Golden Sweet Cornbread

This golden sweet cornbread recipe makes perfect muffins for your everyday dinner or Thanksgiving side!

Today I’m going to share one of my biggest “secrets”: my golden sweet cornbread recipe! This is the recipe people ask me for the most after hosting. It’s perfect for a potluck or a Thanksgiving side or just for any day alongside chili. You can see some of my other favorite sides here!

cornbread slice from lodge pan with honey

Golden Sweet Cornbread Recipe

My preferred version of this recipe is muffins. It works well in either the 6-muffin or 12-muffin version. However, you can make them in any pan with a few adjustments!

corn muffins on cutting board

Like a lot of recipes, this is one that I have had to tweak a bit over time. I have found that there are variations depending on whether or not I’m making muffins, a casserole, or a skillet. The casserole and skillet tend to come out more dry, so adding a bit more milk to those variations seems to do the trick!

The corn muffins are delicious if you serve them warm with butter brushed on and/or with a drizzle of honey. They are definitely already on the sweet side, so I would only recommend the honey if you have a major sweet tooth!

honey drizzled on corn muffin

“Yankee Cornbread”

After posting this originally, I was kindly informed via email that no self-respecting Southerner would put sugar in their cornbread (her words, not mine). I make it the “Yankee” way, no offense. She attached the “correct” recipe.

I’m a New Englander who comes from several hundred years of New Englanders. I replied that I’d never be offended to be called a Yankee. I also politely thanked her for sending over her recipe, since I’m always open to new and different ideas. 😉 Since sharing the story, this recipe is now referred to as Yankee Cornbread in my family (with no shortage of salty New England humor).

sweet cornbread muffins

For the record, many Southern friends have since told me they also make sweet cornbread, so I do realize she didn’t truly speak for the entire South and that there’s more than one way. It was just funny!

Also for the record: Cornbread started in New England with the Pilgrims. So it truly is a Thanksgiving staple!

sweet cornbread and pumpkins

No matter where you come from or when you’re making it, I hope you enjoy this sweet cornbread. I also hope that it brings joy to your family meal!

Print Recipe
5 from 6 votes

Golden Sweet Cornbread

This golden sweet cornbread recipe makes perfect muffins for your everyday dinner or Thanksgiving side! 
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Author: Nina Hendrick


Dry Ingredients

  • 1 cup self-rising flour optional, sift for fluffier results
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Wet Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted one stick
  • 1 large egg, whisked
  • 1 cup milk if making casserole or skillet, add 1/4 cup


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease muffin tin, or 8″ casserole dish, or loaf pan, or 8″ cast iron skillet. 
  • Mix dry ingredients until well blended.
  • Whisk together melted butter, whisked egg, and milk. 
  • Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Mix until fully combined. 
  • Pour batter into pan of choice. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Top will have a golden appearance. 


The results can be dry with larger pans versus muffins. If making casserole or skillet, add additional 1/4 cup of milk for moisture.

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golden sweet cornbread muffins

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  1. 5 stars
    Several of these I will be trying. I don’t cook a lot of different things so I found some of your recipes that seem pretty easy, enough to take to a family get together!

  2. 5 stars
    I was looking for a cornbread recipe that uses self-rising flour, just to compare it to my cornbread recipe that uses all-purpose flour, and here I am. I enjoyed your comments about Yankee cooking. I spent a couple of years in Maine (Navy) in 1960-1962 and I got to sample some really good Yankee cooking.

  3. This is my go-to recipe for cornbread and I’m in North Carolina. Everyone that tries it, loves it.

  4. 5 stars
    I was searching for a cornbread recipe that I could try to replicate baking it the way my grandmother would. Self rising flour and sugar were the only things I could remember of hers.
    This recipe was spot on! I did not alter your recipe at all except I used Bobs Red Mill coarse grind cornmeal and I buttered up a glass pie pan like I saw my grandmother do many times. It turned out amazing!
    Super easy and Absolutely delicious! Decadent actually. With the additional 1/4 cup or so of milk it is moist and light and the most beautiful golden crust.
    Thank you so much for sharing this. Memories are bountiful with every bite.
    I will definitely be making this for future holidays.
    Kindly, A Southern Gal 😉

  5. 5 stars
    Hi Nina,
    I absolutely love your recipe for cornbread muffins. They are so light, fluffy and delicious. Just enough sweetness. I added a little bit of honey to the batter for a touch of that honey taste. Love, love, love it! Thank you very much. I made a pot of chili and these muffins are perfect. Paired it with a glass of cabernet sauvignon. Perfect meal for a cold and sunny Saturday.

    Thank you!

  6. 5 stars
    These muffins are dangerously delicious. I made a pot of chili and have made these muffins 3 times in one week. So moist on the inside and has that delicious crusty edge on the outside for that perfect muffin I grew up eating. Reminds me of skillet cornbread. If that’s what you’re looking for in a muffin, this recipe is it. Do not use pan liners. Do it the old fashioned way and spray the muffin tin to get that perfect golden crust and soft moist center. I did cut back on the sugar for a less sweet corn muffin and they turned out perfectly!!!Yumm!!

  7. 5 stars
    I tried your recipe after an epic failure with the unsweetened version on the package of the self-rising corn meal. (Hubby and I had 1 wedge each of that one and tossed the rest.)

    While I may cut back on the sugar next time, your recipe gave me the type of corn bread my co-workers and I used to get from a local church’s kitchen. The only thing missing was kernels of sweet corn.

    And I bet my late dad would’ve loved this too. When he’d visit his step-grandmom Maggie in NC, she’d make corn bread for dinner. The next day, he’d crumble a slice into a glass of milk and eat it like we do with cereal. I believe he called it corn mush.

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