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Lace Cornbread Recipe

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.

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.

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 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.

Place 2/3rds cup of cool water in a measuring cup or bowl.

Add 1/2 cup of fine corn meal.

Add 1/4 teaspoon of Salt.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.


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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