I’ve always been a fan of savory cornbread — the sweet variety just never did it for me. This recipe doubles down on the savory factor and adds cheddar and leeks to amp up the savoriness. You precook some of the cornmeal with milk to help keep the muffins moist, a clever technique borrowed from Cook’s Illustrated. Bake them in Stud Muffin and serve them warm with melted butter and a drizzle of hot honey for the perfect morning treat.

- Jesse Szewczyk


Makes 12 muffins
  • 1 c. (237 ml) whole milk
  • 1⅓ c. (280 g) fine yellow cornmeal, divided
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1½ c. (130 g) diced leeks, white and light green parts only (from about 1 large leek)
  • 1 c. (128 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¾ c. (173 g) sour cream
  • 6 tbsp (85 g) melted butter, cooled slightly
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ c. (2 oz/57 g) grated sharp cheddar cheese (see note)
  • ¼ c. (13 g) finely chopped chives
Cookware Used
Stud Muffin
A 12-Cup Muffin Pan
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Deep Cut
10-Inch Stainless-Steel Sauté Pan
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Stir Crazy
3-Piece Nested Mixing Bowl Set
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  1. Combine the milk and 1/3 cup (70 grams) of the cornmeal in the medium Stir Crazy bowl.
  2. Microwave on high power in 30-second bursts, stirring between each, until the mixture thickens into the texture of porridge, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
  3. Let cool for at least 20 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in Deep Cut over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring often, until soft and very fragrant, 6 to 9 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat and let cool for at least 10 minutes.
  6. As the leeks and cornmeal mixture are cooling, set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 425 °F.
  7. Lightly coat the wells of a Stud Muffin with nonstick pan spray.
  8. Combine the remaining cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and garlic powder in a large bowl.
  9. In a separate large bowl whisk together the cooled cornmeal mixture, leeks, sour cream, melted butter, and eggs.
  10. Add the wet ingredients into the dry and stir with a rubber spatula until a shaggy dough forms. Fold in the cheese and chives.

  11. Using a large cookie scoop (or a ¼ 1/4-cup measure), portion the dough into the wells of Stud Muffin so they are filled to the top.
  12. Bake until the tops are light golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 13 to 16 minutes.
  13. Serve immediately.

Note: I like to use extra- sharp cheddar cheese to make these muffins, but just about any semi-firm grating cheese will work well. Colby, Gouda, and Gruyère would all work great in this recipe.

Photos by Ghazalle Badiozamani