If you love Sweet Cornbread Muffins from a box, you’ll love knowing you can make them from scratch just as easily! These muffins taste just like the classic corn muffin mix we all know and love and go with anything.
Sweet Cornbread Muffins recipe
Sweet corn muffins were a staple of my childhood. My mom always made the kind from the Jiffy box.
Fast forward to my twenties in Mississippi, and I purchased a few boxes to help with homesickness only to discover moths in the mix. I was rightfully traumatized… so I had to figure out how to make them for myself.
These homemade Jiffy muffins are sweet — but not too sweet. You’ll find they are great recipe… light, fluffy and taste like real corn, not cardboard. (Bonus: no moths!)
You’ll notice this is not a traditional Southern cornbread recipe. (Those don’t usually have sugar.) However, I think the sugar brings out more of the corn flavor and helps them to pair better with savory foods.
In fact, these might be the best cornbread muffins because they’re pure comfort. Also, they are so wonderful with a pat of salty butter on them when warm from the oven.
Mmm, I think I will need to make another batch this weekend!
Why I love this recipe:
This is my FAVORITE cornbread recipe to make any time of year, but especially when it’s chilly outside.
Here are some more reasons to love ‘em:
- These taste EXACTLY like the beloved corn muffins from a box!
- They’re sweet and pair so well with tons of dishes, from summer barbecue to hearty chili to collard greens on New Year’s Day. See also: they are the PERFECT side dish.
- Even though they’re not from a box, they are still so easy to make from scratch!
What you need to make this recipe:
The Speckled Palate participates in affiliate programs. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases. Please refer to my disclosure page for more information about these affiliate programs.
- Muffin tin
- Paper liners for cupcakes (I really love these parchment paper liners)
- Baking spray
- Microwave-safe bowl or liquid measuring cup
- Large bowl
- Rubber spatula
- Spoon or cookie scoop
- Toothpick or cake tester
Let’s talk ingredients!
In addition to the tools above, you’re going to need some ingredients to make this recipe, too! Chances are, you might already have some of them in your fridge or pantry. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full measurements and instructions.
Here’s what you’ll need to make easy cornbread muffins:
- Stoneground yellow cornmeal — or white cornmeal, if you prefer that. This is not the same thing as cornbread mix. (Remember, we’re trying to emulate the mix with these!)
- All-purpose flour — known as AP flour, we keep the unbleached kind in our house. The regular kind should work, though. I have not tried this with gluten free flours, so substitute at your own risk.
- Baking powder — this is our leavener. Make sure yours is fresh. If it’s not, the cornbread muffins might not rise.
- Kosher salt — or another medium-grain salt, like sea salt.
- Unsalted butter — or you can use salted butter and cut out some of the salt above. I do not recommend using oil in place of the butter.
- Milk — use whatever you’ve got on hand. We’ve made this traditionally with whole milk, but 2% and 1% milk also work here.
- Granulated sugar — also called white sugar. You will not get the same results with brown sugar.
- Egg — I like to use large eggs, at room temperature.
Customizations and substitutions
- Cornbread muffins with mix-ins — add shredded cheese, fresh herbs, diced peppers (jalapeños or hatch chiles are so good), bacon or corn kernels to change up the flavor. This is a great base cornbread muffin recipe.
- Honey Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins — these muffins are very similar, but have a bit more spice and sweetness from using honey. So good with a bowl of chili!
- Gluten-free cornbread muffins — in theory, this recipe should work with a 1:1 gluten-free flour blend. However, I have not tried this with gluten free flours, so substitute at your own risk.
- Dairy free cornbread muffins — swap the regular milk for unsweetened nondairy milk (like almond milk) and use a vegan butter in place of the melted butter.
How to make Homemade Cornbread Muffins
Making this sweet corn muffin recipe is so super simple! You can absolutely make it in as much of a jiffy as you can the boxed muffin mix.
First, preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and spritz with cooking spray. Set aside.
Combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Stir to combine.
Melt the butter in the microwave. (You can also technically warm it IN the milk.)
Add the milk and sugar to the melted butter. Stir to combine.
Crack the egg and add it to the wet ingredients. Whisk until the egg is completely incorporated.
Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
Mix with a rubber spatula until the batter comes together.
Use a spoon or a cookie scoop to measure a little more than 3 tablespoons of batter into each prepared muffin tin.
Bake the muffins in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes, or until the tops have browned slightly and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack or serve warm.
How to store and freeze
Once the sweet muffins have fully cooled, you can store them in a food-safe, airtight container for up to 4 days at room temperature. (My bet is they won’t last that long, though!)
You can also freeze them. I recommend putting them on a baking sheet and flash freezing them for an hour, then putting them in a freezer-safe bag or wrapping tightly in plastic wrap. This keeps them from sticking together.
Store them for up to 3 months, then thaw them in the fridge overnight and re-warm them in the oven.
Erin’s Easy Entertaining Tips
Who wouldn’t love one of these perfect corn bread muffins to pair with dinner?
They also make an easy entertaining side dish because you can make ’em early.
Here’s what I would do to entertain with these muffins:
- Make a double batch and bake them early.
- These pair nicely with so many dishes, including a hearty bowl of chili, BBQ and every kind of soup. They work in place of regular cornbread and can easily take the spot of dinner rolls if you prefer ’em.
- We serve ‘em on New Year’s Day, too, because cornbread on January 1st is important!
- Serve them warm with butter or honey butter as a side dish. Serve with jam or a drizzle of honey with breakfast.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can experiment with different flours, but doing so may alter the texture and flavor. All-purpose flour is best for balanced, fluffy muffins.
Store cornbread muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for a couple of days. For longer storage, refrigerate or freeze and reheat as needed.
Absolutely! Customize your cornbread muffins with additions like cheddar cheese, diced jalapeños or corn kernels for extra flavor.
Quick tips and tricks to making the best Sweet Cornbread Muffins
- Add mix-ins like cheese or spicy diced peppers to change things up!
- Use a spoon or a cookie scoop to portion batter into the prepared muffin tin and to keep your muffins all the same size.
- Make ahead alert: Bake ‘em a day or two before so you don’t have to sweat cooking them up the day of… they’re great at room temperature! You can also make a double batch, so long as you have two muffin pans.
More cornbread recipes
Here’s how you make these beauties…
Sweet Cornbread Muffins
- 1 cup stoneground yellow cornmeal 150g
- 1 cup all-purpose flour 120g
- 2 teaspoons baking powder 8g
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt 4g
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter 56g
- 1 cup milk warmed
- ½ cup granulated sugar 100g
- 1 large egg ~50g
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and spray with baking spray. Set aside.
- Combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt. Stir to combine.
- Melt the butter in the microwave. (You can also technically warm it IN the milk.) Add the milk and sugar to the same bowl. Stir to combine.
- Add the egg to the wet ingredients. Whisk until the egg is completely incorporated.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
- Mix with a rubber spatula until the batter comes together.
- Use a spoon or a cookie scoop to measure a little more than 3 tablespoons of batter into the prepared muffin tin.
- Bake the muffins in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes, or until the tops have browned slightly and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool on a wire rack.
- Enjoy warm with your favorite entree or main dish.
Erin Parker is a Southern gal living in Texas with her husband and two daughters. She started The Speckled Palate to share what she was cooking as a newlywed… and over the years, it’s evolved to capture her love for hosting. Specifically, the EASIEST, lowest key entertaining because everyone deserves to see their people and connect over good food. Learn more about her…