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Great-Grandmother Steinbeck's Johnnycake (Cornbread)

"This recipe is out of my great-grandmother Bertha Iva Steinbeck's recipe box. She really was John Steinbeck's aunt. She lived in Hollister, California, and died in the '30s. I've been making this since I was about 5 years old when my grandmother, Agnes Steinbeck Bowman decided I was old enough to learn to cook. It was actually the second thing I learned to cook...she wanted to see how I handled scrambled eggs before she introduced me to something that demanded some technique! I've never tasted better cornbread in my 47 years."
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45 m servings 383 cals
Original recipe yields 4 servings


  • Calories:
  • 383 kcal
  • 19%
  • Fat:
  • 16.4 g
  • 25%
  • Carbs:
  • 52g
  • 17%
  • Protein:
  • 8.1 g
  • 16%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 49 mg
  • 16%
  • Sodium:
  • 1053 mg
  • 42%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

See full nutrition

Nutritional Information

1 Serving
Servings Per Recipe:
Amount Per Serving
  • * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  • ** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.
  • (-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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  • Prep

  • Cook

  • Ready In

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease an 8 inch glass baking dish.
  2. Sift the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, corn oil and egg. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and mix just until blended. Pour into the prepared pan, and shake gently to level it out.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean and the top is golden brown. Serve hot. Just with butter will do, it is plenty sweet enough!

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Read all reviews 63
  1. 78 Ratings

Most helpful positive review

If you're looking for a light textured, slightly sweet cornbread......This is for you. My husband doesn't even like sugar in his cornbread and we finished off the whole batch of them last night...

Most helpful critical review

I was looking for a recipe that isn't too sweet since i had a pot of chili on the stove cooking and my favorite cornbread recipe was missing (we just moved). This looked fairly similar and the r...

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Most positive
Least positive

If you're looking for a light textured, slightly sweet cornbread......This is for you. My husband doesn't even like sugar in his cornbread and we finished off the whole batch of them last night...

I made this to go with dinner at bible study and it was a hit! Will certainly be making this again! The only change I made was to use yellow corn meal, as that was what I had on hand, and to u...


Simply wonderful, no changes need. (Well I did sub yellow cornmeal since I don't have white, but I'm sure white would have been just as fabulous!) Serve warm with a drizzle of honey for the best...

This is a great cornbread recipe. It came out fluffy and it was not sweet. I love it. I did not have buttermilk so I just used the milk I had on hand. Thanks for the recipe.

I only made one change and that was using melted butter instead of corn oil. I baked this in my cast iron skillet--I just added a couple tablespoons of butter to my cast iron skillet and let it ...

Just what I was looking for. Changes made: whole wheat flour, yellow corn meal, and milk soured with lemon juice since I had no buttermilk, cooked in iron skillet. Great texture and good flav...

My husband is a diabetic & with my diabetic friendly changes he said it's one of the best cornbreads I've made. I used skim milk/vinegar for the buttermilk. Less baking powder - about 3 t, whole...

This cornbread is absolutely amazing! I used a larger rectangular pan so it was probably a little bit flatter than normal, but it only took 15 mins. in the oven and tastes great. It was eaten ...