Honey Sweetened Corn Muffins (gluten-free option)

By Ann Fulton

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My husband adores cornbread, so I have made it scores of different ways over the years. Since his birthday is today, and because we like to start birthdays in our family with birthday muffins, bagels, donuts or baked oatmeal — basically, anything I can stick candles in to start the day off in a festive way! — I figured it was finally time to type up what is my favorite basic corn muffin recipe.

When I want to make cornbread as muffins, this recipe is one that I like for several reasons. First, the addition of flour gives the cornbread a “cakier” texture.  (I have a delicious, Southern-style recipe using all cornmeal, but the texture does not lend as well to muffins.) Second, this recipe works quite well with my gluten-free flour blend which, as a bonus, incorporate whole grains.  I keep the recipe clean by using honey instead of white sugar and coconut oil for the fat.  That said, you could use sugar — simply mix it in with the dry ingredients — and melted butter would be a fine option, too.  You may certainly use all-purpose flour instead of the gluten-free blend if that is not a concern for you.  With either flour choice, the measurements are the same.

Lastly, although I usually make this recipe with plain Greek yogurt, I have prepared many times with buttermilk.  In this case, I adjust the measurements to 2/3 cup milk and 2/3 cup buttermilk. While non-fat milk works fine, and is what I often use, 2% or whole milk are delicious options. I mention this substitution as it could be helpful if you have everything but the yogurt on hand. Remember, you can always make your own buttermilk by using 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar and enough milk to make one cup. Then allow to sit for five minutes, and use the amount called for in the recipe.

For my gluten-free flour blend, which I use often in baking, click here.

Honey Sweetened Corn Muffins (gluten-free option)
Though this type of cornbread has a more cake-like texture than its Southern counterpart, it is still not the same thing as your typical bakery corn muffin which will be much more akin to a quick bread or cake. I love this muffin paired with a soup or salad--and sometimes for breakfast--with a smear of strawberry jam. My husband likes to melt a little butter into the warm muffin--although the last time we ate these he said they don't even need it...and he skipped it! Bringing the cold ingredients to room temperature before mixing will prevent the melted butter or coconut oil from re-hardening once added. Removing the muffins from the oven as soon as they are cooked through is the key to keeping them moist.
Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 cup stone ground cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour mix
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup (one 6-ounce cup) 2% or nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk (I usually use nonfat; 2% or whole will work well, too)
  • 1/4 cup honey (see note)
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil or butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin. (You can use liners, but I find the muffins can stick to the papers.)
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour or gluten-free blend, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Add the yogurt, milk, honey, and melted coconut oil or butter and whisk to combine well.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold together until just incorporated. The batter should be light and fluffy, so try not to stir too much and deflate the batter.
  6. I like to use my ice cream scoop to fill the 12 muffin cups easily and without mess. Then bake 10-12 minutes or until the muffins are just cooked through. As all ovens vary, check a few minutes early; they will cook quickly at the high oven temperature and over-baking will create a dry baked good.
  7. Serve warm with butter and/or your favorite jam, as desired. Once cooled, wrap and store any leftovers in the refrigerator. Gently reheat in the microwave. If you let them go a day or two and they seem dry, wrap in a damp paper towel and gently reheat in the microwave. This is my trick to freshen dried-out cornbread beautifully.
Notes
  • While I add 1/4 cup honey to make these muffins slightly sweet, you could use anywhere between 1 and 4 tablespoons, depending on your preference.
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Happy Birthday, Honey!!!

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Comments

  1. Anneka

    I made these tonight and they were really delicious. Thank you for sharing! Just in case anybody’s wondering, I substituted dairy-free sour cream for the yogurt, and it worked well.

    Reply
  2. Noema

    This has become my favorite Corn Muffin recipe! Everyone loves them and no one knows that I make them gluten free. Delicious!

    Reply
  3. Kelly Trott

    These were great! I wanted to make them gluten free so instead of the all purpose flour (and lack of gluten-free blend) I substituted 1/4 a cup of coconut flour and 1/4 a cup of flaxmeal and then another 1/4 cup more of the cornmeal. I used maple syrup in place of honey because I didn’t have much honey left and subbed sour cream (and a dash of milk) in place of the yogurt since it’s generally an equal substitute. Turned out fantastic. This may be the first recipe I’ve ever commented on they came out that good. Thanks so much!!

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Thanks so much for your great feedback, Kelly. I love your tweaks–especially working the coconut flour and flax meal in there–and am so happy you enjoyed!

      Reply
  4. Carolyn S.

    These muffins are so good! The yogurt results in a moist, light texture. I appreciated the muffin making tip about using an ice cream scoop to fill muffin cups; worked like a charm. As far as using cup liners, the parchment baking cups work well, no sticking. Found them on line as I make a lot of muffins. Thanks Ann, another winner!

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Carolyn. I’m so happy you enjoyed the muffins and liked the tip! Your point about the parchment baking cups is a good one. Thanks for mentioning!

      Reply
  5. Breya

    Hi – Thanks for the recipe! I will substitute the honey for another sweetener… did you know that honey when cooked becomes toxic? just a tip… google it!

    Reply
  6. Johnny

    I just made these and they turned out amazing! The only thing I changed is I added blueberries and it was lit!

    Reply
  7. Deborah

    Made yesterday. Very easy and fairly healthy. I used 2% Greek yogurt and 2% milk along with the 1/4 cup honey as suggested. Delicious! My husband also loved. Will definitely be making again. The ice cream scoop was a great idea – no mess. I did use paper liners instead of greasing the muffin tin. Thanks for the great recipe.

    Reply