Buttery, dense, melt-in-your-mouth Instant Pot cornbread is an easy, steamed version of a classic Southern side. Whether your oven’s on the fritz or you just don’t feel like heating up the kitchen, the Instant Pot gives you perfectly “baked” cornbread that goes great with BBQ, black-eyed peas, spaghetti, and more.
What Makes Instant Pot Cornbread So Good
- No packaged cornbread mix here! No, no. If you’re used to store-bought mixes, I’m begging you to trust me and give this one a try. You’ll never go back to the packaged stuff again.
- This cornbread comes out incredibly buttery and moist. If you’re used to oven-baked cornbread that’s dry and a little crumbly, this won’t be exactly the same. It won’t have those crunchy, crisp edges, either. If that’s the kind of cornbread you’re looking for, try our Broccoli Cornbread (you can leave out the broccoli if you want).
- You might be thinking “It’s way faster to cook cornbread in the oven, why would I use an Instant Pot??” That’s true. Oven-baked cornbread has a shorter cook time than Instant Pot cornbread. The benefits to using the pressure cooker? It won’t heat up your kitchen. You can use it on the road (like in an RV or a camper). It frees up the oven so you can cook something else in it while the cornbread “bakes”. Plus, the cornbread itself is different. The Instant Pot version is almost cake-like since it’s steamed bread.
Key Ingredients for Instant Pot Cornbread
Cornmeal – This is a must-have ingredient for good cornbread. You can use coarse, medium, or finely ground cornmeal here. Each one will change the texture slightly. Fine and medium grinds will give you the best texture, in my opinion. Coarse can make your cornbread kind of gritty or chunky. You could also try combining fine and medium grind cornmeals for a light cornbread with just a little of that coarse texture.
Buttermilk – Feel free to swap this out for your favorite kind of milk. If you use another kind, though, you’ll want to add a little lemon juice or vinegar to make up for the lower acidity. The acid in butter milk reacts to the baking powder to give your Instant Pot cornbread the perfect rise. Note that this will change the flavor of the cornbread a little, though.
All-Purpose Flour – If you’re looking for a gluten-free cornbread, you can use gluten-free all-purpose flour here. For an oven-baked gluten-free cornbread, try this recipe from our sister site, 40 Aprons.
Sugar – I know, I know. This is sacrilege to some of my fellow Southerners. I love a little sweetness to my cornbread, though! You can replace the granulated sugar with monk fruit or granular Swerve if you’d like a no-sugar-added cornbread. You can also just leave it out completely for a totally savory cornbread.
- A springform pan would be a great option if you have one small enough to fit in your Instant Pot. If you don’t have a springform pan that will work, any small round baking pan will do the trick.
- If the Instant Pot cornbread sticks to the sides of the pan after cooling, just run a butter knife around the inside edge of the cornbread to loosen it. Place the wire baking rack face-down on top of the pan, then flip them both over in one smooth motion, so the cake pan is upside-down and the wire rack is face-up. Now you should be able to wiggle and lift the pan away from the cornbread.
- You can add corn kernels (fresh or thawed), diced jalapeños, cheese, or other ingredients to your Instant Pot cornbread batter if you want! And if you’ve got leftovers, you can turn them into a delicious cornbread salad.
Be Sure to Try These Instant Pot Recipes, Too!
- Instant Pot Bacon
- Instant Pot Carne Asada
- The Best Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala
- Instant Pot Applesauce
- Instant Pot Jambalaya
- Japanese Curry in the Instant Pot
- Instant Pot Asparagus
- Dreamy Instant Pot Chicken and Rice
- Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Instant Pot Chicken Wings
Instant Pot Cornbread
- Instant Pot cake pan (or round baking pan that fits)
- Cooking spray
- Large bowl (2)
- Whisk (2)
- Aluminum foil
- Instant Pot
- Instant Pot trivet
- Wire cooling rack
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 ½ cups buttermilk at room temperature
- ¼ cup melted butter
- 1 cup all-purpose flour see Notes
- 1 ½ cups yellow cornmeal
- ½ cup granulated sugar see Notes
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup water for the Instant Pot
- honey optional, to serve
- butter optional, to serve
- Spray Instant Pot cake pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In large bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, and melted butter, until combined. Set aside.
- In other large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Slowly pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients, whisking constantly to combine.
- Pour batter into greased cake pan. Cover pan with foil.
- Pour water into Instant Pot. Place covered cake pan on Instant Pot trivet and lower trivet into Instant Pot.
- Secure lid with valve in Sealing position. Cook on Manual High Pressure for 50 minutes. When time is up, let pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, then quick release to let out remaining pressure.
- Carefully remove trivet and cake pan from Instant Pot. Place cake pan on wire cooling rack and let cool uncovered 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, remove cornbread from cake pan. Serve with honey and butter, if desired.
- Make it Added-Sugar Free: Use granular Swerve or monk fruit.
- Make it Gluten Free: Use a gluten-free all-purpose flour.
- Instant Pot: This recipe was tested and perfected using a 6-quart Instant Pot. If using a smaller or larger pressure cooker, you may need to make adjustments to the recipe or cook time. A smaller pressure cooker will mean less batter; less batter will need a shorter cook time.