A Taste of History: Make Christiana Campbell’s Spoon Bread

Are you looking for a recipe that is rich in flavor and history? Well, look no further than Christiana Campbell’s Tavern Spoon Bread Recipe! This classic Southern dish dates back to the colonial times and has been a staple on menus for generations. Originally served at the iconic Christiana Campbell Tavern in Williamsburg, Virginia, this spoon bread recipe has stood the test of time.

For those who are unfamiliar with spoon bread, it’s a unique take on traditional cornbread. Think of it as a cross between corn pudding and soufflé. Made with basic ingredients such as cornmeal, milk, and eggs, it’s topped off with a touch of butter before baking to create an indulgent mouthful that just melts in your mouth.

This recipe has been passed down for centuries and is featured in The Williamsburg Cookbook: Traditional and Contemporary Recipes. As you prepare this dish, you will feel like you are transported back in time to the South, where everything moves at an easy pace and food is both satisfying and delicious.

So get ready to bring a piece of history into your home kitchen by following this recipe for Christiana Campbell’s Tavern Spoon Bread. Your taste buds will thank you!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Christiana Campbell's Tavern Spoon Bread
Christiana Campbell’s Tavern Spoon Bread

Are you in search of a versatile and easy-to-make comfort food that will satisfy your taste buds and leave you feeling warm and fuzzy on the inside? Look no further than Christiana Campbell’s Tavern Spoon Bread recipe!

You’ll love this spoon bread recipe because it offers a delicious twist on traditional cornbread. The combination of cornmeal, eggs, milk, and butter creates a soft, custard-like texture that is perfect for any meal of the day. Trust me, once you try this spoon bread recipe you’ll be hooked!

But that’s not all. Christiana Campbell’s Tavern Spoon Bread is also incredibly versatile. It pairs well with everything from a hearty bowl of chili to a light crab cake or pie recipe. You can even switch up the flavors by adding your favorite spices or cheeses to the mix.

This recipe also has a rich history. Christiana Campbell was a celebrated 18th-century cook who served her famous spoon bread at the renowned Colonial Williamsburg Tavern in Virginia. By making this recipe, you’ll be partaking in a delicious piece of southern culinary history.

Overall, Christiana Campbell’s Tavern Spoon Bread is a must-have in any home cook’s arsenal. You’ll love its versatility and deep roots in southern cuisine. Trust me – you don’t want to miss out on this tasty treat!

Ingredient List

 Spoon bread fresh out of the oven, fluffy and golden
Spoon bread fresh out of the oven, fluffy and golden

To make Christiana Campbell’s Tavern Spoon Bread recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 quart boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons sugar

All of these ingredients can be found in your local grocery store. While the list of ingredients is not very long, they are all essential to make this traditional Virginia spoon bread recipe. Make sure that you gather all the necessary ingredients before beginning the recipe, so that you don’t have to interrupt your cooking process to run out and buy something you’re missing.

The Recipe How-To

 A slice of spoon bread served on a vintage floral plate
A slice of spoon bread served on a vintage floral plate

Here’s where the fun starts! Grab your apron and let’s start baking some delicious Christiana Campbell’s Tavern Spoon Bread in your own kitchen. This recipe comes straight from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, so you’ll be making a piece of history as well.


  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup of cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 cups of milk, scalded
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 4 eggs, beaten

Recipe Steps
Step 1: Preheat the Oven

Begin by preheating your oven to 375 degrees F.

Step 2: Combine Ingredients

Next, take a mixing bowl and add in your cornmeal and salt. Stir to combine.

In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil with the tablespoon of butter. Then pour the boiling water mixture along with the already scalded milk into the bowl with the cornmeal mixture, stirring slowly until blended.

Step 3: Beat Eggs

Separately, beat your eggs together well.

Step 4: Add Beaten Eggs to Mixture

Add in your beaten eggs to the mixture and mix thoroughly. Then, add in your sugar (to taste) and baking powder.

Step 5: Pour into Baking Dish

Grease an 8-inch square baking dish with butter and pour your mixture into it.

Step 6: Bake for Thirty-Five Minutes

Bake for approximately thirty-five minutes or until golden brown at 375 degrees F.

Step 7: Serve Warm

Serve warm with any kind of southern main course recipe. Personally, I suggest pairing it up with a delicious crab cake or even some juicy roasted chicken – heavenly!

Now that you’ve got this recipe down pat, why not try out some different variations?

Substitutions and Variations

 The perfect spoonful of creamy spoon bread with a dollop of butter
The perfect spoonful of creamy spoon bread with a dollop of butter

When it comes to making Christiana Campbell’s Tavern Spoon Bread, there are a few easy substitutions and variations you can make to add some exciting twists to this classic recipe.

First, you can switch up the cornmeal by trying out different coarseness. Fine or medium-grain cornmeal will give you a smoother texture, while coarse-ground cornmeal will create a more rustic, hearty spoon bread. You can also experiment with substituting a portion of the cornmeal with other types of flours, such as wheat or all-purpose flour for some added nutrition and different flavor.

If you want to boost the sweetness of this bread, try adding some honey or maple syrup to the batter. These ingredients will add a touch of sweetness without being overwhelmingly sugary.

Another variation is to add in some savory ingredients, such as herbs and spices, cheese, or vegetables. Chopped chives or rosemary would be delicious additions as well as shredded cheddar cheese or diced jalapeños for a spicy twist.

Finally, aside from serving this Tavern Spoon Bread as part of Thanksgiving dinner or alongside seafood like crab cakes, it goes well with chili, stews or soups. You could even use leftovers from this spoon bread recipe to make Southern spoon bread pudding or top it with chili for some comfort food goodness.

Experimenting with these substitutions and variations will allow you to tailor the recipe to your preferences while still enjoying an iconic dish from the Colonial Williamsburg era.

Serving and Pairing

 A view of the crisp and golden top of this delicious spoon bread
A view of the crisp and golden top of this delicious spoon bread

Once your Christiana Campbell’s Tavern Spoon Bread is ready to serve, the next step is figuring out what to pair it with. There are several options for pairing this delightful dish, so let’s dive into some of them.

Firstly, you can never go wrong with serving spoon bread alongside your favorite meats. It pairs perfectly beside roast beef, chicken or pork chops. The spoon bread’s soft and buttery texture balances well with the dense flavor profile of meat dishes, making for a satisfying meal.

Alternatively, you can serve it alongside seafood dishes. The simplicity of crab cakes or a grilled salmon fillet provides an excellent balance to the sweetness of the spoonbread.

If you want to get creative with your pairing, you can try serving the spoon bread beside some barbecue sauce or maybe even apple butter for a unique and delicious flavor combination that bursts on your palette. As a staple food in the Southern states, Christiana Campbell’s Tavern Spoon Bread also pairs well with other traditional fare like southern spoon cornbread and pie recipes.

Overall, any meat or seafood entree will go nicely with this delicious bread recipe. Consider pairing it with sides such as roasted vegetables, salad blends, and mashed potatoes if you’re looking to keep it simple yet tasty.

As an accompaniment, I recommend Southern sweet tea or lemonade as a refreshing drink to complement the mild sweetness of the bread recipe. Refreshing your guests is just as important as filling their stomachs!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A slice of Christiana Campbell's Tavern spoon bread, perfect for any occasion
A slice of Christiana Campbell’s Tavern spoon bread, perfect for any occasion

Making Spoon Bread ahead of time is easy and convenient. This dish stores well if the right steps are taken. To make it ahead of time, allow the bread to cool down completely before wrapping it tightly in aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Once wrapped, place it in an airtight container before refrigerating it for up to three days.

Reheating Spoon Bread is also easy if you follow a few key steps. To reheat the bread, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and remove the bread from any wrapping. Place the bread on an oven-safe plate and cover it with foil. Heat it in the oven for around 20 minutes or until it’s heated through.

Microwaving the Spoon Bread can also be effective, but this method tends to dry out the surface of the bread. Be sure to reheat only one serving at a time and check regularly while reheating in the microwave.

In terms of freezing Spoon Bread, it’s possible but not recommended as it can alter the flavor and texture of this delicate dish. Freeze in single serve portions and avoid freezing for longer periods than one month.

Overall, making-ahead, storing and reheating Spoon Bread is easy if you follow these tips correctly. Remember to store your bread appropriately and reheat slowly for best results.

Tips for Perfect Results

 A cast-iron skillet filled with spoon bread batter ready to bake
A cast-iron skillet filled with spoon bread batter ready to bake

To achieve the perfect spoon bread, there are some tips you should take into consideration.

Firstly, ensure that your oven is preheated to 375 degrees F. Secondly, when combining the cornmeal and salt mixture with boiling water and milk mixture, it is important to stir continuously to avoid clumps.

Thirdly, when beating the eggs, do so until they become light and airy. This helps to create a light and fluffy spoon bread.

Fourthly, do not skip the baking powder as it acts as a leavening agent and gives the spoon bread a good rise.

Fifthly, make sure to use fresh ingredients to ensure the best flavor possible. Using stale milk or expired ingredients could negatively affect the taste.

Sixthly, let the spoon bread cool for a few minutes before serving so that it sets properly. A rushed spoon bread may not hold its shape and could be too soft.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to add in your own personal touch to this recipe. You can experiment with different toppings or add-ins such as cheese, jalapeños or even bacon bits for some added flavor.

By following these tips and putting your own twist on things, you will be able to create an unforgettable dish that your family and friends will surely love!


As you prepare to make Christiana Campbell’s Tavern Spoon Bread recipe, it is important to keep in mind some of the most frequently asked questions about this dish. In this section, I will cover questions ranging from ingredient substitutions to serving suggestions to storing and reheating tips. By reading through these FAQs before getting started, you can have a greater understanding of the recipe and be better equipped to achieve perfect results.

Why is it called Spoon Bread?

This particular recipe yields a texture that requires consumption with a spoon, as suggested by its name.

What is spoon bread made of?

Spoon bread, also referred to as corn casserole or corn pudding, is a rich and creamy variety of cornbread that you scoop out using a spoon. The Jiffy recipe for spoon bread is widely known and usually involves using Jiffy corn muffin mix, sour cream, butter, eggs, canned corn, and creamed corn. This corn dish is always a crowd-pleaser!

What is the history of spoon bread?

Did you know that Spoonbread, a Southern classic, was first known as “Batter Bread”? Historical records indicate that it was featured in Mary Randolph’s 1824 cookbook, The Virginia Housewife. As many culinary experts believe, this cookbook was the first of its kind in the Southern region.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Christiana Campbell’s Tavern Spoon Bread Recipe is a must-try dish for anyone who enjoys classic Southern cuisine or wants to expand their baking skills. With its simple yet flavorful ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions, this recipe will leave you feeling satisfied and accomplished.

So what are you waiting for? Head to your kitchen and start baking this delectable tavern spoon bread with the confidence that comes with using a tested and proven recipe from the Colonial Williamsburg Cookbook.

Whether you are serving it alongside some savory crab cakes or as part of your Thanksgiving feast, this spoon bread will undoubtedly be a crowd-pleaser. So go ahead and impress your family and friends with this historic delight.

Remember that, as Christiana Campbell knew well, great food brings people together and creates cherished memories for years to come. Enjoy!

Christiana Campbell's Tavern Spoon Bread

Christiana Campbell’s Tavern Spoon Bread Recipe

I enjoyed my recent visit to Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia, and had a wonderful dinner at Christiana Campbell's Tavern. Our meals were accompanied by this spoon bread, scooped right out of the griddle and onto our plates. Absolutely delicious!
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: < 60 Mins, Breads, Easy, Grains, Kid-Friendly, Mixer, Quick Breads, Small Appliance, Stove Top, Thanksgiving
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Calories: 241.7kcal


  • 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 4 eggs, beaten well
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the cornmeal, salt, and sugar.
  • With the mixer on medium low speed, add the boiling water and butter into the bowl and mix for about 5 minutes.
  • Add milk and beaten eggs and allow to mix for another 5 minutes; stop mixer and allow mixture to cool for about 5 minutes.
  • Turn the mixer on low and add the baking powder and mix until well incorporated.
  • Pour mixture into a buttered skillet or 2-quart casserole and bake for 30 to 45 minute an the center has set.
  • Serve immediately.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 145g | Calories: 241.7kcal | Carbohydrates: 29.2g | Protein: 8.7g | Fat: 10.5g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 159.7mg | Sodium: 394.1mg | Fiber: 2.2g | Sugar: 2.5g

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