Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Add about 1 tablespoon melted butter to an 8 x 8-inch pan (or a 9 x 9-inch). Using a basting brush (or a plastic baggie as a glove), spread the butter on the bottom and sides of the pan. Set aside the remaining butter. (These would also make wonderful muffins baked at 350ºF, but I'm not sure how many they would make.)
*Homemade Buttermilk Recipe: (including Dairy-Free):
Combine 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar + enough dairy-free or cow’s milk to make 1-1/4 cups.
When Using Coconut Oil:
I find that using a combination of about 75% coconut oil along with 25% full-fat coconut milk makes a better substitute for butter than coconut oil alone.
Replace each egg with 2 tablespoons liquid from a can of white beans (I like white kidney/cannellini beans) plus 1 tablespoon fat of choice (butter, bacon grease, coconut oil).
For Denser Cornbread:
Do not whisk air into the batter. Instead, use a large spoon to stir together. Use a glass baking dish instead of a metal baking pan. In addition, baking at a 350°F will prevent a fast rise, also creating a denser texture. Removing at least one of the above steps will create a denser cornbread. If you do all three (no whisk, no metal pan, and not baking at 400°F) will create a much heavier texture. When using a glass dish, definitely decrease the baking temperature to 350°F. This is standard practice when switching from metal to glass and vice versa. You may need to need to bake the cornbread longer though.