Healthy Cornbread Muffins

Published June 13, 2012. Updated March 25, 2024

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Healthy Cornbread Muffins are the easy adjustment to your favorite cornbread side dish or dessert. Instead of more heavy butter, applesauce keeps your cornbread moist and sweet without the extra fat. Don’t worry—you still get some fluffy honey butter on top if you want it! 

I’m a huge fan of anything that is able to be lightened up that can actually outdo its less healthy, original opponent. This muffin is just that! It is my favorite cornbread, EVER! I adapted it from my Lightened Up Cornbread Recipe. I made these because I needed a shorter cooking time than that of the 8×8 pan version since dinner was close to being done, so I thought muffins would be perfect. Any version of this, muffin or cornbread will disappear in a flash.

Healthy Cornbread MuffinsHealthy Cornbread Muffins

I say these are lightened up because your average cornbread uses a whole stick of butter, with this recipe I use some applesauce as a source of moisture therefore requiring less butter. These are my idea of the most moist and tasty cornbread muffins ever!


Then when they are topped off with freshly whipped honey butter, awww my mouth is watering. If you are lucky enough to have any leftover after dinner they make an excellent breakfast the next morning. That’s one thing I love about these muffins, they are a perfect side dish to dinner, a great breakfast and even an amazing dessert. They have just the right amount of sweetness. They are making me crave a good Southern Ham meal with some of my Mom’s perfect mashed potatoes with ham gravy, mmmm. Good luck stopping at just one muffin, I never can.

Healthy Cornbread Muffins

Cornbread Muffins with Honey Butter Frosting

Other Cornbread Recipes

I am a huge fan of cornbread. It’s just such an incredible baked good, because it’s a little more hearty and textured than standard flour muffins or bread. Cornbread can be done in a sweet or savory way, as a breakfast, side dish, or dessert. It’s definitely worth enjoying with most meals, in my opinion! So here are a few other cornbread recipes you might like to try:

16 Quick & Easy 30 Minute Recipes! (plus weekly recipe updates)

Cornbread Muffins (Lightened Up But the Best Ever)

Soft and tender cornbread in muffin form. Perfect for breakfast or a dinner side dish.
Servings: 18
Prep20 minutes
Cook20 minutes
Ready in: 40 minutes


Whipped Honey Butter


  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together cornmeal and buttermilk until well blended, allow to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside. 
  • Add applesauce, melted butter, honey and sugar to cornmeal mixture and whisk until well combine. Mix in eggs. Stir in dry ingredients and whisk just until combine and no longer lumpy. Divide mixture evenly among 18-19 paper lined muffin cups filling each one 2/3 full. 
  • Bake in preheat oven for 13-16 minutes until toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out clean. Allow to cool completely if "frosting" with whipped honey butter, or serve warm slathered with whipped honey butter (melty and drippy delicious mmm).

Whipped Honey Butter

  • In a mixing bowl, with an electric hand mixer, whip together all ingredients until light and fluffy about 2 minutes.