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Mighty Corn Muffins

January 6, 2012

Corn season may be over for now, but that doesn’t mean we can’t pull out a bag of cornmeal… which leads us to probably my favorite muffin on the planet, especially when done really well, the mighty corn muffin. It’s terrific any time, anywhere, anyhow. OK, I’m crazy about these corn muffins.

The crew, assembled

For guidance, we need look no further than to our friend, Christopher Kimball of Cook’s Illustrated Magazine. To me, Mr. Kimball is the Grand Pooh-Bah of all things KITCHEN. The man knows his stuff and has tested and re-tested and tested again.

Mix dry ingredients

Mix liquid ingredients

Ready, set, bake

Kimball points to using stone-ground, whole grain cornmeal to deliver a full and complex corn flavor. By using the whole grain, including the bran, the endosperm and the germ, you’re delivering not only a flavor boost but a health boost as well. Vitamins, minerals & fiber, oh my!!!

I like using a medium- grind cornmeal. It’s got both a satisfying bite and a lovely shade, speckled with bits of very bright yellow. Kimball prefers using fine-ground , whole grain cornmeal for a muffin with a finer crumb. I’ll have to try that one one of these days but my hand just keeps reaching for the medium-grind cornmeal at the market. Look for either Arrowhead Mills or (my favorite) Bob’s Red Mill. Both are available at Whole Foods or, oh well, pricier markets. Some things are just worth it.

Meetin' of the muffins


ever-so-slightly adapted from Cook’s Illustrated 2007 Holiday Baking


2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 c.  medium-ground, whole grain yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. sea salt
2 large eggs
2/3 c. sugar
8 T. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
3/4 c. Daisy Light low fat sour cream OR 3/4 c. 2% Greek yogurt
1/2 c. low fat milk


Adjust oven rack to middle position and pre-heat oven to 400°. Spray 12-cup muffin tin with light cooking spray.

Whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl.

Whisk eggs in second medium bowl until light-colored (half a minute). Add sugar and whisk until thick (another half-minute).

Add melted butter in 3 additions, whisk well after each time.

Add half the sour cream and half the milk, whisk to combine. Whisk in remaining sour cream and milk.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Stir with spatula until just mixed and evenly moistened. (Or until you no longer see streaks of flour.) Don’t overmix (which will toughen the muffins.)

With a large spoon or an ice-cream scoop, divide batter evenly into the 12 greased muffin tins. Leave them in mounds, don’t flatten.

Bake until muffins are a light golden brown and toothpick inserted comes out clean, abut 18 minutes. Rotate pan from front to back halfway through for even browning.

Cool muffins in tin for 5 minutes, then invert onto wire rack and turn upright.

Makes 12 muffins. Serve warm or at room temp, plain or with a little sweet butter and/or a drizzle of honey.

bb tips:

Go sweet by adding 2/3 cup finely chopped dried apricots (use a mini-chopper to make it easier) and the zest of 1/2 an orange.

Go savory by adding 6 oz. grated cheddar with either 3-4 scallions, sliced very thin or 2-3 jalapenos, seeded and de-veined and chopped.

Trash tip: I also keep a plastic bag or bowl on the counter right next to me to put trash in as I work. Sometimes I hang it around a below-the-counter drawer.  Who needs to keep going back & forth?

reality shot - not too scary


From → Breakfast, Veggies

  1. Rita permalink

    Judy, I am salivating just reading your corn muffin recipe and plan to try it soon. Corn muffins are my favorite of All muffins. In the past when I have made corn muffins, I have added a handful of whole millet to the batter—–It adds an interesting ‘crunch’ to the finished muffins. Try it and tell me how you like it.
    Love your website and love you.

    • The millet probably gives the same type of crunch that the medium-ground whole grain cornmeal does… delicious either way!

  2. Andra permalink

    I baked this recipe over the weekend to go with some hearty chili! I used Bob’s Red Mill cornmeal! MMmmmmm Delicious! Thank you Judy!!! Love you!

  3. Yoni permalink

    Corn muffins/bread is my favorite! I remember us bonding over the time when we both agreed that Daisy made the best low fat sour cream 🙂

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