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Whole Grain Cornbread or Muffins

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Whole grain corn bread

We all want healthy food, fast. Right? Not to mention healthy food that fits a budget.

Well, that is totally doable with this whole grain cornbread! Just a few simple ingredients and just a touch of honey make this the perfect side for any soup or stew. You can even make a big pot of chili in your Instant Pot in about the time it takes to bake the cornbread!! Dinner is served.

RELATED: Banana Spelt Bread Recipe

Whole Grain Cornbread
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Healthy Whole Grain Cornbread or Muffins

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 3 reviews
  • Author: Katie Kimball
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 25 mins


Units Scale


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  1. Mix Ingredients
  2. Stir until just smooth.
  3. Pour into greased 9×9 pan and bake 25 minutes at 400 degrees.
  4. Serve hot.
  5. Store in fridge if you want leftovers to last more than a day or two.



* Need gluten-free? Here’s one version; an even better one is in my Better Than a Box cookbook.
* Adapted from the More with Less Cookbook.

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whole grain cornbread
Better Than a Box: How to Transform Processed Food Recipes Into Whole Food Favorites

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Healthy Upgrade:  Soaked

If you are looking to make this even healthier try soaking your grains first.

What does Soaking Grains mean?

Mix together cornmeal and flour (the one cup each from the original recipe) with a total of one cup buttermilk and/or yogurt (this is in place of the milk, and you can use whatever you have on hand, one or both options). Soak at room temperature overnight, then add baking powder, baking soda, salt, eggs, honey and coconut oil or butter at baking time.

Change:  Reduce baking powder to 2 tsp. and add 1 tsp. baking soda. Be careful to stir the baking powder, soda and salt in evenly.

Dishes saver: You can melt the coconut oil or butter in the 8×8 pan in the oven as it preheats. Cook as directed above.

I love to make this in a cast iron skillet for a little added rustic-ness!

Whole Grain Cornbread

Click here for a list of all the Monday Missions, Kitchen Stewardship®‘s baby steps to balancing the care of God’s gifts of time, health, earth and money.

Other from-scratch recipes:

Whole Grain Cornbread
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47 thoughts on “Whole Grain Cornbread or Muffins”

  1. Great recipe!

    I spent a bunch of time looking around for a wholewheat buttermilk cornbread recipe, and I am so glad I found this one. I didn’t have a 9 x 9” square pan so I used a 10” round ceramic pie pan instead and it worked great, though only needed 24 min of cooking.

    Delicious, easy and healthy – a real winner!

  2. I’ve never made homemade cornbread before, a couple questions:

    Instead of eggs and butter, can i replace with creamed corn? I’m watching fat and cholesterol, so looking for options. Also, I love cornbread with onions. It makes my previous cornbread more moist. Will this work?

    1. Hi Kali,
      Personally I’m a huge fan of fat over carbs, so I’d never try the creamed corn sub, but you’re welcome to. I’m sure onions wouldn’t hurt at all!

      🙂 Katie

      PS – My husband lowered his cholesterol and most importantly his triglycerides, by including MORE eggs and butter in his diet and fewer starches.

    2. Amy Mikolajczyk

      You’ll be happy to hear eggs don’t increase dietary cholesterol as once believed.

  3. This recipe sounds great! My son absolutely loves cornbread, so I was looking for a way to make it healthier, so I don’t have to feel bad when he wants 2-3 pieces! I love the idea of soaking the grains. I usually use whey (leftover from straining homemade yogurt) in place of buttermilk in my regular cornbread recipe. Do you think the whey would work for soaking in place of buttermilk or yogurt? I think it would, but I am new to soaking grains, so I figured I would ask. Thanks!

  4. norma wilhelm

    I have just mixed meal, flour and buttermilk. it is very clumpy. is that correct. when I think of soaking I think it is far wetter than this is. HELP. I recently diagnosed diabetic and the whole wheat thing was recommended to me for cornbread. enlighten me please, if you can.

    1. Hi Norma, I’m guessing I’m too late to be of any help, but really, it should look more or less like cornbread batter. Lumpy is probably ok. We’ve been eating gluten-free for a while so it’s been a few years since I’ve used this recipe – I can’t remember the exact consistency. But “soaking” sometimes just looks like bread dough, too, so don’t let that word throw you off. It’s just “starting the recipe the night before” really. I hope you find good recipes and ways to manage your diabetes – it’s not easy, but it’s totally doable!! Many prefer to go all the way grain-free, so that’s something to look into too. 🙂 Katie

  5. I made this recipe last night with rice milk and it turned out AMAZING! I soaked the flours with the milk for about 5 hours, used Einkorn for the other flour, and used butter for the fat. Everybody devoured it.
    Thank you for a great recipe!

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  7. Thanks for this recipe! My husband LOVES cornbread!

    quick question – we happen to only have greek yogurt at the house right now – could I use that rather than regular yogurt?

  8. Was planning to make this, but the cornmeal I have in my house already says it is enriched (doesn’t say anything about degerminated but I only have part of the packaging). Will the recipe still work (the soaking method) even if it is degerminated? I was hoping to mix ingredients first thin in the morning and soak all day and then bake right before dinner. Or is that not enough time. The recipe just says overnight (I’m new to this soaking thing!)

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Well, I’m way too late for your dinner, but I’d like to answer anyway so you know a little more about the soaking process.

      The cornmeal you have/had will work in the recipe just fine. This sort of soaking actually doesn’t really do the trick for corn anyway, just the whole wheat flour. Corn needs to be nixtimalized, a process I haven’t even tried yet! The degerminated/enriched/refined corn doesn’t need any treatment to reduce phytic acid (which is what soaking does). Phytic acid is in the bran and germ of a grain and hurts your mineral absorption. Reducing it allows your body to assimilate more minerals from the bread.

      Hope that helps! 🙂 Katie

  9. Does this cornbread freeze well? I am considering using it for our freezer group – along with your chili 🙂

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Yes! I’m of the opinion that all breads freeze well, so I typically just go for it. 🙂 Enjoy! Katie

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  11. um, I looked around and it seems you are supposed to use lime to soak cornmeal. I did what you said, and it is a little sour tasting. I also had to add a bit of water (out of milk) I used blue cornmeal as well, kind of fun. It’s pretty good but I am curious as to why all the other sites use limewater and you are using yogurt…are you sure this is safe?

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      You’re right about the traditional way to soak corn, called nixtimalization, using lime. This recipe is kind of intended to soak the wheat flour, and if anything good happens to the cornmeal, all the better. I just have never gotten around to learning the lime soak, so I’m not sure if you could achieve both ends in the same recipe. As a cultured product, yogurt does fine on the countertop overnight. It’s often used in soaking grains (
      🙂 Katie

  12. Hi Katie 🙂

    I just bought a big sack of Hodgson Mill’s yellow corn meal. My question is, if it doesn’t say “degerminated”, is it ok? It says 100% whole grain stone ground yellow corn meal. I tried to research brands online that aren’t degerminated but came up with nothing. I am thinking this is legit, but thought I’d ask to see if anyone else had any input. 🙂

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    1. Yep, calculated when I posted this two years ago. Probably gone up by now, sadly. What is your cost analysis? Katie

  14. Could I use this recipe and adjust it for cornbread casserole? That would add a can of corn (i use frozen to try and be a bit healthier) and creamed corn. Instead of sour cream could I use the yogurt? Or is sour cream not a bad thing??

    1. Christy, I imagine it would work – the creamed corn would probably have to be in place of some of the liquid, right? Sour cream and yogurt, both healthy, can be subbed back and forth easily. Hope that helps! 😉 Katie

  15. Azure Standard also sells the whole dried corn to be milled. That’s what I am going to try. One question – when you soak this, do you ahve trouble with it rising? I seem to either have problems (when soaking recipes) with it not rising properly OR it is too crumbly and will not hold together. Should I add an egg? HAve you had this problem with this or other recipes? Thanks!

    1. Tiffany,
      Sometimes the soaked version does strike me as more dense than the original, but it’s nothing unpalatable. Just make sure you don’t add the baking soda/powder until right before baking and really spread it around and stir it in well. That can be the culprit. Hope that helps! 🙂 Katie

  16. Emily @ Live Renewed

    Where can I find not “degerminated” cornbread? Is there a specific brand to use – everything I’ve found at the store seems to say “degerminated”.
    Thanks! 🙂

    1. Emily,
      You’ll probably have to check out a health foods store, or maybe the Bobs Red Mill section of a regular grocery store, for actual “whole grain” cornmeal. Good luck! 🙂 Katie

  17. I often use sour milk (milk with T. vinegar per shy cup milk); will that work for soaking the grain? Thanks! I grew up on this recipe and would love to make it soaked.

  18. Have you tried any gluten free flours or mix in place of the whole wheat flour?

    Or have you made corn bread with just corn meal without adding any flour?


    1. Donna,
      I haven’t, but I know there are a great many GF cornbread recipes out there. I have one bookmarked to try! 🙂 Katie

      1. AmandaonMaui

        I made a soaked gluten free cornbread and it’s on my site!

  19. Yum. Made this tonight with chili. I did the soaked version except used 3 tablespoons of maple syrup instead of the honey and it was excellent. Thanks. Will be using this often. So easy too.

  20. AmandaonMaui

    I’m looking forward to making this gluten free. By the way, your blog has really inspired me. If you’d like, you can read about the inspired changes I’m already making this week at my blog! You’ve been linked to it too!

  21. I have been searching for a healthier cornbread recipe, and used the one from More With Less for years. This sounds perfect. Can’t wait to try it!

  22. Thanks, Katie! You’re up early! I’m in Sweden, and it’s morning here.

    Thanks for answering so quickly. I ended up adding a bit of milk, and it turned out great. Really delicious and the kids all loved it, so I’ll definitely make that again!


  23. Hi! Thanks for your ideas and inspiration!

    I’m trying this recipe, but I’m a bit confused. If I soak the grains, do I still add the milk?


    1. That’s a really good question! I changed the recipe to make it more clear, but no, you don’t add milk too. Just liquid to equal one cup total. Thanks for the clarifying question. I hope you find lots you like here at KS – welcome!

      1. Ok, I’m still confused: the original recipes have a total of three cups of grains and milk, but in the soaked version you only have one cup total??

        1. It’s still three cups total:

          1 cup whole wheat flour
          1 cup cornmeal
          1 cup buttermilk or yogurt

          1. Yes, exactly. The soaking doesn’t generally change the amounts of things, just the timing of when to mix what, and sometimes the milk changes to a cultured dairy product. Enjoy! 🙂 Katie

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