Homemade Cornbread Muffins on a rustic wooden board, side view. Close-up.
The Dairy Tip You Need For Crustier Cornbread Muffins
By Kalea Martin
Soft cornbread muffins can be tasty, but ones that are slightly crumbly and crusty on the outside tend to be more satisfying. You can achieve this crispy texture by shallow frying the cornbread for 30 seconds in a cast iron skillet after it's finished baking, but a much more effective method involves swapping the milk or water with cultured dairy.
Cultured dairy refers to any byproduct of milk and lactic acid, such as sour cream, yogurt, buttermilk, and cream cheese, and it produces a much more favorable texture to cornbread muffins. The lactic acid combined with the baking soda allows cornbread muffins to rise more effectively, creating a thicker outer crust that is soft and moist inside.
For optimal flavor, use buttermilk when substituting out the liquid in your cornbread recipe. However, it still works with sour cream, as long as you reduce it by a quarter of its original amount, then add the equivalent amount of water back in.