These brown butter cornbread cupcakes have all the flavor of cornbread with the light, fluffy texture of cupcakes! Topped with honey brown butter buttercream frosting, they are the perfect southern dessert!
You just need a few simple ingredients to make these cornbread cupcakes!
- Brown butter - My favorite ingredient of all time is brown butter!! Brown butter is just unsalted butter that has been melted and gently cooked to bring out a toasty, nutty flavor. If you've never made brown butter before, you can check out this post with all my tips for how to make brown butter!
- Cake flour - I always use cake flour in my cupcakes because it makes them super soft and tender, but all purpose flour also works great!
- Cornmeal - There are several different types of cornmeal (this is a great article that breaks it down) but for these cupcakes I recommend using either fine or medium ground cornmeal. You should be able to find it next to the flour in the baking aisle! Do NOT use self-rising cornmeal as it will make your cupcakes rise too much.
- Buttermilk - If you don't have buttermilk you can use either regular whole milk or sour cream! You can also make your own buttermilk by using ½ cup milk and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice!
The complete list of ingredients and amounts is located in the recipe card below.
How to Make Cornbread Cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 12 cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.
Whisk the cake flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the brown butter, sugar, and honey until smooth.
Then stir in the eggs and vanilla until fully combined.
Stir in half the flour mixture and the buttermilk. Then mix in the rest of the flour until fully incorporated. The batter will be thin.
Pour about ¼ cup of batter into each cupcake liner (they should be about halfway full).
Bake at 350°F for 18-22 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Remove from pan and let cool on wire rack.
Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting. Then drizzle with more honey!
Hot tip, if you just want sweet cornbread muffins.....just leave off the frosting!
Tips for the Best Baked Goods
Use room temperature ingredients! Always make sure ingredients like butter, eggs, milk, yogurt, etc. are at room temperature before baking (unless the recipe indicates otherwise)! This ensures they'll incorporate into the batter more easily and leads to overall better texture. Remove all ingredients from the fridge 30 minutes to an hour before baking for best results.
Measure your flour correctly! It's most accurate to use a kitchen scale, but if you're measuring by volume you want to spoon and level! Fluff up the flour a bit with a spoon, and then spoon flour into the measuring cup. Once it's overflowing, use the back of a knife to level it off. Don't ever pack flour into the measuring cup or you'll end up with way too much! Improperly measured flour can lead to dry, dense baked goods. [Measure cocoa powder the same way!]
Use an oven thermometer! Just because your oven says it's 350, doesn't mean it is! If you oven hasn't been calibrated recently, it can be as much as 30 degrees off, which will negatively affect all baked goods from cakes to macarons! An oven thermometer is the easiest/cheapest way to ensure your oven is always at the proper temperature.
Make sure you baking powder is fresh! Baking powder is important for helping baked goods rise properly, but it has a relatively short shelf life once opened, so it's one of the few items I never buy in bulk! To test if your baking powder is still fresh, add a small amount to boiling water. If it bubbles it's still good to use, but if not it's time to toss it!
Cupcake Decorating Tips
- Make sure you let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting!!
- To decorate all of my cakes and cupcakes, I use this Wilton Decorating Kit and I love it! It’s super easy to use and has a ton of tips in different sizes. For these cornbread cupcakes, I used the 1M tip.
These cupcakes will last in the fridge for up to 3 days. However, they taste best when served at room temperature! I like to let them sit at room temperature for about an hour before serving.
No, but you should!! The brown butter takes both the cupcakes and frosting to the next level! However, you can substitute unsalted butter if you must.
Tips for Success!
For best results I always recommend using weight measurements (especially when baking) because it's the most accurate. Kitchen scales are super affordable and also reduce the number of dishes you have to do! However, all my recipes also include US customary measurements for convince. Use this chart to convert measurements for common ingredients!
Substitutions: In all my recipes, I've included substitutions that I know will work, but I cannot guarantee results if you substitute ingredients that I have not recommended. [For example, granulated sugar and honey are indeed both sweeteners but they have very different properties so they can not always be swapped 1:1. Using honey in a cookie recipe that calls for granulated sugar will yield a giant mess.] In the recipe card you'll find links to the specific ingredients/brands that I use.
A note on salt: I almost exclusively use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt because it's the best all-purpose salt for cooking and baking. If you're not using kosher salt, consult this handy guide for a conversion chart! When in doubt, if you're using table salt just reduce the amount by half for baked goods. When cooking, I prefer to under-salt because you can always add more! If you've over-salted, adding a little bit of acid (like lemon juice) can help.
More Recipes You Might Like!
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Cornbread Cupcakes with Honey Brown Butter Buttercream
- ½ cup unsalted brown butter, melted
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cup cake flour, substitute all purpose flour
- ¼ cup cornmeal, fine or medium ground
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup buttermilk, substitute milk or sour cream
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 12 cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.
- Whisk the cake flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the brown butter, sugar, and honey until smooth.
- Then stir in the eggs and vanilla until fully combined.
- Stir in half the flour mixture and the buttermilk. Then mix in the rest of the flour until fully incorporated. The batter will be thin.
- Pour about ¼ cup of batter into each cupcake liner (they should be about halfway full).
- Bake at 350°F for 18-22 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Remove from pan and let cool on wire rack.
Honey Brown Butter Buttercream
- In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the room temperature brown butter, honey, and powdered sugar until smooth.
- Add in vanilla and salt until fully combined.
- Beat the frosting on high for 4-5 minutes until lightly and fluffy.
- Frost cooled cupcakes. I used a Wilton 1M tip for these photos. Then drizzle with more honey!
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.