Moist Cornbread Squares or Muffins

  • Serves: Makes one 8-inch square pan or 12 muffins
  • Baking Temp (degrees F): 425
  • Views: 9171
  • Comments: 16

Variations: Raspberry or Blueberry Moist Cornbread Squares or Muffins; Cheddar Caraway Cornbread Squares or Muffins; Salsa Spice Cornbread Squares or Muffins; Mexican Bean Moist Cornbread Squares or Muffins

Cornbread and photo by Sarah Phillips © Sarah Phillips
This cornbread recipe is just right! It is buttery and moist. At the urging of many bakers, who complained about dry cornbread, I came up with this recipe. The trick? I add a small amount of canola oil, which gives the perception of moistness. I also use a folding action instead of a stirring movement when making quick breads. I find it creates less gluten (more tenderness and moistness) in recipes such as this where there is less fat and sugar, both tenderizers.

Also, use the type of cornmeal specified in the recipe for a tenderer outcome. I often substitute the yellow for blue cornmeal for a sweeter flavor, and add in blueberries, too for a double blue cornbread experience. Note the recipe variation at the bottom of the recipe. Raspberries and cornbread are my absolute favorite, as well, as is the combination of pumpkin and cornmeal used in my Healthy Oven Pumpkin-Orange Cornbread Recipe.

sheri, Premium Member, Says: "I ate a salad for dinner tonight which gave me an excuse to scarf down 2 pieces of your corn bread....The moist cornbread is one of the staples in this house. I'd never use another recipe for cornbread!"


I keep all cornmeal in the freezer to keep it fresh, because the oil in it can go rancid quickly if stored at room temperature. Smell it before using.

1 cup unbleached all purpose flour; spoon into measuring cup and level to rim
1 cup yellow cornmeal, water or fine-grind; do not use stone-ground; measure in a dry measuring cup and level to rim
1/4 cup sugar; can reduce the amount, if desired
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large egg
1 cup whole or 2% milk
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to tepid

1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan or 12 standard muffin cups. Reduce the oven heat by 25 degrees F if using a dark, nonstick pan or a Pyrex, glass oven proof baking dish.

2. Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium size bowl. Make a well in the center and set aside.

3. Mix the egg, milk, and oil in a small bowl.
Pour into the well in the dry ingredients and fold LIGHTLY with a large rubber spatula, until ALMOST combined.

4. Pour the melted and cooled butter on top; fold in until JUST combined. You should see streaks of butter in the batter. The batter will be thick.

Immediately scoop batter into the prepared pan, and using a gentle touch, spread the batter.

5. Bake right away for 20 to 22 minutes (15 to 20 minutes for muffins) until the top is golden brown and lightly cracked, and the edges have pulled away from the side of the pan. It will also sound hollow when tapped, and the top crust should be solid. You will hear a few bubbles popping, but that is ok. Do NOT overbake.

6. Transfer the pan (or muffin tin) to a wire cake rack for 10 minutes. Cut into cornbread squares and serve warm. (Unmold the muffins; turn them upright on the rack to cool).

Reheat in a 350 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes, if necessary.

Store at room temperature for 2 to 3 days; can be frozen.

Fold in 1/2 cup of fresh or frozen (do not thaw in advance) raspberries or blueberries to the batter right after adding the melted butter, until JUST combined.
SARAH SAYS: Fresh raspberries or blueberries will not tint the batter as much as frozen during mixing.

Cheddar Caraway:
Reduce the sugar in the recipe to 2 tablespoons.
Optionally, add in 2 tablespoons caraway seeds and blend in with the flour.
Add in 1/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese; shred and then, measure.
Fold it in RIGHT before adding in the melted butter, after Step #3 and before Step #4.

Salsa Spice: I prefer to use salsa to spice up my muffins with! I do not like dried herbs as much which tend to get too crunchy in the baking process.
Reduce the sugar in the recipe to 2 tablespoons.
I add in 1/4 cup salsa and reduce the milk by 2 tablespoons. Add the salsa to the egg, milk and oil in a small bowl.

Mexican Bean:
Reduce the sugar in the recipe to 2 tablespoons.
Add in 1/4 cup black bean spread!
For a swirled effect, fold it in RIGHT before adding in the melted butter, after Step #3 and before Step #4.

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