Honey Cornbread Muffins | The Rising Spoon

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Honey Cornbread Muffins

Need a quick & easy side to serve with soup, chili, or barbecue? Fix these tender & slightly sweet cornbread muffins in only 30 minutes. The combo of honey, buttermilk (or regular milk), sour cream & butter make them moist, rich, and extra comforting. 

Use my homemade cornbread mix with flour, yellow cornmeal, baking powder & salt as the base, or grab a box of Jiffy from your pantry. This recipe yields 6 muffins, which is good for 2-3 people; however, you can easily double it to make a dozen if you want more! 

Honey Cornbread Muffins Recipe (Moist, Tender & Slightly Sweet)

When you think of cornbread, what's the first meal that comes to mind? Mine is ham & bean soup. Salty, smoky ham chunks + creamy white beans floating in a savory broth.

My second thought is white chicken chili. It also has savory & salty (albeit less so) broth with white beans and hearty veggies, but with a background of earthy cumin to give it a kick. 

Both dishes contrast perfectly with sweet, buttery, and slightly crumbly cornbread, which is why my aunt (who helped raise us after my mom's death) always fixed us a batch to serve with these types of meals. 

But it's also inexpensive & filling, which helps stretch your food further. Back then she was feeding multiple kids and we never knew who might walk in the door (hungry) for a surprise visit.

So, cornbread really makes me think of sharing food with family & friends. The pleasure of giving someone a warm, comforting meal to fill their belly. Or eating someone else's food that they made with love. Quite nostalgic, eh?

This is why I'm excited to share my cornbread muffins with you today. It's an improved version of my go-to recipe that I've been making for the past 5 years. I've baked multiple batches the past few weeks trying to make it moister, richer & sweeter (but not too much).

And I finally settled on the best version! I'm still using my old pictures because I didn't have time to re-photograph them. I figured you'd rather have the recipe sooner! Plus, the new ones don't look much different. Maybe a tad darker from using coconut sugar, but that's it. 

I used to make a savory version with hardly any sweetener + green chiles and shredded cheddar cheese, but I'm ready to embrace sweeter cornbread now. The bumped up honey flavor makes a huge difference! If I want a savory, crumbly version with lots of corn flavor, I can make my skillet cornbread with masa harina instead.

How to Make Honey Cornbread Muffins

Ingredients For Honey Cornbread Muffins

The ingredients are super simple, but you have some opportunities for swaps if needed.

  • Homemade Cornbread Mix: This is a mixture of all-purpose flour, yellow cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. It's a copycat of the Jiffy corn muffin mix (from the little 8.5 oz box), so if you don't have the dry ingredients on hand to make it right now, you can use one of those instead. (Note: I have the recipe ingredients & measurements in a separate post so folks can make it ahead of time or package it up as food gifts.)
  • Milk: I always use buttermilk, whole milk, or canned full-fat coconut milk. Buttermilk is my favorite because it adds an extra tang, but I usually don't have it on hand. More often than not, I'll use canned coconut milk as a substitute for milk in recipes because I don't buy whole milk very often (unless it's raw from my local dairy farm). Make sure it's full-fat (not light) and depending on the brand, you'll have to shake the cream + liquid together again to reincorporate before measuring. 
  • Sour Cream: This is the "secret" ingredient that adds extra richness to the batter and helps keep the muffins moist. Don't skip it! 
  • Melted Butter: The extra fat helps keep the muffins moist and gives it a wonderful flavor. I melt the butter in the microwave for 15-20 seconds before adding it to the batter (make sure it's lukewarm & not hot so it doesn't cook the egg). I've used unsalted and salted - either works here. If you need a dairy-free option, use melted ghee. Coconut oil should work, too, I just haven't tried it yet. 
  • Sugar: This adds some sweetness & flavor to the batter. These days I use coconut sugar, which is less refined and lower on the glycemic scale. Coconut sugar has a caramel color like brown sugar, so if you use it your muffins will turn out a little darker than what's pictured here.
  • Honey: This adds the classic honey taste + extra moisture to the batter. Honey is actually a humectant (why it's often used in DIY personal care recipes like lip balm) so it's good for keeping things moist. In my experience, it makes foods brown faster when baking, so I cut it half and half with sugar to reduce this. If you want to use all honey in this recipe (and skip the sugar altogether) keep an eye on them to make sure the tops don't get too toasty before they're done.
  • Egg: This adds moisture, acts as a binder, adds some much-needed fat + protein, and helps to create that tender texture. Use whatever size eggs you have on hand. Mine are typically medium-sized. 
  • Canned Diced Green Chiles (Optional): This adds a mild chile flavor to the cornbread (it's not spicy) that compliments the corn flavor. Can't find it in your local store? Order it online here. Chopped pickled jalapenos (well-drained) or even chopped raw jalapenos (seeds removed) would make a yummy substitute. Or you can omit it altogether. 

Easy Honey Cornbread Muffins Recipe (Moist Jiffy Copycat)

How to Make Honey Cornbread Muffins + Tips

Here's the basic run-down of how to make these muffins. (Hint: they're super duper easy & fast!) I've also included tips so don't skim this section if it's your first time making cornbread muffins. 

  1. Pre-heat the oven & grease the muffin tin: I use avocado oil cooking spray (Costco sells a 2-pack for an excellent price), but melted butter, coconut oil, or bacon grease would be great. I don't use muffin liners because I cook my muffins at a slightly higher temp (400 degrees) so they form a crust on the bottom & sides. However, my muffin tin is non-stick so that makes it easier. If you think your cornbread might stick despite greasing the tins, then use muffin liners instead but still spray or grease them
  2. Mix the dry ingredients: If you made my homemade cornbread mix ahead of time, just dump that into the bowl. Otherwise, use that recipe and measure in the all-purpose flour, yellow cornmeal, baking powder, and salt, then stir until completely incorporated.
  3. Mix the wet ingredients: Add the buttermilk (or your preferred milk), sour cream, melted butter, sugar, honey, and egg into a separate bowl and stir until combined. TIP: To make it easier to measure the honey, I spray my measuring cup with cooking spray first so it slides right out. 
  4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients: Stir them together until all the dry patches are gone, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl. You want the batter to stay light & airy (it'll look sort of foamy), so don't overmix here. 
  5. Fold in any additional mix-ins: This is totally optional, but I almost always add canned diced green chiles (drained). You could also sub 1/4 or 1/2 a cup of canned sweet corn (drained) or even frozen sweet corn that you've thawed. If you want this more savory, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of shredded cheese (I like cheddar). There are lots of options!
  6. Scoop batter into 6 muffin tins: This is a small batch recipe, which is perfect for a quick side dish for two or three folks. You can easily double the recipe if you're feeding more people or want leftovers (cornbread tastes best the day it's baked so you'll want to reheat & slather with more butter in that case).
  7. Bake & cool slightly:  Bake about 15 minutes or until a wooden toothpick stuck in the middle of one of the muffins comes out clean. You don't want to overcook your cornbread, so if your oven runs hot or you portioned your batter out into more tins to make smaller muffins, check on them a few minutes early. After a few minutes, pull them out of the muffin tins to cool for 5-10 minutes on the counter. 
  8. Serve warm with extra butter & honey: The best way to eat cornbread muffins is to slice one in half while still warm, slather both sides with softened butter, and (if desired) drizzle with a teensy bit of honey. Then eat it alone as a heavenly side (with crock-pot BBQ ribs mayhaps) or rip off chunks to dunk in a soup, stew, or beef & chorizo chili. Mmmmm. 

The Best Easy Honey Cornbread Muffins Recipe (Jiffy Copycat)

More Muffin Recipes You'll Love:

honey cornbread muffins, sweet, buttermilk, best, basic
baked goods
American
Yield: 6 muffins
Author: Elaina Newton - The Rising Spoon
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Honey Cornbread Muffins

Honey Cornbread Muffins

Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 15 MinTotal time: 25 Min
Need a quick & easy side to serve with soup, chili, or barbecue? Fix these tender & slightly sweetened cornbread muffins in only 30 minutes. The combo of honey, buttermilk (or regular milk), sour cream & butter make them moist, rich, and extra comforting.

Ingredients

  • 1 batch of homemade cornbread mix (jiffy copycat)*
  • 1/3 cup of buttermilk, whole milk, or canned full-fat coconut milk (like these)
  • 1/4 cup of sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons of melted butter
  • 1/4 cup of sugar (I used coconut sugar)
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 (4 oz) can of diced green chiles, drained (optional - like this)
Toppings (Optional):
  • Salted Butter
  • Honey

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 12-count muffin tin with cooking spray or butter. Pour the cornbread mix into a medium-sized bowl and set aside. 
  2. In a separate bowl, add the milk, sour cream, melted butter (it should be lukewarm), sugar, honey, and egg. Stir until combined. 
  3. Pour the wet mixture into the dry cornbread mix and stir until the batter is just combined (no dry patches). If using, gently fold the canned green chiles (or any other mix-ins) into the batter.
  4. Fill 6 of the muffin tins with all the batter (it'll reach almost to the top of each tin). Bake for 15 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick stuck in the center of a muffin comes out clean.  
  5. Transfer the muffins to a wire rack or plate to cool for 5-10 minutes. To serve, cut the muffins in half while warm, and slather both sides with softened butter. If you like it extra sweet, drizzle the muffins with a bit of honey. 
  6. Store any leftovers in a tightly sealed container at room temperature and consume within 2-3 days for the best texture. 

Notes:

*CORNBREAD MIX: The homemade cornbread mix is a blend of all-purpose flour, yellow cornmeal, baking powder & salt. If you don't have the ingredients on hand to make it, use an 8.5 oz box of Jiffy corn muffin mix instead. SAVORY VERSION: As written, these cornbread muffins are slightly sweet and more similar to a Southern-style cornbread. If you prefer it more savory, omit the sugar and just use the 1/4 cup of honey. With the honey alone, the muffins will barely have any sweetness, but adding it helps to add moistness and flavor. The savory version is also delicious with 1/2 cup of shredded cheese mixed in at the same time as the green chiles. SHELF-LIFE: Cornbread tastes the best & is the moistest within a few hours of baking. If you have leftovers, pop them in the microwave briefly (15 seconds or so) or into a 350-degree oven until warm again, then slather with butter and they'll still taste yummy!
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Need a quick & easy side to serve with soup, chili, or barbecue? Fix these tender & slightly sweet cornbread muffins in only 30 minutes. The combo of honey, buttermilk (or regular milk), sour cream & butter make them moist, rich, and extra comforting - the best! Use my homemade cornbread mix with flour, yellow cornmeal, baking powder & salt as the base, or grab a box of Jiffy from your pantry. This recipe yields 6 muffins; however, you can easily double it to make a dozen if you want more!

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