Cracklin’ Cornbread

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This cracklin' cornbread is super yummy!

What is a born and raised Pennsylvania girl doing making Cracklin’ Cornbread? This is a traditionally “suthun” dish after all. (By the way, Southerners think that Pennsylvanians are Yankees, but to Pennsylvanians, Yankees are people from New England).

So, anyway, a while back I was rendering lard and reading my Foxfire Books. When the pork fat is melted and lard is rendered, what is left in the pan are crunchy bits called cracklings. The folks in the Foxfire Books mentioned that they saved the cracklings for bread. I didn’t really know exactly what bread with cracklings was and had to do a little research. And, of course, I discovered that the bread to which they are referring is cornbread. All you Southerners, stop laughing. So, here is how I managed my cornbread with cracklings. If it’s not the “real” way, it’s ok. I’m a Northerner. Tried and true.

Cracklin’ Cornbread


  • 1/2 c. lard (if you can’t find or make good quality lard, use butter)
  • 1/2 c. pure maple syrup (buy here)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 c. organic cornmeal – remember, any corn which is not organic, is GMO (buy here)
  • 1 c. sprouted wheat flour (buy here)
  • 3 t. baking powder (buy here)
  • 1/2 t. sea salt (buy here)
  • 1/2 c. cracklings (cooked and crumbled pastured bacon can be substituted)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream lard and maple syrup. Beat in eggs and then the milk. Mix dry ingredients together and stir into wet mixture. Stir in cracklings. Pour into a greased 9″ pan and bake for 30 – 35 minutes.

So, are cracklings part of your traditions? How have you used them?

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  1. Jenny Berentsen says

    I love cornbread! In Texas our cornbread gets a little Mexican influence. We add jalapenos, creamed corn and cheese. I do understand about the Yankee thing… my mother-in-law lovingly calls my family, Yankees. To her my stuffing is, Yankee Dressing. I am not a fan of Southern Cornbread Dressing at all. A long time ago I asked my Grandmother-in-law why they made stuffing with cornbread. She said that when she was little they had very little wheat and lots of corn so all their bread was cornbread.

    • Susan says

      That sounds great, Jenny. You should post that on your blog. I’m with you, not a fan of cornbread stuffing but the reasoning is a good one. I’ll take the Yankee stuffing any day! My MIL makes THE BEST stuffing on the planet.

  2. says

    This sounds like a delicious cornbread. Southern cornbread isn’t sweet usually, but some maple syrup added in can’t hurt! If I ever try out rendering lard, I’ll have to make this. I’m still gun shy from my stinky attempt at tallow.

  3. says

    I love your idea for cracklin’ cornbread! Actually I am from Colombia (South America) and we make these corn flatbread-type things called arepas which are made out of masa harina (cornmeal that has been soaked in limewater). There are many different types of arepas but one of my favorites is one which is made with lard and cracklings! I recreate it at home with homemade lard and cracklin’s or with some butter and store-bought pork cracklings. Either way the lard and cracklings lend a great flavour to the arepa so I look forward to trying your recipe!

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