Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sunday Baked: Honey Corn Muffins

The year was 1998. I was in graduate school for a degree I would never end up using, a good fifteen pounds heavier and chock full of that youthful optimism we all possessed in our earlier twenties. On one particular night, my girlfriend and I were making our rounds at a required school function when what did I come across at the potluck table, but a magical concoction that would forever change my views on corn muffins (and potlucks for that matter). There in front of me sat a vintage Corningware plate, and on that plate was something that I could only describe as being thrown together last minute in the backseat of someone's car (assuming that car was equipped with an oven). Now, why would I try something so unappealing? Simple. It was the smell. Those muffins pulled me right in... buttery, sweet and loaded with whole corn kernels. They made my toes curl. I helped myself to seconds and probably thirds and fourths after the alcohol started to kick in... well, there's probably no need to get into that part of the story.

Ever since that day, I have been searching high and low for a similar recipe.... Alright, I'm exaggerating a bit. To be honest, I haven't tried all that hard to find it. But, with every potluck dinner I attend, I am the first in line to sample the cornbread in hopes of finding my long lost muffin crush. But, alas, he is still a no show.

Could Matt & Renato's Honey Corn Muffins be them? Could we finally be reunited after all this time? With the exception of the whole corn kernels, they had all the required components... honey, buttermilk, butter. Even better, they were simple to whip-up. I didn't even have to break out Sweet Cheeks, my trusty mixer. Could we finally be reunited?

Sadly, these did not quite live up to the magical muffins of memory (I am not sure anything ever will). However, they were still rather tasty... Not too sweet with a hardy texture and nice aroma. Unadorned they were good, but warmed with honey butter they were even better. Our house devoured them in less than a day, which is a pretty good turnover for us.

As it turns out, I may not have done much with my graduate degree, but the thousands of dollars I spent on school did buy me some mighty high expectations for corn muffins.

Why, oh why, did I not think to get that recipe!!!

Have a Sweet Day!
Jaime @ The Great Cake Company


Recipe adapted from Baked Explorations by Matt Lewis & Renato Poliafito
Makes 12 standard muffins

For The Muffins
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Butter or honey to taste (for serving)

Preheat the oven to 400-degrees. Lightly spray each cup of a standard 12-cup muffin pan with a little vegetable spray and use a paper towel to spread the oil evenly around each cup, making sure to get the sides well. 

In a medium bowl, lightly whisk the eggs. Add the buttermilk, honey and butter and whisk again until combined. Set aside. 

In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, both sugars and salt. Make a well in the middle of the ingredients, pour the wet ingredients into the well and fold the dry into the wet until just mixed.

Fill each muffin cup about three-quarters full. Tap the bottom of the pan gently against the counter to level the batter. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack, and allow them to cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes. Pop them out of the pan while they are still warm and serve topped with butter or honey.


  1. How funny that we were both inspired by these muffins to write nostalgic posts! I loved these & couldn't get over how easy they were compared to some of our other Baked recipes! Your photos are great!

  2. Your muffins look great. Sorry they didn't live up to your long lost muffin crush. I recently tried Dorie Greenspan's Corniest Corn Muffins and they were delicious. I have deemed them my favorite corn muffin recipe. They have corn kernels in the batter and honey. Delicious!

  3. Have you tried just adding in your favorite frozen corn...or fresh. If you like this corn muffin base, maybe you should doctor it up and you might get close to your dream. Nice post...enjoyed reading your blog.

  4. Your photos are stunning, as usual! What type of camera do you use? I know it's the photographer and not the camera that takes good pictures, but I am planning on moving up to a DSLR in a couple of weeks and am doing a bunch of research to try and spend my money wisely.

  5. you named your mixer?! lol great post (and pics)!

  6. Sorry these weren't your long-lost muffins, but at least you still liked them! They look beautiful.

  7. I'm sorry that these did not live up to your memory, but your muffins look wonderful. Your photos are just so beautiful!

  8. Thanks everyone for your comments. Gloria - Dorie's recipe will be my next. I just so happen to have her cookbook in my collection. Kris - Great idea! I wonder how cream corn would work. Bourbonnatrix - Haven't you!? Come on... I know you have :)

  9. Candy- I am still on a good old point and shoot camera. It's a canon powershot SX20IS. It doesn't take as sharp of photos as I like, so I tweak them a bit in photoshop.

  10. Oh, so sorry these weren't THE muffins...I'm still going to try these the next time I make chili and see how they compare to my favorite Ina cornbread recipe~

  11. Your muffins are beautiful! Just discovered your blog and made these muffins tonight (having chili tomorrow - will go together perfectly). My oven is a little off so I didn't get the even golden color that you did, but they are pretty darn tasty!

    Thanks for the great post :)


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