like it. I think next time, I’m going to bake it with Jalapeños and Cheddar Cheese. Mmmmm.

  66. Anne

    Deb, I passed over this recipe because I can make corn bread in my sleep, but you pulled me back in with the mention of Marcus Samuelsson. I have his book and I think he is one of the most impressive big name chefs out there.

    I live out in the ‘burbs of Northern California. We are a little slow to grab on to new food trends.(still no food trucks here; it’s against zoning laws)However, we love restaurants with communal tables and my husband and I are shameless about stopping waiters and diners to find out what they’re eating.

    I will give this recipe a try, I think the sour cream will add a completely new texture and I think I will use smoked paprika for the pepper. BTW: there is a Martha Stewart gag real on youtube that is really funny. Martha’s got a sense of humor.

  67. oo. i love the look of this cornbread. i’m very intrigued by the addition of sour cream and pepper flakes. will definitely make this soon!

  68. Rhonda

    Just finished eating this…it is so good with or without the butter and/or honey. We didn’t wait to toast it, maybe later, and great with the pinto beans. I am not a fan of having a lot of stuff in my cornbread, (really don’t like Mexican cornbread) and my husband errs on the to much of everything to flavor it up. It’s got a nice little kick that doesn’t stay with you.

  69. sim

    wow. i was literally JUST drooling (mentally) over the cornbread i had with lunch on friday, and thinking how i must look up a recipe. and then, and then… there you had it!!

  70. Kathy

    So super delicious! Mine took about 17 extra minutes to bake through, but totally worth it. I’ve been eating it with everything. I didn’t have Aleppo (but I will as soon as I visit a city with a Penzey’s in it…) so I used 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. It didn’t give me as much kick as I was looking for so I’ll increase it next time. Thanks for the recipe, as always!

  71. Cranberry

    I made this and it was delicious, although, like Kathy, mine took an extra 20 mins to cook. Also, is it normal to still have crunchy bits of cornmeal in my cornbread? I feel like the one I get in restaurants is smoother. Is there anything I can do about this?

  72. Joi

    Looks outstanding! Beautiful photographs and very clear instructions – thanks for each. Cornbread is a personal favorite, maybe it’s a southern thing (or thang). One of my favorite ways to eat cornbread is to pop a few squares in a bowl (or wide-mouthed glass) and add buttermilk.

    Grab a spoon and enter the gates of Culinary Heaven. Trust me on this one – it may sound kind of “EW!” but it’s exceptionally delicious.

  73. Stacey

    This was delish and we really enjoyed it with your chilli (the receipe with the biscuits). Just a note in case anyone is thinking of swapping the sour cream with low-fat unsweetened plain yoghurt, as I did. It was all I had on hand and it worked really nicely for the first day of the bread’s life. My boyfriend commented that it had a slighlty ‘acquired’ taste, which I think was the tang from the yoghurt, but it only took him 30 seconds to ‘acquire’ the taste. It was still good the second day although the yoghurt tang was more pronounced and now on day three I really can’t eat it because it has developed too sour a flavour. So, if you are going to eat it in one sitting, plain yoghurt works a treat, but it seems unsuitable for storing. It’s still lovely and moist 3 days on though.

  74. ChemKnits

    Lacking Aleppo and patience, I used half the amount of chili and made it half cayenne, half red pepper flakes (I’m indecisive). So that’s 1/4 tsp each. I’m pleased with the amount of heat that I got. It’s delicious!

  75. Jenny

    I just made these and divided the batter into two smaller loaf pans, surprisingly the cooking time was still around 25 minutes for a 400 degree oven. I didn’t find them spicy enough, next time I would add ~4 tsp of red chili flakes and maybe some cheese and a bit more sugar to the batter.

  76. I made this last night, and it turned out beautifully. So moist and what a lovely texture! Will definitely make this again. Thank you!

  77. ruby128

    I made 2 loaves of this today. Made brown butter-honey spread. My sister and I sat and buttered it up. It was the best cornbread we ever tasted. Had no Aleppo so used cayenne with good results. A real winner.

  78. Having made scones for a royal wedding themed party last saturday (don’t judge me but I’m British and I went to a house party were fascinators were required head gear, tea was served and digestive biscuits were devoured) I had most of a tub of sour cream left over and this was the perfect recipe to make the most of it. The aleppo sounded wonderful but I’m on a budget and red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper were all I had at hand. I made it this morning after a celebration last night and the boyfriend and I have already eaten half the loaf. Not only is it delicious but it is a perfect hangover cure!

  79. Natasha

    It’s interesting to hear the pepper in this recipe being referred to as simply “Aleppo” as Aleppo is the city in Syria from which the pepper comes from but does not describe what the ingredient is at all. It’s like saying, “add a little New York to your cornbread….”

    Aleppo red pepper can be bought in bulk at Middle Eastern mom and pop shops all over southern California and I would assume could be found in less showy (but more authentically flavorful) forms in New York as well. Aleppo red pepper is well known in the Middle Eastern cooking world and most certainly hails from ALEPPO, Syria and not Turkey.

  80. Chana

    just came out of the oven- yummy for sure, but a little spicy for me. i used red pepper flakes instead of allepo red pepper. i will give it another try with a little less pepper next time. thanks for the recipe!

  81. Melanie

    I live in Turkey, and I know this pepper well. In Turkish it is called pul biber, and it is used on just about everything. It gives a bit of heat and a lot of flavor. Not sure why Penzy’s uses the Aleppo name for it, though, as Aleppo is most certainly not in Turkey. But who cares, really; it’s a great ingredient.

  82. karen

    This didn’t wow us. The batter was very thick, it took a little extra time to bake, probably 30 minutes. I didn’t like the olive oil flavor, I prefer butter. It was fine, but I won’t make it again. Probably the first SK recipe I’ve tried that wasn’t a homerun!

  83. Mary

    I made this for the first time over the weekend, and asked my office staff to taste it. They liked it, but found it dense, and the kick from the Aleppo was mild. I think I might try a bit more Aleppo the next time to see if it makes a difference. I do like it toasted with some Moroccan almond paste on it. That is a treat.

  84. Natasha

    oh yum! just went to penzey’s to get the allepo. it really does provide the most subtle heat The texture is just beautiful. I will try not to eat all of it all at once…

  85. What a gorgeous recipe. I have some aleppo pepper at home and haven’t found the perfect recipe for it…until now. I can’t wait to have this with scrambled eggs for breakfast this weekend!

  86. dana

    Hi – I tried the recipe…liked it, but didn’t love it. The bread itself was good, but the aleppo pepper didn’t add the spice/flavor I was hoping for. I might use the recipe because the consistency and texture was great and just adjust the additions.

  87. I’m going to try this cornbread the next time I made chili! Maybe it’s a Southern thing, but we love chili and cornbread in my house, crumbling it right in. Turkey chili, so it’s low fat, with white beans! The cornbread, blog and photos are really nice! Thanks for the recipe!

  88. triscuit

    On my second batch today- I made as described the first time, only substituting Penzey’s crushed pepper flakes for the aleppo. It wasn’t too spicy, even for gentler palettes than my own. This time, I increased the sugar to 3 tablespoons for serving without honey butter- the bread texture is so meaty and tender that I’m serving it au naturel.

    This recipe will be replacing the one on the cornmeal tin for my kitchen!

  89. Deb, this looks jaw droppingly good – I’m trying to decide between this recipe and your goat cheese and onion cornbread for a dinner party where I’m making bbq chicken. Does this version freeze up well? That might be the deciding factor!


  90. M.C.W.

    This did not turn out as I hoped, and I was so sad- it didn’t rise at all and was very dense. But it gave me a reason to finally head over to Penseys. I’ll definitely give it another shot because it may have been something I did plus, now I have enough Aleppo pepper to last a lifetime (considering that until now I have never needed to use it).

  91. Sarah

    Deb, I’d like to try making this in an antique baking pan I have. It’s sort of like a rectangular-shaped muffin pan, with twelve 4″x2.5″ little loaf/muffin slots. Will I be safe to bake these at 400 and check them MUCH sooner than the 22min bake time you recommend, or do you think I should lower the bake temperature as well?

  92. alex

    deb, i see someone else asked this but i couldn’t find your response… would this work with yogurt (whole-milk) instead of sour cream?

  93. Emma

    I am late to this party, and you’ve kind of answered this question already, but I’m a baking newbie so I want to be sure: Can I use this recipe for muffins? Or should I alter it somehow (other than the cooking time)?


  94. Brenna

    This is my #1 go-to cornbread. It is fantastic as is, but I usually substitute 2% plain greek yogurt for the sour cream and 3/4 tsp red pepper flake for the 1 tsp of aleppo (can’t find it). I double the recipe in a 9X13, dollop the batter through the pan, and even it out with a offset spatula.

  95. Jori

    So delicious! Substituted 0% Fage plain greek yogurt for the sour cream (what I had on hand) and threw in about 1/3 cup of creamed corn just to gild the lily. I think the extra liquid from the corn was what tacked on a couple of extra minutes of baking time, but it was well worth it. Yum.

  96. Ena

    So easy to make and so delicious! I used dried red pepper flakes instead of aleppo as I can’t buy it here, but you don’t feel the heat at all, I might up the quantity neyt time. Or I might not, as I love it just as is.

  97. Jessica

    I searched for a sour cream cornbread recipe b/c I had some to use up. I’m so glad your site popped up! It’s always relieving to bake a new recipe from a trusted source than a random one. And sure enough, it was worthy of trust. Not just moist, but soft (which my cornbread never is!) My only sub was red pepper; I didn’t know what you meant by “a much smaller quantity” b/c I have no spice skills. So I added 1/8 t. which wasn’t enough. Then again, the black bean soup that I poured over the bread had its own kick, so maybe it’s just as well.
    p.s . Isn’t it great that a 2-year old post can still make someone’s day?!

  98. I made it and it did not taste like what I had at the restaurant. The restaurant version was much denser and sweeter and had more of a kick. I think it also had corn kernels in it. Not sure how close this version is to the restaurant version.

  99. Sasha

    I just made this great cornbread to have alongside a spicy chili. The bread is phenomenal – we ate half the loaf in just a few minutes. Seriously. I also made the honeyed brown butter, which was amazing. For those of you who are gluten-free, I replaced the cup of all-purpose flour with 1 cup of Cup4cup (the best gluten free baking flour) an and it came out perfectly.

  100. Maddie

    Way overdue but I came across this recipe for cornbread while searching for a new twist for chili tomorrow and I think I can give a little insight into why it is called Turkish Aleppo. I picked up some aleppo style powder from a spice shop in Chicago (Epic Spices on Chicago Avenue if any of you fellow Chicagoans are reading!). The proprietor told me that Aleppo is traditionally made from Syrian peppers but, unfortunately, the original aleppo flakes are very hard to come across in the United States. Thus, shops here sell the Turkish cousin (his words not mine) so as to give a similar flavor to food. To his credit, his label said “Aleppo Style Red Pepper”.

  101. Jillian L

    I made this a couple nights ago because I had leftover sour cream to use up and some collard greens on hand. This is a great bread! Not too cakey, or super dense, somewhere in the middle that I haven’t had before, but really like. The only thing is that I don’t have aleppo, so I substituted a mix of red pepper flakes, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper, and sadly I really couldn’t taste the pepper that much. I haven’t had aleppo before, so maybe the flavor is just more potent? I’ll have to try again. Totally recommend this recipe regardless.

  102. Jori

    Deb, I think your website is for our generation what Joy of Cooking has been for all those before–the first place I go to search for anything I’m even considering cooking, and inevitably find an even better version than I imagined. And the little bag of Aleppo pepper in the cabinet will finally get the starring role it sorely deserves. Thanks for your continued fabulous-ness! This is stealing thunder from veggie chili tonight.

  103. Vijaya (rhymes with Lydia)

    Hi Deb and All!
    Which cornbread recipe on Smitten Kitchen do you think would go best with a pot of chili? That’s probably already a complicated question of Sophie’s Choicing, but add in to the mix that I don’t live in a place where buttermilk and sour cream are available, so would have to find suitable subs. Recipe Options I’m looking at in addition to this one are: and

    So very tempted by the Goat Cheese and Caramelized Onion cornbread recipe, but sadly we also do not have access to Goat Cheese here. Thanks for your suggestions!

  104. Santiago

    Hello, I just tried the coffee toffee recipe on page 280. It calls for 8 tablespoons (225 gramsor 2 sticks). Im not sure I got the desired consistency I used 8 tablespoons but the conversion to grams or sticks is wrong. I checked with other recipes and you always use 8 tablespoons (115 grams or 1 stuck). Could you please confirm if this particular recipe uses 115 gr or 225.

  105. Helen

    I’ve made this twice to rave reviews…both times I needed some substitutions, which I’m sharing
    First time I was sure we had Aleppo pepper, but for the life of me I couldn’t find it, so I used 1/2 paprika, 1/2 cayenne
    Second time we had no sour cream, but we did have fave 2% Greek yogurt, which I used with an extra splash of buttermilk
    I also didn’t get to make the honey brown butter so I served it with butter and honey, and it was a success
    Thanks for a great recipe

  106. c

    I am sure I first saw Aleppo pepper recently on SK somewhere, but I thought it was in a very simple sandwichy-sort of context, not this or the lamb meatballs. I didn’t find it in the search results or my browser history, though — does anyone else recall seeing such a thing?

    (Also, I got a powder at a little Greek store that they said was Aleppo pepper, but it doesn’t look like the flakes in the jar from Penzey’s…)

  107. Grant

    Currently have my second loaf in one week of this recipe in my oven (was that too many prepositional phrases in one sentence?). I swapped the aleppo for a pinch of cayenne and upped the sugar to 3 heaping tablespoons because I’m a Northerner living in the South. So, so good. I love the tang from the sour cream, and I love that it only takes 25 minutes to bake.

  108. Joy

    For the first time, a smitten kitchen recipe has failed me. I will stick to my tried and true cornbread in cast iron pan. It seemed similiar to this, except for the sour cream. But the center didn’t cook, and took another 17 min before it wasn’t a gooey mess. And then it was just sort of bricklike. Not sure what I did wrong, but the cast iron recipe never goes wrong.

  109. Grant

    I make this pretty regularly and I love it. I love cornbread, and this is my perfect cornbread – sweet but not cakelike (I do up the sugar to 3 tbsp.), moist but not too dense, nice and tangy, and it comes together and bakes quickly.

  110. Curious

    I’ve gone to Yotam Ottolenghi’s restaurant in Islington and I’ve discovered cornbread there. I wonder if that’s the recipe he’s used because he’s kept it secret and it looks very similar (aleppo peppers in your recipe = the red bits in his bread perhaps?).

  111. Alli

    Hello! I love your site so might but have never commented! It is always my first stop to search for… anything I want to cook and eat the way I want to eat it!
    I had some of the same issues ADN other posters. It took at least 20 minutes more to cook (but who cares?) but the real problem was that it didn’t rise at all. Usually when I bake with sour cream, buttermilk or other acid dairy I use baking soda instead of baking powder. I think I’ll try this next time.
    Also, I should mention that I, like one other previous poster, am in Europe where there is a sad lack of cornmeal as we know it. I jumped for cornbread joy when I found a bag of what they were calling maize meal “for making breads and Mexican tortillas ” in the store, but when I opened it it was finer grained than the cornmeal you find back home in the US.
    So maybe the cooking time and rising issues came from using a cornmeal that was too fine? Maybe I’ll try using polenta? Maybe I’ll make all future visitors from the States being me real cornmeal in their suitcases?
    Any thoughts or suggestions for the second time around?
    Thanks so much!

  112. Moya Beall

    I just made this and like it. I used 1.5 tsp. of baking powder and .5 tsp. of baking soda because of the sour cream and buttermilk (which I made with milk and cider vinegar). Used half a Thai chile, minced, and added a bit of grated cheddar. I only had white, stone-ground corn meal and it worked well. I think it’s a good, flexible recipe, but I think the addition of baking soda is critical to make it rise. It did take about 15 minutes longer to bake, but my oven needs a new thermostat.

  113. Gabrielle

    Hi Deb, I’m hosting a get-together this Saturday where I’d like to serve this cornbread and I’m looking to prep as much as possible in advance. Do you think the bread would dry out if I prepared it the day before, or is it best fresh?
    Thanks for your recipes, your blog is always a great resource for creative cooking (that summer squash pizza!!!)

  114. Chelsea

    Just made this as muffins with one change: I added probably half a cup of milk to the batter so it was about as thin pancake batter. They rose wonderfully and are a great consistency. I used a diced dried chili of undetermined type for the spice and left it out in half the muffins for the spice-averse.

    The only (further) change I’d make is to add a little more salt to the batter.

  115. gothamette

    Sorry but this recipe was a miss.

    I found it to be lacking in salt and too dry. And – I added 1/4 tsp of baking soda to activate the buttermilk. Are you absolutely sure the liquid proportions are correct?

    I was looking for a cornbread that used sour cream. If I make this again I will increase the amount of salt to 1 tsp, and the amount of liquid to 1/2 cup.

    1. deb

      I’m sorry it wasn’t to your liking. I’ve never heard of activating buttermilk; baking soda needs an acid present to activate; baking powder (called for here), includes one. Did you use table salt or kosher?

      1. gothamette

        Right, activating buttermilk (or anything with an acid in it) is described here:

        I used table salt.

        My problem with the recipe was the proportions. The dough – you couldn’t call it batter – was way too dry. I had to add some water to the finished dough. I never like doing that.

        It came out OK but if I made it again I’ll increase the liquids, maybe add another egg.

        1. gothamette

          PS, in recipes with buttermilk (or yogurt or kefir) a touch of soda is used along with powder, giving the leavening that extra bit of fizz.

        2. Helen

          No, I think you’re misreading. Acid activates the baking soda, not the other way around. Acid doesn’t need to be activated. The soda does neutralize some of the acid, but that’s different.

  116. Lindsey

    I made this cornbread last night. I omitted the peppers since we just wanted a basic cornbread. This was fantastic! I’m having leftovers now for lunch! Yum!

  117. Michelle

    I made this last night. I only had cake flour, so I subbed that instead of AP since I was not going back to the store. No issues there. Like a lot of people, the dough was a little dry, to the point I kept finding dry spots while I mixed, and I had a few tablespoons of buttermilk left so I threw it in. As soon as I did it looked right. Still very thick, but not as clumpy and dry.

    I baked it in a small cast iron pan, because I did not feel like digging out the loaf pan. It worked splendidly.

    Everyone loved the flavor, the aleppo added a little kick but not too much for the people who don’t love heat. The leftovers will get the egg sandwich treatment this morning.

  118. HH

    I loved this cornbread. The dough was thicker than I expected and it did not rise much in the oven, but felt perfectly light once baked. Just the right amount of heat. I’ll make this again!

  119. Matthew

    Has anyone made this? I have tried twice and it comes out very underdone. I am wondering if this is supposed to be 40-45 mins?

    I’m Using a glass bread vessel which i think takes a little longer usually, but not this much longer.

  120. Maeve

    My loaf pan wasn’t available and my sour cream was liquid, so I used an 8×8 glass baking dish and used yogurt instead of the sour cream. I also used red pepper flakes because that’s what I had. I didn’t get a big rise because no loaf pan but the conrbread is delicious. Mine passed the toothpick test at 20 minutes but wasn’t browning, so I set the oven to 350F and left it in another 5 minutes or so. Very forgiving recipe – the bread was delicious with chili. Thanks, Deb

  121. Elena

    Something seems missing from this recipe. Cornbread turned out on the bland side and a bit dry. Ended up slathering it with butter and a drizzle of honey to make it edible.

  122. Katy

    I don’t have access to lactose-free sour cream anymore, so I’ve been playing with this recipe to account for that change, and I think that I might have it: 1tsp baking powder and 1tsp baking soda with lactose-free greek yoghurt. This is the third trial recipe, so hopefully it turns out just as I hope!

  123. For the record, I didn’t have buttermilk or sour cream. Instead, I used 1 1/6 cups of unsweetened whole-milk yogurt and 1/6 cup milk. It worked, though it is a bit drier than I imagine it would be with sour cream.

    I do prefer the Perfect Forever Cornbead elsewhere on the site, but I didn’t have any corn kernels, so I made this one instead.

  124. Natalie

    I made this as mini muffins (one recipe was the perfect amount for one 24 muffin tin), and when I checked them at 10 minutes they were done – maybe even over? I’d check at 7 or 8 minutes next time!