Eating My Words with Honey-Sweetened Corn Muffins (March Muffin Madness)

My friend, Diva, over at Beach Eats, recently shared her entry in a challenge called Eating Your Words. It’s actually a competition where you create your blog name, URL, etc. using food so that it’s edible—really cool idea, huh? You can read more over at the co-hosts’ blogs–Jennifer at Savor the Thyme  and Tracey at  Tangled Noodle. But, listen to this … Chef Andrew Zimmern (of Bizarre Foods fame) is the judge for this event! I actually didn’t read Diva’s post until Monday, but this was a challenge I couldn’t resist.

With today’s post for corn muffins already planned for March Muffin Madness (MMM), I had to think of a way I could use my muffins to spell out gfe.  With a little thinking, I came up with the solution below (a couple of versions/views shown). It isn’t perfect or by any means a winning entry. I really could have used more of the same-sized mini muffins, but I still think my submission is cute. Most importantly, I had fun. Hope you can see “gfe”! If you can’t, just pretend you can anyway (please … LOL). Eating Your Words actually ends today at midnight. Like I said, I don’t expect to win any prizes; there are some pretty amazing entries that have been shared so far. But, I thought I’d take part just to have some fun. Playing with food in this way is not something we often do, but we should. You might want to check back at those sites to see just how creative the entries are. I know I will; I love seeing creativity in action. Even if the edible “words” of others are not all gluten free, it still will be enjoyable to take a look at all the entries—after all, there’s no risk of cross contamination. ;-) UPDATE: Part 1 is up here at Savor the Thyme and Part 2 is up here at Tangled Noodle. They are all amazing, but I have to say that the Scrabble Cookies are the prize winner in my book. Enjoy!


Let’s get to the gfe recipe behind the food play—today’s entry for the last day of MMM—shall we? Corn products like cornmeal and corn tortillas are something we can fall back on if we’re gluten free. (Of course, always read labels, etc. to ensure products are gluten free.) Cornbread and corn muffins tend to be great comfort food for most everyone. The weather on the day of our last support group meeting was rainy and cold. When all the food was spread out on the table, we discovered that three of us had made corn muffins. There was one basket full or regular-sized muffins, and and two of mini muffins (including my muffins made from this recipe). And, guess what? I think every one of them got eaten! They tasted especially good that evening with a variety of dishes, including my black-eyed pea soup.

Depending upon how you make your corn muffins, they can be savory or sweet … or a little of each, as is the case for these muffins—they are on the sweeter side of corny. I discovered this evening that I have 8 muffin tins/pans. I know. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that. I have enough standard-sized tins to make 24 muffins, and I have five mini muffin pans … in all different sizes. All mini muffin pans are not created equal, as you probably already know from your own experience and can see from my photos. The pan below is my healthiest and prettiest pan. It’s made of cast iron and was a gift from a dear friend at my bridal shower. Yes, that was decades ago, but cast iron pans rarely need to be replaced. Although they may need to be re-”seasoned” from time to time; and they can crack if not handled properly. Cast iron pots and pans also add a tiny amount of iron to the foods baked in them, which is a great thing for most folks. (However, if you have hemachromatosis, you’ll want to steer clear of using cast iron bakeware.)

Corn Muffins from gluten free easily

Corn Muffins
(Click here for a printable version of this recipe.)

1 cup gluten-free flour*
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup cornmeal (I use certified gluten-free cornmeal from this company)
½ cup butter (dairy or non-dairy), melted
1 large (or extra large) egg
½ cup honey (or agave nectar or granulated sugar; with granulated sugar, the muffins may be a little more crumbly)
¾ cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease muffin cups.

Mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in cornmeal.

Stir butter, egg, honey, and milk into cornmeal mixture. Stir until just moistened and any flour or cornmeal chunks are broken up.

Fill greased muffin tins and bake for 15 – 20 minutes.

*I can’t always tolerate many of the healthier, gluten-free flours; e.g., sorghum, buckwheat. Therefore, my gluten-free flour mix is 3 parts Asian white rice flour (which is very finely ground) and 2 parts cornstarch. I gently mix three one-lb bags of the Asian white rice flour and two one-lb boxes of cornstarch in a very large bowl and then store the mix in several airtight containers. It’s a very economical mix that works well in most recipes. No refrigeration is needed.

Shirley’s Notes:  These muffins can be a tad crumbly, especially when made with granulated sugar (and, incidentally, adding xanthan gum does not change that), but we actually don’t mind. For one thing, they are just so tasty, but more importantly, the fact is, Mr. GFE and I often crumble them right into our chili or soup. There’s no need for expensive (or homemade) gluten-free crackers!

gluten free, corn muffins

What else is going on?

Amy’s (Simply Sugar & Gluten Freeexcellent post on getting the gluten out  went up yesterday as part of her weekly Slightly Indulgent roundup. She offers so many great resources and tips on transitioning to the gluten-free lifestyle. Frankly, I am always amazed at everything that Amy does for our gluten-free community and the blogosphere in general. Don’t miss this really worthwhile discussion/resource post. The links and comments are extremely helpful as well and worth a read. You can read all here. Amy’s post is part of the spring cleaning Get the Junk Out! blog carnival being hosted by Katie at Kitchen Stewardship. Amy also did a guest post on getting the gluten out at Katie’s site. Be sure to check out the other weekly themes for this carnival, too.

Amy’s also the host of the Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free! blog carnival this month. (For those who don’t know, Go Ahead Honey is the fabulous invention of our beautiful friend in the U.K., Naomi Devlin. Naomi’s gluten-free blog is Straight Into Bed Cakefree and Dried.) Amy selected guiltless pleasures as the theme and almost 3 dozen bloggers accepted the challenge. I scrolled through the entries quickly this morning and was blown away by the diversity and appeal of them all. I can’t wait to put my feet up and give them (and all the blogs who submitted them) a proper look. Be sure to check them out here!

Last, when Diane (The W.H.O.L.E. Gang) shared her monthly meal plan the other day, she also offered some thoughts and challenges in regard to the new show, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. The food blogosphere is abuzz about this show and for good reason. I think we can all learn from the show and improve our eating habits with increased awareness. Read Diane’s post here. As a follow up to that post, she offered the Great Gluten-Free Pasta Challenge here. I’m game, how about you? Remember Diane is the one who gave us the fabulous easy gluten-free, dairy-free whipped cream recipe (which incidentally I just made, and it is indeed easy and fabulous). These challenges could lead to some exquisite new recipes added to our repertoires!

Make a muffin! (I’ve shared Marvelous Cheese Muffins, “Sweet” Milk-Nut Muffins, and now Honey-Sweetened Corn Muffins this week, but there are others on my site, too.) See how creative folks can get with “Eating My Words,” be wowed by the Go Ahead Honey! guiltless gluten-free pleasures, read about getting gluten and other junk out of your life, accept some challenges (maybe making pasta). Most of all, enjoy … happy Wednesday!

Not just gf, but gfe!

This post is linked to Gluten-Free WednesdaysEating Your Words, Pennywise Platter, Simply Hot Recipes, and Friday Foodie Fix–Honey.

Not just gf, but gfe!

Full Disclosure/Disclaimer: This post may contain one or more affiliate links. If you purchase through them, your cost will always be the same, but I will receive a small commission. Thanks for the support! Read the full disclaimer here.


54 Responses to “Eating My Words with Honey-Sweetened Corn Muffins (March Muffin Madness)”

  1. Alisa - Frugal Foodie on March 31st, 2010 11:50 am

    How did I miss this whole muffin madness thing? Those look wonderful – I am perusing your other muffin posts now :)

    • Shirley on March 31st, 2010 9:23 pm

      Hi Alisa–It’s hard to keep up, isn’t it? I know I haven’t been keeping up very well of late. Hope you enjoy the muffin recipes! :-)


  2. The Diva on a Diet on March 31st, 2010 1:32 pm

    Wonderfully creative entry, Shirley! I can totally see the “gfe” … love it! So glad you had a chance to play along with this fun event.

    And, who doesn’t love a corn muffin?! I like it when they’re crumbly because I like to serve them over chili as well. Yum!

    Thanks so much for linking up too. :)

    • Shirley on March 31st, 2010 9:33 pm

      Thanks so much, Diva! It’s neat that it all worked out. Yours is the most beautiful and seasonally appropriate entry I’ve seen yet. :-)

      It’s definitely hard to beat a good corn muffin. Glad to know you are a fellow crumbler. ;-)

      My pleasure to link up! :-)


  3. Janel (Eat Well with Janel) on March 31st, 2010 2:23 pm

    Hi Shirley! I see you have a Silpat – I was thinking of getting one! How do you like it? Is it nice and non-stick?

    • Shirley on March 31st, 2010 9:41 pm

      Hey Janel!–Silpats get awesome reviews, but I’ve used mine twice so far and, frankly, haven’t been thrilled. First, I used it with my coconut meringues and they stuck more than normal. Then I used it for garlic cheese biscuits and they were a totally greasy mess. I still haven’t been able to get that slightly greasy feeling off the surface of the Silpat from that experience. But, if you read on Amazon or epinions, people love them and say cookies slide off, you only need to wipe them clean with water, etc. Maybe when I use mine some more, I’ll feel differently. Perhaps I picked the worst two recipes to try on it. ? I’d keep asking around and read reviews online … I just may be an anomaly. ;-)


  4. Nance on March 31st, 2010 2:24 pm

    That’s some advertising there! Nice when you can make your food work for you. LOL. I also love deep-fried corn fritters, which kill me to make because they pop all over me, and corn pancakes. I’m with the Diva above: who doesn’t love a corn muffin, to which I’d add “a corn ANYTHING”!?

    • Shirley on March 31st, 2010 9:45 pm

      Hi Nance–LOL … yeah, unpaid labor might as well be the food we love. ;-) Ah, corn fritters … delish. I hate that splattering and have one of those splatter screens, but I don’t think the food tastes as good when I use it. It seems to trap in the moisture or something. I like corn pancakes, too. I even made a cornmeal pound cake once … loved that as well. Does that mean you are a corn pudding, fan, too? I made that last week. Mr. GFE was never a fan until he tried mine. ;-) Yep, corn is pretty irresistible!


  5. Aubree Cherie on March 31st, 2010 3:16 pm

    I think you did an awesome job with the your blog name with the muffins. I can easily see it; very cool! :)

    • Shirley on March 31st, 2010 9:46 pm

      Hi Aubree–Awww, thanks so much! I was certain folks were laughing at my attempts when nobody commented for a while. ;-)


  6. Tangled Noodle on March 31st, 2010 4:54 pm

    I, for one, adore corn muffins! I love that you’ve made these in all different shapes – the cast iron floral pan is beautiful.

    Thanks to Diva at Beach Eats for connecting us and it’s great that you were able to adapt this for Eating Your Words! Happy to have you join in the fun!

    • Shirley on April 1st, 2010 6:27 am

      Hi Tracey–Welcome to gfe! Thanks so much for stopping by and the very kind words … I know you are super busy with the Eating My Words challenge. :-) Such a great idea! I’ve added it to my calendar for next year … will have to think of something very special and plan ahead. ;-)

      Diva is a doll! I’m so glad I met her at BlogHer Food last year. :-) Took a quick look around your site … some gorgeous food and fun stuff there! I’ll be back. ;-)


  7. Kim on March 31st, 2010 8:16 pm

    Love corn muffins!! I love the different shapes! :)

    • Shirley on April 1st, 2010 6:29 am

      Hi Kim–Thanks! :-) So many corn muffin lovers … you can see why three batches would disappear at our meeting. ;-) The different shapes and sizes were fun … I really had no idea how it would all work out until I made them and started playing around with them.


  8. Linda on April 1st, 2010 3:41 pm

    Shirley, I’m so glad you’re enjoying the muffin challenge. These looks great. Thanks for sharing them at Gluten-Free Wednesdays.

    • Shirley on April 1st, 2010 6:42 pm

      Hi Linda–Thanks so much! It’s really been fun. I love how our blogs inspire us all. No need to be in a cooking/baking rut when we all have each other to get our creative juices flowing! ;-) I love Gluten-Free Wednesdays and your challenges. :-)


  9. Alta on April 1st, 2010 3:46 pm

    I LOVE your cast iron muffin pan. And those corn muffins look lovely. My daughter LOVES corn muffins, and I have a surplus of cornmeal right now, so maybe I need to make some!

    • Shirley on April 1st, 2010 6:45 pm

      Thanks, Alta! The irony (ha ha) is that I have never used this muffin pan before. I have had it all these years and never tried it. I think I thought it would be a pan to clean and it got pushed way back in the cabinet. I dug it out the other day though (I was fearful that I’d lost it or given it away and forgotten). But, in the end, I’m actually glad that I had not used it, as this way I was sure it was gluten-free! :-) Hope your daughter and the rest of the family enjoys the muffins if you make them! I think she will. ;-)


    • Shirley on April 1st, 2010 8:52 pm

      Alta–Forgot to say that I was so busy with the gfe layout that I forgot to flip over the beautiful muffins that came out of that lovely cast iron pan. Darn it … I didn’t get that neat 3-D look.


  10. Casey M on April 1st, 2010 6:20 pm

    I made these last night and they were a huge hit, not to mention how fast they were to whip up! Thanks for the link and the kind words about my blog:)

    • Shirley on April 1st, 2010 7:44 pm

      Hi Casey–Ah, recipe feedback from a gfe reader—love it! I’m so glad your family enjoyed them. Thanks so much! :-) They truly are a gfe recipe, aren’t they? Somebody says “hey, how about corn muffins and a short time later, there they are.” No need to buy any prepackaged breads or rolls, when you can whip up fresh corn muffins easily. ;-)

      It was my pleasure to mention your blog … it is amazingly lovely–your work truly blows me away and I just love your “live your art” concept. My friend who also has an art journal and does similar style art work (the one I mentioned in my earlier comment) was very impressed! :-)


  11. Brian on April 1st, 2010 6:42 pm

    Love the GFE made from muffins! Corn bread muffins go with so many things. Thanks for your version, they look delicious.

    • Shirley on April 1st, 2010 8:13 pm

      Hi Brian–Thanks for the feedback on gfe! I was challenged a bit. ;-) Yes, corn muffins are versatile and there are so many different versions—all good!


  12. Angela on April 1st, 2010 7:15 pm

    I did this in a square pan rather than muffins. I should have done it in a large pan like a 9×12. It took about 35 minutes to cook and was darker colored. But what was amazing was how you could taste the honey in each bite without adding extra. Excellent recipe we’ll use forever. Thank you!

    • Shirley on April 1st, 2010 8:48 pm

      Hi Angela–Welcome to gfe! I’m so glad you had success with the pan method, even if you did have to cook it a bit longer. I’m so happy you shared with us. I took a quick look at your blog and your personal finance challenge. I’m sure that will help many. You have such a beautiful family. ;-) I hope that my gfe approach will allow you to eat gluten free with no additional cost over that of someone who eats gluten. That’s certainly one reason behind eating gfe, as well as simplicity and health. FYI–I also have a flat and firm, round cornbread recipe here that requires no gf flour. You can check that out here. The buttermilk required can be easily “made” using milk and vinegar. :-)

      Thanks again, Angela! Hope to see you hear often!


  13. Chelsey on April 2nd, 2010 12:02 am

    I just made cornbread today. My first batch GF. It was great except I used some dry thyme-something I will not add next time. Too bad I hadn’t seen this post earlier or I would have used your recipe. I ended up converting one out of cooking light magazine.

    • Shirley on April 5th, 2010 10:40 am

      Hey Chelsey–I have been tempted by recipes with herbs before, but in the end I usually stick with a more basic cornbread or muffin. Dried herbs can be too strong or too dry (LOL) to me. Fresh herbs can work better if one wants them, but Mr. GFE and Son usually like the basic recipes and I agree most of the time. Glad you still thought yours was great though! It always feels to good to convent and have success. Cornbread recipes are fairly amenable to conversion I think. My cornbread recipe here at gfe actually doesn’t even include any flour, so it was naturally gf (the ultimate gfe recipe!). :-)


  14. Nachiketa on April 5th, 2010 3:48 am


    What lovely use of conmeal to write ure blog name…

    Very creative entry for “Eating your Words Challenge’
    The Variable – Nachiketa
    Crazy Over Desserts – The Variable, Nachiketa

    • Shirley on April 5th, 2010 8:08 pm

      Hi Nachiketa–Thanks very much! :-) I was amazed by all the entries and have enjoyed checking out the various blogs, like yours. You did a wonderful, colorful job on your “words” entry. :-)


  15. Ari@ The Frugally Rich Life on May 13th, 2010 6:21 pm

    These look great! Sorry I’m so far behind on reading my reader! lol…I’m almost half way with the 300+ recipe posts I have to read! (let alone comment on some) and save them! lol.

    This looks just like my mom’s cornbread recipe that uses honey too. I adore it and even previous to my sugar-free days preferred it to one made with cane sugar. :) I’ll have to post the original and altered recipe sometime! I just checked, thinking I had posted it a long time ago…nope! :)

    Thanks again! These look great!

    • Shirley on May 13th, 2010 11:47 pm

      Hi Ari–I can NEVER keep up with my reader. I gave up trying … if a blog doesn’t have email subscription, I just have to check it when I remember. Honey is a wonderful alternative sweetener, but, of course, I’d say that coming from a family that raises bees. ;-) Seriously, honey is just terrific in certain recipes. Look forward to your post of your mom’s recipe! :-)


  16. Theresa on November 27th, 2010 9:04 pm

    Found your blog in my quest to make our Thanksgiving allergy friendly for our whole family. The muffins were awesome! Since I was running low on honey, I used 1/4 c honey and 1/4 cup brown sugar. I also replaced the butter with apple sauce. The result was fab and they weren’t crumbly at all! Thanks!

    • Shirley on November 28th, 2010 5:52 pm

      Hi Theresa–Welcome to gfe! :-) Great news on the muffins … thanks so much for sharing. :-) I’ll make your version next time. ;-)

      Hope you had a great Thanksgiving! Hope to see you again here at gfe,

  17. Thia on April 3rd, 2012 11:41 am

    Oh, I love cast iron, and would so love to find one like the flower one you have here! Different patterns were so easy to find years ago…today, not so much. :-( I used to have one that made various flower shaped muffins, and another with variously positioned teddy bears. Sadly, I lost them both many years ago, in a move. :-(

    • Shirley on September 2nd, 2012 8:49 pm

      Thia–I always feel embarrassed when I miss a reader’s comment. I am so sorry. I hope you find a flower-shaped muffin pan. That teddy bear muffin pan sounds very cool, too. So sad that you lost them. Cast iron is so great.


      • Thia on September 2nd, 2012 11:30 pm

        No worries, Shirley! Yes, I love the cast iron that I do have!

  18. Shelly on August 31st, 2012 4:53 pm

    Shirley, you never let me down! When my daughter asked for muffins today and I knew my flour supply was pretty low, I was worried I was going to have to say not possible today. But as always, I checked your site and found these corn muffins. With a few tweaks for what I had on hand, 3 parts white rice to 1 part cornstarch, and olive oil in place of butter, added a cup of blueberries and baked them in muffin tin liners, 20 minutes later… I had perfection! She is gobbling them up warm as we speak! I may or may not have had 2 myself ;) Thanks for always making things GFE!

    • Shirley on September 2nd, 2012 8:52 pm

      Oh, Shelly, you are so sweet! I’m thrilled that you made a super successful version using ingredients on hand and adding some blueberries. I haven’t actually added blueberries to my corn muffins yet, but I need to do that next time for sure. :-)


  19. Anne on November 13th, 2013 8:38 pm

    This recipe was delicious! I used the batter to top a BBQ chicken casserole & had a bit left over for some muffins. I sub’d coconut oil for the butter & it worked great. I’ve always preferred honey in cornbread. When I make them next time as muffins I’ll add some dried rosemary, too. Thanks for a great & easy recipe!

    • Shirley on November 13th, 2013 11:54 pm

      Yippee, Anne! Using this recipe as batter to top a barbecue chicken casserole is a fantastic idea. :-) I’m happy to hear about the coconut oil substitution, too, as I hadn’t tried that yet. Adding dried rosemary to the muffins sounds lovely, too. Thanks so much for the terrific review/feedback!


  20. Shannon on November 16th, 2013 8:15 pm

    I won’t be using this recipe again,after 25 minutes the outer portion looked great, but the inside was mushy and doughy. U will continue on my gf journey.

    • Shirley on November 16th, 2013 8:28 pm

      Shannon–I’m sorry the recipe didn’t turn out when you made it. Tons of folks have made these successfully and loved them. Did you make any substitutions by any chance?


  21. Anne on January 28th, 2014 12:08 pm

    This time I substituted grapeseed oil for the melted butter… might be my favorite result yet! Faster, too, if you’re in a hurry!

    • Shirley on January 28th, 2014 11:15 pm

      Yay! That’s really great news, Anne. I do love using grapeseed oil and well and faster is always good. Will have to share your tip with my Facebook readers. :-)

      Thanks for taking the time to share your new success with this recipe with us all!

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