Savory, unsweetened cornbread may be considered by some to be the ideal choice for sopping up chili and barbecue sauce, but I prefer my cornbread to be a little on the sweet side. Since corn is naturally sweet, I feel like a little bit of sugar or honey can really make a cornbread stand out – and neither will keep cornbread from being a good match for a spicy dish.
This cornbread gets its sweetness from a couple of different sources. Sugar is the most obvious in the list of ingredients, but only a small amount is used and more sweetness actually comes from the shredded carrots and fresh sweet corn that are mixed into the batter. Grated carrots add sweetness and moisture to the bread, just as they do for carrot cake, and don’t add a strong flavor of their own. I got the idea to use them in the cornbread when I remembered a recipe for zucchini cornbread I did quite some time ago. The zucchini version worked out perfectly and it’s nice to know that there are lots of options if you want to play around with a basic cornbread recipe.
The sweet corn, of course, accents the natural flavor of the cornmeal. Since it’s coming into season around here, I cut my corn directly off of a fresh cob and tossed it into the batter. If you don’t have access to fresh sweet corn on the cob, you can use frozen corn or even sweet canned. Just defrost or drain before incorporating it.
I think that this bread is a great summer side dish, largely because I can’t get enough corn when it’s in season. The bread goes great with grilled foods and is lovely on its own, spread with a little bit of butter or jam. as well.
Sweet Corn and Carrot Cornbread
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1 large egg white
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp honey
1 cup grated carrot (I prefer a fine grate)
3/4-1 cup fresh sweet corn (1 medium cob)
Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar.
In a medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg, egg white, honey and vegetable oil until smooth.
Pour buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture. Stir until just combined, then add in the grated carrot and the sweet corn and stir to evenly distribute. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake for about 28-32 minutes, until a tester comes out clean and the bread springs back when lightly pressed.
Cool in the pan on a wire rack.