Cornbread (Muffins)

—This post is part of my Canadian Thanksgiving series—

I’ve already told you about the Classic Lasagna I made to serve upon arrival for our Thanksgiving weekend guests, but I thought one more home-cooked meal (in addition to the big Thanksgiving feast!) was warranted that weekend.  Lunch the day after our big meal seemed like a good time to have something I made, but again, it had to be freezable in advance since there was no way I was going to feel like cooking anything that day!  I looked through my Recipe Index and decided that Chili was a good option – freezes beautifully, and pretty much everyone likes it.


As an added touch, I decided to make some cornbread to go along with it.  I’ve made cornbread muffins in the past, but I was not blown away – they were tasty in chili but a little dry, so I thought it was worth trying out a new recipe.  Plus, hubby had requested cornbread that had actual pieces of corn in it, so I had to do some digging to see if it was as simple as throwing in some frozen corn, or if I needed to make any other modifications.  After going in a lot of circles, I ended up being inspired by 2 posts from Smitten Kitchen.  The primary one my creation was based on is intended as more of a breakfast muffin, but she recommended cutting the sugar a bit which I thought would make it more chili appropriate.  The other post inspired the cheese and jalepeno I ended up adding, although she doesn’t even seem to like the base recipe herself, so I thought a combo was in order!


I ended up making 2 versions – a cornbread muffin with cheddar and jalepeno, and then, because I’m a wimp and really can’t handle jalepeno at all, a plain cornbread with just the frozen corn.  In the plain version, I also experimented with replacing the all-purpose flour with whole wheat pastry flour.  In both cases I did not have buttermilk, so I used a combination of plain whole milk yogurt and milk.  The texture and moisture in the muffins was definitely better, but it’s hard to say whether it was because of the cheese, the all-purpose flour, or the fact that I had no idea how long to bake the cornbread and may have overdone it a bit (I adjusted the directions below accordingly!).  That being said, I thought the plain whole wheat version was great, and if I hadn’t been doing a side-by-side comparison I would have had no complaints.  Next time I make this I’ll probably use the whole wheat flour, but also add cheese and leave out the jalepenos 🙂



Cornbread (Muffins)
adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 cup all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk (or 1/2 cup plain yogurt + 1/2 cup milk)
1/4 cup honey
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg

Optional add-ins
1 cup corn kernels – fresh, frozen or canned (in which case they should be drained and patted dry)
1 cup shredded cheddar (approx 4 oz)
1 small jalepeno, diced very fine

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter or spray the 12 molds in a regular-size muffin pan or fit the molds with paper muffin cups (or grease an 8×8 baking pan).

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  In a small bowl, whisk the buttermilk (or equivalent), honey, melted butter, and egg together until well blended.  Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and gently but quickly stir to blend (can use a whisk, spoon, or spatula to mix).  Gently fold in optional add-ins.

Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups or pour into baking pan.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes for regular muffins, 12 minutes for mini muffins, or 20-25 minutes for an 8×8 pan, or until the tops are golden and a thin knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean.  Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing muffins/bread.

Makes 12 regular muffins, 24 minis, or 16 pieces of cornbread


Note: recipe can easily be doubled and baked in a 9×13 pan.  Start checking for doneness at 25 minutes; larger batch might take a few minutes longer than in an 8×8 pan.



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