Baking/ Dessert/ Recipes/ Side Dish/ Snack

Buttermilk Cornbread Muffins

05/08/2020

The best thing about Cornbread Muffins is their light and fluffy texture and hint of sweetness. Made with a quick and easy homemade buttermilk, they’re perfect for dunking in spicy dishes or enjoyed all by themselves as a tasty snack or dessert.

Cornbread muffin cut in half with butter and surrounded by muffins in patty pans.

Why We Love This

These muffins are so quick and easy to make – all you need are a few staple pantry items. Literally melt, mix and bake – that’s it. If you have a Kitchenaid or similar mixer, these cornbread bites would be even easier! 

The combination of butter and buttermilk makes these cornbread muffins super moist, with just enough sweetness to let you decide whether you want to eat it as a savoury side dish or leave it until dessert.

(For the record, we did both. They were way too tasty not too!)

Top down view of cornbread muffins on a cooling tray,

What is cornbread?

Cornbread is a type of quick bread that is made from cornmeal. While its origins trace back to Native American cuisine, cornbread is most popular across the Southern and Atlantic states of America. Savoury with just a hint of sweetness, it’s no surprise these muffins go deliciously well with the spice and heat of Southern American cuisine.

What You’ll Need

This recipe calls for staple ingredients like flour, sugar, butter, eggs and milk, but here’s a little more info about what else you’ll need:

  • Cornmeal This is made out of ground dried corn kernels. In Australia, it’s usually packaged under the name ‘polenta‘, but (confusingly), polenta is actually the name of a dish that originates in Italy, which is made out of cornmeal. There can be some textural differences between the varieties of cornmeal out there – some are ground fine, medium or coarse, but any type of cornmeal should work perfectly for this recipe. It adds a delicious grittiness (which sounds weird. we know) but it’s what gives these muffins their classic addictive texture.
  • Buttermilk – We love to make our own homemade buttermilk, as it’s so expensive to buy, and we usually only use it in baking or for pancakes. Since we always have milk and vinegar (or lemon juice) available in our kitchen, it just makes sense to make a quick batch for the exact amount you need. Easy! The acid in the vinegar or lemon juice will curdle the milk slightly, which thickens the milk and helps give these muffins their tender, fluffy texture.
  • Self Raising Flour – If you aren’t able to source self raising flour, you can make your own by adding 1½ tsp of baking powder and 1/4 tsp of salt for every 1 cup of flour.
All the ingredients laid out for cornbread muffins.

How to make:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180°C (350°F) and line your muffin tray(s) with patty pans, baking paper or just lightly grease.
  2. For the buttermilk, pour the cup of milk and 1 tbsp vinegar into a jug and set aside for five minutes.
  3. In a large mixing bowl add your dry ingredients – the cup of cornmeal/polenta, cup of self raising flour, 2/3 cup of sugar and pinch of salt.
  4. Next add the 2 eggs, 100g of butter and your homemade buttermilk. Mix everything together until you have a smooth and runny consistency.
  5. Ladle the cornbread mixture into your lined muffin tray. Make sure to fill them to around 3/4 full – no more otherwise they might spill over when they rise.
  6. Pop them in the oven to cook for around 20 minutes or until muffins start turning golden brown on top. Test with a toothpick or skewer – if it comes out clean, they’re done! Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool, or serve deliciously warm with a slathering of butter and honey.

Wandercook’s Tips

  • We like to nest our smaller muffin trays on a regular baking tray to make them super easy to pop in and take out of the oven!
  • If you make your own self raising flour, be sure you’re using baking powder. If you accidentally use baking soda, it can bring a metallic taste to the muffins, and we sure don’t want that.
A cornbread muffin on its side, balanced on top of a tray of other cornbread muffins.

FAQs

When are these muffins done?

There’s a couple of ways to know when your cornbread muffins are ready. First look to see if they are starting to brown on top, then grab a skewer and pierce one of the muffins. If the skewer comes out clean, they’re ready to eat!

Can they be frozen?

Like most baked goods, these can definitely be frozen for a good 2-3 months in a tight, sealed container. Wait until they’re cool before freezing. When you thaw them – either pop them in the microwave for 20-30 seconds to warm them up, or leave them out on the bench for an hour or two if you prefer them cool.

How long will do these muffins keep in the fridge?

Cornbread muffins are really at their best on the day of cooking, preferably fresh out of the oven. But they’ll still be good for around 5-7 days if kept in the fridge. If you don’t think you’ll eat them all – give some to friends and family, or pop them straight in the freezer to keep them for a few weeks.

Variations & Substitutes

Cornbread is such a versatile recipe, with so many options to tweak it to suit your meal or preferred taste. For example you can:

  • Cook it in a skillet or cake pan instead of muffins
  • Omit the sugar, or halve the sugar for a more savoury muffin
  • Add honey or maple syrup if you have a sweet tooth
  • Try adding fruit such as blueberries or apple to have a twist on traditional cornbread

Don’t have cornmeal on hand? You can substitute it with 1 cup of tinned sweet corn or creamed corn and blend it with the wet ingredients before adding to the dry ingredients. Some prefer to use corn without added salt, but this isn’t essential. Note that we haven’t tested this method, so if you do try it be sure to let us know how you go in the comments below!

Want more baked treats? Here are some of our favourites:

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating below!

Cornbread muffin cut in half with butter and surrounded by muffins in patty pans.

Buttermilk Cornbread Muffins

The best thing about Cornbread Muffins is their light and fluffy texture and hint of sweetness. Made with a quick and easy homemade buttermilk, they're perfect for dunking in spicy dishes or enjoyed all by themselves as a tasty snack or dessert.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Course: Dessert, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 Muffins
Calories: 213kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $5

Ingredients

For the buttermilk:

For the muffins:

Instructions

  • Pre-heat your oven to 180°C (350°F) and line your muffin tray(s) with patty pans, baking paper or just lightly grease.
  • For the buttermilk, pour the cup of milk and 1 tbsp vinegar into a jug and set aside for five minutes.
  • In a large mixing bowl add your dry ingredients – the cup of cornmeal/polenta, cup of self raising flour, 2/3 cup of sugar and pinch of salt.
  • Next add the 2 eggs, 100g of butter and your homemade buttermilk. Mix everything together until you have a smooth and runny consistency.
  • Ladle the cornbread mixture into your lined muffin tray. Make sure to fill them to around 3/4 full – no more otherwise they might spill over when they rise.
  • Pop them in the oven to cook for around 20 minutes or until muffins start turning golden brown on top. Test with a toothpick or skewer – if it comes out clean, they're done! Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool, or serve deliciously warm with a slathering of butter and honey.

Video

Recipe Notes

Tips
  • We like to nest our smaller muffin trays on a regular baking tray to make them super easy to pop in and take out of the oven!
  • If you make your own self raising flour, be sure you’re using baking powder. If you accidentally use baking soda, it can bring a metallic taste to the muffins, and we sure don’t want that.
FAQs
  • When are cornbread muffins done? There’s a couple of ways to know when your cornbread muffins are ready. First look to see if they are starting to brown on top, then grab a skewer and piece one of the muffins. If the skewer comes out clean, they’re ready to eat!
  • Can cornbread muffins be frozen? Like most baked goods, these can definitely be frozen for a good 2-3 months in a tight, sealed container. Wait until they’re cool before freezing. When you thaw them – either pop them in the microwave for 20-30 seconds to warm them up, or leave them out on the bench for an hour or two if you prefer them cool.
  • How long will cornbread muffins keep in the fridge? Our rule of thumb is 5-7 days in the fridge. If you don’t think you’ll eat them all – give some to friends and family, or pop them straight in the freezer.
Variations & Substitutions
Cornbread is such a versatile recipe, with so many options to tweak it to suit your meal or preferred taste. For example you can:
  • Cook it in a skillet or cake pan instead of muffins
  • Omit the sugar, or halve the sugar for a more savoury muffin
  • Add honey or maple syrup if you have a sweet tooth
  • Try adding fruit such as blueberries or apple to have a twist on traditional cornbread

Nutrition

Calories: 213kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 82mg | Potassium: 66mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 309IU | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1mg
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks
Buttermilk Cornbread Muffins

Get our free cookbook

10 Comments

  • Reply
    Irina
    25/09/2019 at 2:25 pm

    5 stars
    I love this buttermilk-based muffin recipe! Muffins sound so delicious that I cannot wait to try!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      26/09/2019 at 10:15 am

      Thanks Irina!

  • Reply
    Gavin
    25/09/2019 at 1:11 pm

    5 stars
    Another cracker of a recipe – the whole family loved these. Delish!!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      26/09/2019 at 10:15 am

      So cool to hear Gavin! Our family are exactly the same 😀

  • Reply
    Patty at Spoonabilities
    25/09/2019 at 12:56 pm

    5 stars
    These corn muffins are so moist and delicious! The best corn muffin recipe ever!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      26/09/2019 at 10:14 am

      Aww thanks Patty! That’s awesome to hear. Thanks for letting us know. 🙂

  • Reply
    Laura
    25/09/2019 at 11:41 am

    5 stars
    These muffins look as if they beg for someone to eat them, and do it quickly. I would probably prefer them as a snack though but wouldn’t mind trying them with chili, too. Yum.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      26/09/2019 at 10:14 am

      Haha they definitely didn’t last long in our house. We’ve cooked a few batches since too!

  • Reply
    Annissa
    25/09/2019 at 11:41 am

    5 stars
    What beautiful muffins! These would be perfect alongside a hearty soup or stew. The step by step directions make them sound easy to make.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      26/09/2019 at 10:13 am

      They are! We love eating them with chilli, and agreed – it’s literally whip them up and pop them in the oven in minutes!

    Leave a Reply

    Recipe Rating




    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.