Tender, delicious Buttermilk Corn Muffins with enough sweetness to make them irresistible! So versatile and quick to throw together.

Cornbread Muffins are an easy side when serving a game day bowl of chili or a speedy breakfast smeared with butter and jam. 

Buttermilk Corn Muffins on a rectangular, white tray

Why You Must Make this Corn Muffins Recipe

  • This is an old Ina Garten recipe from before she had a TV show. It was published in House Beautiful many years ago.
  • The buttermilk makes them tender and moist.
  • These sweet corn muffins pair delightfully with chili, soups, and even casseroles.

I bake up a batch of these buttermilk corn muffins whenever the moon and stars are aligned, meaning chili is on the menu and buttermilk is in the fridge. Sweet and tender, these corn muffins are a perfect side for a fall meal.

But sometimes I find other excuses to bake up a batch. They were excellent with tonight’s fajitas. I first baked these corn muffins years ago and never looked for another recipe. They’re so wonderful fresh out of the oven with a cold pat of butter.

Buttermilk Corn Muffin cut in half with a pat of butter on a square white plate

Ina Garten’s Cornbread Recipe

This recipe originated from Ina Garten, in an issue of House Beautiful, but I don’t think it’s made it into any of her cookbooks. There are a couple of her recipes that use sour cream, but this cornbread uses buttermilk.

She made it in a casserole dish, but I love preparing muffins so I can freeze the leftovers for other meals, a quick breakfast, or a snack.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Can I Add to This Cornbread Recipe?

Some popular additions to cornbread include:

  • Diced jalapenos and sharp cheddar cheese
  • Corn kernels, minced red pepper, fresh basil
  • Chopped bacon or ham cubes and your favorite shredded cheese.
  • Dried cranberries or other chopped dried fruit
  • Chopped, steamed spinach, scallions, and cheese
  • Can Corn Muffins Be Be Frozen?

    Yes, they freeze beautifully. Place the muffins you’re not going to eat soon into a freezer-safe Ziploc bag, remove excess air, and place them in the freezer.

    My kids liked to pull one out of the freezer and zap in the microwave for a quick breakfast before rushing to school.

    Are Cornbread Muffins Gluten-Free?

    These and most recipes for corn muffins call for wheat flour which contains gluten. Unless the packaging or baker tells you it was made with gluten-free flour, assume it has gluten.

    How Many Calories in One Muffin?

    With the ingredients in this recipe, each muffin has approximately 188 calories. To make healthier cornbread, consider decreasing the amount of sugar in the recipe, replacing the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour (or half all-purpose and half whole wheat), and/or adding in corn kernels, chopped red bell peppers, or jalapeno peppers.

    Lambeau in the kitchen with corn muffin ingredients
    Photo of ingredients from 2010

    How to Make Buttermilk 

    • PRO-Tip: Did you know you can make your own buttermilk substitute? For each cup of buttermilk needed, add a tablespoon of either lemon juice or white vinegar to a one-cup liquid measuring cup, then add milk up to the one cup mark. 
    • Allow the mixture to sit and thicken for about 5 minutes, then use in the recipe as directed.

    Tips for Making Cornbread

    • Cornbread is a quick bread, meaning it uses baking soda, baking powder, or both as leaveners instead of yeast.
    • PRO-Tip: Make sure your baking powder has not expired before starting this recipe. Old baking powder will not leaven properly.
    • This recipe calls for baking powder, not the more frequently used baking soda. Baking powder needs an acid in the batter for the best results. Both the milk and buttermilk contain lactic acid.
    • When making quick bread, it’s best to mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another, then combine the two.
    • This helps prevent over-mixing which will make your muffins develop peaks and tunnels. Instead of rounded domes, the top of your cornbread will look pointed, a sign of overworked gluten.
    • PRO-Tip: Use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to make the batter. Do not use a hand mixer as most likely, you will overbeat the batter.
    • Use a large scoop to divvy up the batter to ensure the muffins are consistent in size.
    • Check using a toothpick inserted in the middle to see if your muffins are done baking. There should be no batter on the toothpick when it’s pulled out of the cornbread.

    More Muffin Recipes You’ll Love:

    The next time you plan to make chili or a spicy soup, add a batch of these buttermilk corn muffins to your menu! This fabulous cornbread recipe is also wonderful for breakfast with butter and jam!

    This post was first shared in September 2010. Photos and text were updated in 2018.

    Buttermilk Corn Muffins featured image

    Buttermilk Corn Muffins

    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Cook Time 22 minutes
    Total Time 32 minutes
    Yield 12 muffins

    Sweet and tender corn muffins made with buttermilk


    • 1/2 cup butter (4 ounces), melted
    • 1/2 cup buttermilk
    • 3 tablespoons milk
    • 1 egg
    • 1 1/2 cups flour
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt


    1. Preheat oven to 325º. Grease or put paper liners in 12 count muffin tin.
    2. Combine melted butter with buttermilk, milk and egg. Sift dry ingredients and add to milk mixture. Stir till just combined. Fill muffin cups about 2/3 full with batter. Bake about 22 minutes or till firm and golden.


    Adapted from Ina Garten

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    Nutrition Information:



    Serving Size:

    1 muffin

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 188Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 388mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 1gSugar: 9gProtein: 3g


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