Light and bright, these sweet gluten-free blueberry cornbread muffins are sure to become a summertime staple in your household!
Have you ever experienced surprise food nostalgia before? I hadn’t until this past weekend, and it was the most delightful feeling ever.
Usually when you think of nostalgia and foods, you can pretty quickly and easily list off the items that are nostalgic for you and the exact memory or feeling that goes along with those foods:
Sugar cookies // grandma’s house.
Strawberry ice cream // young love.
Turkey legs // the thrill of a college football game in Lane Stadium (Go Hokies!)
Pancakes // mornings with Daddy/big bear hugs.
Salt water taffy // an ocean breeze.
Warm cinnamon rolls // PJ giggle fests with besties.
But cornbread? That wouldn’t have been one of the foods that would have come to my mind when thinking about food-related warm and fuzzies.
That is, until I dipped a finger into this rich, sweet cornbread batter. The second the batter hit my taste buds I was transported back to approximately 1991 – rocking a side ponytail, a neon shirt, and standing on a chair pushed up against the kitchen island helping my mom “make” Jiffy brand cornbread for dinner.
I could feel the warmth, love, and thrill that seemed to fill the air waaaay back when. It seems (to my pea-sized memory) that that may have been one of the first moments that I realized that I loved baking and cornbread (and carbs in general), a whole, whole lot.
Like a whoooooooole lot.
I know some of you foodies are thinking: “Jiffy Cornbread? YUCK!” but here’s the thing, I’m a Yankee, so I prefer my cornbread either sweet or yeasted. There’s nothin’ wrong with a good southern, biscuity cornbread (for lack of a better description) but growing up in the north(ish), it was sweet or bust – for my family at least!
So when I wanted to make a big ol’ batch of gluten-free cornbread muffins, sweet was the only route to go. And, naturally, I turned to my BFF — honey — to get the job done. Honey adds an amazing depth of flavor to these golden beauties, and also gives them a serious boost in the moisture department. ❤ Gotta love that!
AND when you’re going sweet and it’s peak berry season, adding blueberries is not option. It’s mandatory.
It makes the muffins even lighter and brighter and transforms this traditionally fall/winter-time comfort food into a summertime cookout staple.
If you’ve never had blueberries in your cornbread, omgomgomgomg, stop what you’re doing RIGHT NOW and GO MAKE THESE MUFFINS.
↑↑↑ Sorry for all the shouting and the bossing, but you’ll thank me later when you’re whole cornbread world has been flipped upside down in the best possible way. Promise.
Why cornbread muffins instead of making cornbread in a pan?
a) everything is better // more fun // cuter in smaller, single serve portions. In my world at least!
b) better crust to center ratio. Usually, I’m a “center of the pan” gal when it comes to brownies/bars/coffee cakes/ etc. but cornbread is the one exception. You’ve gotta have some of that crunchy edge and moist, tender middle all together to get the full, proper cornbread experience. Muffins = center-only piece solved.
c) that’s always the way we made cornbread growing up. Old [nostalgic] habits die hard 😉
Another note about what takes these gluten-free cornbread muffins over the top? Coarse-ground cornmeal. I love the crunch and texture and edge (in more ways than one!) that it gives these muffins. Definitely a different mouth-feel than your traditional cake-like Jiffy cornbread, but in the BEST way.
Just make sure you get certified gluten-free cornmeal to make these! Just like oats, corn is often processed in the same facilities as glutenous grains, so you want to make sure to steer clear of cross-contamination! Bob’s Red Mill is my go-to, but I’m sure there are lots of other brands that offer a certified gluten-free option.
Before we get to the recipe (drumroll, please) I have ONE LAST cornbread tip (promise). Never, ever, everevereverever let even a single drop of batter go to waste.
When life gives you 12 + 1/2 muffin cups worth of batter, make mini cornbread muffins.
- 1 cup cornmeal
- ¾ cup gluten-free flour blend
- ½ teaspoon xanthun gum (omit if your flour blend contains it)
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 1½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1¼ cup buttermilk*
- ⅓ cup butter, melted and cooled
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- ⅓ cup honey
- 1 cup blueberries
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, combine cornmeal, gluten-free flour, xanthun gum, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and brown sugar.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, melted (and cooled) butter, eggs, and honey.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and mix just until combined, being careful not to overmix.
- Add the blueberries and gently stir until evenly dispersed.
- Pour the batter into the 12 muffin cups, making sure to evenly distribute the blueberries between the tins, filling to just shy of full.
- Bake for 20-23 minutes or until golden.