Hot Water Cornbread Recipe


Don't be alarmed, but this cornbread recipe calls for sugar. We know, we know, but give it a try! The recipe starts with self-rising cornmeal mix. Add scallions, thyme, sugar, salt, and soon you have a flavorful mix that's ready for some boiling water. Only stir until the ingredients are incorporated. Heat your cast-iron skillet, along with 1 1/2 cups canola oil, over medium high heat. You'll drop spoonfuls of the batter into the skillet and fry in batches. Let the cornbread develop a beautiful golden hue before flipping, which should be about 2 minutes per side. We love serving our Hot Water Cornbread with savory Turnip Greens to sop up all that delicious broth in which the greens stew. Aside from greens, our Hot Water Cornbread is the perfect side for savory soups and stews. We also love serving it with a classic main dish like ham. If you're serving a crowd, cook up an extra batch or two—we have a feeling our Hot Water Cornbread will be a crowd pleaser no matter what you have on the menu. 

Robby Melvin's Turnip Greens with Hot Water Cornbread
Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez
Active Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
15 mins
Serves 8 (serving size: about 3 patties)


  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising cornmeal mix

  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped scallions (about 2 medium scallions)

  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 cup boiling water

  • 1 1/2 cups canola oil


  1. Stir together cornmeal, scallions, thyme, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add boiling water, and stir until incorporated.

  2. Heat oil in 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Shape tablespoonfuls of batter into slightly flattened patties, and fry, in batches, until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Serve with Turnip Greens.

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