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Buttermilk + Fonio Cornbread

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December 31, 2020 by Amethyst Ganaway

Every time I make a pan of cornbread, I always say how I wish the moon was made of cornbread instead of cheese. Growing up, a hot piece of golden cornbread, perfectly flavored and simply made with a big, melting piece of butter on top was my favorite way to eat it, and it still is! Adamant arguments about whether it should be sweet or savory have divided friends and families for years. People take their cornbread seriously.

For me, the flavor of the cornbread should depend on what it’s being served with and what type of cornmeal you use. Some are naturally more sweet or nutty, there are different colors, different coarseness, and many other things to take into account for when I make a pan. For this cornbread, I adapted my own personal recipe that uses finely ground yellow cornmeal to make for a gluten free option of the quick bread that still remains true to its roots. The tang of the buttermilk works great with the nutty sweet flavor of fonio, and this cornbread finds itself smack dab in the middle of being just sweet and savory enough for anyone on either side of the cornbread debate.

I still advocate for eating this cornbread still warm from the oven, with a healthy dollop of butter and some good honey or syrup. When it gets to be a few days old, turn any remaining pieces into croutons, or I finish it off by having a few pieces crumbled up into a glass of milk and eating it with a spoon for an extra special childhood treat!

Feel free to also add mix-in ingredients like jalapeños or green chile, bacon, cheese, and corn kernels. If you use yellow cornmeal, your cornbread will be more golden in color, but white cornmeal works just as well.


Makes 1 9-inch baking dish
    • tablespoon neutral flavored oil or cooking spray
    • cup cornmeal of your choice
    • cup Yolélé fonio flour 
    • teaspoon kosher salt
    • ½  cup granulated sugar
    • teaspoons baking powder
    • cups buttermilk
    • ⅓  cup melted and cooled butter + 2 tablespoons room temperature butter
    • large egg, beaten


      • 01 .  

        Preheat oven to 375℉. Coat an oven safe baking pan or dish with cooking spray or oil and set aside.

      • 02 .  

        In a large bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients together until well incorporated.

      • 03 .  

        With a rubber spatula or whisk, add the wet ingredients into the dry, mixing to remove any large clumps. The batter should be thick, but fluffy and light and not stiff.

      • 04 .  

        Pour your batter into the baking dish and place into the oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean in the middle. For the last 5 minutes, raise the oven temperature to 425℉ and carefully rub cornbread with the additional butter to darken the crust. Let cool or serve immediately.