Honey-Buttermilk Cornbread with Blueberries

Hmmmm, you think. Interesting. Trust me. Fabuloso with a capital F.

This is a sweet cornbread recipe (sans blueberries) that I’ve used for years. I’d make it at Grins Cafe as both regular and vegan cornbread whenever we’d have our chili, and there was nothing better. One of the most important ingredients is the honey that is brushed on the top right after coming out of the oven. This might be an issue for some vegans, but it really makes this cornbread sing. It is worth a special trip to the store to get honey if you have every other ingredient but that for this recipe. The only downside is that you can’t really stack the cornbread pieces on top of each other once they are coated with honey, so you need a big platter for serving. I’m used to making this in a huge hotel pan (18 x 24″), so I’ll half the recipe and you can use a 9×13 pan. This works well for muffins, too, just cut the baking time dramatically.

The blueberries made their appearance because of a glut of wonderful berries from the farmer’s market. I’d bought so many that I just couldn’t physically eat them all before they would spoil, so I knew I should bake something soon. Our rental freezer is on the blink, or else I could have just frozen the berries. There is a wonderful marriage between the sweetness of cornmeal and the blueberries and I love the rougher cornmeal texure against the super soft blueberries.

Let’s talk about corn flour vs. corn meal vs. polenta… The real differences are the coarseness (or lack thereof) of the grind. Corn flour is the most processed and comes in yellow and white. I like more texture, so my choice is to use a medium grind whole grain corn meal (like Bob’s Red Mill which can be found at many regular grocery stores in the organic/health food dept). I have often mixed corn flour and polenta which has a really coarse grind to achieve a mixed texture result, especially delicious in cornbread.


Dry Ingredients:
2 c. cornmeal
1 1/8 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. sugar (use more like 1/3 c. if not doing the blueberry version) – brown sugar is ok, but white sugar works the best
2 1/4 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1 1/2 t. sea salt

Wet Ingredients:
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
3 eggs, beaten
2 t. vanilla
6 T. melted butter (cooled before adding to eggs)

3 c. blueberries (do not defrost if using frozen, just add directly to batter)
1 T. butter
4 T. honey

Put pan in the oven to preheat. Mix dry in a bowl with whisk. Beat wet together, then add dry to wet. Use a folding movement to mix, and add blueberries before the last of the dry is absorbed. Finish folding until there is no dry left, then put 1 T. butter into hot pan from oven. Allow this melting butter to grease the pan by tipping it around on all sides. Pour batter into pan and bake. Cornbread will probably take a total of 30-45 mins depending on the size of the pan you are using. Turn it for even color at 20 minutes. Use the skewer/toothpick test to see if the cornbread is done. Watch out for wet spots in the center. When you remove the hot cornbread from the oven, immediately pour the honey on the top and spread it around evenly. Don’t forget the corners. A silicone pastry or BBQ brush is perfect for this job, but you can also make do with a knife or the back of a spoon. Serve warm or room temp.

It’s delish. Just ask the Seattle crowd that got to eat some this weekend. It makes a great brunch option and I love it for breakfast as well. You can sub a drained jar of pickled jalapenos and some grated cheddar cheese for the blueberries if you’d like to take the flavor in a different direction. I think I’d skip the honey on top in that case.

**Vegan: I’ve made this vegan plenty of times, especially as corn muffins. I like to use a combo of soy milk and soy yogurt (plain or vanilla) to achieve the effect of vegan buttermilk. I’ve also used sour supreme instead of yogurt. Use egg replacer beaten well with water instead of the eggs, and include about 1/4 cup of applesauce. Use vegan margarine instead of butter – Willow Run is my favorite because it is cheap but works great.  Skip the honey on top, or use agave syrup or brown rice syrup or even maple, just don’t make it soggy.



  1. Vegan Diva said

    Ooooh, this sounds YUMMY! I’m definitely adding this one to my “to-make” list.

  2. Gretchen Sky said

    Your website is neat. It’s very unique AND I get to see you and Chris doing wacky things!
    I’m going to bake this cornbread recipie for my fam. If it’s gone in less than an hour, I know it gets thumbs up! Keep ya posted!

  3. Joe said

    NOT Vegan.

    Filed under Vegan, baking, Food, Techniques

    1 T. butter
    1 1/2 c. buttermilk
    3 eggs, beaten
    4 T. honey
    6 T. melted butter (cooled before adding to eggs)

  4. Joe said

    (the HONEY)

  5. Yeah, but read the last paragraph and I talk about how I also have made the recipe as vegan and what I used as a substitution to do so.

  6. Tracey said

    I just baked this, using Mimic Creme in place of the buttermilk. It’s beautiful and smells incredible. The vanilla was an excellent ingredient.

  7. Can I bake this the day before and reheat the next day?

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