These old fashioned quick breads are perfect as a side for soup or served with butter and syrup for a yummy breakfast!
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❤️ Why you'll love it
- Cornmeal gives popovers a slightly sweet, nutty flavor
- Made with basic ingredients you likely already have
- These dinner-roll alternatives are also fun with breakfast or lunch
The perfect popovers are about to get a unique Southern makeover with one of my favorite, hearty ingredients! Easy cornmeal popovers are the classic, airy bread bites you crave with an ultra-thin, flaky, and crisp edge—just as they should be!
This is an overview of the ingredients. You'll find the full measurements and instructions in the green recipe card (printable) at the bottom of the page.
This is an overview of the instructions. Full instructions are in the green recipe card at the bottom of the page.
- In a medium bowl, combine the cornmeal, all-purpose flour, and salt.
- Whisk the wet ingredients in a large bowl. Then, stir in the dry mixture.
- Add the melted butter to the flour/egg mixture and whisk to combine.
- Spoon popover batter into the hot, prepared popover pan and bake.
There's nothing quite like the taste of warm popovers, smeared with a bit of honey butter or some sweet jam. For best results, serve them straight out of the oven.
If you happen to have some easy cornmeal popovers left after lunch is finished, wrap them in a plastic bag and store them in the refrigerator. They'll last for a day or two, but won't be as fluffy or tender.
You can also freeze popovers, as long as you let them fully cool, first. Then, seal them in a heavy-duty, freezer-safe baggy and store for up to two months!
To reheat your leftover popovers, place them on a baking sheet or in muffin cups. They'll only need about five minutes or so in an oven preheated to 350 degrees F. (However, give them up to ten minutes if heating from frozen!)
Easy cornmeal popovers are delicious, but this isn't the type of recipe you can change willy-nilly. However, here are some ideas that will work just fine if you're feeling like switching things up:
- Stir some Parmesan or Cheddar cheese into the batter. Warm, cheesy popovers—need I say more?!
- No plain dinner rolls here. Add a few teaspoons of your favorite dried herbs for fun flavor that goes with anything else you're serving!
- Breakfast popovers are delicious with some cinnamon-sugar dusted over the top after baking.
💭 Things to know
Expert Tip: The popover pan needs to be piping hot when you add the batter, so work quickly! This gives them their classic, crisp crust and makes them rise to airy, cloud-like perfection.
- It's important to read the recipe through and prepare before getting started. All of the ingredients need to be at room temperature, and you'll have to factor in about a half hour to let the batter rest.
- Don't use egg substitutes or low-fat milk. This recipe is precise, but it's totally worth it—I promise!
- Sturdy metal popover pans are essential to this recipe coming out just right. A standard muffin tin won't do the trick, nor will silicone pans.
- Always grease the pan with melted butter, and don't be afraid to use a little more butter rather than less.
- Non-stick cooking spray won't work, so don't even try it!
- Position your oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Too close to the top and the popovers might burn.
- I know it's tempting to open the oven to check on your pretty popovers while they bake, but for the love of all that is good and delicious, don't open the oven door! Letting out the hot air before the popovers are sturdy will cause them to shrivel like a popped balloon.
- Cutting a slit in the tops and returning them to the hot oven for a few minutes allows the steam to escape. This is a trick that classic popover recipes use to achieve that perfectly airy, crisp exterior—no sogginess!
- On the second day, I like to slice the individual popovers and toast them. Load 'em up with your favorite spread (see below for ideas) and enjoy!
- Leftover cubed popovers are also great in bread pudding or french toast casserole.
Yes! Heavy cream is keto-friendly since it is low in carbs and has a higher fat content.
Great question! The 6- and even 12-cup muffin tins are shorter. However, popover pans or cups are made deeper, which forces the batter up. This creates the airy, hollow inside we love so much.
Also, some popover pans are formed with what looks like a wire rack (as opposed to a solid pan) surrounding each cup. This allows better air circulation around each popover.
For perfect popovers, it sure is! Letting the batter rest allows the gluten in the flour to relax. As a result, your popovers are lighter and airier, rather than chewy and dense.
There is a bit of controversy with this method. Some say to do so to make sure the pan is piping hot. However, I say "no," and here's why: leaving the oven door open lets hot air escape—very quickly.
It takes the oven longer to reheat than the pan will cool being out of the oven. Popovers need a precise oven temperature to rise. So, work quickly when filling the hot popover pan, keeping the oven door closed while doing so.
They're heavenly! Fluffy cornmeal popovers are slightly crisp on the outside in a very delicate way. Inside, they're super light and airy, filled with big, hollow holes. They're a delicacy for Southern living!
Nope, not this recipe! Easy cornmeal popovers (and, any popovers, really) are best served straight out of the oven. This way, they're still fluffy on the inside while perfectly crisp outside.
📚 Related recipes
- The perfect vehicle for thick burgers or a hearty deli-meat sandwich, Crusty Cornmeal Torpedo Rolls are chewy and downright delicious!
- A classic St. Patty's day tradition, Old-Fashioned Irish Soda Bread is versatile, easy, and scrumptious—it's a winner any time of the year!
- English Muffin Bread only takes about an hour and is full of those airy craters that make the classic breakfast carb a family favorite!
🍽️ Serve with...
- Serve popovers with Homemade Strawberry Butter—there's a good reason they've done it at Neiman Marcus for decades!
- Garlic Butter Spread is easy and adds so much flavor to popovers or dinner rolls.
- Add some more Southern flair to your popovers with a Homemade Dried Fig and Chipotle Jam—careful, it's addictive!
🥄 Restless Chipotle recommends
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📞 The last word
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If you love this recipe please give it 5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Use 2 tablespoons of the butter to generously grease popover pans.
- Pulse the cornmeal in a blender or food processor until very fine.
- Mix the cornmeal, flour, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
- Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.
- Whisk together the eggs, milk, buttermilk, and water in a bowl.
- Gradually stir the cornmeal mixture into the egg mixture.
- Add the melted butter and whisk until smooth.
- Let stand for 30 minutes at room temperature.
- Put the empty, buttered popover pan in the oven for 5 minutes.
- Carefully remove it and pour about ¼ cup of batter into each well.
- Put in the oven immediately – bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the popovers are puffed and golden.
- Turn the oven off.
- Slit the tops of each one with a knife to let the steam escape and return to the oven for a few minutes.
- Serve immediately.
- Remember that the popover pans need to be steaming hot when you add the batter. This is what gives them the distinctive, thin, crispy crust and causes them to rise high and light.
- Do not use egg substitute.
- Do not use lowfat milk.
- Make sure everything is at room temperature.
- Use good, metal popover pans. I do not recommend using muffin tins OR silicone.
- Always grease the pans with melted butter. DO NOT USE COOKING/BAKING SPRAYS.
- Serve immediately - they are not something you can make ahead of time.
Nutrition information is estimated as a courtesy. If using for medical purposes, please verify information using your own nutritional calculator. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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✍🏻 A note from Marye...
I know y'all don't always like the stories bloggers tell so when I have one I try to put it at the very bottom so you can read or skip as you like.
I've been in love with popovers and all their variations since the first time my mom took me to Neiman Marcus's Zodiac Room for lunch.
Back then you dressed up to go shopping.
There was no such thing as heading out to the mall in jeans and a tee. Only "trash" appeared in public without perfectly coiffed hair and at least a little lipstick.
It was Dallas, it was the late 60s/early 70s and life was simple and uncomplicated. As long as you lived by the rules you'd do fine.
And by doing fine I mean that you'd go to college, find a suitable husband, and settle down in the "Bubble" (Highland Park/University Park) or a wealthy suburb to raise children, decorate your husband's arm at social events, and bring a 5-Star worthy casserole or pie to church potlucks and bake sales.
And while I was perfectly prepared for that lifestyle the universe had other plans for me.
By 1975 all of that had changed, conservative Dallas caught up with the right and left coasts, and frayed jeans and flower power had arrived with a vengeance.
I traded my White Shoulders perfume for Opium perfume and learned to drink beer.
From a can.
Oh the horror.
The Zodiac Room is located on the sixth level of Neiman Marcus downtown. To this day it is one of those places that still represents Old Dallas from the menu to the service.
White linen tablecloths, white linen napkins... quiet, peaceful atmosphere...
Today I am sure it is fine to head there in jeans but I can't do it. When I go I put on a dress, and stockings, and makeup.
I can't tell you how tempting it is to pull my mom's ivory colored gloves from the place I have them stored.
It's the Zodiac Room, after all!
And, just like they always have, you'll be served big, steaming popovers and strawberry butter.
Of course, those popovers are made of fine, white flour - nothing as plebeian as cornmeal.
First published August 18, 2016. Last updated March 22, 2023 for better images and editorial updates for better reader experience.