Homemade “Jiffy” Corn Muffin Mix: Simple, Healthier Cornbread, with Three Variations
Guest Post by Jessica Smartt
After I moved to “the South,” I realized a few things about Southerners:
- They say “y’all,” and you will, too, if you live there long enough.
- They don’t know a stranger.
- They love their cornbread.
I enjoyed the first two, but the cornbread? I was never all that impressed.
That is, until I had a Jiffy corn muffin. And the world stood still.
Moist, crumbly, sweet – delicious on its own, but just perfect paired with chili (even in the summer!), my awesome Cornbread Chili Casserole, slow-cooked beans, breaded fish, Trader Joe’s White Lightning Chili, BBQ chicken…Yup, I can justify a Jiffy corn muffin for just about any meal.
Unfortunately, Jiffy muffin mix contains a lot of sugar and is held together with partially-hydrogenated lard. Ick!
I just couldn’t bring myself to kiss these golden beauties goodbye forever, so I created a homemade substitute that is every bit as delicious, but healthier. I used The Pioneer Woman’s cornbread recipe as the basis. You can make these right away, or store the mix in your pantry as a “Jiffy” substitute.
Recipe for Mix:
Whisk together the following:
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal (preferably non-GMO cornmeal)
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tablespoon sugar or sucanat
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
The muffin mix can be doubled or tripled. If not using immediately, store mix in an air-tight container for three months.
If you have doubled or tripled your recipe, scoop out two cups of mix for each batch you’re making. For each single batch, add:
- 1/4 cup palm oil shortening, melted
- 1 whole egg
- 1 cup buttermilk*
*I never seem to have buttermilk on hand, so I do the old substitution of just under one cup of milk + 1 tablespoon plain white vinegar. Works like a charm!
Mix all the wet ingredients into your muffin mix. Stir until blended, and pour into muffin tins. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Yield: 8-10 muffins.
Got allergies or restricted diet? (We do.) Check out my recipe for Gluten-Free, Dairy-free, Egg-free Never-Know-It Cornbread!
Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread
- Shred 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese.
- Prepare corn muffin batter completely as described above.
- Add 2 heaping tablespoons of minced picked jalapenos (or fresh), and 1/4 cup of the cheese to the cornbread batter.
- Grease 8×8 glass baking dish.
- Pour cornbread batter into dish, and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup of cheese.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes, taking care not to over bake.
Whole-Corn Skillet Cornbread
- Prepare muffin batter completely as described above.
- Cut corn kernels off of one ear of fresh corn, uncooked.
- Add corn kernels to batter and stir to mix.
- In cast-iron skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of palm oil shortening.
- When skillet is piping hot, add batter to skillet. Cook for 3 minutes.
- Place cast-iron skillet into 350-degree oven and cook for 20 minutes. Enjoy!
Growing up in Northern New England, we never once had cornbread while I was growing up. I tried a recipe in a cookbook once and loved it. I’ve heard though that our cornbread here in the Northeast is more like cake than true cornbread. 🙂 I can’t wait to try this corn muffin mix.
I have heard that, too, Vanessa. I think I like the Southern cornbread best. 🙂
I grew up eating cornbread (I’m from Georgia), but I’m more of a biscuit person than a cornbread person…though there are things that cornbread *must* be paired with (like cooked greens). My cornbread of choice is what you call “skillet cornbread” and is really simple to make: cornmeal, solid fat (growing up, we used Crisco; now I use refrigerated bacon grease), and buttermilk. A favorite with my family is cornbread and milk (either sweet milk or buttermilk.)
Pioneer Woman’s cornbread is the ONLY one I will make anymore. 🙂 Everyone loves it! Great lookin’ recipe, Jessica!
Thanks, Stacy! Have you ever tried it with gluten-free flour? It is good that way, too!
You are a GEM! This Southern Belle is married to a fella that LOVES his Jiffy Cornbread cooked in the iron skillet. We have recently begun a whole foods overhaul and I wondered just two days ago what I would do about our Southern Cornbread.
Don’t you think I could make ANY of the variations you share (I’m digging the jalepeno one) in the skillet and not just the corn one?
The How to Guru 😉
You absolutely could! I’ve done a few different kinds, although not the jalapeno. But I bet it would be delicious!
This looks great! I need to make more mixes like this ahead of time, so I have them on hand when I need them.
I sure did! Both born and raised in the south and had cornbread all my life. The cornbread we always ate was never sweet though, just cornmeal, eggs, oil, and buttermilk. I have, of course, had sweet cornbread but it is more like a muffin to me. Everyone has there own taste and preferences! I most definitely will try this mix although I may leave out the sugar. Thanks!
Interesting! Since this was a copy-cat “Jiffy” recipe, I added the sugar because Jiffy muffins are sweeter. But way to go for omitting that sugar we don’t need anyway! 😉
I was just thinking yesterday as I was browsing through our pantry, how I would love to have a homemade jiffy mix alternative. Thanks a Bunch!!!
Please tell me…can I use butter instead? It’s all I have on hand!
I’ve never tried it, but I’m sure you could! Let us know how it turns out! 🙂
My Texan mama made amazing cornbread in her cast iron skillet. She’d melt a bit of shortening in the bottom so the end result would be a crispy bottom. Her cornbread had no sugar at all and — I’m risking being thrown out of Georgia, but here goes — I like it that way best. But I always make sweetened cornbread for my family, because that’s what my Georgia-boy hubby likes. Thanks for the homemade approach… I need to try this!
My mom has always made cornbread/corn muffins from scratch…and I grew up in Southeast Michigan! But maybe it’s because the Jiffy factory is in Michigan?
Love cornbread. Even though I’m a Mainer, I grew up with cornbread. I always make the recipe on the Quaker Cornmeal box. The whole family loves it so I haven’t tried anything else. I may try your mix though…my daughter is learning to cook and this would make it easy for her!
What a great idea to use this recipe for kids learning to cook! 🙂
Is there a substitute for the palm oil?
Palm oil shortening is just a non-hydrogenated, healthier “shortening.” So you could use Crisco instead. I also think that coconut oil would work, although I’ve never tried it!
I’m Texan, born and raised, and cornbread (no sugar added) was a staple in our house when I was growing up – we had it almost every night – it’s the very first thing I learned to cook. We would heat the oil in a big iron skillet in the oven until it would sizzle when we poured in the batter. We liked it (and still do) thin and crispy with lots of butter! Yum… comfort food.
I love cornbread, but being from NJ, until I grew up and went “natural” I never had a cornbread that was NOT Jiffy! (I still have a box in the pantry-just in case)
Sorry to double post here, but would love to try one of the recipes that posters here described as crispy!
Hi Christine, I’m not sure of the exact recipe you’re referencing, but did you see the variation on the post for skillet jalepeno cornbread? The skillet technique gets a really crispy crust! (You can do it with the original recipe, as long as you grease the cast-iron skillet with extra shortening!)
Thank you so much for posting a link to the egg free version. My husband is allergic to eggs, but I love corn bread and have missed it. I am looking forward to trying this soon!
Hi Victoria! I truly do not think you can tell the difference! That “buttermilk” substitute really works! 🙂
I grew up eating lots of cornbread in Tennessee. But, Southern cornbread is not sweet. I personally like all kinds – sweet, savory, flat like pancakes, hot water, and corn muffins! Mmmm!
Yes and yes (I grew up in La). Growing up, it was mostly Jiffy, now I make my own from scratch. I will try this mix as I do not make it as often as my family would like. Maybe with the mix it will get made more. Thanks!
Yes – I’m from Florida and grew up on cornbread! And one of my 1 yr old twin boys loves it so much that affectionately call him ‘baby cornbread’. I’ve been searching for a recipe that I can use that suits our “real food” lifestyle. Now cornbread can be a staple rather than a treat.
Hello! I was wondering if I could substitute fractionated coconut oil instead of the palm oil shortening?
I have not tried it in this specific recipe, but I often switch out between the two in other baking, like muffins or short breads. So my educated guess would be yes!
Growing up in Kentucky cornbread was a familiar item on our table. From corn cakes, corn sticks to skillet cornbread – both sweet and not. One of my fav’s is making cornbread with creamed corn and sharp cheddar and the cornbread is always from scratch. I miss the use of an iron skillet due to hubby’s health but still make it in a dark baking dish. Add some Great Northerns, onions and potatoes it’s a hardy meal. At Thanksgiving, my sister-in-law makes a delicious almond cornbread dressing. The Jiffy recipe is similar to the one I make and will give this one a shot. Thanks!
I have been stalking this lovely site for a long time now, though now I am coming out of the woodwork! Thank you for your amazing inspiration to wives like me, and additionally new bloggers like me trying to inspire and encourage as well! 🙂
The things I have learned over the months have been a blessing to me in my role as keeper of my home. Have a blessed day!
Since Jiffy already has the fat in the mix, could I make the homemade mix with the shortening cut in like pie dough and store it that way (in the freezer?) I vaguely recall that the texture is different when the fat is melted in a recipe compared to being cut in; I think cutting in supposedly makes the baked good lighter.
Born and raised in south Louisiana, cornbread has always been around for mealtime, though not the sweet kind. My favorite way to eat it as a young child and to this day is I in a bowl with milk (almond milk now). My hubby got me hooked on the jiffy mix and once I got a taste for the sweet stuff there was no going back. Can’t wait to try this mix for lunch tomorrow! Thank you!
I tried this but I think there is too much baking powder along with the baking soda after I was done I just wouldn’t stay together. I wanted so much to like this since I’m starting to go GMO free