You’ve probably noticed a theme – I like Disney movies. This is not the first Disney recipe I’ve shared on this blog, and it certainly won’t be the last! If you’re a Disney fan like me, be sure to check out my Iced Rolls recipe from Brave, and The Princess and the Frog’s Tiana’s Famous Beignets! It’s no surprise that Tiana, the heroine from The Princess and the Frog, has multiple recipes for us to try as she is an aspiring chef – and is therefore a figure many of us can relate to! So, today I thought I would share with you my interpretation of her delicious, melt-in-the-mouth Spoon Bread recipe!
It’s refreshing to find a Disney heroine who has ambitions and dreams. Tiana is no princess, which is the cause of the movie’s adventures (I won’t give you any spoilers!), so when I see her in her happy place, chopping vegetables, seasoning soup, or dousing her beignets in powdered sugar, I see a real woman (who, like me, is obsessed with food).
So, if you’re curious to try a Disney heroine’s recipe, follow me on a fairy tale adventure – there is a Spoon Bread feast waiting for us at the end!
What Food is in The Princess and the Frog?
The Princess and the Frog is set in New Orleans, in the southern state of Louisiana, where there is an eclectic mix of different food cultures including Creole and Cajun, as well as an abundance of seafood – you’ve probably heard of gumbo, which is full of shrimp and served on rice, and has many different influences depending on who makes it!
Deep-dish style breads are very popular in southern cooking, particularly in Creole recipes, and there are many delicious cornbreads cooked in baking dishes or skillets, and often made with bacon grease to give them a savory edge. The northern states also make cornbread, however, they usually add sugar to their recipes.
What is Spoon Bread?
Southern Spoon Bread is made with cornmeal and has a soft, soufflé-like texture, similar to a pancake, or a Yorkshire Pudding made in the UK. Even though it has ‘bread’ in the title, I wouldn’t call it a bread as its name comes from the need to scoop it up with a big spoon.
What’s the Difference Between Spoon Bread and Cornbread?
There are a lot of similarities between Spoon Bread and cornbread as they are both made with cornmeal, and are slightly sweet, cake-like breads served with savory food. However, Spoon Bread is slightly moister and creamier, especially as the cornmeal used is finer.
Plus, much like a French soufflé, you need to whip egg whites for that soft, light texture, so you therefore have to serve it like a pudding, whereas cornbread can be cut into pieces.
What ingredients do you need to make Spoon Bread?
My recipe for Spoon Bread is so easy and takes no time at all to make, ready to serve with warm stew, or Creole beans and rice.
You will need:
Cornmeal: Choose a fine cornmeal as this will make your Spoon Bread smooth and creamy rather than gritty like regular cornbread made with coarse cornmeal. The finer the cut of cornmeal, the lighter your Spoon Bread will be!
Salt: to draw out the flavors and for the bread to complement a savory dish
Water: Much like when making polenta, you need to bring your water to the boil, pour in your cornmeal and quickly whisk it to beat out any lumps.
Whole milk: Milk gives the Spoon Bread a much richer and creamier flavor than just water – in the south, they love their breads to have the additional fat!
Honey: Not all Spoon Breads include honey, but in my Tiana Spoon Bread recipe, I’ve added a touch to emphasize the cornmeal’s natural sweetness.
Butter: Likewise, butter isn’t used in every Spoon Bread recipe, however, I love the rich flavor it adds.
Eggs: In my Spoon Bread recipe, you need to separate the eggs, first mixing the yolks into the cornmeal mixture to create a custard, then whisk the egg whites to give the Spoon Bread a lighter, fluffier texture.
Baking powder: for extra lift and rise!
Vanilla: Tiana’s Spoon Bread recipe is special. As I've said before, southern Spoon Bread is not traditionally sweet, however, the vanilla in this recipe complements the honey and draws out that incredible natural sweetness in the cornmeal. Definitely give it a try!
Spoon Bread is a treat and I highly recommend you try Tiana’s fantastic Spoon Bread recipe – light, fluffy, rich and naturally sweet, it's the perfect accompaniment to warm stew on a cold evening! Tiana is a chef after all, she knows what she’s talking about!
Princess Tiana’s Spoon Bread
Disney’s The Princess and the Frog’s recipe for creamy, light southern Spoon Bread made with fine cornmeal and whipped egg whites for a soft souffle ‘bread’ is delicious served alongside your warm winter stews.
1 cup cornmeal
1 tsp salt
1 cup water
1 cup whole milk
2 tbsp honey
3 tbsp butter, plus extra to grease the dish
2 eggs, separated
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp vanilla
Preheat your oven to 350F/175C and grease a 26x21 baking dish with butter.
Heat the water and milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil.
Quickly add the butter, cornmeal, and salt to the hot liquid and whisk until there are no lumps. Remove the pan from the heat and let the mix cool for about 5 minutes.
Mix the honey, egg yolks, vanilla, and baking powder together in a small bowl, then add it all to the cornmeal mix and stir well.
Whip the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.
Fold the egg whites into the cornmeal mix gently, trying to keep them as light and fluffy as possible.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for 40 minutes or until the center of the spoon bread is completely set.
Scoop with a spoon and serve warm with some butter alongside your dinner.