Sour Cream Cornbread with Chilli and Poppy Seeds

For those of you in the northern hemisphere who are now coming into the colder weather, this cornbread makes a great side dish for comfort food.

I’ve made cornbread before, but to be honest it wasn’t as nice as this one. It is the inclusion of sour cream in this recipe that makes the difference as it gives the bread a very pleasant, light texture. The subtle taste of chilli is really only a background flavour, but it works so well.

This would be a great side dish for a big bowl of beef chili or even some soup. If you are coming into warmer weather, (like those of us in Australia), then this would be great with BBQ chicken and coleslaw. It does take a little while to cook, but there really isn’t any skill required to put it together.

I adapted this recipe from one that I found in the September 2012 issue of Australian Good Food magazine.

If you haven’t got any poppy seeds then don’t worry too much as I always think that they are more for decoration than flavour.

Ingredients – serves at least 4 people:

  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 1 cup polenta (cornmeal)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • good sprinkling of dried red chilli flakes or 1 long red chilli, de-seeded and finely diced
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • sprinkling of poppy seeds, optional, to decorate


  • Heat your oven to 180C/160C fan forced/350F.
  • Grease a loaf pan with a little butter or cooking spray. I use a silicon loaf pan which makes it very easy.
  • Combine the flour, polenta, salt and chilli in a large bowl.
  • Whisk together the milk, sour cream, oil and egg in a large jug.
  • Gradually add the liquid to the dry ingredients, stirring until they are combined.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and then sprinkle the poppy seeds over the top (if using).
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Turn the loaf out onto a wire rack to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.
  • Enjoy!

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