Three Layer Cornbread Recipe (with a Custard Layer in the middle) – from Tassajara

This recipe is so simple and it is wonderful.  From what I hear, they discovered this recipe when they made a mistake in the proportions of ingredients for a cornbread recipe at Tassajara.  For some reason the cornbread separates into three layers with a soft custard layer in the middle.  It is sweet because of the honey but is a perfect balance to a hot and spicy dish such as chili (can add green chili’s to the recipe too).  If you add the additional honey, it makes a good dessert with strawberries.

  • Top Layer: Bran
  • Middle Layer: Custardy Layer
  • Bottom Layer: Cornmeal

Between the cornbread recipe and the kale salads, I have completely rediscovered two amazing cookbooks after spending lots of time with ladies who know how to cook Californian down in Santa Cruz. If you are shopping for a foodie friend or cook and they don’t have these two cookbooks in their collections, get them for them as a gift.  You can’t go wrong.

Three Layer Cornbread Recipe

  • 1 cup cornmeal (coarse ground works best but regular works)
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1/4 cup wheat bran or wheat germ
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup honey or molasses, (we use honey)
  • 1/4 cup oil or melted butter, (we use oil)
  • 3 cups milk or buttermilk, (we always use regular milk)

* Use the larger amount of honey if you want this for dessert.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl combine the wet ingredients. Mix them together. The batter will be quite liquidy; this is fine.

Pour batter into a lightly oiled 9″x9″ baking dish and bake for 50 minutes or until the top is springy when gently touched.

Cool before cutting and serving.

* I’ve heard adding green chillies to it is great!

3 comments… add one
  • I’m not sure what happened to my tassajara cookbook, but this has been my family’s favorite cornbread recipe for over 20 years. I’m so glad to have found it online. It’s great with cornbread on a cold evening.

  • Deb Brown Link

    Just re-read my comment. It’s great with CHILI on a cold evening.

  • Rosemary Webb Link

    I had this 3 layered cornbread my freshman year of college at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. The cook gave me the recipe and I made it several times, then lost the recipe! I am so excited to have found it! I’ve been telling my kids about this for the last 20 years, and now they finally get to try it. Thank you!!!!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.