Lace Cornbread Recipe

| August 8, 2021 | 3 Comments

Lace Cornbread

Follow our step-by-step, photo illustrated instructions to learn how to make crispy and crunchy, Lace Cornbread. Kick your Southern cooking up a level by mastering this one. Printable recipe included.

Lace Cornbread, enjoy.
If you get your batter just right, you can create cornbread that is crispy and crunchy, with lots of little holes that give that look of fine lace. Might take a little practice on this one, but you can master it with a bit of persistence.


Lace Cornbread, slider.

There is no denying that I’ve had a few recipes that have wanted to give me a hard time. Let’s just say right up front that this one is certainly one of them.

Maybe I just complicate things some time and try too hard. I’m not sure that was the case with this recipe, but it sure did want to give me some trouble.

I’ve always took pride in hanging in there, resolving the issues, and being able to complete a recipe in easy step-by-step fashion that I was happy to share with you here on Taste of Southern.

I’d seen and heard of Lace Cornbread, but it wasn’t anything Mama ever made that I know anything about. She made great Hoe Cakes, but I never saw her even attempt to make Lace Cornbread. Maybe she just didn’t even know about it.

The first time I tried, everything that could – went wrong. So, I tried again… and again… and again.

I went through an entire bag, if not more, of corn meal trying to make that lace around the edge appear in my cast iron skillet. It just wasn’t happening.

I watched numerous videos online, and the folks that made it, made it look so easy. So what was my problem? Was I just trying too hard?

It wasn’t until I bought the Goya brand of FINE Yellow Corn Meal that I started seeing any success, and even that tried my patience more than one time.

But, being an old Southern boy, I hung in there and kept trying until I figured I had it going pretty good.

The biggest question in my mind though is “WHY?” Why would you want to make Lace Cornbread when Hoe Cakes are easier and maybe even tastier?

I suspect it’s like when a bunch of Southern cooks get together at a family reunion or church social and start trying to see who makes the best Potato Salad or Deviled Eggs. It’s more about bragging rights in my opinion.

So, when you’ve had some success, and made a few very nice pieces of Lace Cornbread, go ahead and pat yourself on the back for a job well done. I know ahead of time that you will deserve it.

Don’t be discouraged though, please do give it a try. Let me know how it turns out.

Ready to give our recipe a try? Alright then, let’s head on out to the kitchen, and… Let’s Get Cooking!


Lace Cornbread, ingredients.
Lace Cornbread Recipe – You’ll need these ingredients

I highly suggest you find a FINE corn meal, such as this GOYA brand. It’s the one that worked best for me and I want you to be successful when you try it.


Lace Cornbread, add water.
Place 2/3rds cup of cool water in a measuring cup or bowl.


Lace Cornbread, add cornmeal.
Add 1/2 cup of fine corn meal.


Lace Cornbread, add salt.
Add 1/4 teaspoon of Salt.


Lace Cornbread, mix well.
Mix well to fully moisten the corn meal. The corn meal is pretty much going to separate from the water and sink to the bottom, but that’s natural.


Lace Cornbread, soupy.
It will be a bit soupy, and as mentioned, it does separate a bit. You can adjust it later by adding more water if it’s too thick, or more corn meal if it’s too thin. I’m not going to try and fool you, it might take a little trial and error. Sure did with me. Smile.


Lace Cornbread, too thin.
This is what happens when the batter hasn’t been stirred right before pouring and it’s too thin. Everything just spread out all over the pan.


Lace Cornbread, too thick.
And this is what you might see if your batter is too thick. This is more like a regular Hoe Cake and not what we’re looking for either.


Lace Cornbread, pour quickly.
Place your skillet over Medium heat on your stove top. Add just about 1/4 inch of cooking oil and let it get hot enough for frying. It may start to smoke a bit, and if it does, that usually means it’s hot enough to start frying.

STIR your batter just before you pour it. Hold the cup up higher than you might normally would and quickly pour the batter into the pan.

It’s going to splatter, so be careful with it and make sure no young children are near the stove as you make the lace cornbread.

The batter should immediately spread out in the pan with a slightly thicker center and the edges with the holes like lace.


Lace Cornbread, lace edge.
Watch for the top to start drying out a bit, much like when making pancakes. The outer edges will turn golden brown quickly, but you need to wait for the top to begin to dry a bit before carefully flipping the cornbread over.


Lace Cornbread, flip.
Carefully flip the cornbread over and let it continue to fry for a minute or two longer until done.


Lace Cornbread, drain.
No two will be alike that’s for sure.

Carefully remove the cornbread from the skillet when it’s lightly browned all over. Place it on some folded paper towels to help absorb some of the oil.


Lace Cornbread, lace.
Most of your pieces will probably look like this. It’s about the thickness of a quarter in the middle with a lace edge pretty much all around.


Lace Cornbread, crispy.

I did get a couple that were really thin and pretty much had a lace design all over. These were very crispy, much like biting into a potato chip. They quickly became a favorite, but I couldn’t make them like this every time. I need more practice I suppose. Smile.


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Lace Cornbread Recipe

  • Author: Steve Gordon
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Varies
  • Category: Breads, Cornbread
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: American, Southern


Lace cornbread is probably more about being able to say you can do it than it is about the taste and eating it. It takes a bit of Southern hang-in-thereism to make it happen. But, it’s great fun once you can make them.



2/3 cups cool Water
1/2 cup Goya Fine Yellow Corn Meal
1/4 teaspoon Salt
Oil for frying


Place a cast iron skillet over Medium heat on stove top.
Add about 1/4 inch of cooking oil. Let oil heat to frying temperature, about 350F degrees.
Place water in measuring cup.
Add corn meal.
Add salt.
Stir well to combine, but the corn meal will still sink to the bottom.
The mixture needs to be soupy for the most part.
Stir again right before pouring mixture into hot oil.
Pour the mixture from high up but be careful, it splatters.
Adjust the mixture as needed until you find the right balance.
When top of cornbread starts to dry and edges turn brown, carefully flip the cornbread over.
Fry until done.
Carefully remove to a paper towel when done and let drain.


This one may take a bit of practice, but pat yourself on the back when you make it happen.

Keywords: lace cornbread, cornbread, lace hoe cakes, fine corn meal, salt, water, Southern

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Category: Breads

About the Author ()

Award Winning Food Preservationist, Fisherman, Author of three cookbooks. "From Mama's Big Oval Table, From Mama's Big Oval Table - BOOK TWO and Carolina Christmas Sweets and Appetizers." Online Contributor to Our State Magazine Newsletter.

Comments (3)

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  1. Sarah N Tyndall says:

    I’ve been making lace cornbread for years. My mama showed me how. She used Cattail cornmeal so that’s what I use. I know they’re not your favorite, but collards, lace cornbread, and a piece (or more) of crispy fried fatback makes for some mighty fine eatin’. Smile!!!

  2. Judi Goodrich says:

    These look very tricky to get the batter the proper consistency. I think I will give them a try when I find the fine cornmeal.
    What do put on them? Butter, syrup or are they just eaten straight up?

    Thanks Steve

  3. Janice says:

    If I want crispy cornbread, I make hot water cornbread like Brenda Gantt. I watched her o FB and tried it and it is so good and crispy and easy and fast.

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