Diet

Healthy Cornbread Muffins (Whole-Wheat)

Golden fluffy Cornbread Muffins are in your not-to-distant future. All you need are a few simple ingredients, buttermilk, honey and whole-wheat flour to mix up a batch of these homestyle corn muffins! They can be mixed with whole corn kernels and other optional mix-ins such as scallion and cheese too.

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Why You Will Want To Save This Recipe

The term “keeper” comes to mind when I think of these corn muffins. Along with my Whole-Wheat Cornbread, it is one of those back-pocket recipes that only requires 5 minutes of prep to throw in the oven and comes in handy as a simple healthy side dish for dinner.

These corn muffins are light and fluffy and only mildly sweet. Yet they have a delightfully crispy golden edge where the muffin batter cooks along the edge of the muffin tin as they bake up into nicely domed muffins!

They’re perfect, as is, right out of the oven, or I like to serve them with a little sweet butter and maybe a little more honey or jam. They are ideal as a side with one of our many chili recipes. (Our Turkey Pinto Chili is an all-time favorite.) They have also been known to make an appearance on our Thanksgiving table alongside the Roasted Turkey and all the other traditional trimmings.

Ingredient Notes

Cornmeal

There are many types of cornmeal on the market and the texture varies by brand. I like Arrowhead Mills Cornmeal because it is 100% whole grain and contains both the gram and germ of the dried corn kernel. It is finer than many “medium coarse” and “coarse” cornmeals and gives the cornmeal muffins a light texture while still having a little bit of grittiness to them.

If you know you do not like gritty corn muffins, I suggest using refined and enriched cornmeal. Find them in the baking isle. You can also try using Corn Flour which is also very finely ground but whole-grain or mix it 50/50 with stone-ground cornmeal.

Whole-Wheat Flour

While not all cornbread recipes contain flour, this one does. The flour gives the cornbread muffins an impressive rise and nicely domed tops. The flour helps hold the cornbread together so that it is not too crumbly.

To keep this a whole-grain recipe I used whole-wheat flour. If you have it, white whole wheat flour is a great option and works perfectly. I love it in other muffins recipes like Whole-Wheat Morning Glory Muffins and Savory Parmesan Muffins too. The wheat taste is much lighter than regular whole-wheat.

If you are wondering about making this recipe gluten-free check out our gluten-free cornbread recipe to get more tips on adapting cornbread without flour.

Honey

I grew up eating Jiffy corn muffins so I definitely like a bit of sweetness in my cornbread muffins. I didn’t go overboard and opted for a natural sweetener. You’ll need 3 tablespoons of honey to sweeten these up just a touch. You can sub in white sugar, brown sugar or maple syrup. Or omit it if you do not like sweet cornbread.

Buttermilk

Buttermilk is a classic cornbread ingredient and helps work with the leavener to make the texture more fluffy. If you do not have it you can substitute lemon juice mixed with regular milk.

Optional Ingredients

To flavor these muffins you can also stir in other flavorful ingredients such as diced green chiles, shredded cheddar cheese or pepper jack cheese, corn kernels, green onions, and crumbled cooked bacon. Check out more ideas for ways to customize these corn muffins. You can add up to 1 cup of optional ingredients without the muffins tins getting too full.

How To Make Healthy Cornbread Muffins

Step 1: Prepare Pan

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat wells of a standard muffin tin with cooking spray or line with paper liners.

Step 2: Whisk Dry Ingredients

Whisk cornmeal, whole-wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in the center.

Step 3: Whisk Wet Ingredients

Whisk egg, buttermilk, honey and oil thoroughly in a large measuring cup or medium bowl.

Step 4: Mix Batter

Pour wet mix into the well in the dry mix and stir together until evenly moistened. Add in any optional stir-ins. (We used corn for these.)

Step 5: Put Batter In Pan

Scoop batter into the coated muffin tins, dividing evenly.

Step 6: Bake The Cornmeal Muffins

Bake 18 to 22 minutes or until the muffins are domed and spring back when lightly touched. Serve warm.

FAQs and Expert Tips

Can these be made in advance?

These can be made up to 8 hours ahead. They are best served warm so we suggest following the instructions to reheat.

How to reheat?

We recommend wrapping them in foil and baking at 325 degrees F until warmed through, 20 to 25 minutes. You can also microwave a single muffin for 18 to 22 seconds on high power.

Can these be frozen?

Yes! We love having these in the freezer for an easy side dish, breakfast or snack. Store them in air-tight container or re-sealable freezer bag up to two weeks. Defrost on the counter top and reheat as directed. For a quick way to defrost a single muffin, place the frozen muffin on a microwave-safe plate or paper towel and microwave on high for 35 to 40 seconds.

What can I use instead of buttermilk?

If you do not have buttermilk you can use plain yogurt instead. Or as a substitute for buttermilk add 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar to the bottom of a measuring cup. Pour in milk to the 1 1/4 cup line and let sit 5 minutes. For a dairy-free option, use sweetened oat milk with lemon.

Cornbread Muffins Variations To Try

Once you have made these muffins once or twice you may want to experiment with flavoring them with additional ingredients!

We love adding in southwest-inspired ingredients such as roasted poblano peppers or finely chopped jalapeños. Try shredding 1 cup of cheese and stirring it into the batter. Extra-sharp cheddar, pepper jack or smoked gouda are all wonderful with the taste of cornbread.Slice 1/2 cup of scallions and add them in.Stir in 1 to 2 teaspoons finely chopped chipotle in adobo.Cook and crumble bacon and stir it into the batter before baking.Cut the corn kernels off of ears of corn or simply defrost frozen corn and add it into the batter. Come up with your own ideas!

What To Serve With Corn Muffins

These corn muffins are not too sweet so they are great with Southern-inspired favorites, barbecue and chili. Here are some of our favorite Healthy Seasonal Recipes to serve with cornbread muffins.

Let the crockpot do all the work next time you make barbecue! Try our Slow Cooker Barbecue Pulled Chicken or our Slow Cooker Barbecue Pulled Beef. Both make great sandwiches or sop up the sauce with these corn muffins! Our Slow Cooker Chicken Gumbo Stew or this Chicken and Okra Stew are just crying out for crumbled cornbread.These only take about 30 minutes start-to-finish so they are an easy last-minute side for soups like our Harvest Vegetable Soup or this Cream of Cauliflower Instant Pot Soup.

Thanks so much for reading. If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my free weekly email newsletter where I share weeknight meal plans delivered right to your inbox. Or follow me on Instagram. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It is very appreciated. Happy Cooking! ~Katie

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Healthy Cornbread Muffins (Whole-Wheat)


Author:
Katie Webster

Total Time:
30 mins

Yield:
12 servings

Description

Our healthy cornbread muffins are made with whole-wheat flour, buttermilk and a little honey. They are perfectly domed, fluffy and lightly sweet and crispy along the edges.

Ingredients

1 ¼ cup cornmeal
¾ cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 ¼ cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons avocado oil or organic canola oil
1 cup corn kernels or another stir-ins (optional)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat wells of a standard muffin tin with cooking spray or line with paper liners.
Whisk cornmeal, whole-wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in the center.
Whisk egg, buttermilk, honey and oil thoroughly in a large measuring cup or medium bowl.
Pour wet mix into the well in the dry mix and stir together until evenly moistened. Stir in corn kernels or mix-ins if using. 
Scoop batter into the coated muffin tins, dividing evenly.
Bake 18 to 22 minutes or until the muffins are domed and spring back when lightly touched. Serve warm.

Notes

To Make Ahead

These can be made up to 8 hours ahead. They are best served warm so we suggest following the instructions to reheat.

To Reheat

We recommend wrapping them in foil and baking at 325 degrees F until warmed through, 20 to 25 minutes. You can also microwave a single muffin for 18 to 22 seconds on high power.

Optional Mix-Ins

Add in up to one cup of any combination of corn kernels, crumbled cooked bacon, sliced green onions or scallions, shredded cheese and/or canned diced green chiles or roasted poblano peppers.

Flavor the cornmeal muffins with 1 to 2 teaspoons chopped chipotle in adobo or 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh jalapeño chile pepper. 

Prep Time: 5 minsCook Time: 20 minsCategory: Side DishMethod: OvenCuisine: American

Nutrition

Serving Size: 1 muffin
Calories: 153
Sugar: 6 g
Fat: 1 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Carbohydrates: 27 g
Fiber: 3 g
Protein: 4 g

Keywords: healthy cornbread muffins,whole wheat cornbread muffins

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