A Corn Bread Star

A star is born.

When you think of Spago, you think of glitz and glamour.

Of Hollywood stars, and post-Oscar galas.

Of smoked salmon-caviar pizza and decadent tasting menus.

But down-home corn bread?

Not so much.

Well, you should, when it’s this feathery light, tender, and compellingly good.

“Honey-Glazed Spago Corn Bread” is from “Desserts By the Yard” (Houghton Mifflin) by Sherry Yard, executive pastry chef for Wolfgang Puck Worldwide.

OK, corn bread is not technically a dessert. But can you blame Yard for including it in her book when it’s this much of a sure hit? Consider this the summer blockbuster of corn breads. It’s a star turn that you won’t be able to take your eyes — or teeth — off of.

Cornmeal, all-purpose flour, and cake flour combine with eggs, milk, buttermilk, sugar and butter to create a texture that’s moist, airy, yet pleasantly chewy.

After removing the baked corn bread from the oven, you poke holes all over it like you would with an old-fashioned lemon tea cake. Then, brush on a glaze of water, honey, and more butter. The glaze seeps into the cornbread, making it even more moist and rich. It also gives the corn bread a subtle gloss, as well as a lovely whisper of sweetness.

Yard writes in her book that the corn bread is a favorite of the San Antonio Spurs. Apparently, whenever the team is in town to play the Lakers, members head to Spago Beverly Hills for sustenance. Spago’s Executive Chef Lee Hefter whips up a Southern feast of smothered pork chops, fried chicken, collard greens, mac & cheese, ribs, mashed potatoes, creamed corn, green beans, and brisket. The Spurs always save room for Yard’s corn bread. And she always makes enough for them to tote some home, too.

If only there was an Academy Award for “best corn bread.” Hands down, this would be the one.

Honey-Glazed Spago Corn Bread

(makes one 9-by-13-inch pan)

1 cup yellow cornmeal

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup cake flour

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

4 large eggs, at room temperature

3 ounces (3/4 stick) unsalted butter

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 cup milk

1/2 cup buttermilk

For glaze:

3 ounces (3/4 stick) unsalted butter

1/4 cup honey

1/3 cup water

Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-by13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil and spray foil with pan spray.

Sift together cornmeal, all-purpose flour, cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt 2 times. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs. Melt butter and immediately whisk into eggs in a slow stream. Whisk in oil, milk, and buttermilk. Whisk in dry ingredients just until combined.

Scrape batter into the pan and bake for 30 minutes. Rotate pan from front to back and continue to bake for 10 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

To make the glaze: While corn bread is baking, melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add honey and water, and whisk until blended.

When corn bread is done, remove from oven and poke holes all over the bread, about 1/2 inch apart, with a toothpick. Brush with the glaze and allow to cool.

From “Desserts By the Yard”

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  • This looks incredible. I have no problem imagining this as dessert with a few fresh blackberries.

  • Ooh, it looks so tender and…corny. In a good way! I second the fresh berries.

  • I’ve lots of cornbread recipes but had never try out one yet! I think I have to make an arrangement for this. Because too many things I wanted to try out, ha ha! Greedy me! Yours one look yummy! The thickness is just right.

  • Oh that looks so good. Another recipe to save. The scallops the other day looked amazing and I’m still waiting to have a little extra time on my hands to make the chocolate chip cookies.

  • Did you taste the corn bread without the glaze? Is the texture already moist? My family doesn’t care much for glaze…

  • It’s impossible to not succumb to a bread that whispers of sweetness and glazed!!
    I don’t know if it’s a classical dessert but is so perfect for teatime with butter or with soft jams 🙂



  • We love cornbread. My husband usually makes it. I appreciate a slightly sweet cornbread. Lovely picture and recipe!

  • Oh..and we especially love Dave’s famous chili with cornbread.

  • Tuty: Yes, I did try a smidgen of the corn bread sans glaze, and it is still pretty moist. The glaze is not very heavy or over-the-top sweet, so your family might be OK with it. It does add a lovely touch of sweetness, much more subtle than if you were to just drizzle on plain honey.

  • It looks so moist and delicious! I’m a big cornbread lover!



  • Cornbread as a dessert? Interesting. We love cornbread as a side to anything. Especially when it’s nice and sweet.

  • I am loving this recipe (and the picture made me drool a little). I like the idea of the light glaze because I love honey on my cornbread, but sometimes drizzling really overpowers the corn.


  • Looks so cute and tempting! I just want to grab that bite size bread and spread some cherry jam on it. YUM!

  • I’ve never been a fan of cornbread, although everyone else in my family just loves it. But cornbread as a dessert? Maybe that will work LOL. It sure looks delicious. I agree with the other commentor about adding some fruit. I bet that would taste great.

  • I will eat cornbread no matter what course it is pegged; I can’t describe how much I want this glazed cornbread right now!

  • I made the cornbread yesterday and it received a stamp of approval from the entire family 🙂

    I halved the recipe and bake it on 8×8 inch pan. I didn’t put any glaze and the bread is still moist and tender the next day.

    This recipe is a keeper! Thanks, Carolyn

  • Pingback: Honey-Glazed Spago Corn Bread « My Wife’s Food Blog

  • OMG This was the best. I went to the store to buy a mix and then use the glaze from this recipe. NO MIX. 3 empty shelves. Thank goodness I had the recipe in hand. I was at a bulk food store and measured each ingredient for 3 batches. It made it so easy when I got home to have it already divided. I spent 6.20 for 3 batches. Not including the glaze in that dollar amount. We did a seafood boil and the corn bread was a HIT. I substituted rum for the water and 1 cup of sugar for the honey on 2 bathces and WOW very yummy, rum glazed. The recipe as listed here stood on it’s own wonderfully. I was asked for the recipe by many people

  • Jenny: So glad you loved the recipe as much as I do. And your addition of the rum is genius. I’m going to have to try that with my next batch.

  • Wow, great job here. Awesome picture too! You should really consider submitting this to Recipe4Living’s Tasty Thanksgiving Recipe Contest – http://www.recipe4living.com/articles/the_tasty_thanksgiving_recipe_contest.htm – It looks delicious!

  • Rum Glaze

    Melt 1 cube of butter in saucepan
    Stir in 1/4 cup of water
    Add 1 cup of sugar
    Bring to a boil for,continue to boil 5 minutes
    Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup of rum
    Make sure your saucepan is large enough, while you are adding rum; it bubbles up 2 times in size.

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  • This is the best cornbread you will ever have. My husband and I love it. Every time we are going somewhere where I have to bring a dish my husband tells me to make this.

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  • Thanks for sharing this recipe. My husband and I went Wolfgang puck in Detroit this week and fell in love with the cornbread. We had to order extra to bring home!

  • Tabitha: You are very welcome! It’s addictive tasting. Happy baking!

  • Hello,

    Just a question it states in the recipe salt 2 times. Does that mean I add an addition of 1 1/2 tsp of salt twice into the batter? Please explain.


  • Michelle: Apologies for the confusion on that. The wording in that recipe is not the greatest. What it means is that you should sift all those dry ingredients together TWO TIMES to ensure there are no lumps. Hope that helps. Hope you enjoy the corn bread. It really is delicious.

  • I WANT CORNBREAD!!!!! Read this as a three-year-old would.

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