I remember as a child how delighted I’d be when my mother made us cornbread muffins.
Eating them while they were still warm with butter on them was such a treat.
In those days you were lucky to have a parent that was a good cook.
Other options for tasty baked goods were pretty non-existent.
Cornbread was one of the first recipes that I learned to cook myself, given it is a simple thing to bake.
Of course baking something at a young age that comes out well gives a lot of confidence and bragging rights.
Corn is a very ancient food thought to have first been domesticated in Mexico about ten thousand years ago.
Native Americans taught the Europeans about how to cultivate and eat corn and since flour could be sold for a premium in Europe, much of the wheat grown in the New World was sent back to Europe.
Corn grew even more important in the diet of the colonists, and they even learned how to make whiskey out of corn!
Maize, another name for corn, is the most harvested grain in the world today, but not the most consumed.
Much of the corn harvested in the world today is used for animal feed, making ethanol and for some food products.
What are Cornbread Muffins?
Cornbread muffins are normally muffins made with a combination of cornmeal and white flour, eggs and milk.
They tend to be somewhat sweet and are eaten with butter and jam, often at breakfast.
Originally it was the Native Americans who used corn in their meals to make things like corn pone.
Corn pone was a kind of cornbread made without milk or eggs.
The European settlers modified their cooking to use corn flour since that was what was more available, and cornbread was born.
The original cornbread was not sweet, sugar was added over time as it became a Southern staple in the US south.
Today cornbread is a far cry from the original corn pone.
With its eggs, milk and flour that contributes sponginess from the gluten it is no comparison.
North and South of the US is a divide in how cornbread is made.
Dryer, more crumbly and less sweet in the North with sweeter, spongier in the South.
In some cases cornbread can seem almost like cake in the South!
When my wife, who is from England, first had cornbread she insisted that it was indeed a cake and had nothing whatsoever to do with bread.
I’d say she was probably right in her assessment, but if you call something bread it is a lot easier to get away with eating it at breakfast!
How to Make Cornbread Muffins
Muffins are quite easy to make, and are really not much trouble at all.
Once you get your technique down you will be able to whip up a batch in no time.
Get your dry ingredients together, usually cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl, whisk.
Wet ingredients, egg, milk, yogurt, and vegetable oil are mixed in a separate medium bowl.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well, there may be a few lumps but that’s ok.
Scoop equal amounts of the batter into muffin cups in a greased (or use paper liners) muffin pan.
Bake in an oven at about 400ºF, for a cooking time will be about 15 minutes.
When a toothpick inserted into one of the muffins in the middle of the tray comes out clean the muffins are done.
Another way to check doneness is if when the muffin is gently pushed on it bounces back.
There are several variations when it comes to cornbread muffin recipes, when it comes to ingredients.
Sour cream can be used or brown sugar instead of white, gluten free flour instead of regular all purpose flour.
This cornbread recipe is easy, much better than a box mix and works for standard size as well as mini muffins.
Once the muffins are done and have turned golden brown remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
Tips for Making
- Don’t overmix the batter otherwise there is a danger of having tough muffins.
- If you’d like you can brush the muffins with melted butter giving them a lovely buttery taste.
- If you want to add dried fruit or nuts to your muffins, add ½ to 1 cup for a standard 12 muffin recipe. This will not affect the cooking times.
- Use an ice cream scoop to measure each portion of muffin batter to ensure the muffins will be of equal size.
- Allow the muffins to cool for about ten minutes before tuning out of the muffin tin.
- If you are going to freeze any of the muffins do so right after they have cooled down in order to maintain the freshness of the muffins.
How to Freeze
Make sure the muffins are completely cool before freezing them.
Wrap each muffin individually in plastic wrap, and place them in a freezer bag.
Remove as much air as you can from the bag, and freeze for up to six months.
As long as the muffins are individually wrapped you can freeze them in a tupperware container as well.
You can also freeze the cornbread batter for later use, once thawed and baked, it will have a consistency that is a bit more dense than freshly baked cornbread.
Put the batter into silicone muffin tins covered tightly with plastic wrap and freeze.
Once frozen remove the muffin batter and wrap each individual muffin with plastic wrap.
Place in a freezer proof container and freeze for up to six months.
To cook, remove wrapping and pop the muffin batter, bake into a tray and allow to defrost overnight in the fridge.
Once defrosted bake as you normally would for best results.
Or you can bake frozen by adding five to ten minutes onto the normal cooking time.
Different Flavors to Try
Some simple good recipes sometimes include baking cheese into cornbread for a twist on a traditional flavor.
Try baking chocolate chips into your favorite cornbread recipe.
Or make them with a little pocket of jam in the middle making them even more yummy.
Baking jalapeno peppers into cornbread is to die for.
When you are trying out new things, just keep in mind that new additions may affect baking times.
What to Serve Cornbread Muffins With
Typically cornbread is served with hearty meals like chili, and other stews that have gravy.
Eggs, beans, bacon and cornbread is a fantastic breakfast, filling and delicious, you’ll feel like a cowboy.
A side dish of cornbread with pulled pork or barbeque is a great tradition in southern states.
Cornbread, butter and honey is a magical combination, you must try it!
Using cornbread for your stuffings will serve you well, it’s delicious, or try it as croutons.
Don’t forget to include cornbread with fried chicken and vegetables.
You can even serve ice cream with cornbread, a scoop of vanilla with maple syrup trickled over the top.
- 1 cup Cornmeal
- 1 cup Flour
- ⅓ cup Sugar
- ½ tsp Salt
- 4 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 Egg
- ½ cup Milk
- ½ cup Yogurt
- ¼ cup Vegetable Oil
- Preheat oven to 400ºF (200ºC).
- Prepare a muffin tin by greasing the individual cups.
- Mix together in a bowl, the cornflour, flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the egg, milk, yogurt and vegetable oil.
- Add the wet mix to the dry and stir until well incorporated, but do not over mix. It is ok if you have a few random lumps.
- Use an ice cream scoop to measure out the batter into the muffin cups.
- Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean.
- Once removed from the oven, allow the muffins to cool for ten minutes before turning them out onto a cooling tray.