Homemade cornmeal muffins are a fun morning treat, side dish with chili or any other dinner idea. Tender and easy to make with a bit of sweetness to them.
If you love a tasty side dish to go with your ribs or chili, these cornmeal muffins are them! During the holidays these are a must make for little hands to enjoy. Just one of many of the best muffin recipes we have on our site, because we’re kinda’ obsessed with grab and go. (affiliate links present, originally published 9/21)
Sweet Cornbread Muffins
I don’t know about you but I LOVE Famous Dave’s cornbread muffins. I mean, I kinda’ dream about them and they bring me back for meals time and time again. You can totally make copycat recipes at home if you have a good recipe and this one is it!
Follow it to the tee and you may never use another homemade cornbread recipe other than this one again. 😉 Yes you could make this in a bundt pan or square 9×9 but grab and go are so much easier. Mini cornbread muffins would be faster. You could even add some fresh blueberries for an out of the box easy side dish option.
What’s the difference between cornbread and corn muffins?
Typically the latter is much sweeter. This version uses 1/2 cup inside the corn meal batter and raw sugar on the top. Like if you’re making a batch of our air fryer cornbread I don’t add sugar to that. Instead I include a can of diced chiles. Both are fantastic but up to your taste buds as to which is your favorite.
Old Fashioned Cornbread Muffins
If you have only used a boxed mix to make this popular Southern side dish you’re in for a treat! Yes Jiffy is great to make our corn casserole but for bread you really need more moisture added to make it fluffy and tender. I bet you have gone to a restaurant and your mouth was watering but when you bit into one they were drier than ever.
How do you keep cornbread from drying out?
NO good, there is a trick to avoid this and we will explain all of this here. I mean it makes sense that ground corn would be pretty dry if you didn’t use some sort of thickener and not use it in it’s entirety. A mixture of flour and this is a much better choice.
Some like to even add some 1/2 cup of sour cream or creamed corn into the batter to increase the moisture. Once served that is easy. Butter and/or honey is great to spread or drizzle on top to make them extra moist. Ok so let’s get to what you’ll need to start baking…..
Buttermilk Cornbread Muffins
No you don’t have to go to the store for a carton, you can make buttermilk with milk and lemon juice yourself! It’s way easier because you will likely always have these two items in your fridge at all times. Let’s skip more trips if we can shall we? Cornmeal muffins will need:
- Medium grind corn meal
- You can choose to use gluten free cornmeal if you need to as well
- Turbinado raw cane sugar was used on top to give them some sweetness.
- All purpose flour too but make sure you measure flour properly or they will be too dense.
- Room temperature or melted butter
- White and brown sugar
- Milk and lemon juice together make buttermilk
- If you needed this dairy free you could use almond milk instead
- Baking powder and a bit of salt
Beyond this I use non stick cooking spray OR baking paper liners inside the muffin tin. If you want some honey or melted butter when they are served you’d want those on hand too. You can add hot dogs and make these as corn dog bites too.
If you wanted to add a bit of heat you could make a version of jalapeno cornbread muffins pretty easily. Just grab 1 large one, remove the seeds and dice really fine. Add half or the whole thing to make them spicy.
Best Corn bread Muffins
The recipe below will make 12, if you needed 2 dozen you could easily double it and use two pans or bake in batches. I like to remove all muffins from the pan immediately so they don’t overcook and get drier. Place on a cooling rack and then serve them from there.
- First you’ll want to spray muffin pans or put in paper liners.
- Set oven to 400°. Create buttermilk by stirring lemon juice into milk. Set aside while mixing ingredients.
- In a medium bowl combine dry ingredients: flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and sugars. Stir in egg, and melted butter. Stir in buttermilk.
- Fill muffin tins 3⁄4 full with batter. Sprinkle course sugar on top of muffins, if using. Bake 15 – 20 minutes.
- Mini muffins would take closer to 8-10 min.
- Toothpick or cake tester should come out clean when inserted into the top of the muffin.
Allow corn meal muffins to cool slightly before removing from pan if you just sprayed it or immediately if you used papers. Serve warm! If you want another fun savory muffin creation, give our pizza muffins a whirl too.
You must not have used OUR recipe if this happened to you. 😉 If you replace some cornmeal with flour and use buttermilk instead of just milk this won’t happen. These can be quite dry if not prepared properly, and/or baked too long in the oven. Taking out just in time is the key too.
Honey Cornbread Muffins
We love this recipe and make them over and over again. If you have leftover regular or mini muffins they are great for the next 2 days easily if stored properly. You do not want them to dry out so put them into a freezer bag and suck all the air out of it. After removing one do the same thing again.
You can serve our cornmeal muffins whole or crumble one on top of a bowl of chili for a fun way to serve it. I did this once and my kids raved over dinner proclaiming me “so smart”, so I just smiled and went with it. LOL
Printable recipe card is below with nutritional information included too. They take about 30 minutes total to prep and bake. You can throw them together about 20 minutes before your 5 ingredient Crockpot chili is done.
Southern Cornbread Muffins
Have you ever heard that there is a distinct difference when you travel and are served sides like these? You might assume that to be so but I have lived in many states and for sure there is. I guess I am more of a Southern girl if I had to describe my taste buds in general.
What is the difference between Northern and Southern muffins?
The latter uses more eggs so the texture is more like cake than the other. It is sweeter as well which kinda’ makes sense to me. If you have been to states like Mississippi or Georgia these are served with just about everything. In the North they are more savory in general. I have made both and prefer a bit more sugar.
Why is cornbread popular in the South?
I mean who knows the exact reason, I am sure the answer would be different across the board depending on whom you asked. It is said though that these were cheap to make and popular during the American Civil War. I guess it stuck with people in that generation and passed on.
How to Keep Leftover Muffins Moist
Proper storage is key to keeping muffins moist. Once the muffins have completely cooled, place them in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag. This helps prevent air exposure and moisture loss. If you have a large number of muffins, consider placing a piece of parchment paper between layers to prevent them from sticking together.
To add or retain moisture, you can place a slice of bread or a damp paper towel in the container with the muffins. The bread or paper towel can help maintain a humid environment and prevent the muffins from drying out.
- If you don’t plan on consuming within a couple of days, consider freezing them. Wrap each muffin individually in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then place them in an airtight container or resealable freezer bag. Thaw the muffins at room temperature or in the microwave when you’re ready to enjoy them.
- When you’re ready to eat, you can gently warm it in the microwave to revive its moisture. Place a damp paper towel over the muffin and microwave it in short intervals (about 10-15 seconds at a time) until it’s warmed through. Be careful not to overheat, as this can cause the muffin to become tough.
- For a larger batch, you can use the oven to reheat and regain moisture. Preheat your oven to around 350°F (175°C), then place the muffins on a baking sheet. Cover them with aluminum foil to prevent them from browning too quickly. Heat the muffins for about 5-10 minutes until they’re warmed through.
Adding a glaze or topping can help seal in moisture. For example, a simple syrup brushed onto the muffin’s surface can add sweetness and moisture. Alternatively, you can top the muffins with a light drizzle of honey, jam, or nut butter.
While these tips can help extend the moisture of leftover muffins, it’s important to note that muffins are best enjoyed within a few days of baking for optimal taste and texture. Over time, even with the best storage methods, they may lose some of their freshness.
If you’re not planning on consuming all the leftover muffins at once, consider reheating only the ones you intend to eat. This way, you’re preserving the moisture in the remaining muffins until you’re ready to enjoy them.
Want to see a few of my favorite things that I am totally obsessed with?? Take a peek and see how many you might already have…twinsies!
- Spray muffin pans or put in paper liners. Set oven to 400°. Create buttermilk by stirring lemon juice into milk. Set aside while mixing ingredients.
- In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients: flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and sugars. Stir in egg, and melted butter. Stir in buttermilk.
- Fill muffin tins 3⁄4 full with batter. Sprinkle course sugar on top of muffins, if using. Bake 15-20 minutes. Toothpick or cake tester should come out clean when inserted into the top of the muffin.
- Allow to cool slightly before removing from pan. Serve warm!