Two Corn Muffins: Pumpkin Yogurt and Classic Buttermilk

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I am definitely in a muffin phase at the moment, so I hope you don’t mind more muffin recipes! Muffins are the easiest thing to bake, and are great to tote along for in-between meal snacks as well as lunch. And having a good stash of muffins in the freezer, ready to go at a moment’s notice on the busiest day, makes you feel a bit smug about how organized you are.

I love corn muffins, with the little crunchy grains. Here are two types of corn muffins, that are just lightly sweet and therefore perfect to accompany a soup, a spicy chili, and so on. One is a pumpkin or winter squash and yogurt muffin, and the other is a classic buttermilk muffin, the kind they used to serve in coffee shops in New York - do they still?

They can be made into mini-size or regular size; the mini muffins are about 75 calories each, and the regular size about 150 calories each.

These two recipes use eggs and dairy products so are not vegan. They do use vegetable oil rather than butter, to keep them on the healthy and light side.

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Recipe: Pumpkin and yogurt corn muffins

Makes 24 mini or 12 regular sized muffins. Mini muffins are about 73 calories each; regular size about 146 calories each. They’re the orange-y ones in the photo.

The dry ingredients:

  • 1 cup (220ml; 140g) fine ground yellow corn meal or polenta (see notes)
  • 1 cup (220ml; 130g) minus 2 Tbs. all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice mix or spicebread mix or gingerbread mix or pain d’epices mix (basically the same thing, named differently depending on where you live; contains cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ground ginger, etc.)
  • 3 Tbs. sucanat (see notes) or light brown sugar or raw cane sugar or regular sugar

The wet ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 Tbs canola oil or light olive oil (or other flavorless vegetable oil)
  • 1 cup (220ml) unsweetened pumpkin or winter squash puree (I use Hokkaido kuri squash or knirps, cooked skin and all and mashed up)
  • 1/3 cup (75ml) low-fat yogurt

Preheat the oven to 180°C / 360°F. Grease or spray non-stick spray onto your muffin tins if needed.

Mix or sift together the dry ingredients.

Beat together the wet ingredients until blended.

Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, using a spatula. Don’t overmix. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins evenly. Bake 25 minutes for mini-muffins, 30-35 for regular size muffins until the tops are browned and a skewer stuck through a middle muffin comes out clean.

Take out of the muffin tins and cool on a rack. If freezing, put them in the freezer well wrapped as soon as they are at room temperature.

Recipe: Classic buttermilk corn muffins

Makes 24 mini or 12 regular sized muffins. Mini muffins are about 77 calories each; regular size about 154 calories each. They’re the brownish ones in the photo.

The dry ingredients:

  • 1 cup (220ml; 140g) fine ground yellow corn meal or polenta
  • 1 cup (220ml; 130g) all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 Tbs. sucanat (see notes) or light brown sugar or raw cane sugar or regular sugar

The wet ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 Tbs canola oil or light olive oil (or other flavorless vegetable oil)
  • 1 1/3 cups (315ml) buttermilk (or 1 1/3 regular low-fat milk + 1 Tbs. vinegar)

The directions are the same as for the pumpkin yogurt muffins!

Preheat the oven to 180°C / 360°F. Grease or spray non-stick spray onto your muffin tins if needed.

Mix or sift together the dry ingredients.

Beat together the wet ingredients until blended.

Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, using a spatula. Don’t overmix. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins evenly. Bake 25 minutes for mini-muffins, 30-35 for regular size muffins, until the tops are browned and a skewer stuck through a middle muffin comes out clean.

Take out of the muffin tins and cool on a rack. If freezing, put them in the freezer well wrapped as soon as they are at room temperature.

Notes

Using a finely ground cornmeal is critical for light fluffy corn muffins. I use a fine ground polenta meal. If for some reason yellow cornmeal is not that available where you live, by all means use white cornmeal instead.

Sucanat is a fine grain raw cane sugar. You can find it at health food stores. It’s expensive, but I find I need less of it than regular sugar since it has a lot of flavor. If you can’t get it, use one of the suggested substitutions.

Buttermilk is terrific for baking - it adds a hint of sourness and keep things nice and light. If you can’t get a hold of buttermilk, add a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to regular low fat milk and mix until the milk curdles a bit.

Mini muffins will defrost nicely on their own by lunchtime. Regular size ones may keep a cold, frozen heart, so if you can microwave them for a minute in the morning, all the better.

See a decorated version of the buttermilk corn muffins in this bento!

For more bento recipes, ideas and tips, subscribe to Just Bento via your newsreader or by email (more about subscriptions).

And visit our sister site, Just Hungry for great Japanese home recipes and more.

17 comments

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Thank you, maki for these

Thank you, maki for these nice recipes.

Thank you for always

Thank you for always visiting and commenting! :)

I tried the classic

I tried the classic buttermilk cornbread muffins yesterday and they were great! Very easy to make, and not too sweet, not too dense, and not too sour! I like polenta, so I did 1/2 c fine ground cornmeal and 1/2 coarse ground polenta, and it turned out nicely chewy.

Gluten Free

First let me say how much I love love love your site! I added the link to my blog site www(no period)becomingjane.blogspot.com. Secondly I have been kind of sick lately and was told to eliminate gluten/dairy product. Gluten fine. Eliminating dairy products may push me over the edge ;)! I wonder if you have ever made a gluten free muffin? I love muffins and these look wonderful! The pics are making my mouth water!

I am not that up on

I am not that up on gluten-free baking I’m afraid…since no one in our little household is gluten intolerent (that we know of) I haven’t pursued it much. There are several gluten-free recipes on Just Bento and Just Hungry, but not necessarily baked goods. But there are lots of blogs dedicated to gluten-free cooking out there! One of my favorites is Book of Yum - and she links to lots of others.

Great!

Thanks for the info!

Pumpkin Puree

Hey Maki-san! I just wanted to let you know that I absolutely adore your site. I’m a college student trying to save money so I make bentos everyday.

I’ve been craving baked goods lately and I wanted to make the pumpkin yogurt muffins, but I don’t know how to make a muffin puree… especially since I don’t own a food processor. Do you think you could help me out?

Pumpkin puree

You can get pumpkin puree in the same aisle where you buy pie filling. Just get a can a pumpkin pie filling, but make sure that it’s unspiced, because you’ll be adding your own spices.

Another great recipe!

I just popped my first batch of the pumpkin yogurt muffins into the oven. If they’re even half as delicious as the batter was (I had to make myself stop eating it), I will be making these all of the time!

Thank you!

Re: Two Corn Muffins: Pumpkin Yogurt and Classic Buttermilk

I made these using left over baked sweet potato instead of pumpkin and omitted the sugar. They were slightly sweet slightly savory. My husband and kid scarfed them up!

Re: Two Corn Muffins: Pumpkin Yogurt and Classic Buttermilk

These two recipes I definitely have to try out, they look delicious!

I have one question though. When you say cornmeal, do you mean corn ground to flour? Like cornstarch? I’ve never heard of any other type of flour made from corn n__n;

And about pumpkin puree; I have never heard of that used in cooking. And that it can be bought in cans at the store too, it’s very strange I think. But exciting! I want to make my own puree and make those muffins!

Re: Two Corn Muffins: Pumpkin Yogurt and Classic Buttermilk

I guess cornmeal is called other things... it's the ground corn that is used in polenta. Not cornflour (that is used to thicken sauces and such). In America pumpkin puree is a very commonly available ingredient, as is cornmeal. Maybe neither is a common ingredient elsewhere though.

Re: Two Corn Muffins: Pumpkin Yogurt and Classic Buttermilk

Hello, I just tried the pumpkin yogurt muffins. I have to say that I do not like the taste of pumpkin with the gingerbread mix. The muffins where too dry, too. :(

Re: Two Corn Muffins: Pumpkin Yogurt and Classic Buttermilk

hello maki, hello everybody else,
i was wondering- i f i want to make these with butter instead of vegetable oil, how much do i take to substitute the canola oil? 4 Tbsp, that's 60 ml? is that right? it seems like a lot..?
rehfilet

Re: Two Corn Muffins: Pumpkin Yogurt and Classic Buttermilk

Hello Maki,
Thanks for your wonderful websites! Since about 3 weeks I'm having rice for lunch and eating a lot more vegetables I used to. Although finding ingredients and such have been a challenge here in the Netherlands, I enjoy eating Japanese-based foods a lot.
I made the regular corn muffins, they turned out very well, but I find them very salty. Crumbled in soup they do very well.
Overall, I find the recipes very salty. I've been eating without added salt for many years. Cutting back on the amount of soy sauce helps. I've seen a lower-salt version which I will start to use when I finish this bottle.
Thanks again for the hard work on the websites!

Suzanne

Pumpkin Yogurt

Thanks again for the recipes. I made the pumpkin yogurt one (with wholemeal instead of cornmeal) and they were oh so delicious! So light and fluffy we ate 3 straight out of the oven :P They were not dry at all, actually quite moist (yet not too dense), which is what I like. I wrapped the pumpkin in foil, roasted it in the oven until very soft and mashed it up together with the juice. I think it's important to use the juice in the foil or it'll be too dry.

We don't have anything called gingerbread spice at the supermarket so I used a different mixed spice that didn't go exactly well with pumpkin, I'll just use my own mix of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg next time. I see myself making this quite frequently now :)

Re: Two Corn Muffins: Pumpkin Yogurt and Classic Buttermilk

I love muffins and I love yoghurt too, so it’s exciting to find a recipe that has both. I will definitely give the yoghurt one a try as soon as I clear out my kitchen and get the necessary ingredients. Nothing makes my day more than muffins.

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