Small Batch Cornbread Muffins with Honey Butter

cornbread muffin split open and smeared with honey honey butter on a plate with hot honey butter and a spreader on the side

These cornbread muffins have a perfect balance of moistness, richness, and corn flavor thanks to sour cream, a touch of sugar, and spice. The hot honey butter smeared across the top makes these a perfect side dish for any meal. The small batch of 6 ensures the perfect portion, though doubling is never a bad idea.



For the cornbread muffins:

  • 2/3 cup (83 grams) all-purpose flour*
  • 2/3 cup (97 grams) medium-grind yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon (13 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2/3 cup (160g) sour cream
  • 3.5 tablespoons buttermilk*
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the pan

For the whipped hot honey butter:

  • 1/3 cup (76g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • a few pinches of flaky sea salt


  1. Preheat the oven. Adjust the oven rack to the middle of the oven.Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Butter 6 wells in a muffin tin or use muffin liners.
  2. Make the batter. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, Aleppo pepper, and kosher salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, sour cream, buttermilk, and melted butter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and gently stir the mixture with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until evenly combined. The batter will be thick. 
  3. Bake the cornbread muffins. Evenly distribute the batter among the 6 prepared muffin wells, about 1/4 cup of batter per well. Bake until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean with a few crumbs, about 13 minutes. Transfer the muffin tin to a wire rack and let the muffins cool in the pan for 10 minutes before unmolding. 
  4. Make the brown butter. Meanwhile, make the hot honey butter. Heat a 3-quart pan over medium heat, and add half the butter. Cook, stirring continuously, until the butter foams, stops sizzling, and turns a dark amber brown, about 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
  5. Whip the hot honey butter. Add the other half of the butter, red pepper flakes, salt, vinegar, honey, and room temperature browned butter to a small bowl. Using an electric mixer, whip the butter mixture until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Adjust salt and honey to taste. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use. 
  6. Serve. Eat the cornbread muffins with hot honey butter, honey, butter, or plain. 


The addition of Aleppo Pepper was inspired by Marcus Samuelsson’s Cornbread at the Red Rooster Harlem.

FLOUR. If you opt to measure by volume instead of weight, whisk the flour first to aerate it, then spoon into a measuring cup, and then level it off with the back of a knife. 

BUTTERMILK. Substitute 3.25 tablespoons plus 3/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar for buttermilk.


Keywords: cornbread muffins recipe, honey cornbread muffins