Easy Homemade Southern Cornbread Muffins

These fluffy homemade Southern cornbread muffins are easy to make from scratch and ready for the oven in under 10 minutes! This recipe yields savory and moist cornbread muffins with just enough sweetness to complement the cornmeal! They’re best served fresh from the oven and are a perfect side dish for chili or or barbecue. Don’t forget to make a batch of these for Thanksgiving too!

Homemade cornbread muffins stacked on a white plate.

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When you think of classic Southern side dishes, cornbread is sure to be near the top of the list! That moist, crumbly, slightly sweet bread is the ideal companion for a hot bowl of turkey chili or a classic Southern meal of pulled pork and fried okra

I love a big wedge of this cast iron skillet buttermilk cornbread (made with melted butter, buttermilk, and bacon grease). 

But homemade cornbread in muffin form is easy to grab for a perfectly portioned serving – essential for potlucks and holidays. And no Thanksgiving spread is complete without a heaping bread basket full of dinner rolls and cornbread muffins!

What Readers Say:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
“Wow! So delicious! My husband said it was the best I ever made (and I’ve made quite a few batches of cornbread over our 36 years of marriage)!! This is now my ‘go to’ cornbread recipe. Thank you!!”

Rose

I hadn’t made these in a while but it’s only because I forgot how stinkin’ easy they are to make! While I love a box of Jiffy cornbread mix, it really takes no time at all to make cornbread muffins from scratch.

The batter takes about five minutes to throw together with the simple of instructions of don’t overmix and don’t overbake. Seriously, don’t overdo or overthink these and they’ll be just fine!

A cornbread muffin split open with butter in front of a white plate of cornbread muffins

These classic savory cornbread muffins have just enough sweetness to complement the cornmeal. They come out with super high domes, a lovely golden brown exterior, and are moist and airy when you break them open.

Ingredients

These easy cornbread muffins have just 8 simple ingredients. Many ingredients can be swapped out, but this is a great base recipe and is how my mom always made cornbread!

  • Yellow cornmeal and all purpose flour: Cornmeal gives the muffins their distinctive flavor and texture, while flour keeps them from being too crumbly.
  • Sugar: These cornbread muffins have a touch of sweetness without being overly sweet or cakey. You may adjust the amount of sugar to your personal preference. You can also reduce to 1/4 cup of sugar and add 2 tbsp of honey, or sub all the sugar for 1/4 cup of honey.
  • Salt
  • Baking powder: 4 teaspoons seems like a lot, but it works in this recipe. Be sure to use a fresh tin of aluminum free baking powder (not open longer than 6 months) to avoid a bitter or metallic taste.
  • Egg
  • Milk: This can be swapped for buttermilk.
  • Corn or vegetable oil: Corn oil is the best oil for a corn muffin recipe, but you may also use melted butter instead.
  • Non-stick cooking spray: You can also use melted butter or bacon grease to grease your muffin tin, or use paper muffin liners instead.

While I do love cornbread made with bacon grease, I’m much more likely to have cooking spray in my pantry. Don’t have to cook bacon? That’s one fewer obstacle between you and a delicious golden cornbread muffin fresh from the oven.

Hands breaking open a moist, airy cornbread muffin

Ingredient substitutions and adjustments

  • Buttermilk for milk: You may substitute buttermilk or make a buttermilk substitute. To make “clabbered milk,” start with 1 tbsp white vinegar in your measuring cup, then fill the rest of the cup with milk. Wait about 5 minutes for the milk to sour and curdle a bit. You may also dilute sour cream with milk until it has the consistency of heavy cream.
  • Butter for oil: Replace the oil with the same amount of melted butter.
  • More or less sugar: For a less sweet cornbread muffin, reduce the sugar to 1/4 cup. For sweet cornbread muffins, increase to 1/2 cup. 
  • Bacon grease for cooking spray: Grease your muffin tins with bacon grease for extra flavor.

Recipe Variations

This is a great recipe for customizing! Here are a few things you can add into your cornbread muffins to make them your own!

  • Cornbread with creamed corn: Add a can of undrained creamed corn to the wet ingredients.
  • Jalapeno cornbread muffins: Add 2-3 finely diced, seeded jalapenos. You can use hatch chiles too! Add a cup of shredded cheese for jalapeno cheddar muffins.
  • Bacon cornbread: Crumble a few slices of bacon into the batter before mixing, and use the bacon grease to grease the muffin tin. 
  • Cheesy cornbread: Add 8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Honey cornbread muffins recipe: Substitute 1/4 cup honey for the sugar.
A cornbread muffin split open with butter, next to a white plate piled with cornbread muffins

How to make homemade cornbread muffins

Step one: Mix dry ingredients.
Add cornmeal, flour, salt, and baking powder to a large bowl. Mix well with a whisk.

Step two: Mix wet ingredients.
In a medium bowl, combine egg, milk, and oil. 

Step three: Combine wet and dry ingredients.
Add the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Don’t overmix! 

Step four: Bake.
Fill a greased muffin tin about halfway with muffin batter, and bake at 400 degrees for 13-17 minutes until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick comes out mostly clean. Don’t overbake! 

To make mini muffins: Bake for 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean. This recipe will make about 30-36 mini cornbread muffins.

To make in a cast iron skillet: Heat the empty skillet in your preheated oven for 5-10 minutes. Remove and add 2 tbsp bacon grease or butter and swirl it around until it’s melted and coats the interior of the skillet. Then add your batter and bake for 20-25 minutes. Try my favorite cast iron skillet cornbread recipe here!

Expert Tips for the Best Cornbread Muffins

  • Don’t overmix! Overmixing cornbread batter will result in dense, tough cornbread muffins. Mix the batter until just combined: it’s okay if there are some lumps.
  • Measuring dry ingredients: Be sure to spoon and level your flour and cornmeal rather than scooping with the measuring cup itself. That means spoon the flour into the measuring cup, then level with the flat of a knife. Scooping with the measuring cup can make the flour more densely packed, giving you too much flour in the recipe.
  • Baking powder: For best results, use an aluminum free baking powder (like Rumford). Baking powder that contains sodium aluminum sulfite (like Clabber girl) or using old or expired powder can result in a bitter or metallic taste or flat-topped muffins.
  • Baking powder vs. Baking Soda: Using the proper leavening agent is very important! Baking powder and baking soda are not interchangeable: baking soda requires acid to be activated, while baking powder is better for recipes with little to no acid. Once I used 4 teaspoons of baking soda instead of baking powder in this recipe and it looked beautiful but was about the worst thing I’d ever tasted in my life. However, if you’re swapping the regular milk in this recipe for an acidic ingredient like buttermilk or diluted sour cream, you may swap the 4 tsp baking powder for 1 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp baking soda.

What to serve with cornbread muffins

  • Serve with big bowl of chili
  • Enjoy warm muffins topped with honey butter (or topped with regular butter and a drizzle of honey)
  • Crumble into a glass of milk or buttermilk
  • Serve alongside pulled pork or other barbecue
  • Have as a side for shrimp and grits

More cornbread recipes to try

4.58 from 120 votes

Easy Homemade Cornbread Muffins Recipe

These homemade Southern cornbread muffins are moist, fluffy, and easy to make from scratch. This recipe yields a savory muffin with just enough sweet to complement the cornmeal! They’re best served fresh from the oven and are great with chili or as a Thanksgiving side dish!
Print Recipe Save Recipe
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Southern
Yield: 12 muffins
Calories: 170kcal
Prep Time:5 minutes
Cook Time:15 minutes
Total Time:20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup corn or vegetable oil

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Add cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder to a large bowl and whisk to break up any clumps.
  • Combine egg, milk, and oil in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
  • Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Do not overmix.
  • Pour batter into a greased muffin tin, filling each cup about halfway. Bake for 13-17 minutes or until toothpick stuck in the center comes out mostly clean. Don’t overbake!
  • Serve warm with butter and a drizzle of honey, or as a side for chili. 
Tried this recipe?Mention @pinchmeimeating or tag #pinchmeimeating on Instagram!

Nutrition

Calories: 170kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 253mg | Potassium: 86mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 53IU | Calcium: 106mg | Iron: 1mg

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114 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Really great recipe to customize. Upped the corn meal to 1.25c, added .25c millet, cut down the sugar to 1/4 cup, used olive oil, powdered goat milk, and powdered egg replacer. Added enough water to make up for all the powdered ingredients and added the hatch chili flake blend from Trader Joe’s. Put in a small, shallow brownie pan and baked for ~14min.

    I was a little worried about all the baking powder but I made sure to mix dry ingredients really well and I couldn’t taste it. Definitely adding to my bookmarks!

  2. 4 stars
    These are quite tasty and have a nice rise.. I substituted the sugar with 1/4 cup of buckwheat honey and will make them again. Next time tho I will replace the oil with melted butter. I didnt like oil taste in them.

    1. 5 stars
      I made these last night to go with my vegetable chilli. They were wicked easy to make, and we’re the best I’ve ever made. They were delicious. I did use butter instead of oil. I had them for breakfast this morning with eggs. This is my new favorite recipe. Thank you for sharing.💕😎

    2. 4 stars
      Never knew anyone who knows what cornbread is who hasn’t enjoyed a bowl of milk and bread preferably with buttermilk and diced onions mixed in.

  3. 5 stars
    I thought this recipe was really good. I’ll go a little sweeter next time, because this time was my first time to substitute Swerve sweetener for sugar, plus add honey. So, I did a little under 1/3 cup of Swerve (sugar sub) and added @ 1/4 cup of honey. I still like adding the honey, but next time I’ll try 1/2 cup of Swerve.
    Also, I only had White Cornmeal Mix, which already has the flour in it. So, used 2 cups of the mix, and did not need to add the flour. However, I did add one teaspoon of baking powder. That seemed to help because I knew it had a leavener in the mix. It come out perfectly whole from the muffin pans, and found the rise to be very nice. So, next time, I’ll add TWO tsp of baking powder. Go from there. Ha! Maybe another egg for cohesiveness?? What do you think?
    But, THIS recipe, though being diabetic I have to make certain changes (well, the sugar part), I would for sure make this one again! Looking forward to it… that little more sweetness and that’s on me for that.
    Thank you for a yummy cornbread muffin recipe!

    1. 5 stars
      Hey Lisa! Im diabetic too and basically followed this recipe exactly. However I substituted the white sugar with 1/4 cup buckwheat honey and that was it for sweetening.. For some reason buckwheat honey doesnt spike blood glucose as much as other honeys and natural sweeteners. .I use it in everything. Its also very sweet. Hope this info is helpful.

      1. 5 stars
        Wow. Thank you for the information. I am also diabetic and I will try the buckwheat honey next time.💕

  4. I’ve read your recipe for Cast Iron buttermilk cornbread…can I substitute buttermilk for the milk in this recipe for cornbread muffins?

  5. 5 stars
    I’m a weight lifter and have been craving some cornbread. I used this recipe and healthed it up a few notches.
    Worked perfect.
    Great recipe.

    1. 5 stars
      I used olive oil, worked just fine. I’m also a big fan of the country crock olive oil butter, it’s really great for baking.

  6. 5 stars
    Thank you for saving tonight’s dinner! I wanted to make cornbread but only had one egg in the house. I found your recipe and thought I’d give it a try. Wow! So delicious! My husband said it was the best I ever made (and I’ve made quite a few batches of cornbread over our 36 years of marriage)!! This is now my “go to” cornbread recipe. Thank you!!

  7. 5 stars
    I am so glad I chose this recipe out of all the ones I reviewed. To be honest, part of the reason I chose this one was it was so simple and I had all the ingredients on hand. Decided these would be the perfect complement for our traditional New Year’s dinner…They were the best cornbread muffins I’ve had since my grandmother passed away!

    Thank you for sharing your recipe with us…it is now saved for all our future family dinners!

    Happy New Year!

      1. 5 stars
        Thank you for saving tonight’s dinner! I wanted to make cornbread but only had one egg in the house. I found your recipe and thought I’d give it a try. Wow! So delicious! My husband said it was the best I ever made (and I’ve made quite a few batches of cornbread over our 36 years of marriage)!! This is now my “go to” cornbread recipe. Thank you!!

  8. 5 stars
    I made these tonight to go with chilli. They’re pretty good! I made an oops and misread the 1/4 corn or other veg oil as “1/4 corn” and put frozen corn in it before I realized. I don’t know how I did that! Haha. However, it was a nice addition 😉

  9. 5 stars
    I’ve been needing some southern food comfort these days. The grocery store was sold out of Jiffy for months at the beginning of quarantine, so we ended up with a couple of bags of cornmeal. I’ve tried several different cornbread recipes and this one has been the best. The muffins are moist and slightly sweet, utter perfection with some butter!

  10. I’ve been doing a lot of research on cornbread recipes and I think this is the one I want to try. I’d like to make them in a mini muffin tray (bitesized) and was wondering if you had suggestions for timing etc? Otherwise, perhaps you may think it’s a bad idea! Either way, I will be making this recipe anyway.

    1. Hi Megan, I did a little digging about why you may have had this experience and found a few things. First, make sure you’re using an aluminum-free baking powder or it can add an unpleasant metallic taste to your baked goods when used in large quantities like this! Second, it can also impart an off taste if the baking powder is old or expired. Third, if you live at a high altitude it can affect the amount of leavening agents you need in a recipe, so if you’re somewhere like Denver you may be able to reduce the baking powder to 3 tsp or so (although I had a friend test this recipe at a high altitude and she didn’t have an issue with the amount written). I hope this helps!

  11. My mother used to put leftover corn bread in milk for breakfast. She LOVED it! This was a wonderful reminder of that memory for me. Thank you. I think I will try it this morning in her honor.

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