The Best Cornmeal Muffins!

cornmeal muffin on a plate

I found this recipe for “Perfect Corn Muffins” on Smitten Kitchen, and she’s right, these are the best cornmeal muffins I’ve ever tasted. I’m using the word “cornmeal” because I feel like “corn muffins” sounds like there are actual kernels of corn in it, which there are not in this recipe.

The changes I made were just because I didn’t have some of the ingredients on hand, so I used buttermilk instead of whole milk, and yogurt in place of sour cream. The recipe called for 3-5 tablespoons of sugar, and I went with just shy of three because I don’t enjoy sweet cornbread.

These were delicious with a little bit of Irish Kerry Gold butter, and another was eaten with a slice of mature cheddar. I had planned to serve them with Instant Pot baked beans, but they are taking forever instead of an instant to cook, so they’ll have to go with the leftovers.

The recipe is straightforward except one part that was new to me: some of the cornmeal was cooked before mixing, which is probably part of the reason that these were so moist. You will separate the two cups of cornmeal into 1 & 1/2 cups with the dry ingredients, and 1/2 cup to be cooked.

What you need:

  • 2 cups yellow cornmeal (I used Purity brand)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 & 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 & 1/4 cups buttermilk (or whole milk)
  • 1 cup plain yogurt, not no-fat (or use sour cream)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted and left to cool
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons (35 to 60 grams) sugar (see Note up top about sweetness)
  • 2 large eggs

What you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper or silicone liners; I used silicone, and they slid off really nicely after baking.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl combine 1 & 1/2 cups of the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Melt your butter and let it cool a bit.
  4. Add the milk and 1/2 cup cornmeal to a saucepan and cook over medium heat. Stir until it has thickened enough that your spoon/whisk leaves a clear line across the bottom of the saucepan, which slowly fills in.
  5. Mix the melted butter, sugar and yogurt into the cooked cornmeal. If the mixture is cool enough, mix in the eggs. If not, wait a few minutes so the eggs don’t cook when you add them.
  6. Fold the dry ingredients into the eggy-buttery mixture until just combined. The batter will be quite thick.
  7. Scoop the batter into the muffin tins; using an ice-cream scoop or measuring cup can help to keep the amounts even. The batter will completely fill the muffin cups and mound up a bit.
  8. Bake for about 13 minutes, until the tops are just golden brown. Insert a toothpick to see if they are done. There should be no batter sticking to the toothpick. My oven is really annoying, so some were done at this point, and some not. I rotated the pans and left them in for three more minutes.
  9. Let the muffins cool in the pans for five minutes, then remove from the tins and let them cool five minutes more. Because mine were in silicone liners, I removed them at this point.
  10. Enjoy!