This weekend, my brother Andrew put together a gorgeous potluck brunch for his girlfriend for her birthday. And when I asked her what I could bring, she had a very specific request: “Cornmeal muffins and honey butter, like you made for Andrew’s birthday dinner!”
Andrew and I are both gluten-free, so for his big 30th birthday bash I researched the best gluten-free cornbread recipes I could find, and adapted one from Gluten Free on a Shoestring. (No pressure: Heather and I made six-plus dishes for 50-plus guests, with the help of angel Douglas Ford. But you will hear more about that later, I promise.)
We made other, more challenging dishes for the party, but to my surprise, I kept hearing people talk about the muffins and honey butter. I even saw a couple of people swipe muffins for their breakfasts the next day!
Warm from the oven, each bite frosted with a generous layer of melting honey butter, these moist and slightly sweet muffins are a show-stealer.
Take a bite!
Cornmeal Muffins with Honey Butter
- 2 cups fine-ground yellow corn meal (not polenta)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 cup sour cream
- 4 tbsp. softened butter plus more for the pan
- 4 tbsp. honey
- 1 large egg
- cream or any kind of milk
- granulated sugar (for topping)
Pre-heat oven to 375F. Generously butter a non-stick 12-muffin tin, including the top.
Mix sour cream, butter, honey, and eggs together until thoroughly combined. Mix dry ingredients separately and then stir into sour cream mixture until just combined. Add a dash of cream or milk until batter is liquid enough to scoop easily with a 1/3 or 1/2 cup measure.
Scoop batter into muffin tins until just under full. (The muffins will rise gently while baking.) Sprinkle with granulated sugar for a sweet crust. Bake until edges are brown and top of muffins resist pressure from your fingers.
Allow to cool for a few minutes. Slide a knife around muffin edges; they should pop right out of the pan.
For honey butter:
- 12 tbsp. softened salted butter (organic will taste best)
- 6 tbsp. of honey (or to taste)
Soften salted butter (I’d recommend using 1 tbsp. of butter per muffin served), and cream with the honey. I like to add honey until you can taste the sweetness and honey flavor, but it doesn’t drown the saltiness of the butter. Can be made ahead, but let soften slightly before serving.
Honey butter is also delicious with waffles, pancakes, biscuits and scones.
Just a note: the butter and honey won’t stay smoothly combined, so if you are making this ahead, you will need to mix the honey butter again before serving.