Here is an easy mix makeover that turns a simple corn muffin into a fragrant and lightly sweet treat, with pockets of jammy baked blackberry and tangy lime zest throughout. It’s at home on the dinner table, at a barbecue, for breakfast, or as dessert. And it’s a fun way to jazz up Hodgson Mill Gluten Free Cornbread Mix, which is certified gluten free, and ready in a flash.
I love experimenting with boxed mixes and seeing how far I can take them. You’ll never know if there’s something amazing waiting for you to try it until you tie on your apron and give it a whirl, right? Hodgson Mill Gluten Free Cornbread Mix did not disappoint during this test – it stayed springy and crumbly inside even with the additions, and was the perfect whole grain complement to these fun summery flavors.
Here’s the super-simple cornbread batter all mixed up, with the mix-ins waiting to be swirled in.
Ghost berries! No, they’re just blackberries coated in powdered sugar. If you coat them first, whether they’re fresh or frozen, it takes them longer to bleed that gorgeous purple color into the batter. I love that color, but I don’t want the entire muffin to be light lilac.
You want to stir the lime zest and coated blackberries in gently and to stop as soon as you think it’s all evenly combined, because working it any more than you need to will just give the berries time to turn it all purple.
Spoon the batter into muffin cups, making sure to distribute the berries as evenly as you can. You’ll see in some pics I used liners and others I didn’t – all in the name of research. I found that these muffins will, sadly, stick to the muffin liners. A light spray of vegetable oil helps, but it’s still not perfect. They are easiest to remove from a well oiled pan. Feel free to keep experimenting; I find it pretty annoying when liners stick, but they’re so pretty I sometimes go back to them anyway.
Ding! About 20 minutes later, you’re all set. Your kitchen will probably have attracted some hopeful friends and family members by now.
Let them cool on a wire rack for a little while – it’s no fun biting into a molten blackberry.
Serve them warm if you can, though – I think they are amazing slathered with butter and a little honey.
Look at that beautiful cornbread crumb! To turn these into a dessert, you can sprinkle the tops with crystal sugar (the great big crystals!) before you bake for a sweet crunch with every bite. As they are, they walk the line between savory and sweet, and could still be served on the side of a meal, so you can decide!
Have you ever had a big win with a boxed mix makeover? Or have you ever bombed with an utter failure? (We’ve all been there.) I hope you’ll let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear some stories from the front lines of battle fighting to make mixes more!
Gluten Free Blackberry Lime Cornbread Muffins
- 1 cup milk (I used almond)
- 2 Tbsp. lime juice, from 1-2 limes
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil (I used safflower)
- 2 eggs
- 1 box Hodgson MIll Gluten Free Sweet Yellow Cornbread Mix
- 1 heaping cup blackberries, fresh or frozen
- 2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
- 2-3 Tbsp. fresh lime zest, from 1-2 limes
- sprinkling crystal sugar, for top (optional)
Preheat oven to 375° F. Prepare a muffin tin with vegetable oil (you can use paper liners with a light coating of nonstick spray, but be aware that these muffins may stick to paper.) In a large bowl, beat together the milk, lime juice, vegetable oil and eggs until completely combined. The lime juice may cause the milk to separate, but it is fine. Slowly stir in cornbread mix, stirring well until completely combined. Set batter aside. Coat blackberries completely in powdered sugar – shaking them together in a plastic bag works well. Add coated blackberries, the rest of the powdered sugar, and the lime zest to the batter, and stir gently just until evenly combined – stop as soon as you see purple color bleeding from the blackberries. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups until about ¾ to almost completely full, distributing blackberries as evenly as possible. Bake 18-22 minutes or until tops are lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Serve warm (preferably with butter and honey).
If you’d like to make these sweeter, you can sprinkle the tops with crystal sprinkling sugar before baking. These are best enjoyed the day they are made, but will keep 1 day in a tightly sealed container.
Makes 12 muffins
You can find Gluten Free Blackberry Lime Cornbread Muffins and other recipes from Hodgson Mill by visiting the Recipes page.