Honey Cornbread Muffins

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Honey cornbread muffins recipe that’s easy, fast and will be the perfect complement to any feast. These golden muffins have cornmeal and sweet honey in each bite.

Easy cornbread muffins recipe that's fast and will perfectly compliment any feast.
Table of Contents
  1. Make the batter
  2. How to make cornbread muffins
  3. Ways to enhance the flavor
  4. Serve this with
  5. Frequently asked questions
  6. Honey Cornbread Muffins Recipe

There’s something about freshly baked cornbread muffins that makes me smile. Do you feel the same? I crave those sweet corn cakes. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner, there’s never a wrong time for them. I usually make cornbread in a skillet or pan. However, individual servings are the way to go when feeding a crowd, especially for a busy holiday feast like Thanksgiving.

This is my absolute favorite cornbread recipe, and I’ve made it countless times. I’ve even made a dairy-free and gluten-free version. I pop them in the oven, about 30 minutes before serving so they’re nice and warm. The balance of sweet honey nectar with savory cornmeal makes for a delicious side dish that will disappear faster than it took to make.

A cornbread muffin sliced in half with butter spread on it.

Make the batter

The base of the batter is composed of dry ingredients; cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and granulated sugar. Cornmeal is dried kernels of corn that have been ground down but can be pretty dense. Using a leavening agent like baking powder (sodium bicarbonate and cream of tartar) helps the muffins to rise. Mix those in a large bowl to distribute the fine powders evenly.

The wet ingredients help bind the batter together, adding fat for tenderness and moisture to prevent them from drying out. Mix milk, eggs, melted butter, and honey in a medium bowl. Add this to the cornmeal mixture, then gently combine the ingredients until the flour is hydrated. This prevents a chewy texture. Don’t overmix the batter! I like to add whole pieces of corn kernels to the muffin batter for an interesting texture with each bite. The honey adds a lingering sweetness to the muffins and keeps them moist.

How to make cornbread muffins

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, so it’s nice and hot when you’re ready to bake. To prevent the muffins from sticking to the pan, lightly coat the insides with cooking spray. Alternatively, add muffin liners to make it easy to remove. Fill each cup about two-thirds fill, and this will lovely give a domed top. Bake until the surface is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 15 minutes.

I let the muffins cool in the warm tins for 5 minutes to complete carryover cooking, then immediately transfer them to a wire rack. I always serve them warm so that butter slathered on top melts. Once you take a bite, you’ll find that the tiny pieces of ground yellow cornmeal provide a nice crunch and are a welcome contrast to whole pieces of sweet corn kernels.

Ways to enhance the flavor

  • Adding rosemary, thyme, or grated citrus peel can make the flavor of the cornbread muffins even more aromatic.
  • Stir in fresh cranberries or blueberries for a fruity taste. Add in grated cheese and chopped jalapeno for a savory or spicy kick!
  • Soften butter to room temperature, then whip in pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon and spread on top.
  • Don’t forget to drizzle on some extra honey!
Drizzling honey over the top of a buttered piece of cornbread muffin.

Serve this with

Frequently asked questions

Can you freeze cornbread muffins?

Cool the muffins completely, then individually wrap them in plastic—transfer muffins to a large resealable plastic bag for up to 3 months.

What is the difference between corn muffins and cornbread?

Corn muffins are made in a muffin pan to give individually portioned pieces. Cornbread is a similar batter, baked in a larger pan or cast iron skillet, then cut into pieces of the desired size. Cornbread often adds sweet fruit or savory ingredients like cheese or spicy peppers.

Why are my cornbread muffins so crumbly?

There is either too much flour, which makes it fall apart. Or you don’t have enough binders like eggs. You may need more fat from melted butter or vegetable oil if it’s very dry.

The benefits of adding honey

The honey not only sweetens the muffins but tenderizes them as well. Honey is a humectant, which means that it attracts water and keeps the cakes from becoming dry. The natural acids in the honey react with the baking soda to create gas bubbles. The carbon dioxide gets trapped as the batter sets, making light and tender muffins.

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Honey Cornbread Muffins

Honey cornbread muffins recipe that is easy, fast, and will be the perfect compliment to any holiday feast.
4.84 from 49 votes
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings 12 muffins
Course Side
Cuisine American

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup reduced-fat milk, or whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¾ cup yellow corn kernels, cooked (optional)

Instructions 

  • Heat the Oven – Set the oven rack to the center position. Preheat oven to 400°F (204ºC).
  • Combine Dry Ingredients – In a large bowl, whisk the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
  • Combine Wet Ingredients – In a medium bowl, whisk the milk, eggs, butter, and honey.
  • Make the Batter – Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just mixed. Gently fold in the corn.
  • Prepare Muffin Tin – Lightly spray the muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray. Skip this step if using paper liners. Fill the muffin tins ⅔ full with the batter.
  • Bake – Place the muffin tin on a sheet pan and bake in the center rack of the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool After Baking – Allow muffins to cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then transfer to a cooling rack. Do not leave the muffins in the tin longer than 5 minutes. Otherwise, they will become soggy as it cools.

Recipe Video

Notes

  • Make Mini Muffins: 48 mini cornbread muffins can be made with this recipe. Grease the inside of the muffin tins and fill 2/3 full, about 1 tablespoon of batter. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, 24 muffins at a time. Cool in the pan for 2 minutes, and then remove.
  • Reduce the Sweetness: To make the cornbread muffins less sweet and more savory, reduce the honey to ¼ cup and sugar to ¼ cup.
  • Storing: Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. 
  • Freezing: Individually wrap in plastic, transfer to a large resealable bag, and freeze for up to 3 months. 
Nutrition Facts
Honey Cornbread Muffins
Amount Per Serving
Calories 186 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 2g10%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.4g
Cholesterol 39mg13%
Sodium 186mg8%
Potassium 72mg2%
Carbohydrates 34g11%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 18g20%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 300IU6%
Vitamin C 0.2mg0%
Calcium 120mg12%
Iron 0.7mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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Reader Interactions

47 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. CakePants says

    Yup, I’m pretty much powerless in the face of a plate of fresh, sweet cornbread, and these muffins are no exception! Their color is practically mesmerizing!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you CakePants! Yes, these muffins get a nice golden brown. I think these will definitely be on the thanksgiving menu this year 🙂

  2. Lainey says

    Hi Jessica..thanks for sharing your recipe and just in time for Thanksgiving! These look delicious and I also love the addition of honey. Curious…would a light brown sugar work in this recipe and can the recipe work as mini-muffins if I reduce the time? Thanks for any tips : )

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Lainey! Yes you can use light brown sugar too. I have made them as mini muffins, I would try one small batch first and check after 6 minutes. It may take between 6 and 8 minutes. I would keep checking every minute after 6 minutes in case you need longer time. Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes in the pan instead of 5 minutes. Let me know how they turn out!

      • Lainey says

        Jessica…they came out just perfect and I used 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup white sugar (I may reduce the salt to 1/2 teaspoon on my next batch). This will be my cornbread recipe of choice this year for thanksgiving! Thanks again for the inspiration!

  3. Cakespy says

    Cornbread and corn muffins are my weakness. No–they are what gives me STRENGTH to be awesome. And these look particularly awesome – love the niblets of corn. Yumz.

  4. johnf says

    I made this recipe a week ago and the muffins were delicious. I froze the leftovers and used them tonight with beef chili. They stayed moist and were almost as good as last week. My muffins were a little too dark on the sides although the tops were perfect. I’ll try to take them out of the oven a minute or two sooner next time. I’ve been looking for a good corn muffin recipe and I think I’ve found it! Thank you.

  5. Judy says

    Those look beautiful and just the right size. I can see myself making those along with a nice pot of pinto beans that cooked all day. Yummy.

    Thank you Jessica
    Judy

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you Judy! I love this recipe and make it for my family all the time. Beans sound like a perfect pairing 🙂

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Faith! I personally like them fresh from the oven. However you could bake them the day before, and then reheat briefly in the oven before serving 🙂

  6. Corinne says

    Made these to pair with the turkey chili. Crispy on outside, and moist in middle. 15 minutes @400 is perfect cooking time. Great muffin consistency.

  7. Georgina says

    These are the best, I have tried variations of corn bread muffins and bread but this recipe rocks – so well that the entire office has a copy and this is now a family staple. They also work so well for lunch boxes.

    Jessica I have to just say that as a working mom, your recipes look amazing, I have printed a whole stack & cannot wait to try them.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you for your feedback Georgina! I appreciate your feedback and feel so happy knowing that the recipes are helping you provide a tasty meal to your family and friends!

  8. Sarah says

    Any thoughts on incorporating creamed corn in place of the corn kernels? I was thinking maybe decrease the milk to compensate?
    My family loved these. I made them with Gluten free flour and coconut

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Sarah- Yo can definitely substitute creamed corn for corn kernels. I think it’s a good idea to decrease the the milk amount to ensure that the muffins don’t become soggy. If possible, I would strain the creamed corn to see how much liquid is retained. Measure out that amount and reduce the input of milk by the quantity. Let me know how it goes!

  9. Cassidy Zuver says

    These came out perfectly!! Thank you so much for sharing. I also whipped some honey butter up to spread on top. Goes great with homemade Chili too.

  10. Maha says

    I just made these they came out perfect! I am in love ? I think I will make more for my friends too ! Thank you so much and the only change I made was using 1/2 cup of butter and 1/4cup of honey that’s it and the baking time is perfect ??

    • Jessica Gavin says

      No, I would use regular cornmeal since I’m not sure how much leavening agent is the self rising cornmeal.

  11. donutstodanish says

    I’ve now made this recipe a few times (most recently for Thanksgiving) and they are such a crowd-pleaser! So moist, sweet and delicious….and easy to make! This last time I made them into mini-loaves, which were so fun!

  12. Sharyn says

    I had been buying a honey cornbread mix in a box. We moved from VA to CO, and I cannot find the boxed mix anywhere. Since I had all the ingredients at home, I figured why not make my own instead of buying a mix? Really enjoyed these. They were not overly crumbly (some corn muffins are). They were a bit sweet for me and my husband, so next time I’ll try the 1/4 cup each of sugar and honey, as you suggest. You mention adding rosemary, thyme or grated citrus peel as interesting additions for flavor. How much would you add of any of these?

    • Jessica Gavin says

      To replace two large eggs mix 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds with 6 tablespoons water, allow to sit and thicken for 5 to 10 minutes. The cornbread will be a little denser without the eggs.

  13. Janis Osborne says

    My favorite cornbread muffins recipe ever!
    I think the addition of the honey and the corn made
    a remarkable positive difference.
    My husband was all smiles…thank you.

  14. Denise Y says

    Oh my goodness, these were so easy to make and turned out beautifully ? The only change I made was using KA Gluten Free flour. This is definitely going into my all time favorite recipe box ? Absolutely delicious !

  15. Elizabeth says

    Absolutely delicious! Followed the recipe exactly, which I don’t usually do. So moist and sweet. This one is definitely marked as a favorite ❤️

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Yes, I would start by omitting the baking powder, and if the self-rising cornmeal also contains salt, reduce or eliminate it. If you’ve had the product for a while, you might want to add some fresh baking powder, I would start with 1 teaspoon. You’ll have to play around after making the first batch if the cornbread doesn’t rise enough or doesn’t have enough salt. Let me know how it goes!

  16. Jerry says

    Making these cornbread muffins tonight with smoked ham hocks and beans and fried potatoes. I am going to substitute molasses for the honey because that is what I have on hand.
    Thanks

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