Say it with me: corn muffins are not cornbread. Sure, you can bake cornbread in muffin tins, but you can also bake ground beef in those and it doesn’t mean you made meat muffins. Cornbread is hefty, like bread; corn muffins are airy, like... muffins. This feels like something I shouldn’t have to explain, but somehow I do, because I have been served bread when I have wanted a muffin too many dang times now and I’m tired of being disappointed by my children. If the kids want to make me breakfast in bed, they need to stop half-assing things by simply reading the instructions on the side of a box of Jiffy mix. You know when you were kid and your parents would say, “I’m not angry at you, I’m disappointed”? I understand what that means now. My husband says I’m attaching too much emotional weight to these corn muffins, but I say he’s not attaching enough. I also told him if tried any of that “add creamed corn to the cornbread mix” nonsense he can find somewhere else to live.
The reason a bad corn muffin is so disappointing is that they’re just so damn easy to make, you wonder how anyone could make a bad one. Though I futzed around with all sorts of ingredients and proportions while developing the recipe, the process was always the same: put stuff in bowl, mix, let sit, then bake in muffin tins. No stand mixer. No fancy equipment (unless you count this, which you should consider owning). No non-regulation muffin pans. The hardest part is letting the batter rest for 30 minutes to give the cornmeal and flour time to properly hydrate, but if you make it the night before, you can have sweet corn muffin dreams and sleep in the next morning. Besides drizzling it with salty honey butter, truly the only thing that can make any muffin better is the promise of an extra 40 minutes of sleep.
Makes 12 muffins
For the muffins:
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 5 Tbsp. melted butter
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 cup fine ground yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. baking powder
Salty Honey Butter:
- 3 Tbsp. butter (the rest of the stick)
- 2 Tbsp. honey
- 1 tsp. kosher salt (you can add a bit more if you like things saltier)
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, sour cream, butter, honey, and salt until smooth. Add the cornmeal, flour, cornstarch and baking powder, and whisk until just combined. Cover and allow to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes, or in the fridge if you’d like to bake your muffins the next morning.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
From a roll of parchment paper, cut four 6-inch-wide strips; fold each strip into thirds and cut on the folds to make 12 squares. Working one at a time, press each parchment square into each muffin cup firmly, then add a scoop of muffin batter to weigh it down. Once muffin batter is divided evenly in the tin, slide it onto the center rack of the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
Once the muffins are out of the oven, make the topping by melting the butter, honey, and salt together in the microwave. Stir well, then brush on top of the muffins while they’re still warm. Serve extra honey butter with muffins.