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.
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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.
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!
Serve this with
Frequently asked questions
Cool the muffins completely, then individually wrap them in plastic—transfer muffins to a large resealable plastic bag for up to 3 months.
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.
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
- 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.
- 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.
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