Why Does My Cornbread Crumble? – 6 Solutions to Consider

Have you wondered, “Why does my cornbread crumble?” then wanted to know if there was an answer to this problem?

Cornbread is a favorite food for many, especially with chili. But, whether you use a recipe or a cornbread box mix, the problem of crumbling is common. So, what can you do?

Since I have had this problem also, I decided to go on a hunt for some answers.

In this article, you will learn why cornbread crumbles and six things you can do to fix the problem.

Why Does My Cornbread Crumble?

There are several reasons your cornbread might be crumbling. Usually, it boils down to one of three things: not enough moisture, too much or not enough fat, or not enough protein. Cornmeal, an ingredient in cornbread, continues to absorb moisture after it’s baked. So, even if it comes out of the oven with a nice consistency, it may be crumbly an hour later.

How Do You Keep Your Cornbread From Crumbling?

One obvious solution is not to bake your cornbread too long. Overbaking dries it out and makes it crumbly. But assuming you haven’t overcooked it, what are some other solutions?

Cornbread recipes generally call for flour and cornmeal. Flour quickly absorbs the moisture, whereas cornmeal doesn’t. So when baking your cornbread, keep in mind these six things:

  1. Change the amount of flour and cornmeal–sometimes using a bit less cornmeal and a little more flour will take care of the problem. For example, if your recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of cornmeal and 1/2 cup flour, you might try using 1 1/4 cup cornmeal and upping your flour to 3/4 cup.
  2. Let your batter rest–letting the batter sit before baking gives the cornmeal more time to absorb the moisture. If, after resting, the batter seems too stiff to pour in the pan, you might consider adding more moisture to loosen it up.
  3. Add more moisture–if your recipe calls for milk, you can add a little more or switch to buttermilk. Also, yogurt, sour cream, and creamed corn will increase the moisture in your cornbread.
  4. Add a sweetener–some recipes don’t call for any sugar because there are people who don’t like sweet cornbread. But sugar helps to moisten the cornbread, so adding some can be helpful. You can also use natural sweeteners such as honey.
  5. Add more fat–fat doesn’t moisten your cornbread but softens the texture to feel moister and therefore less crumbly. Types of fat might be oil, bacon grease, shortening, or egg yolks.
  6. Add another egg–eggs are essential because they have the three things you need: moisture, fat, and protein.

Next, we will compare three recipes. Notice how they are different and what you could do if the recipe turned out crumbly.

Three Recipes to Compare

We are just looking at ingredients here. To make one of these, you can find the full recipes in my article on How to Keep Cornbread From Sticking or click one of the links below.

From the Betty Crocker Cookbook:

1 1/2 c. cornmeal
1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 c. shortening or bacon fat
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
2 eggs

From Steve Sandlin, a recipe on Quora:

1 c. cornmeal
1 Tbsp. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 c. buttermilk
1 egg, slightly beaten
3 Tbsp. melted shortening or bacon drippings

From Home Chef YouTube video:

1/2 c. melted butter
2/3 c. sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 c. buttermilk
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. flour
1 c. cornmeal

Both the Betty Crocker and Home Chef recipes use a 9″ pan or cast iron skillet, and Steve Sandlin uses a 6-7-inch cast iron skillet. I’m a true believer in making cornbread in cast iron, but that’s beside the point.

In these recipes, notice the amounts of flour and cornmeal. If your cornbread was crumbly, what could you do differently based on what was said above?

Where could you add moisture? Sweetener? Fat? Or another egg?

Breaking It Down

Just to be clear, I’m not saying any of these recipes produce crumbly cornbread. But if you made one of the recipes and it did come out crumbly, what would you do?

Notice Betty Crocker is heavy on cornmeal and light on the flour, but the 1/2 cup more buttermilk could make it less crumbly. Still, you could add a little more buttermilk or change the ratio of flour and cornmeal a bit. You might also want to add a little more sugar or fat. It already calls for two eggs, so I’m not sure another would be ideal.

Steve Sandlin’s recipe is very light on the flour, has no sugar or sweetener, and only one egg. Which may be just right for the size skillet this recipe is using. If it turns out crumbly, though, you might consider adding a little more shortening or bacon drippings, changing the amount of flour and cornmeal, or adding more buttermilk.

With the Home Chef recipe, I noticed the flour and cornmeal had equal amounts, two eggs, plenty of sugar, butter, and buttermilk. I would have to make this recipe first because, at first glance, I don’t see how it could be crumbly. But if it was, I suppose adding a little more buttermilk might be the answer. What do you think?

I would also consider adding some creamed corn to any of these recipes.

Because I don’t know for sure, it’s decided; I will make all three of these recipes, plus the one below, and come back with an update.

Although I prefer using a Jiffy box mix, it will be good for me to try some recipes and compare the difference. Apparently, though, Jiffy Cornbread is also known to crumble or fall apart.

Why Does Jiffy Cornbread Fall Apart?

When the consistency or the texture of your Jiffy batter isn’t right, the cornbread will turn out crumbly. You can try a few simple things first, and if these things aren’t working, consider adding something to the batter.

Simple fixes:

  • Rest your batter longer than the 3-4 minutes the box calls for. If you mix the batter right after turning on your oven, that will probably give it more time to rest. I usually let my batter sit for around 8-10 minutes.
  • The box says to bake your cornbread for 15-20 minutes. Try keeping it closer to the 15 minutes. As long as it’s not doughy on the inside, your cornbread is done.
  • Use buttermilk in place of regular milk.


  • Another egg
  • 1 Tbsp. of oil or fat
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 can cream corn (approximately 8 oz.)

Cast Iron Sweet Jiffy Cornbread Recipe With Creamed Corn

Final Thoughts

If you were asking, “Why does my cornbread crumble?” I trust this article answered your question.

I assume if you asked the question, you also wanted to know how you could keep it from crumbling in the future. So hopefully, you have found several things to try. Whether it’s switching to buttermilk or adding another egg to your batter, I believe one of these ways will work for you.

Feel free to let me know in the comment section what you tried and how it worked out.

And if you are looking for a cast iron skillet to make cornbread, check out my Lodge 10.25-inch Bakers Skillet Review if using two boxes of Jiffy Cornbread mix or my Lodge 6.25-inch Skillet Review when using a single box.

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