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I have a pretty basic cornbread recipe that I make very occasionally (with a bit of canned creamed corn added). The taste seems fine, but the texture is more crumbly than I want.

I've tried backing off the milk a bit because I'm adding liquid with the creamed corn, but that hasn't made much of a difference.

Because I don't make it often and it still tastes good, I keep failing to change things up when I make it the next time. Is there one thing I should try next that is most likely to help?

I was hesitating to include the recipe as I am away from it, but since I just made it, I'm pretty confident in

Dry mixed together
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt   

1 beaten egg
~1/2 cup milk, plus more later if batter is too dry
1/4 cup melted butter
~6 oz canned cream corn
small bell pepper, diced

Wet into dry, stir until moist.  Bake 20-25min at 425F
  • 2
    Please include the recipe. It's difficult to "fix" a recipe if we can't see what's already going into it. – Catija Feb 26 '16 at 18:21
  • Good Q... I look forward to the responses. I used a recipe that used milk powder (without full reconstitution) that worked well. But I'll step aside for the more experienced bakers. – Paulb Feb 26 '16 at 19:17
  • If you want to avoid adding gluten or more egg, you could try incorporating some xanthan gum or another binding agent. – András Salamon Feb 27 '16 at 10:27
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Two things hold cornbread together:
Egg and gluten.

Gluten forms from the wheat flour interacting with the liquid. In general you don't want too much gluten or the bread will be tough and chewy instead of the characteristic tenderness of cornbread.

The egg in your recipe is similar to other recipes that call for 1 egg and 2 cups of flour. The 1/2 cup of milk is about half of the low end of what is typical.

Many recipes, especially those that add interfering ingredients like canned corn, add an extra egg for binding.

Browsing recipes online, it is common to see more liquid than you are listing here. Even if you get another half cup of water from the canned corn it would still be the low end of liquid. More liquid in the batter will give the flour more binding ability. Don't overdo it. A good way to get tough cornbread is to mix it well and make a lot of gluten.

Some well rated examples:

  • This recipe with creamed corn, after scaling it to two cups of flour+cornmeal, calls for both more milk and butter than yours.
  • This very popular recipe, while not including creamed corn, contains an extra egg and more liquid.

I would add an extra egg and increase your milk to 1 cup in your recipe.

  • Wasn't able to make it for a while, but have done a few batches since. Raising the liquid helped greatly. Haven't bothered with egg, but increasing the milk has allowed it to hold together for last 3 batches. – BowlOfRed Sep 6 '18 at 21:06

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