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- 👍 Why You'll Love This Recipe
- 🔍 Tips for Making Sourdough Corn Muffins
- 🛠 Tools Needed:
- 🛒 Ingredients Needed:
- 🌽 How to Make Sourdough Corn Muffins
- How to Serve
- How to Store
- ❓ FAQs:
- Other Fall Recipes You May Enjoy:
- Sourdough Corn Muffins
You can have soft Sourdough Corn Muffins in less than 30 minutes with this easy sourdough discard recipe made with buttermilk and honey!
When it comes to corn muffins and cornbread, I think simple is better. I have a nostalgic affinity for boxed corn muffin mix like Jiffy, so this is my sourdough answer to that classic boxed mix, and it’s just as easy to make!
I adapted my Sourdough Honey Cornbread recipe for these muffins made with sourdough discard, tangy buttermilk, and natural honey sweetness. It creates a soft and moist corn muffin that’s an excellent soup, chili, or Thanksgiving side dish or as a breakfast muffin.
The recipe includes many tips on how to make these foolproof sourdough discard corn muffins.
👍 Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Tastes like boxed corn muffin mix
- There’s no need to go to the grocery store to make these easy sourdough corn muffins that are only made with simple pantry ingredients and basic kitchen tools!
- They come together as quick as boxed corn muffin mix and taste similarly with a tangy, sweetness from buttermilk and honey.
- Can make in less than 30 minutes
- There’s no fermenting since the muffins use sourdough discard (or active starter), which you can use straight from the refrigerator. The baking powder and baking soda do all of the leavening.
- Hence, you can make these sourdough discard corn muffins in no time for a simple treat!
- Moist and not crumbly
- Some corn and cornbread muffins tend to be dry and too crumbly due to the use of grainy cornmeal. Instead, buttermilk and sourdough discard tenderize these corn muffins (like scones or biscuits) and create a soft and moist muffin.
- They’re perfect to soak in soup, chili, or serve as a side for Thanksgiving.
- Store well
- Muffins are best fresh out of the oven, but these store well for a few days at room temperature. Reheat them slightly in a microwave, toaster oven, or slice in half and brown with butter in a skillet!
🔍 Tips for Making Sourdough Corn Muffins
- Rest the batter before baking
- As you preheat the oven, let the corn muffin batter rest for 10-15 minutes. This allows the cornmeal to hydrate, leading to a softer muffin! The rest also helps the muffins achieve a slight dome on top.
- Use room temperature ingredients
- For the best muffins, let your buttermilk, eggs, and sourdough discard come to room temperature before mixing. The room temperature wet ingredients emulsify better and achieve a better rise.
- Don’t overmix the batter
- Use sourdough discard or active sourdough starter
- You can use active sourdough starter or unfed sourdough discard in this recipe since it’s not leavening the muffins.
🛠 Tools Needed:
Click the links below for my favorite tool recommendations.
- Baking Scale
- Flour and sourdough starter can weigh differently from person to person, so weighing your ingredients is the best option if you can!
- Muffin Pan
- This recipe makes 12 standard-size muffins.
- Muffin Liners (optional)
- If you’re using a nonstick muffin pan or grease a muffin pan well, you don’t have to line the pan with muffin liners or muffin tins. However, I prefer serving muffins with the liners so they’re easier to transport and store. Plus, I like pulling apart the muffin liners like a little treat!
- For mixing and scraping the sides of the bowl.
- Cookie or Ice Cream Scoop (optional)
- A trick for evenly sized muffins is to use a large cookie scoop or ice cream scoop to scoop the batter into the muffin liners. Plus, the batter doesn’t drip onto the pan versus pouring the batter into the muffin pan.
🛒 Ingredients Needed:
Click on the links below for my ingredient recommendations.
- All-purpose Flour
- All-purpose flour helps the muffins stay soft, plush, and provides some gluten strength to the batter so they’ll rise in the oven.
- I use old-fashioned stone ground corn mill for this recipe. Medium to fine corn meal is better here so the muffins don’t taste too grainy (unless you like that texture, of course).
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda
- Honey brings out a delicate sweetness in the cornmeal. If you don’t have honey, you can substitute it with an equal amount of agave or use about 100g (½ cup) of granulated sugar.
- I like using raw and unfiltered honey for the best flavor.
- Sourdough Discard
- I like the classic, tangy flavor of buttermilk in cornmeal, but you can substitute with whole milk or a plant-based milk.
- Neutral Oil
- Many of my quick bread recipes don’t require oil like my Sourdough Zucchini Bread and Sourdough Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread.
- For richer flavor, you can substitute the oil with melted butter. However, I found the small amount of oil helps retain the moisture longer, and they rise taller in the oven.
- Can use coconut oil, vegetable, canola, or another neutral oil.
Corn Muffin Variations
- Add sliced, fresh jalapenos and some sharp cheese like cheddar to the batter for a little sweet, spicy, and cheesy corn muffins. Include bacon and chives or scallions for loaded sourdough corn muffins.
- For more corn flavor, add ½ cup of freshly cooked corn kernels to the batter.
- Blueberries are an excellent pairing with corn and honey. Add ¼ cup of dried blueberries or ½ cup of fresh blueberries to the batter.
🌽 How to Make Sourdough Corn Muffins
Follow this visual and detailed recipe guide as you make the best sourdough corn muffins.
1. Mix the Dry Ingredients
Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl, including:
- 120 grams (1 cup) of all-purpose flour
- 120 grams (1 cup) of cornmeal
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- ½ teaspoon of baking soda
2. Whisk the Wet Ingredients
In another mixing bowl, whisk the wet ingredients, including:
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 85 grams (¼ cup) of honey
- 120 grams (½ cup) of sourdough discard, or active starter
- 225 grams of buttermilk (1 cup), room temperature
- 50 grams (¼ cup) of neutral oil
Drizzle in the oil last while you whisk to help emulsify the wet ingredients better.
3. Mix and Rest the Batter
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and use a whisk or spatula to mix the corn muffin batter.
Some clumps of batter are normal, but try to break apart any small clumps. You only need to mix until you don’t see any more flour specks. Overmixing will result in denser muffins.
The corn muffin batter will appear wetter than cake batter, but will stiffen slightly as the cornmeal hydrates.
Set aside the batter to rest for at least 10-15 minutes as you preheat the oven to 400ºF (204ºC).
Make Ahead: At this point, you can chill the batter for a few hours or up to overnight to make ahead. The baking powder will lose some leavening powder the longer it rests. I think it all comes together so quickly that making ahead doesn’t save much time, but it is an option!
As the batter rests and you preheat the oven, prepare your muffin pan. Line it with muffin liners if you’re using and spray the liners and top of the pan with non-stick baking spray.
Once the oven is preheated and the batter has rested for at least 10-15 minutes, evenly distribute the batter among 12 muffin cups and fill them about 75% of the way up.
I like to use a large cookie scoop or ice cream scoop for even measuring and cleaner pouring, but you can use a spoon or spatula too.
Bake the muffins for 15-17 minutes, or until the tops are golden (not brown) and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack.
How to Serve
These sourdough corn muffins are great with a bowl of chili or another favorite winter soup. Dip the muffins into your soup or sprinkle on top of a bowl of chili.
They make a great side dish to serve at Thanksgiving. You could even use them to make a cornbread stuffing!
Finally, they’re also great as a simple breakfast or brunch treat served with butter and a drizzle of honey. For breakfast, I like to slice the muffins in half, butter each side, and place in a skillet to brown up and get slightly crisp.
How to Store
Sourdough corn muffins store very well!
While they’re best when freshly baked, you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days. Toast or reheat them slightly before serving as they will become more dense and lose moisture over time.
To get a couple of more days out of them, you can refrigerate the muffins for 4-5 days.
How to Freeze
After baking, let the corn muffins cool to room temperature and then place them in a freezer-safe bag. Thaw the muffins in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in a toaster oven or oven at 350ºF.
Can I double the recipe?
Yes. Double all of the ingredients and divide the muffins between two muffin pans to make 24 muffins.
Can I add whole wheat flour to the muffins?
You can, but the muffins are best made with lower protein flours like all-purpose or cake flour. If you decide to add whole wheat flour, I recommend only adding ½ cup or less at a time.
Additionally, note that whole wheat flour will soak up more liquid, so you may need to increase the amount of buttermilk slightly.
How can I make vegan sourdough corn muffins?
Substitute the honey with agave or maple syrup, eliminate the eggs (or use an egg replacer), and substitute the buttermilk with a plant-based milk.
Can I make sourdough cornbread with these sourdough muffins?
My Sourdough Honey Cornbread recipe is very similar to these muffins and made in a cast-iron skillet for crispy edges!
How to make gluten-free sourdough corn muffins?
This is an easy recipe to make gluten-free if you use a gluten-free starter. Substitute all-purpose flour with a similar flour like cup4cup or measure for measure.
Other Fall Recipes You May Enjoy:
Sourdough Corn Muffins
- Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside.120 g All-purpose Flour, 120 g Cornmeal, 2 tsp Baking Powder, ½ tsp Baking Soda, ½ tsp Kosher Salt
- In another bowl, whisk the wet ingredients until incorporated.2 Eggs, 85 g Honey, 120 g Sourdough Discard, 225 g Buttermilk, 50 g Neutral Oil
- Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix with a whisk or spatula. Break apart any large clumps and only mix until you see no more specks of flour.Rest the batter for at least 10-15 minutes* as you preheat the oven.
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF (204ºC).Line a muffin pan with muffin tins or liners and spray with non-stick baking spray or oil.Once the batter rests and the oven is preheated, distribute the batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling about 75% of the way up. I like to use a cookie or ice cream scoop for a cleaner transfer process.Bake for 15-17 minutes or until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.Enjoy and serve with your favorite soup or chili, as a side, or with a slab of butter and a drizzle of honey.
- *You can make the corn muffin batter ahead of time and let it set overnight in the refirgerator. The rest is important for the cornmeal to hydrate and to help the muffins rise taller.
- Follow my guide for more detailed instructions and photos to make this recipe step-by-step.