strawberry spoon bread DSC6646

Strawberry spoon bread

Every spring when the wildflowers bloom, Texans will say thank you to Mrs. Claudia “Lady Bird” Johnson, the former first lady and native Texan who made it her life’s work to protect and preserve native plants in their natural habitat. But besides her commitment to keeping Texas and America beautiful, Mrs. Johnson was also known as a gracious hostess who entertained with taste and ease.

When people come over for dinner, it’s not unusual if you like a dish to ask for the recipe, and I’ve heard that Mrs. Johnson was always quick to give friends her family’s recipes, such as her chili or her method for making spoon bread.

Strawberry spoon bread | Homesick Texan

If you’re not familiar with spoon bread, it’s an old American cornmeal-based baked pudding that’s dense, custardy and smooth, much like bread pudding. While it’s usually associated with the South, it’s been documented in early American cookbooks from New England going back to the early 1800s.

Spoon bread is a simple dish, made with cornmeal, milk, eggs and a bit of baking powder. Traditionally, it’s served as a savory side that pairs well with hearty meat dishes or a bowl of beans. But it’s also like a thick bowl of hot cereal before you pour on some milk, which makes it good at breakfast, too. Matter of fact, I read that the Mrs. Johnson preferred to serve it in the morning along with homemade venison sausage.

Now, while it’s typically a savory dish, since strawberries are now in season (at least in Texas—local ones should hopefully arrive in New York City soon), I took Mrs. Johnson’s recipe and added a bit of sugar and strawberries to make a sweet dish instead. And when topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a handful of more strawberries, you have a springtime dessert that, as the name implies, is best eaten with a spoon.

Strawberry spoon bread | Homesick Texan

If you’re a fan of cobblers, this dish is for you. While the spoon bread is smooth rather than flaky, as it’s made with eggs and cornmeal rather than flour and fat, the interplay of cornmeal with the berries is sweet and satisfying. And in case you’re wondering, this strawberry spoon bread keeps for a day or so in the refrigerator. While it’s best served warm I’ve been known to dip my spoon into it cold, as well.

So even though she’s no longer with us, if you try this be sure to say thank you to Mrs. Lady Bird Johnson for all the beauty she gave us, along with her recipes for wonderful Texan food.

5 from 2 votes

Strawberry spoon bread

Servings 8
Author Adapted by Lisa Fain from Lady Bird Johnson's spoon bread recipe


  • 2 pints fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 3 cups whole milk, divided
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons honey or sorghum syrup


  • Sprinkle the strawberries with 1/4 cup of sugar, and leave at room temperature for an hour or until juicy.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and place a metal bowl in the freezer. In a large cast-iron skillet, on medium heat, stir together 2 cups of milk and the cornmeal and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and stir in the remaining milk and butter. Once the butter has melted, stir in the eggs, baking powder, salt and remaining sugar. Drain the juice from half the berries (reserving the juice by pouring it back into the remaining berries) and stir the strawberries into the spoon bread batter.
  • Place the skillet into the oven and bake uncovered for 35 minutes or until the bread is set and golden brown. While it cools, whip the heavy cream in the chilled metal bowl with a whisk, eggbeater or electric mixer. Once it’s tripled in size and soft peaks have formed, stir in the honey or sorghum syrup.
  • Serve the spoon bread warm topped with the remaining strawberries and whipped cream.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Native Texan (60+ years) and for the first time drove through Boerne, Kendalia, Sisterdale to 281. Spectacular! The bluebonnets have gone to seed but purple verbena were still out and the hills were amazingly green. It is a shame that so many folks judge Texas after only visiting Dallas or Houston!

  2. Devon from Lake Jackson, TX says:

    I'm in a cooking club and since my dinner this season happened to be scheduled on April 21st (San Jacinto Day for those non-Texans) I decided to have a Texas themed dinner. I got your cookbook for Christmas so I chose recipes from it. We had Coffee Chipotle Brisket & BBQ Sauce, Cilantro Pesto Green Beans, Tomato Cobbler and Fried Pies, also the black bean dip. Everyone just raved about how good everything was. Thank you so much.

  3. I will be making this! How about blackberry spoon bread? I don't think you can go wrong : )

  4. Lisa Fain says:

    Mary and Jonathan–It was a surprise to me, too!

    Elizabeth–What a beautiful drive that must have been.

    13carol–Until I get that feature, when you go to print you can simply choose the page that has the recipe.

    idiosyncraticeye–Yes! It's a lot like a sweet polenta.

    Carolyn–It's been a long time since I've eaten at Hyde Park Bar & Grill, so I don't recall the peach pudding but it sounds wonderful, especially with the cream poured over it.

    Rocky Mountain Woman–She was indeed.

  5. Lisa Fain says:

    Lisa–You can never go wrong with strawberries.

    Big Hook Camps–You're very welcome.

    Linda–That's a great story about the Jefferson Hotel!

    Alex–I'm pleased the recipes are making you feel closer to home!

    Anon–You could always make the spoonbread mush batter in a pot and then pour it into a lightly greased baking dish.

    Gail-I hear the purple verbena was strong this year.

    Devon–What a feast! I'm so pleased your guests enjoyed the meal.

    Nicole–That would also be fabulous!