February 21, 2011

Masa Cornbread

All of the contributors to this blog love cornbread. (Check out both the Amber and Kate versions.) Now it's my turn. It's cornbread. It's masa. It's a match made in heaven: masa cornbread. 

I can't begin to tell you how much I love masa. Pretty much any possible thing made of this corn dough wins my overwhelming approval. Fresh corn tortillas? Absolutely. Sopes, tamales? Sign me up. I will make my own one of these days.

In the meantime, though, now I have something else to make with my masa harina (flour made from corn). Cornbread! It's so genius, I wish that I had thought of it myself. It's just like regular cornbread, but with a tiny Mexican twist. It has all of the great characteristics of regular cornbread, but with that distinct and delicious masa flavor. (Imagine the sweet taste of very fresh handmade corn tortillas--not the kind you typically buy at the store in this country. I hope you are lucky enough to know what I mean!)

I have made this masa cornbread two different ways and I will likely tweak the recipe as I continue to make it. I wanted to share it with you, though, because I think it is pretty amazing just as it is now. I will let you know if I figure out an even better recipe. This cornbread would be great with chili, but it is so good on its own, I say just make up a batch just so you can snack on it whenever you want. I'm even thinking about all of the possible add-ins for the next time I make this corn bread: cheese, green chiles? Yes, please.
Masa Cornbread
  • 1 cup masa harina
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup or 1/2 stick) butter, melted plus 1 tablespoon for skillet
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn kernels, defrosted (or fresh if it's in season)
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Whisk dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk wet ingredients together in a medium bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Stir to combine. 
  4. Add corn kernels and stir to fully incorporate, but be careful not to over-mix.
  5. Put empty cast iron skillet in the oven for a minute. (If a non-cast iron baking dish, skip this step.) Remove and use remaining 1 tablespoon (you can use less) of butter to grease the bottom and sides of the warmed pan. Pour batter evenly into skillet.
  6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the edges are browned and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan or on a rack slightly before serving.


  1. looks so yummy! great use of your cast iron skillet, too!

  2. This was great, thank you! I feel the same way about masa harina. I bought some a while back to try making fried mussels (didn't work - I was going for the closest I could get to Boston fried clams, but living in Tasmania the best I could do was mussels). Anyhow, I really wanted to use my masa harina so this recipe was perfect! I did increase the baking powder and sugar a bit, to make its proportions match my usual (Fanny Farmer) recipe, and I put a few dried cranberries in one corner, to see if it would work as a breakfast bread thing (I saw a recipe online for cranberry cornbread muffins & wanted to try it)(that worked quite nicely). I like it with pepitas sprinkled on top too. But thanks again!! (Now I need to find a recipe using masa in corn tortillas.)

  3. Pupusas are also a good use of masa harina

  4. have you ever used masa that was "fresh" and not harina? we can buy it in supermarkets here (usually in the meat section, of all places), and it's even better than the harina.


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