Don’t be scared off by the name of this delicious cornbread variety; “spider” comes from the name of a type of three-legged skillet the bread was traditionally baked in (though any cast-iron skillet will do). Spider cornbread is prepared with rich milk, which gives the bread a custard-like middle layer. It's a favorite dish of the Southern Kentucky Vacations region, and is typically served with pinto beans – a hearty side that pairs well with the area’s famous fried fish.


  • 1 cup white cornmeal (Prof. Wanda Dodson uses unsifted stone ground)
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup rich milk (Dodson uses half & half)
  • 1/4 cup water


  1. Sift dry ingredients together.
  2. Beat the egg and combine with 1 cup milk. Add to dry ingredients and mix well.
  3. Heat a lump of butter in an iron skillet and add batter. Over this pour the combined rich milk and water. Do not stir. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees F.
  4. Cut into pie-shaped wedges and serve piping hot.


Serves 4-6.


Note: Prof. Wanda Dodson melts 2 tablespoons butter in a 9-inch cast-iron skillet. The bottom crust is light brown and tender. To brown the top, she turns the broiler on high for 2-3 minutes. Serve as a side dish with a regular meal. Also makes a good breakfast dish served with honey or sorghum. 


Recipe from:
Kentucky State Resort Parks 1978
(Adapted by Prof. Wanda Dodson)
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