Cornbread for a crowd


In the fall (I'm planning ahead) I'll be making cornbread for 75-100 people. I'm thinking that baking cornbread on half sheet pans might be the way to go.
How should I go about finding a recipe that will work for a half sheet pan?
Can I just take a regular recipe and keep doubling it until it fits?
Any tips on how to keep the cornbread moist so I can bake it the day before?


badge posted by: miller0814 on February 25, 2012 at 12:21 pm in Baking, misc.
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reply by: Mike Nolan on February 25, 2012 at 3:50 pm
Mike Nolan

Half sheet pans might not be deep enough.

Here's a link to a recipe for cornbread for 100 people:

I don't know about keeping them overnight, covering them with plastic wrap and refrigerating them might work, you might need to warm them up in the morning.

reply by: mumpy on February 25, 2012 at 10:00 pm

could it be corn muffins?...baked ahead and frozen, thawed the night before and then warmed up?...lots of recipes convert easily from a 'loaf' to muffins.

reply by: Mrs Cindy on February 25, 2012 at 10:11 pm
Mrs Cindy

You could probably bake it off in a sheet pan or in 1/2 sheet pans using the recipe Mike found. I would not make the batter ahead of time and try to bake it the day before. You need to make the batter and bake it immediately. You run the risk of the double acting baking powder poofing out doing it any other way. Mix, bake and freeze, right in the pans. Day of, thaw and warm briefly in a hot oven, cut then serve from the sheet pans.

That's how I would do it.


EDIT:This way you could have your cornbread done a week or more in advance.

reply by: miller0814 on February 26, 2012 at 7:57 am

Thanks for all the ideas. Seems like keeping the cornbread overnight is a bad idea without freezing it. I might have time to bake them the morning of. I'd hate to make muffins because it's more time consuming. I bet I could brush the top with butter after it came out of the oven to add a bit more moisture. Thanks for the input!

reply by: swirth on February 26, 2012 at 8:30 am

This should help you with a recipe just the size you need and it has comments re the baking powder pooping out.

A dear oldBakingCircle member, wingboy, helps very often at his church's community meal for the homeless...he is often the lead cook for the Saturday breakfasts and they bake for the same number of folks you mention. He had a dilemma one time with two pans of half-sheet cornbread not turning out the same and I told him about the baking powder 'don't dally' issue I'd read about years earlier.

Here is his recipe for ONE half-sheet pan and our commentary:

Subject: cornbread - what happened?

Message: 1

Yesterday I was lead cook for our community meal (beans, rice, cornbread, poundcake with blueberry compote, fresh sliced tomatoes, steamed veggies). I baked cornbread with differing results. I mixed up two recipes of cornbread, panned them into two half-sheet pans, and baked them at the same time. Half way through I rotated pans. The first-mixed batch came out with lots of holes on the top (sort of like a pancake) and visible crystals of sugar - it also overflowed the pan. The second-mixed batch came out just like you would expect of an institutional sheet of cornbread. I weighed ingredients so I suppose I could have blown a measurement. Any other ideas? Did the first-mixed batch sit too long? Should I have baked one and then baked the other? Recipe follows:

17.5 oz yellow cornmeal
18.5 oz AP flour
1.75 oz baking powder
1.25 oz salt
5 oz granulated sugar
4 eggs
3.5 cups milk
5 oz melted shortening

Baked at 350 for 30 minutes.



Message: 2

You can find some good info at

re: the use of baking powders w/out aluminum in them...this company makes Clabber Girl with aluminum and Rumsford withOUT aluminum..I read on this site a long time ago that with the non-aluminum baking powders you do not dally as they will not wait like those with aluminum...I think the Rumsford is in tiny letters at the top bar area and it is the one that says 'don't dally' getting into the oven...hope this helps you!


Message: 3

Thanks Swirth! I didn't realize that the mixing-to-baking timing was all that critical. (I knew you couldn't wait an hour, but thought that 5 minutes would be OK). -Wingboy

Hope this info helps you!

reply by: Antilope on May 07, 2012 at 12:27 am

USDA School Cafeteria - Cornbread - baked in half-sheet pans - recipe for 50 and 100 servings

USDA School Cafeteria Lunch recipes