Dad loved Southern cornbread and one of his very favorite meals was cornbread crumbled up in a tall glass of buttermilk — to be eaten with a spoon.

By Perri Ormont Blumberg
October 02, 2018
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Johnny Cash Cornbread
Credit: Courtesy Thomas Nelson / Harper Collins

If it's a recipe that Johnny Cash loved, we're bookmarking it. If it's a cornbread that Johnny Cash loved, we're baking it — immediately. In John Carter Cash's new cookbook, The Cash and Carter Family Cookbook, readers get to learn Cash-and-Carter family favorites, from Johnny's Pinto Beans and Ham Hocks to Ezra Carter's "Sunbitchin' Stew."

"Just like biscuits and gravy, cornbread was everyday fare around the Cash home," Carter Cash, the only son of Johnny and June writes of the household staple. "Dad loved Southern cornbread, and one of his very favorite meals was cornbread crumbled up in a tall glass of buttermilk — to be eaten with a spoon. It may be an acquired taste, but most everyone in my family enjoys cornbread and buttermilk as a delicious treat."

Cash Cornbread and Buttermilk
Credit: Courtesy Thomas Nelson / Harper Collins

Below, you'll find their family recipe for cornbread. The recipe uses a cast-iron skillet, but if you don't have one, Carter Cash advises you use a heavy nonstick or greased baking pan instead. However you bake it up, you'll want to make sure you've got that glass of buttermilk on deck to toast the Man in Black as you dig into your hearty crumbles.

WATCH: 20 Things You May Not Know About Johnny Cash

Cash Family Cornbread

Makes 6 to 8 servings.


  • 2 cups self-rising cornmeal mix (or 1 1/2 cups white cornmeal, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt)

3/4 cup shortening, divided

1 and 1/2 cups whole buttermilk

1 large egg

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

3 tablespoons finely diced yellow onions

2 tablespoons finely diced jalapeño pepper (optional)

1/4-cup shredded sharp white Cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F degrees.
  2. Place the cornmeal mix (or cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt) in a large bowl. Stir with a whisk. Add 1/2-cup of the shortening, and using a fork, cut the shortening into the mix until small clumps form. Stir in the buttermilk, egg, and vegetable oil, and mix well. Fold in the onions, jalapeños, if using, and cheese.
  3. Place the remaining 1/4-cup of the shortening in a medium well-seasoned cast-iron skillet or an 8 x 11-inch baking pan. Place the skillet in the oven for five minutes, or until the shortening bubbles and cooks the cornmeal batter when a drop is spooned into the skillet. Carefully remove the skillet from the oven, and slowly pour the batter into the hot skillet. Return the skillet to the oven, and cook the cornbread about 30 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

(Taken from The Cash and Carter Family Cookbook by John Carter Cash Copyright © Copyright 2018 by John Carter Cash. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson.