Fluffy Cornbread Muffins Recipe

Corn is a quintessentially American ingredient, so it's no wonder that several of the American foods that tend to baffle foreigners are made with corn as a primary ingredient. Of course, cornbread isn't nearly as quirky as, say, corndogs or grits, but because it has the word "bread" in it, it can lead to confusion. First, cornbread isn't "bread" so much as "quick bread," which means its leavening agent is something other than yeast, and further, it hardly resembles bread at all.

In fact, in this recipe for fluffy cornbread muffins from wellness expert and recipe developer Miriam Hahn, the leavening agent is good ole baking powder, and the finished product looks like muffins but has a texture that is closer to cake than bread. Yet, when you get into the nitty-gritty of Hahn's recipe, you'll see that there is nothing cake-like about it. It's only mildly sweet, and as you'll see, Hahn offers modifications for people whose diets restrict them from milk and dairy. 

"I like these corn muffins because they are great with chili or soup but are equally as good as a breakfast muffin with coffee," Hahn told Mashed. "They are great alone or with butter." Read on for Hahn's fascinatingly flexible take on cornbread.

Gather your ingredients for your fluffy cornbread muffins

For Hahn's fluffy cornbread muffins, you'll need one and two-thirds cups of all-purpose flour (for clarification purposes, that means that it is JUST the flour and contains no leavening agent), two-thirds of a cup of cornmeal (which you may not even realize is a whole grain food), a mere half-cup of sugar (divided across 12 servings — that's remarkably low in sugar), a cup of milk, a quarter cup plus one tablespoon of softened butter, two tablespoons of olive oil, two eggs, and one tablespoon of baking powder. You'll also need a muffin tin or two for a total of 12 servings.

However, as Hahn told Mashed, "A good recipe is one that can be easily modified." So, for those who can't tolerate milk, Hahn recommends flax milk as the perfect substitute. For those who can't tolerate eggs, Hahn recommends making "flax eggs," comprised of one tablespoon of ground flaxseed to three tablespoons of water per "egg."

The first step is simple but crucial: Preheat your oven

There's a really good reason you'll want to preheat your oven no matter what you're baking, but apart from that, for these fluffy cornbread muffins, you'll want to be sure to take care of the preheating step right away before you start any of your prep work. That's because these fluffy cornbread muffins come together so quickly, you might find that when you're done with the prep work, you'll still be waiting a few minutes for the oven to come to its ideal temp of 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Also, if you haven't done so yet, now would be a good time to take your butter out of the fridge to allow it time to soften. 

Measure and mix your dry ingredients

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt until no lumps can be seen, and then set aside. To measure the flour properly, it's best to stir the flour with a fork before spooning it into a measuring cup. The cornmeal doesn't pack down the way flour does, so it can be measured simply by dipping the measuring cup into the container. As for the baking powder and salt, you'll want to be sure to use level spoons (as opposed to heaping).

Next up: Combine the wet ingredients

To combine the wet ingredients, start by using a hand mixer on medium to cream together the softened butter and the sugar. This should take only about a minute. Your goal is just to get the two ingredients blended. Then add the milk (or flax milk) and oil, and then the eggs (or flax eggs). If any egg whites remain unblended, you can break them up with a whisk.

Time to add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients

After your wet ingredients have been blended together thoroughly, it will be time to add the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt mixture. Do so by sprinkling the blended dry ingredients in thirds, stirring with a whisk to combine in between. When your batter looks well-blended — like it does in the photo above — you're just about ready to turn to the baking part.

Line your muffin tins, fill, and bake your fluffy cornbread muffins

For the easiest cleanup, you'll want to line your muffin tins with paper cups. Then fill evenly with the cornbread batter. To do so with the least drama, Hahn offers this solution: Fill each muffin cup halfway, and then go back and fill them up with the remaining batter. If it helps, you can use an ice cream scooper, Hahn advises.

Pop the muffin tins in the oven on the center rack and bake for 20 minutes. At that point, a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin should come out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature, on their own, with butter and/or jam, or alongside chili or soup.

Fluffy Cornbread Muffins Recipe
5 from 45 ratings
We like these corn muffins because they are great with chili or soup but are equally as good as a breakfast muffin with coffee.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Fluffy Cornbread Muffins straight out of the oven
Total time: 30 minutes
  • 1 ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 eggs
Optional Ingredients
  • Flax milk
  • Ground flaxseed
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the sugar and butter with a hand mixer, and then add milk, oil, and eggs.
  4. Add in the cornmeal mixture a little bit at a time, and mix by hand until well blended.
  5. Line a muffin tin with parchment paper cups and fill all 12 cups evenly with the batter.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes (toothpick should come out clean).
  7. Serve and enjoy.
Calories per Serving 213
Total Fat 8.7 g
Saturated Fat 4.0 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 41.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 29.8 g
Dietary Fiber 0.8 g
Total Sugars 9.6 g
Sodium 165.6 mg
Protein 4.0 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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