Cornbread Muffins

The story began with my sister’s departure for the United States when I was 12.  My companion and friend whom I relied on when boredom crept, when bullies struck and when my parents screamed and fought, left me. I was to face school, home and the world alone. All I looked forward to were the biannual visits  when she would bring comforting American gifts like Jiffy Cornbread mixes. That was my introduction to baking.

I loved Jiffy cornbread not only because it was fluffy and sweet but because it was magically easy. You open the box of dried goods, mix with eggs and liquid in a bowl, pour into a tin and something edible comes out in half an hour. I then started buying Betty Crocker as well, and it was not until university that I ditched the box and started baking from scratch.  I’m happy now I can make proper corn muffins to my own taste at home. Ones that are soft and light, just mildly sweet and very much corn-tasting, reminiscent of the smell of steamed corn on the hob my sister and I would eat as children.

P1050999The wonderful thing about these cornbread muffins are they’re almost as easy as a box mix. It’s very forgiving, it’s just a bit more cumbersome as you need to take some time to measure out the ingredients, but it requires little skill and precision.

Adapted from Serious Eats
Makes 12 muffins


140g masa harina (finely ground cornmeal is a suitable substitute)

100g flour
80g sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking power
1/2 tsp baking soda
170g sour cream
120ml buttermilk (or milk with a squeeze of lemon juice, leaving it to rest for five minutes until it curdles)
2 large eggs
70g melted butter
Corn kernels cut off from one ear of corn

Preheat oven to 220C. Grease and line a standard 12 cup muffin tin.

Mix the masa harina, flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and soda in a bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, buttermilk, eggs and butter.  Stir in the dry ingredients and lastly fold in the corn kernels.

Pour into the muffin tins and bake for about 20 minutes or until when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

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