Cornbread is one of those sides that sparks a lot of debate, especially when you share a dinner table with someone from another part of the country. Despite my mom being Dallas born and bred, I was raised on a cakey, sweet cornbread that we usually slathered with butter and honey. I honestly didn’t know that there were other types of cornbread, so imagine my surprise when I got married and my hubby (who was raised in southern Arkansas) turned his nose up at my take on corn bread.

Moving to Arkansas was a huge eye-opener for me when it comes to southern cuisine. Who would have thought that cooking methods and tastes could vary so much across the south? These folks have their own way of doing things, and they are proud of it. I’m not complaining, as I’ve learned to appreciate my husband’s taste in food and have managed to meld our two styles together to make dishes we all enjoy. One of those dishes is cornbread. Hubby was raised on cornbread that was deep fried and crispy, so completely opposite of what I grew up eating. But, dang! I didn’t know what I was missing!

Sometimes called corn pones, Johnny cakes, hush puppies, ash cakes or hoe cakes, these treats were often served with cane syrup or molasses and were a staple at most meals due to the low cost of the ingredients. The internet is full of corn bread recipes and they all vary based on each writer’s taste. But, the recipe we found that is most like hubby’s momma’s came from Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson. In a video posted to his YouTube channel, Robertson shows just how simple it is to whip up a batch.

In the video, Phil cooks the cornbread batter with boiling water before frying it in peanut oil. You can shape the dough into patties like hubby’s momma used to do, or just drop it by the spoonful into the hot oil like Phil does. Regardless of your method, you’re going to get a tasty, crispy fried cornbread.

It’s worth noting that we’ve been known to add some finely diced jalapeno to ours. The spicy nuggets paired with sweet maple syrup or molasses is to die for! Give the recipe below a try and let us know what you think. And tell us in the comments how you like your cornbread. Are you team sweet or savory? Fluffy or crispy? Fried or baked?

Watch Phil Robertson make his momma’s 10-Minute Hot Water Cornbread in the video below, then scroll down to get the recipe.


  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Persons: 8
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Ingredients
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • peanut oil or shortening for frying
  1. Instructions
  2. Pour peanut oil into a large cast iron skillet until the oil is roughly an inch deep and heat over medium until hot, but not smoking. Test the temperature of the oil by dropping a small pinch of flour into the oil. If it sizzles then the temp is just right for frying.
  3. Fill a 2-quart saucepan 3/4-full with water and bring to a boil.
  4. In the meantime, stir together cornmeal, flour, sugar and salt in a medium bowl.
  5. Pour boiling water, a little bit at a time, over cornmeal mixture. Stir gently after each addition just until a ball forms.
  6. Drop dough by the spoonfuls into the hot oil and cook for approximately 2 minutes on each side or until desired crispiness.
  7. Serve warm with molasses, honey or maple syrup, or salt lightly and enjoy!