Lemon Blueberry Cornbread Skillet

$2.93 recipe / $0.37 serving

I’ve been craving dessert for a while now, so when I saw this recipe for Raspberry Polenta Cake over at Love and Lemons, I knew that was the one I wanted. I don’t make dessert often, and when I do, I tend to make things that are not too sweet. Things that could easily double as a breakfast. This cornmeal based cake is just that. So, using the Raspberry Polenta Cake as an inspiration, I made my own version—a Lemon Blueberry Cornbread Skillet. Instead of following the Love and Lemons recipe, I used my basic cornbread recipe (the same one used in my Chili Cornbread Skillet) and increased the sugar and oil just a skosh to make it more like a coffee cake. And I must say, the result is absolutely delicious with coffee!!

This recipe is also a great example of my Budget Byting Principle #2, using expensive ingredients sparingly and pairing them with inexpensive ingredients to keep the overall cost low. Blueberries and lemons are very expensive, but since I didn’t go overboard with either and the rest of the ingredients are super inexpensive pantry staples, this entire cake was still less than 50 cents per serving! That’s how we do it!

Lemon Blueberry Cornbread Skillet

Lemon Blueberry Cornbread Skillet slice

4.8 from 9 reviews
Lemon Blueberry Cornbread Skillet
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Total Cost: $2.93
Cost Per Serving: $0.37
Serves: 8
  • 1 cup cornmeal $0.24
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour $0.14
  • ⅓ cup sugar $0.05
  • 4 tsp baking powder $0.12
  • ½ tsp salt $0.03
  • Zest from one lemon (about 1 Tbsp) $0.75
  • 1 cup milk $0.62
  • 1 large egg $0.17
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil $0.28
  • ½ cup frozen blueberries $0.44
  • 1 Tbsp butter $0.09
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, stir together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and the zest from one lemon (about 1 Tbsp). Using your hands, massage the lemon zest into the dry mixture a bit to help release the flavorful oils.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, and egg. Pour the whisked wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Stir just until the dry mixture is completely moistened. A few lumps are okay.
  3. Use one tablespoon of butter to grease the inside of a cast iron skillet, a 9-inch pie dish, or an 8x8 casserole dish. Pour the cornbread batter into the prepared dish. Sprinkle the frozen blueberries over top of the batter and then use your finger to push them down into the batter.
  4. Bake the cornbread for 20-25 minutes, or until the top and sides are light golden brown. Slice into 8 pieces and serve.
This cornbread cake is great with a drizzle of maple syrup over top.

Lemon Blueberry Cornbread Skillet


Step by Step Photos

Cornbread Dry IngredientsFirst, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. This cornbread comes together so quickly that you’ll likely be finished preparing it before the oven is fully heated, so don’t forget! In a large bowl combine 1 cup cornmeal, 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1/3 cup sugar, 4 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, and the zest from one lemon (about 1 Tbsp). Stir until they are all well combined and use your hands to massage the zest into the dry ingredients a bit, which will release the oils and help flavor the batter.

Lemon ZestTo remove the zest from the lemon, I just used a fine holed cheese grater. Make sure to only get the thin yellow top layer and as little of the white pith as possible. The white part can be a bit bitter. Using just the zest like this will give the cornbread a light lemony aroma without any of the sourness that the juice gives. I suspect that using some lemon extract would accomplish the same thing (and maybe be less expensive), but I just adore fresh lemon zest.

Wet IngredientsIn a separate bowl (or large measuring cup), whisk together 1 cup of milk, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, and one large egg. And yes, you can use non-dairy milk, like soy milk. That’s actually all I had on hand today, so my cornbread was made with plain soy milk. :)

Combine Wet and Dry IngredientsNow pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients…

Lumpy Cornbread BatterAnd stir just until everything is moistened. It’s okay if there are some lumps. With quick breads like this, you don’t want to over stir the batter because that will develop the gluten matrix and give it a rubbery texture. You want light and crumbly cornbread, not dense and rubbery.

Butter SkilletGrease a cast iron skillet with a tablespoon of butter. This gives it more of a coffee cake like finish. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet (mine is 10 inches), you can use a 9-inch pie pan or an 8×8 casserole dish.

Lemon Blueberry Cornbread Ready to BakeNow, pour the prepared batter into the skillet and sprinkle 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries over top. I did not thaw the blueberries. They’re so small that they will thaw in an instant when it goes into the oven. Push the blueberries down into the batter with your finger. (If you want it even MORE coffee cake like, you can add a few pieces of butter to the top of the cake as well.)

Baked Lemon Blueberry Cornbread SkilletBake the cornbread in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the top and sides are lightly golden brown. Let it cool slightly, then slice into 8 pieces.

Lemon Blueberry Cornbread SkilletAdd a little drizzle of maple syrup (if desired) and eat with a nice hot cup of coffee. Sunday morning perfection!



  1. This is amazing. I just grab a piece to bring to class and it stops me from buying muffins at the cafe! My mom gave me a cornbread muffin mix, do you think I could just make it and throw in some lemon, extra oil and sugar and blueberries and it would be pretty similiar?

  2. Natasha says:

    This turned out great. My lemon was dryish… so I dropped two-three drops of lemon essential oil (its okay to put it in food according to all the gurus…)
    And this came out… wow. Just wonderful.
    Kids didn’t like it (3yo and 6yo + friends’ kids) but my friends and I did..

  3. Joyce says:

    Do you have any suggestions on how to adjust the recipe if I only have a 12″ cast iron skillet?

  4. corn bread has always been a favourite in my household in Trinidad where we lived from when I was 5 years of age,,,,we has a wonderful cook from the island of Dominica …..and she was a master (mistress0 of making corn-bread…no measurements at all…she added things like grated coconut ,,,whatever took her fancy,,she blew her top if we didn’t eat every bit from our plates………..she was the tops,,,,regards Querino

  5. Hi Beth, I just found you’re website on Pinterest and I must say it was love at first sight! Thanks to you, I now know what I’m going to eat tonight and all the nights of the week!
    I have on question though. I live in France and we don’t use skillets. Do you think a glass plate would do the trick? You know what I mean? Like a casserole dish.
    Thanks a lot :-)

    • Yes, I think you could bake it in a glass or ceramic casserole dish, although the cooking time may change a bit. It might cook faster.

  6. Danni says:

    Hi I made this yesterday but failing to find any cornmeal here in Australia I ended up using polenta and while it tasted great it was a little too gritty so today I found some maize flour at my local Indian grocer, do you think that would be closer to the cornmeal you used? It’s quite finely ground.
    I’m also a hopeless sweet nut so I added a little more sugar and 1tsp of vanilla extract and I used a flax egg instead.

    Thanks for a great site!…Looking forward to trying more recipes from your Vegan/Veg section :)

    • I think maize flour might be even more finely ground than cornmeal… if I understand correctly, cornmeal is half way between polenta and corn/maize flour. :) So, it will probably yield different results, as did the polenta.

  7. I really want to make this but I only have a Jiffy cornmuffin mix. Would that work? Just wondering how to make it more cake like for a dessert. I really enjoy your recipes so I am sure this one will also be a hit, Thanks.

    • I think if you add a little more oil than the box calls for, it will be more moist and cake-like. Add the lemon zest to the dry ingredients and press the blueberries in after it’s in the baking dish. :)

  8. Tina says:

    Has anyone made this with Gluten Free flour? If so how did you do it and how was it? Thanks

    • Caitlin Lane says:

      I actually made it today with an all-purpose gluten free blend and it turned out great.

  9. Eugenia says:

    Hi! I´m from Uruguay, South America. We dont have this white cornmeal here, would polenta work? It´s still corn flour…Thanks for the recipes, everything looks so great!

    • I think polenta is a little more coarse of a grind, so if you can grind it a little more fine it should work great. :)

  10. Rachelle says:

    This was perfect for breakfast this morning. You have yet to disappoint me, Beth. Keep up the good cooking! :)

  11. I’ve just found your site..congratulations for your recipes, are great, so delicious!!!
    I follow you from Italy!!

  12. Love this!!! This looks like it good be a favorite breakfast for my family – lemons and blueberries are two of our favorites.

  13. liette says:

    I loved this recipe. I will definitely make this again. I used fresh blueberries and possibly doubled the amount. I was amazed at how the taste of the lemon came through. Great recipe. Had it for dessert and then breakfast the next day.

  14. Hilary says:

    I cheated because I didn’t have cornmeal on hand and made this with a little box of Jiffy Corn Bread mix, its requested ingredients, and the sugar and blueberries from your recipe. It’s delicious!

  15. Robert says:

    Love this recipe! Could I add about 1 tsp vanilla extract and maybe a mint leaf for some extra flavor?
    Also, I made a blueberry reduction to pour over the top of this, and it was HEAVENLY!

  16. This looks delicious! Can I pour the batter (as is) into a cupcake pan and bake as cupcakes instead?

    • Yes, you absolutely can! Just make sure to check on them early because they’ll cook much faster than the single pan.

  17. I love making cornbread in my cast iron skillet, but I’ve never made it for dessert before. I think blueberries and lemon are a wonderful flavor combo. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  18. Beth, this looks AMAZING. Your recipes never fail to impress! :)

  19. Retno says:

    Thanks for this delicious recipe, Beth! My family loved it! By the way, you seem to forget to include egg in the ingredients. Thanks again!

  20. Johannah says:

    Made this yesterday, and it was great! It’s perfect for breakfast as is, and I like my desserts a little sweeter so I’m going to try it with honey drizzled on top today.

    I just found your site recently, and it has become my favorite recipe site! The recipes I’ve tried have been quick, easy, and delicious. I’ve made the falafel salad twice now because it is SO good! It’s become a regular to keep in my fridge for lunch and dinner. Thanks so much for your great site. The daily emails have been so full of inspiration that I haven’t even had time to browse the archives yet!

  21. Dave says:

    I always cook my cornbread in an iron skillet. Another trick is to put the butter in the skillet and then put it in the oven while it’s preheating. Then when you put the batter in the edges start cooking right away and get nice and crispy by the end. It’s great.

  22. I love cornbread and all the different variations you can make. I have to try this one. Pinned!

  23. I love just about any kind of cornbread. Since blueberries aren’t in season here yet, I may try this with strawberries, which I have a ton of right now.

  24. Brenna says:

    Oops, you forgot the egg in the list of ingredients!

    I was sitting here hungry and needing some breakfast. We make smoothies, so we had the blueberries and lemon. Super easy and looking forward to eating in about 15 minutes . . . yay!

  25. MegaMe says:

    I would LOVE to make this, but sadly my oven went kaput the other day. Guess I’ll have to wait. :-(

  26. Cornbread made any way is the best! Love this skillet version!

  27. Kelly says:

    Making this! I only have fresh blueberries on hand, will that work?

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