Cornbread (or muffins) with Bitters

Cornbread with BittersIt’s wintertime and the baking is easy. It certainly appeals to Rosie and me, which is why this is our third-in-a-row recipe using muffin tins — or an 8×8 baking pan!  See Rosie’s pepper jack popovers and my bran muffins.
This cornbread recipe is my go-to favorite, for corn muffins too.  Lightly sweetened, low fat, rather crunchy.  Angostura bitters adds a distinctive, rich flavor.  Similar to the biscuits I developed, Angostura bitters brings depth that takes this cornbread beyond routine.  Use a cornbread mix if you like; just stir Angostura into the liquid ingredients.  That’s what makes the difference here.

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Cornbread with Cranberries & Angostura Bitters 

Makes 9 servings of cornbread or 15 muffins
Prep time: 10-12 minutes    Bake time: 15 – 30 minutes

1-1/3  cup all-purpose flour
1-1/3  cup cornmeal, medium-grind
1/4     cup sugar
2         tsp. baking powder
1         tsp. baking soda
1/2     teaspoon salt
1/2     cup (rounded) dried cranberries
1-1/2  cup buttermilk, room temperature
3         large eggs, room temperature
3         Tbsp. butter, melted (4 Tbsp. for muffins, if desired)
2        tsp. Angostura aromatic bitters or Angostura orange bitters

Preheat oven to 375°F for cornbread, 350ºF for muffins. Grease an 8×8-inch baking pan or muffin tins (15 muffins).

In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients with a wire whisk (flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt). Stir in cranberries, separating berries with your fingers, if needed.

In a separate bowl or measuring cup, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, butter and Angostura. Add to flour mixture, stirring gently until moistened. Pour into pan; let rest 5 minutes. Bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

* Kitchen Notes: 

  • If using a glass 8×8 baking dish, bake at 350°F for 30 minutes or until tests done.
  • Recipe makes 15 muffins. Bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes.  Muffin texture is not as moist as 8×8 pan, so use 4 Tbsp. butter if desired.
  • Brands of cornmeal vary; some are coarser than others which affects the texture of the cornbread.
  • If you’re short on time to let buttermilk and eggs come to room temperature, immerse unbroken eggs in a bowl of warm water for 15 minutes. Microwave buttermilk on medium power for 1 minute.
  • No buttermilk on hand? Powdered cream of tartar is a good buttermilk substitute. For this recipe, whisk 2-1/4 tsp cream of tartar into the dry ingredients; use whole milk instead of buttermilk. OR… Stir 4-1/2 tsp white vinegar or lemon juice into whole milk; let stand 10 minutes for milk to curdle. A bit of acidity will be apparent in the cornbread flavor.
  • Use 1/3 cup sugar if you like cornbread on the sweeter side.
  • Don’t have cranberries on hand? Use raisins or currants, or chop up other dried fruits.

Nutrition information per serving (9) for cornbread: 259 calories, 6.6g fat (3.2g sat fat), 73.8mg chol, 7.2g protein, 43.3g carb, 2.3g fiber, 451mg sodium
                                           Recipe and photos by Rita Held for Angostura USA

Corn Muffins with Angostura bitters

corn muffins

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