I was recently asked by the J.M. Smucker Company to create a unique recipe featuring their Martha White® baking mixes since they're available in one of my local grocery stores (Kroger). In return for my time and creative effort, I'm being compensated financially for this post. Thank you for allowing me to keep creating great content by supporting partnerships with brands I collaborate with on The Rising Spoon. As always, the opinions expressed here are 100% my own.
My younger sister flew into Dallas last week to visit me for a few days (I wish her trip was longer!!) and while she was here we stopped by my local Kroger grocery store to pick up some recipe ingredients (like Martha White® yellow cornmeal and canned fire roasted green chiles), then mixed up a few batches of homemade cornbread mix to use for later.
I intended to fix some grass-fed beef chili or white chicken chili (heck, maybe even ham & bean soup) during her stay to serve with cornbread muffins, but we ended up eating out most of the time just to keep things simple and give her a chance to try some awesome East Dallas foodie spots. I took her to Rusty Taco and Dugg Burger, both of which she loved!
Mostly, she just wanted to relax and lay in the sun. Uhhhh, we have plenty of that to go around here in Northern Texas. It was her first real vacation in five months, and she's about to return home to snowy peaks and cold temps in Breckenridge, Colorado as the ski season starts up. (Sidenote: Have you ever been to Breckenridge or Summit County? It is absolutely gorgeous!)
Anyhoo, the weather stayed in the 80s during her trip, then the evening of the day she left (how serendipitous) a storm rolled into Dallas and we've had dropping temps and lots of rain the whole weekend.
Rain + steel-gray skies + windy, low 60s/upper 50s degree weather is MY favorite. It FINALLY feels like fall here!!
To celebrate, I spent yesterday afternoon baking several batches of homemade cornbread muffins. I originally intended (as a throwback to my childhood in Kansas) to fix sweet cornbread muffins made with either sugar or honey; however, I decided to try a savory version, as well.
Why? Well...I know it's a hotly debated subject whether authentic Southern cornbread and muffins should contain any sweetener. Seriously, check out the comments section of some popular cornbread recipes on the interwebz and you'll find folks passionately arguing both sides with plenty of stories to back them up.
I also wanted to make a savory cornbread muffin recipe to see if my boyfriend would like it better than my homemade skillet cornbread with masa harina. He doesn't like corn, cornbread, or sweet things, so I knew the odds were stacked against me.
However, I had a hunch that the higher ratio of flour in this recipe would yield a moister and milder cornbread than he's used to eating, so I thought I'd give it a try. Well, the hunch paid off!
My first round of cornbread muffins, which had no sweetener in them, only took about 15 minutes in the oven and turned out moist, with a mild flavor of corn, cheddar, and green chiles. They were also less crumbly than many cornbreads I've eaten in the past, which is great when you want to take a big ol' bite without it falling to pieces between your fingers.
I went ahead and photographed them (it was already a gray, rainy day so I had to work quickly), then offered a buttered muffin half to my boyfriend to try. He thought it was great! Not only that, but he went back and ate another. :)
I'd call that a success.
Even though the first batch was a hit, I wanted to try again with a sweetener added to replicate the sweet cornbread muffins I grew up eating as a child. Except this time, I wouldn't need to rely on that little blue box with partially hydrogenated oils. Yay!
Homemade cornbread mix is SO easy and inexpensive to make ahead of time, yet it only takes a few minutes to mix together on the spot if you run out. I love that it only contains four simple ingredients that I already keep in my pantry like flour (I used einkorn - one of my new favorites), yellow cornmeal (I happily used the Martha White® cornmeal because it didn't have any weird additives like many other brands), aluminium-free baking powder, and sea salt.
When you're ready to bake you simply mix the dry ingredients with an egg, buttermilk (or your favorite milk - I've used coconut milk before), cooking oil (I prefer melted butter), and any add-ins you want (I used shredded cheese and chiles). From here you can either keep it savory or add some sugar or a liquid sweetener like honey or real maple syrup. Easy peasy!
For my second batch of cornbread muffins, I measured three tablespoons of raw honey into the batter, which made them just sweet enough to my liking. I do have to note that because the honey is a liquid sweetener, it made the batter slightly runnier than the first batch, which meant I had to cook it a few extra minutes in the oven. This made the edges a little darker and the muffins didn't rise as high as the first savory batch (pictured), but they still tasted amazing!
One of the things I love most about cornbread is that it's so forgiving and flexible. It doesn't require any fancy schmancy ingredients, inactive waiting time, or a gentle touch. In fact, it's a perfect recipe to make with kids!
They'll love measuring and stirring, then plopping the mixture into a greased muffin tin. And after a brief trip in the oven and a few minutes on the counter to cool, you can pop them out of the muffin tin with the kids and have fun slathering each muffin with butter and even a drizzle of honey for a bit of sweetness!
Homemade Cornbread Muffins with Cheddar & Green Chiles
A quick and easy recipe for cornbread muffins using a simple homemade cornbread mix with yummy add-ins like shredded cheddar cheese and fire-roasted green chiles. The batter takes about five minutes to whip together and only 15-20 minutes to bake in the oven. Also, includes options for sweet and savory variations!
Yield: 6-8 muffins, using a normal-sized 12-count muffin tin (you can easily double or trip it!)
8 ounces of homemade cornbread mix (I used Martha White® cornmeal + einkorn flour, sea salt & baking powder)
1/3 cup of milk (I used buttermilk)
2 tablespoons of melted butter (or your favorite cooking oil)
1/2 cup of shredded cheese (I used sharp cheddar)
1 can (4 oz) of diced fire roasted green chiles, undrained
3 tablespoons of raw honey or sugar (optional - omit if you want it savory)
measuring spoons (these magnetic ones are cool!)
12-count muffin tin
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Pour the dry ingredients (the cornbread mix - click on the link above for my easy homemade recipe) into a mixing bowl. If using butter instead of a liquid cooking oil, melt on the stovetop. Measure the milk, egg, and butter into the dry ingredients and stir thoroughly. Pour in the shredded cheese and fire roasted green chiles (pick out any stems if you notice them), then stir to incorporate it evenly in the batter.
If you want your muffins to be savory, go ahead and move onto filling the muffin cups. If you want to make sweet cornbread muffins, measure in the honey or sugar and give it a final stir. Fill the muffin tins 3/4 full with batter until you've used it all up, then pop in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick or fork stuck in the center of a muffin comes out clean. My first batch (savory) only took 15 minutes in the oven, and my second batch (sweet), took 18-20 minutes. Just keep an eye on them from the 15-minute point and go from there.
When they're done, remove them from the oven, let the muffins cool for 10 minutes or so, then pop them out of the muffin tin. You can eat the muffins right away while they're still warm (great slathered in butter) or let them cool completely and store in an airtight container on the counter or the fridge. They should keep 2-3 days like this.
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Wondering if there is a Kroger grocery store near you so you can pick up a bag of Martha White® yellow cornmeal for this recipe? Click here to find a local Kroger store near you!
I'd like to hear from YOU!
What's your favorite Southern recipe like cornbread? How will you use Martha White® in your favorite Southern recipe?
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of J.M. Smucker's®. The opinions and text are all mine.
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