Corn Bread Muffins, 10p each


I’ve made corn bread about nine times this year and every time I do I think to myself “I must blog this recipe” as it’s one of my favourites. But the kitchen needs cleaning and the children need entertaining and there’s a wash to put on and a week goes by and I forget all about it. So this time, beating together corn and eggs and milk and forensically slicing an onion, I was absolutely determined to finally share this with you, my lovely readers. I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted any recipes – I don’t know where my time is going at the moment, I’ve been up til 3am some mornings working and up at 7am sneaking forty minutes of admin in before the children wake up and there still don’t seem to be enough hours in the day to sit at my table and write any more. And it makes me sad, because my little chats with my readers make me feel happy, and useful, and part of a great community of friends – I’ll make a concerted effort to remember to blog more, I promise. And I’m starting with this one. I hope you love it as much as I do, it’s sweet enough to tempt the kids with (leave the chilli out if you’re making it for little mouths) but savoury enough to top with cheese and pop under the grill.

As ever, prices are based at Sainsburys, using the Basics range where available. I grow my own parsley and coriander but have priced them for this recipe as I don’t have enough to send you all, unfortunately 🙂 Free range eggs (85p/6) are slightly more expensive than barn eggs (70p/6) – personally I would rather have no eggs than barn eggs but I’m not here to preach to anyone who has to make difficult decisions around their household budget, just letting you know why I do the things I do. With the same hat on, I only buy Fairtrade sugar – again there are other options available but with a readership that spans millions I feel I have a responsibility to be honest about the decisions I make, and informative about how affordable (and simple) more ethical choices can be. We could improve the lives of farmers and coffee growers and sugar-harvesters and banana-pickers and chickens immeasurably for 15p here or 15p there – I know ‘affordability’ is a sliding scale dependent on circumstances but the margin between free range and Fairtrade products, and their uncomfortable alternatives, is getting smaller all the time. Now, let’s make corn bread.

Makes 8 generous muffins at 10p each or a loaf for 80p

250g plain flour, 9p (55p/1.5kg)

½ tsp salt, <1p (25p/750g)

10g/2 tsp baking powder, 5p (85p/160g)

50g Fairtrade sugar, 4p (80p/1kg)

¼ tsp chilli flakes or two pinches of cayenne pepper, 2p (£1/32g)

70g tinned sweetcorn, 11p (30p/198g, Sainsburys Basics)

50g onion, 3p (90p/1.5kg)

2g fresh parsley or coriander, 6p (80p/28g)

1 free range egg, 14p (85p/6 mixed weight)

50g butter, 18p (90p/250g) – if you’re totally brassic, use 50ml sunflower oil instead at 5p (£3/3l)

250ml milk – can be made with 25g skimmed milk powder to 250ml cold water, 7p (£1.15/400g)

First grab a large mixing bowl and your baking receptacle of choice, be it a deep muffin tin or a loaf tin or a shallow cake tin – any of these will do but baking times will vary. Lightly grease your tin to stop your delicious soon-to-be-cornbread from sticking to it, and pop the oven on to 200C to preheat. Weigh your butter, dice it, and pop it on top of the oven in a bowl to gently soften.

Add the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar to the mixing bowl with a pinch of cayenne or chilli flakes and give it a stir. Drain your sweetcorn and mash roughly with a fork and fold through – you can roughly blitz it in a blender for a smoother consistency if you like, depends on your feelings towards ‘texture’ in your loaves (and if you have fussy children or teenagers or even grown-ups in your house who will eye easily-identifiable vegetables in bread with suspicion and realise it’s not the ‘cake’ you might have told them it was…)

Very finely chop your onion and parsley-or-coriander; if you’re blitzing the corn in a blender or food processor then feel free to fling that in too for an easy life, and add to the mix.

Make a well in the centre of the mixing bowl and crack in your egg, and pour in most of the milk. Remove your butter from the top of the oven and beat the wet ingredients in to combine to form a soft and slightly sticky dough – it should be looser than a normal bread dough but a lot thicker than a batter – if it struggles to fall off your spoon, you’re doing it right. If it’s too runny, add an extra tablespoon on flour. If it’s too stiff, add a splash more milk or a little water to loosen it.

Pour the batter into your tin and sprinkle the top with flour. If making a loaf, score a split down the centre – in Soda Bread Theory, this is to let the fairies out, and I like the thought of fairies baking my bread, so I always do this. If making muffins, make a small X in the top of each one. Place in the centre of the oven – a loaf will need 40 minutes to cook, the muffins around 18, but check after 15 minutes and insert a sharp knife into the centre to check that they are cooked through.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the tin. The bread will need a further 10 minutes cooling to firm up before slicing, whereas the muffins are ready to eat almost immediately, if you have an asbestos tongue, that is… I like to dip mine warm into butter, or halve and fill with cheese while still warm and let it melt and stick together in the middle…

They will keep for 3 days in an airtight container. I slice the corn bread loaf and freeze it in slices, ready to be toasted or defrosted at will, and the muffins freeze well too.
Jack Monroe. I’m on Twitter and Instagram @MsJackMonroe


  1. I can so empathise with you on the forgetting to blog the recipe thing – there are so many times as I finish a plate of food that I think “should have written that one down and taken a photo”……half year’s resolution “I must be a better blogger!”

  2. Jack, I’ve sometimes just used water instead of milk in similar recipes. I think the muffins dry out more quickly, but especially if one whirred the corn I’m not sure if it would make much difference otherwise.

  3. You mentioned fine polenta in the blog and then plain flour in the recipe which do you prefer?

  4. Love cornbread, will have to give this a try. It mentions polenta in the intro but not in the recipe, was the polenta for something else?

  5. In the intro you mention polenta but in the recipe list plain flour, can you use either?

  6. So glad to have another of your excellent recipes thought something had gone wrong!! will try soon sounds delicious – will give some to my grandson

  7. Jack, I’m going to make these tomorrow! One thing; it’s not “brassic” it’s “Boracic” as in boracic lint = skint.

    • ” If you don’t have much money, you are likely to use the word ‘skint’… but maybe also ‘brassic’ which is found across the UK and comes from rhyming slang ‘boracic lint’.” Simon Elmes, BBC Radio 4 Word 4 Word

  8. Hi Jack 🙂 Can you please confirm whether the cornbread should have polenta in it? You mention it in your blog and not in the recipe?x

  9. Jack: Of course you have a life outside blogging, so don’t apologise if you miss a few postings. It makes it even more special when you do post! Loved the corn bread recipe. Your recipes are always so easy and so practical. Roy.

  10. Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

    From:”JACK MONROE: COOK, CAMPAIGNER, GUARDIAN COLUMNIST, MOTHER, AUTHOR, ETC.” Date:Tue, 9 Jun, 2015 at 18:33 Subject:[New post] Corn Bread Muffins, 10p each

    Jack Monroe (MsJackMonroe) posted: ” I’ve made corn bread about nine times this year and every time I do I think to myself “I must blog this recipe” as it’s one of my favourites. But the kitchen needs cleaning and the children need entertaining and there’s a wash to put on and a week goes”

  11. We’ve never made cornbread this way. It looks like this will be much tastier and cheaper too. We’ll be picking up a ton of sweetcorn later to have a go. Thanks!

  12. We’ve never made cornbread this way. It looks like this will be much tastier and cheaper too. We’ll be picking up a tin of sweetcorn later to have a go. Thanks!

  13. No need to apologise, life gets in the way sometimes…I’ll try this recipe on my fussy 2 year old. Your recipes always seem to be popular with him; most other things (apart from fruit and cereal) end up on the floor.

  14. I made this to go with dinner tonight and it was lovely. Is it meant to taste really sweet? It was yummy but did remind me a bit of cake!

  15. For some reason I’ve never had corn bread so look forward to giving this a try, thanks for sharing! 🙂

    As an aside, wonder if might pay to contract a virtual assistant help you out with admin etc so you can spend more time doing stuff you love?

  16. Interesting that you use sugar in your recipe. I’ve been told by relatives in the American South that only Northerners put sugar in their cornbread. I might have to give it a go and see what difference it makes.

    • You’re right, in the US South they don’t add sugar, but it somehow it still tastes sweet to me. I find it weird, like having cake with dinner.

    • did you try the recipe without sugar? I want to give it a go too . . . let me know what you think 🙂

  17. I like the sound of this recipe, it seems quick and easy, but I’m wondering why sugar has been added to what is basically a savoury dish ? have you tried it without the sugar, does it really make a difference ?

  18. Finally got around to making this and the corn bread was fantastic! Will definitely be making this again soon.

  19. As an American, I am a tad confused by the term “plain flour”. To me that means white bread flour. And if that is the case I wouldn’t even consider this “corn bread” but rather a quick bread with corn added in. Not that that’s bad…just wondering.

  20. Funnily enough, we’re performing Gershwin’s “Of Thee I Sing”, and the attraction between the two characters is that Mary can make corn muffins! I’m trying this on the weekend 🙂 Thanks Jack!

    Robin – plain flour is an all-purpose flour without any raising agents added, compared to Self-Raising (or Rising) flour which has baking powder included.

  21. Made these yesterday – we had them for tea with pasta and your raw broccoli and courgette pesto – both my boys wolfed all there tea down – I totally agree with having a sneaky one with cheese in the middle just as they’re out of the oven mmmmmmm

  22. Hi Jack.
    I’ve been meaning to make thus recipe for sooo long and had it bookmarked. Just pulled it up with great intentions and realised it has eggs in (I’m newly Vegan too).
    Any ideas for veganising the recipe? I’m feeling a little bereft!

    On the plus side i’m mid way mashing my own version of the kidney bean/carrot/cumin burger… made lovingly with the odds and ends in the fridge. So tomorrow we’ll be having soyabean/green lentil/parsnip/cumin burgers. But different but smells lush 🙂

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