My Pioneer Cookbook Adventure: Spoon Bread

Admittedly, I’m not familiar with spoon bread. Growing up in South Dakota,  we had “Johnny Bread”, aka corn bread, not spoon bread. Unlike spoon bread, corn bread isn’t just made with corn meal, but a mix of flour and corn meal. Cornbread is also sliced, like normal bread, not “spooned”. So, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I made this recipe. My research indicated it was supposed to be more like a pudding or custard-like corn bread. (I’m guessing akin to bread pudding?) However, mine did NOT turn out that way. So far, my pioneer adventure has been rather smooth, with only one minor “bump” in the road. This, however, was a major pot hole! I wasn’t real fond of the final product either, although it tasted okay with maple syrup added.


The problem with these pioneer recipes, is the lack of instructions. As you can see, with the recipe below, the recipe isn’t exactly helpful. While this one is more helpful than most, it’s still quite ambiguous as to how the spoon bread is to be prepared:

The recipe as seen in the book:


Since my first attempt at spoon bread didn’t look or taste anything like custard, I gave it another shot. The result, while slightly better, and more “spoonable”, was still nothing close to pudding or custard. Again, it tasted fine,  with maple syrup added, but probably not like proper spoon bread.

Anyway, here’s what I used and what I did. If you’re familiar with spoon bread, perhaps, you can tell me what I did wrong, in the comments! From looking at photos of other spoon bread recipes online, I’m thinking it needed more liquid? Or perhaps the recipe was flawed and needed more eggs? (Other recipes called for THREE or more eggs. This recipe only called for ONE egg) OR, maybe I over baked it? I really have NO idea!

What I used:


  • One pint (2 cups) corn meal (I used yellow, as I couldn’t find white)
  • One dessert spoon of Himalayan salt (not pictured above)
  • One heaping tablespoon of coconut oil (I couldn’t find lard)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 cup kefir (My store didn’t have organic buttermilk)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp baking powder (not pictured above)

Here’s what I did:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Grease a cast iron skillet and place in oven to heat while the batter is prepared. The recipe calls for a HOT granite baking dish, which I didn’t have. I normally prepare my cornbread in this same skillet, so I used that instead.
  3. Mix one cup of kefir with 1/2 tsp baking soda and set aside
  4. Separate the egg. Beat yolk and egg white separately, and set aside.
  5. Sift corn meal into a mixing bowl.
  6. Stir in salt and coconut oil.
  7. add about one cup of warm water, or enough to moisten corn meal. fullsizeoutput_1056
  8. Add Kefir/baking soda, egg yolk and egg white, then blend together.
  9. Add baking powder and blend well. I decided to use both baking soda and powder since I wasn’t using buttermilk or regular milk (called sweet milk in this book). Kefir is very similar to buttermilk, but not quite the same. So I used both. In retrospect, perhaps that was a mistake. fullsizeoutput_105c
  10. Pour batter into the hot skillet and bake for 20 minutes or until done.
  11. Well, there you have it!

  12. My final product –

  13. second attempt.

I’m tempted to try it again. My instinct is telling me there weren’t enough eggs. What do you guys think? Let me know how I can improve this recipe. Then I’ll try it again and let you know how it goes.

Next month, I move out of the quick bread section, and into the “beverages” section, which should be interesting. Some of the recipes include:

  • Ginger pop
  • Cream soda
  • Orange Boullion
  • Egg lemonade (this sounds…interesting!)
  • Chocolate cream nectar
  • Ching chang
  • Several flavors of “shrub”
  • Several punch recipes

I’ve decided not to do all of the recipes, and will skip some of the punch and shrub recipes in favor of the more “interesting” drinks.

Let’s chat…

Which of the above drinks would you like to see me attempt?

What could I do to improve this recipe?

Let me know in the comments

Namaste my friends!


5 thoughts on “My Pioneer Cookbook Adventure: Spoon Bread

    1. Hello fellow South Dakotan! How cool! Small world! There aren’t a ton of us around, so it’s always good to meet someone from my neck of the woods. Glad you enjoyed the recipe. Thanks for visiting. 😊🙏

      Liked by 1 person

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