It's thick and hearty with an intoxicating sweet scent, budget friendly, kid friendly and nutritious. With beans it makes a complete protein and it offers a fair amount of vitamins A and B.
But my mom used the Jiffy mix and that mix isn't sold in Canada so I had to learn to make cornbread from scratch.
I won’t begin to tell you how many sweet cornbread recipes I tried attempting to recreate the flavor of the Jiffy mix I grew up with. One day, after nearly 6 months of trying recipes, someone told me the secret to Jiffy’s distinct flavor is sugar. That’s right, sugar.
After trying a few more recipes and playing around I decided on a keeper. My husband had never tried cornbread before he meet me and this recipe has become one of his favorites. But he doesn’t like the coarseness of most cornmeal so I make sure to have fine cornmeal or cornflour on hand.
Although this recipe only takes about 40-45 minutes to make from scratch including baking time, I still like to keep some in the freezer. This way the oven is free and my cornbread is ready for me on busy nights or quick breakfasts.
Northern-style Sweet Cornbread Recipe
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 1 cup milk
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 400F. Mix 1 cup of white all-purpose flour with one cup of cornmeal. Add in sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir to mix the ingredients. Next add your egg, milk and oil. Mix well.
Grease your pan and fill, then bake. This recipe fills a 9 inch round cake pan. You can experiment with sizes and oven times more than I have but here’s what’s worked for me.
9 inch cake pan- 25-30 minutes
8 inch cake pan with a 3X5 mini loaf- 25 minutes
16 muffins- 20 minutes
48 mini-muffins 10-12 minutes
Every oven is different so look for some browning around the edges, a golden brown color on the top, and firmness in the center when lightly touched. Insert a toothpick in the center and if it comes out clean and dry it's done.
What Other Variations Can I Try?
Try this sweet cornbread recipe with different cornmeals, such as fine, medium or coarse ground varieties or try different colors. Yellow, white and blue are available.
Buttermilk can be substituted for the milk.
Consider addins. Popular addins are corn kernels, creamed corn kernels, peppers like jalapenos, and shredded cheddar cheese.
Use 1 cup gluten free flour along with the cornmeal.
How Can I Make This Healthier?
Use stone ground cornmeal in this sweet cornbread recipe. Stone ground cornmeal includes some of the hull and germ thus it has more flavor and more nutrients, however it goes bad faster than steel ground cornmeal.
The good news is that stone ground cornmeal can be kept for 2 years in the freezer and that is plenty of time for you to use it and get that extra nutrition instead of buying steel ground cornmeal.
The lesson here is to buy stone ground cornmeal but only in small portions that you are confided your family can use. No need for 10 pound bags when you only use a cup at a time.
The processing of corn, called nixtamalization, is not a bad thing. I bring this up because as we strive to eat healthier we need to understand that not all ‘processed’ foods are bad. Corn is soaked and cooked in an alkaline solution, usually of limewater, and then hulled.
Benefits of Nixtamalization of Corn
- More easily ground
- Flavor improved
- Aroma improved
- Mycotoxins, mold producing substances that can possibly make us sick, are reduced
- Nutritional value increased by making the vitamins in the corn easier to digest
How to Freeze
Batter for muffins and mini-muffins could be frozen and baked from frozen with success. Expect the muffins to take and extra 50% cooking time. Freeze the batter in a greased silicone muffin, mini-muffin or tartlet pan and once frozen transfer to a freezer bag to prevent freezer burn.
Prebaked cornbread can be thawed at room temperature and/or reheated in the oven for the same effect as freezing the batter.
Freeze Cooked Cornbread
Wrap well in moisture-vapor proof freezer materials and be sure to label and date. The storage times given are estimates, cornbread kept longer in the freezer will not go bad but might lose quality.
Freezer grade plastic wrap and tin foil are my choice for round loaves. Seal the tin foil using freezer tape. Store for up to 6 months.
Plastic wrap and a freezer bag work easier for muffins. A 17.8 X 20.3cm freezer bags holds 6 muffins. These will also store easily for 6 months
Mini-muffins I would flash freeze by spreading them out on a cookie sheet in the freezer for 2 hours or freezing, once cooled, in their silicone pan. This way they don’t freeze to each other and I can simply toss them in a freezer bag without wrapping individually. Suck as much air out as possible with a straw. Store for 1 or 2 months, because they are not as well wrapped they are more likely to develop freezer burn.
How to Thaw
Baked cornbread can thaw on the counter. Mini-muffins should thaw in an hour or so on the counter. Muffins and loaves should be pulled from the freezer in the morning for dinner or allowed to thaw overnight.
Microwaving cornbread will help it thaw faster, just avoid over cooking it or it might dry out.
Thaw batter in the fridge because of the milk and egg.
Learn more about freezing baked bread.
More Frozen Bread options
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