Achiote Cornbread

When I first tried cornbread after moving to Texas a million years ago, it was way too sweet for me. Unnecessarily sweet. And it was always served with honey butter! But when I began making cornbread from scratch, ignoring the sugar, I liked it much better. Besides, corn is already sweet!

The thing I’ve learned about making cornbread is that you can do so many different things to it to make it your own, and really compliment whatever entrée you’re serving it with. Cornbread can be Southwestern with the addition of chipotle chile peppers, or it can be Mediterranean with the addition of olives and feta. You can herb it up in the summer, or add any kind of flavor during the winter months like sun-dried tomato pesto. And, of course, you can always add cheese!!!

Today I wanted my cornbread fairly simple, but I wanted a little flavor enhancement and beautiful color from achiote oil. So here’s my recipe for skillet cornbread with achiote oil.

Achiote Cornbread

Dry Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1/2 cup white flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Wet Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons achiote oil, plus a little more
6 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Have a 10″ cast-iron skillet on your stove.

Get your dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Set aside.

Place the buttermilk, eggs, and achiote oil in a medium bowl. Whisk until smooth. Have your melted butter handy.


When your oven has preheated, turn on the heat under your skillet and let it pre-heat.


Combine the wet ingredients, including the melted butter, with the dry ingredients, whisking just until smooth.

Using a little achiote oil, grease the skillet. Then pour the batter into the hot skillet, and immediately place it in the oven.

Bake for 18-20 minutes. It should be nice and golden and the middle should be somewhat firm to the touch.

Remove the skillet from the oven and let the cornbread cool a little for about ten minutes. Loosen the sides, then remove the cornbread onto a cutting board. It also works to flip the cornbread upside down on a cutting board.

Slice into wedges and serve warm! I recently served the achiote cornbread with Cuban black bean soup.

I prefer using corn flour or finely ground corn meal if you can find it.

By Published On: February 6th, 201318 Comments on Achiote Cornbread

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. thesinglegourmetandtraveller February 6, 2013 at 10:10 AM - Reply

    Thank you – now I know what cornbread is like! I don’t think we have anything similar in UK.

  2. mycookinglifebypatty February 6, 2013 at 10:51 AM - Reply

    Very nice and simple! Agree cornbread requires no sugar at all. Like the idea of making the cornbread go with the rest of the flavors of the meal. I think I’ll try olives in cornbread with a bit of olive oil drizzle – Italian style!

  3. The Kat and The Falling Leaves February 6, 2013 at 1:38 PM - Reply

    I love cornbread with some spicy chili!

  4. chefconnie February 6, 2013 at 1:57 PM - Reply

    I am not a big fan of sweet corn bread but corn bread is great when made properly. I made corn bread pancakes with bacon and maple once….very delish. Corn bread always comes out so nice in a cast iron pan.

    • chef mimi February 7, 2013 at 4:47 AM - Reply

      It doesn’t get overcooked that way I think!

  5. johnnysenough hepburn February 6, 2013 at 5:21 PM - Reply

    Love the idea of this without sugar. I’ve never tried it, even though I’ve been to the States. I’m not even sure if I can buy cornmeal here. Will have to have a nosy!

  6. moderndayruth February 6, 2013 at 8:02 PM - Reply

    Hahha, unlike you I LOVE corn bread, Mimi! Will try the recipe! ;)

  7. The Healthy Flavor February 7, 2013 at 2:46 AM - Reply

    Oh this looks so good and incredibly moist! I love cornbread but hate it when it’s dry. Yours looks fab!

    • chef mimi February 7, 2013 at 4:45 AM - Reply

      I think in the skillet it cooks more evenly because its only about 2″ high

  8. expatchef February 7, 2013 at 3:23 AM - Reply

    Beautiful…..and never thought to use achiote oil in cornbread, but that’s like a “duh” moment, I am sure they are perfect together!

  9. abrooke65 February 8, 2013 at 12:42 AM - Reply

    Achiote! Brilliant. I use that in Mexican food, but unless I’m in a specialty store it’s hard to find. These look delicious! Great recipe.

    • chef mimi February 8, 2013 at 5:51 AM - Reply

      That’s why I order so much in bulk, especially because where I live where there aren’t any specialty stores!

Leave a Reply. I love 'em!