Any time of day is perfect for these quick and easy Southern Cornbread Muffins. You can have these ready for the table in under 30 minutes. They’re perfect to serve plain or add a pat of butter and a drizzle of honey!
Do you have a go-to recipe for cornbread that you like and use time after time? Most people do and that may be the only kind of cornbread they know. Not so for southerners.
The subject of southern cornbread is far more complicated than you may think. That’s because there are so many different kinds of cornbread and cornmeal! I just checked, and I have at least a dozen different kinds of cornbread recipes on this blog. Each one is perfect for different meals.
There’s always the standard old-fashioned cornbread that pretty much goes with everything. Then there’s lacy cornbread, hot water cornbread, hush puppies, and corn sticks. Each one is different and absolutely delicious in its own way and all are part of our southern comfort foods.
And now I’m adding these perfect Southern Cornbread Muffins to that collection. This is one of those basic recipes that you can add to or change up to make it your own. I’ll give you some ideas for that near the bottom of the post.
- It’s incredibly versatile. This basic recipe is delicious just as it is, but there are all sorts of variations (see below).
- The complete recipe takes under 30 minutes to make. You can have delicious, fresh cornbread ready in a matter of minutes.
- It’s easy. Just measure, dump, stir, and bake.
About the Ingredients
- Self-Rising Cornmeal Mix (I’ll admit that I don’t often use a cornmeal mix, but it can handy because it has the leavening already included. I recommend Martha White Hot Rize brand (either white or yellow). If you can’t find it, you can use plain cornmeal with 4 teaspoons of baking powder added.)
- Shortening (Such as Crisco; you can also use vegetable oil or canola oil.)
How to Make Southern Cornbread Muffins
Let’s Go Step-by-Step
I always like to show you the photos and step-by-step instructions for my recipes to help you picture how to make them in your own kitchen. If you just want to print out a copy, you can skip to the bottom of the post where you’ll find the recipe card.
STEP 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
STEP 2. Add 1/2 teaspoon shortening (or oil) to each cup of a standard 12-cup muffin tin. Put the tin on a baking sheet and place in the oven to heat while mixing the cornbread.
STEP 3. Sift the dry ingredients (cornmeal mix, flour, and salt) into a medium mixing bowl.
STEP 4. Add the egg and milk. Whisk together just until mixed (do not over mix).
STEP 5. Carefully remove the hot muffin pan from the oven and fill each cup 3/4 full with cornbread batter.
STEP 6. Return the baking sheet and tin to the oven and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted near the center of a muffin comes out clean.
STEP 7. Remove and allow the muffins to sit in the tin on a cooling rack for 10 minutes.
STEP 8. Remove the muffins from the tin.
STEP 9. Serve warm or room temperature with butter and honey, if desired.
- Substitute the shortening with either canola oil or vegetable oil if you prefer.
- Instead of whole milk, use buttermilk or half sour cream and half buttermilk for a “tangy” background taste.
- Make this recipe into one big round of cornbread by cooking in a cast iron skillet.
Cornbread Muffin Variations
Cornbread is one of the most versatile breads there is and, oh wow, do I have some options for you! Take this basic recipe and turn it into something really special with one of these unique variations:
- Pimiento Cheese and Garlic – Add 4 ounces of well drained diced pimientos, 1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, and 1 tablespoon of roasted (or sauteed) garlic to the batter. Substitute half the whole milk with sour cream.
- Roasted Red Pepper – To the batter, add 1/2 cup chopped roasted red bell pepper, 1 cup of corn kernels (fresh, frozen, or canned; well drained), and 1/4 teaspoon (or more) cayenne pepper.
- Cheddar and Bacon – Stir in 1/2 cup of shredded extra sharp Cheddar cheese, 4 slices of cooked, crumbled bacon, and 1/4 cup of finely diced scallions. Substitute the whole milk with buttermilk.
- Jalapeno Jack – Add 1/2 cup of grated Monterey Jack cheese and 1 finely diced jalapeno pepper.
- Corn and Basil – Add 1/2 cup fresh, frozen, or canned whole corn kernels and 1 tablespoon shredded fresh basil.
- Sausage – Add 1/3 cup cooked, crumbled breakfast sausage and 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning to the batter.
- Feta and Dill — Into the batter, add 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, and 1 teaspoon dried dill weed.
Slightly Sweet Options (great to add to a holiday bread basket!):
- Brown Sugar and Pecan – Add 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and 1/2 cup toasted, chopped pecans to the batter.
- Blueberry Lemon – Stir in 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries and the zest of one lemon.
- Orange Cranberry – Reduce the milk to 1 cup. To the batter, add 1/2 cup orange juice, the zest of one orange, and 1/2 cup dried cranberries.
- Apple Sage – Add 1/2 cup grated apple, 2 tablespoons finely diced fresh sage, and 2 tablespoons honey.
After the muffins have cooled completely, transfer them to an airtight container or ziploc bag. Store at room temperature for 1-2 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week. A paper towel in the bottom of the container will help absorb any moisture and keep the muffins fresher.
To freeze, wrap individual servings in aluminum foil and place in a plastic freezer container or bag. Freeze for up to three months. To serve, allow the muffins to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat in the microwave for about 7-8 seconds.
Cornmeal doesn’t have any gluten to help it hold together which is why most recipes call for a little flour. If your cornbread is too crumbly, you probably need to increase the amount of flour in the recipe just slightly.
Cornbread batter is generally a little on thick side. If yours isn’t pourable, add milk a few tablespoons as a time until you get the desired thickness.
No. Grits and cornmeal are two entirely different things. Yes, they’re both made from corn, but they are processed differently and can’t be substituted with the same results.
More Questions? I’m happy to help!
If you have more questions about the recipe, or if you’ve made it and would like to leave a comment, scroll down to leave your thoughts, questions, and/or rating!
Thanks so much for stopping by!
Southern Cornbread Muffins
- 2 tablespoons shortening (such as Crisco; substitute canola or vegetables oil if you prefer)
- 2 cups self-rising cornmeal mix (recommend: Martha White Hot Rize)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg beaten, room temperature
- 1 ½ cups whole milk room temperature
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon shortening (or oil) to each cup of a standard 12-cup muffin tin. Put the tin on a baking sheet and place in the oven to heat while mixing the cornbread.
- Sift the cornmeal mix, flour, and salt into a medium mixing bowl.
- Add the egg and milk. Whisk together just until mixed (do not over mix).
- Carefully remove the hot muffin tin from the oven and fill each cup 3/4 full with cornbread batter.
- Return the baking sheet and tin to the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center of a muffin comes out clean.
- Remove and allow the muffin to sit in the tin on a cooling rack for 10 minutes.
- Remove the muffins from the tin.
- Serve warm or room temperature with butter and honey, if desired.
- Self-Rising Cornmeal Mix (I recommend Martha White Hot Rize brand (either white or yellow). If you can’t find it, you can use plain cornmeal with 4 teaspoons of baking powder added.)
• Shortening (such as Crisco; substitute canola oil or vegetable oil if you prefer.)
- After the muffins have cooled completely, transfer them to an airtight container or ziploc bag. Store at room temperature for 1-2 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week. A paper towel in the bottom of the container will help absorb any moisture and keep the muffins fresher.
- To freeze, wrap individual servings in aluminum foil and place in a plastic freezer container or bag. Freeze for up to three months. To serve, allow the muffins to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat in the microwave
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.
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