Cornbread Muffin Mix Bake-Off!

corn muffins

What’s the best cornbread muffin mix? We baked, tested, and reviewed six common brands, including Marie Callender’s, and the results may surprise you!

stacked cornbread muffins

which cornbread muffin mix is best?

I get it, we don’t always have time to bake from scratch, and even something as simple as homemade cornbread can be too much. Enter quick and easy cornbread muffin mixes…but how to choose between them? I can help you out with that…

Here are the results of our corn muffin mix taste test, in descending order (i.e., worst first!)

#6 Marie Callender’s Corn Bread Mix

Marie Callender's Cornbread Muffin
  • This mix only calls for water, making it the simplest of all.
  • In short, we did not like this mix, even though we were expecting it to be one of our favorites! The flavor was bland and the muffins had a slightly gummy, stodgy texture. They did not rise well, and were not very sweet.
  • Oddly, they had a distinct bitter aftertaste. All our taste testers picked this as the ultimate loser. Who knew?
  • The takeaway ~ Despite the lofty brand, this corn muffin mix didn’t measure up.
  • Genetically modified? No.
  • Variation suggestion: try using milk in place of the water.
Marie Callender's cornbread mix

$3.69 Makes 12 muffins

#5 Pillsbury Corn Muffin Mix

Pillsbury Cornbread Muffin
  • Calls for milk and egg.
  • We didn’t love these – they didn’t have very rich cornmeal flavor, and the texture was a bit heavy. They domed awkwardly in the oven, too, which was a negative.
  • The takeaway ~ This is not a very good cornbread muffin mix.
  • Genetically modified? Yes.
  • Variation suggestion: use buttermilk in place of regular milk to improve the flavor.
Pillsbury corn muffin mix

$0.69 Makes 6 muffins.

#4 Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix

  • Calls for milk and egg.
  • Overall, these muffins were pretty good, but not great. We found the texture to be fluffy and light but a little on the dry, crumbly side.
  • The flavor was classic, old-fashioned, and not too sweet compared to some of the others. The mix contains lard, which might explain its nice old fashioned flavor.
  • These muffins baked up with a consistent shape and rise.
  • The takeaway ~ if you’re looking for a small batch mix, this one edges out Pillsbury by a nose. The company’s been around since the 1930s, so it has history on its side.
  • Genetically modified? Yes.
  • Variation suggestion: add an extra yolk to the mix for moisture.
Jiffy Cornbread mix

$0.73 Makes 6 muffins

# 3 Krusteaz Honey Cornbread Mix

Krusteaz Cornbread Muffin
  • Calls for butter or vegetable oil (we used oil), milk, and egg.
  • These muffins baked up with a flatter, crustier top than the others.
  • Despite the flat shape, these muffins were fluffy inside and we thought they had good flavor. Some of us actually loved the crusty top.
  • They’re on the sweeter side, and have a nice cornmeal-y texture without being gritty or crumbly.
  • The takeaway ~ If you’re the one who always goes for the corner brownie, you will appreciate the crunch factor.
  • Genetically modified? Possibly.
  • Variation suggestion: this might make a better cornbread than muffins, due to the flat top.
krusteaz cornbread mix

$2.74 makes 12 muffins

#2 Zatarain’s Honey Butter Cornbread Mix

Zatarain's Cornbread Muffin
  • Calls for melted butter, milk, and egg.
  • We liked this one! These muffins were flavorful, nicely sweet, moist, and rich. You definitely notice that hint of honey.
  • Not gritty but you can detect the cornmeal presence.
  • Rose nicely in the oven.
  • The takeaway ~ this is a good classic cornbread muffin.
  • Genetically modified: Possibly.
  • Variation suggestion: Fold chopped or sliced jalapeños into the batter before baking.
zatarain's cornbread mix

$2.74 Makes 9 muffins

#1: THE WINNER! Bob’s Red Mill Stone Ground Cornbread Muffin Mix

Bob's Red Mill Cornbread Muffin
  • Calls for water, oil, and egg.
  • Despite the fact that these were the least sweet muffins in the whole bunch, they were our favorite! They won our hearts because of their excellent texture and authentic flavor.
  • We found these muffins to be moist, not too crumbly, with lots of great cornmeal texture.
  • This is the only mix that uses stone ground corn, which means the hull and germ of the corn are left in, providing nutrition, texture and flavor.
  • This mix is the most expensive of the group, but it makes 24 muffins, or about twice what the others make. The large size can be a slight inconvenience if you don’t need that many muffins.
  • The takeaway ~ if you like old fashioned, flavorful, and not-too-sweet cornbread, this is a great choice! It’s surprisingly fine grained and moist considering it is stone ground.
  • Genetically modified? No.
  • Variation suggestion: if you do like your cornbread on the sweet side, consider adding about 1/4-1/3 cup white or brown sugar to the batter.

$4.09 Makes 24 muffins

note: these prices reflect what we paid, but you will likely see differing pricing in your local stores.

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    Leave a Reply

  • Reply
    May 30, 2021 at 7:12 pm

    I use Bob’s Red Mill cornmeal to make my cornbread. I love the texture. Interesting test!

  • Reply
    May 30, 2021 at 5:43 pm

    Try FLEISCHMANN’S SIMPLY HOMEMADE BRAND. I’m surprised this wasn’t one listed. I’ve been making this brand for my co-workers and they beg me to make them at least once a month. When I make the cornbread I use 2 boxes and bake it in a cast iron skillet lined with melted butter.

  • Reply
    May 30, 2021 at 8:23 am

    I have used Jiffy cornbread mix for over 20 years. It is the best. We have tryed a lot of other mixes. But they don’t stand up to Jiffy.

  • Reply
    Elizabeth Gibbon
    May 29, 2021 at 7:05 pm

    I have recently discovered- and love – the Kodiak brand of cornbread. It is not inexpensive, but I love its solid dense but moist deliciousness. Very tasty.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      May 30, 2021 at 6:22 am

      Never heard of it, I’ll look it up.

  • Reply
    May 29, 2021 at 3:25 pm

    I enjoyed this comparison! Our favorite for years has been Jiffy, but I’ll try Bob’s. I like the non-GMO factor. I have a great recipe that begins with a box of Jiffy and adds creamed corn and sour cream (and maybe a couple of other things), and then you use a mini muffin tin. These are scrumptious!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      May 30, 2021 at 6:20 am

      They sound like delicious little bites 🙂

  • Reply
    May 29, 2021 at 11:48 am

    Interesting. I am not surprised about Bob’s Red Mill winning out, although I’ve never used it. I love their products. I’m from the south so sweet cornbread never works for me, and living near Atlanta it seems that restaurants are catering to transplants because the cornbread has gotten sweeter! Oh well! For me, the easiest cornbread is a cornmeal mix—Martha White is the one currently in my fridge. I don’t even measure but pour out about 2 cups into the usual bowl, melt a little bacon fat in a cast iron skillet in the oven, pour that into the bowl then add buttermilk or milk to it to the pourable consistency and bake. Always love you cooking insights!

    • Reply
      May 29, 2021 at 3:21 pm

      Debbie! I hear you! I’m a native Atlantan (suburb girl), and we always ate cast iron skillet cornbread when I was growing up. It’s still my favorite. But when my daughters were young, they disliked it and much preferred corn muffins. Jiffy is our go-to; we love the flavor and you can’t beat the price.

  • Reply
    May 29, 2021 at 10:46 am

    Hi Sue! Thanks for the comparison. I began using Bob’s Red Mill during 2020 and love it as well. Our family is not big on corn muffins so I figured out how to get 3, 6-inch cornbread cakes out of one bag of Bob’s mix. No waste and we like it crisped in cast iron. Feel free to share:

    1 cup Bob’s RedMill Cornbread Muffin Mix
    1/2 cup Buttermilk
    3 Tbsp milk
    1 large egg
    3 Tbsp melted butter
    1-2 Tbsp vegetable or avocado oil (or bacon drippings)

    1. Preheat oven to 425F. Heat small 6- or 7-inch cast iron skillet in oven.
    2. In medium bowl, measure out and sift Cornbread Mix into bowl.
    3. In small bowl whisk egg and then add 3 Tbsp butter, buttermilk, and milk and whisk together well.
    4. Add egg mixture into cornbread mix and stir just until well blended.
    5. Remove skillet, reduce heat to 375F, and oil skillet while hot.
    6. Pour in cornbread batter and cook for 15-20 minutes until well-browned.

  • Reply
    Marianne A.
    May 29, 2021 at 9:52 am

    Krusteaz is my favorite. I also like the recipe on the back of the Quaker corn meal canister. I add a bit more sugar than it calls for. It’s quick and easy and delicious.

  • Reply
    Jane Peterson
    May 29, 2021 at 8:39 am

    Hi Sue, love your recipes! I’ve tried many and most of them have become staples in our house! Regarding cornbread, my favorite mix is Famous Dave’s. It’s rather sweet and holds together well. I like to bake it in cast iron corn bread forms. The grandkids love it! My favorite from scratch is Knudsen’s Buttermilk Corn Bread. It has great flavor and holds together well.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      May 29, 2021 at 8:41 am

      You’re the second vote for Famous Dave’s I’ve got to try that one.

  • Reply
    Bev Amos
    May 29, 2021 at 8:18 am

    For those of us that are GF the go to is Pamela’s GF cornbread and muffin mix. So very good!!!

  • Reply
    May 29, 2021 at 7:22 am

    Actually, per muffin, the Red Mill is not most expensive. I’ll be trying it. Thanks for the showdown.
    $0.115 Pillsbury $.69/6
    $0.12 Jiffy $.73/6
    $0.17 Red Mill $4.09/24
    $0.228 Krusteaz $2.74/12
    $0.304 Zatarains $2.74/9
    $0.3075 Marie Callender’s $2.69/12

  • Reply
    Mary Anna
    May 29, 2021 at 7:08 am

    If you need to eat gluten free, Krusteaz Gluten Free Honey Cornbread Mix is the BEST. It is moist and tender, not crumbly, as some GF products can be. It IS sweet (it does say honey in the name) however, even my husband”s gluten free adverse family members did not realize it was GF!

  • Reply
    May 29, 2021 at 6:47 am

    My favorite is Stonewall kitchen. Perfect flavor and texture. Uses egg oil and milk. Genetically modified

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      May 29, 2021 at 7:11 am

      We didn’t get to test that one, but I love the brand, too.

  • Reply
    Gloria Ashley
    May 29, 2021 at 6:45 am

    These comparisons are interesting and helpful! I will try to find the Bob’s brand. I really look forward to your daily recipes!

  • Reply
    Dianne K Winters
    May 29, 2021 at 6:08 am

    Our favorite mix is by Penguin Natural Foods. It has real kernels of corn in the mix, is sweet enough and is non-gmo. I get the mix at Costco but it might be available other places.

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