What To Add To Jiffy Cornbread To Make It Taste So Good Grandma Will Be Proud

These semi-homemade tricks will have everyone convinced you made the cornbread from scratch.

Ask any Southerner about their signature cornbread recipe, and chances are high that they have a very passionate, firm answer. Sugar or none. Actual corn or cornmeal only. Oil or butter. And how many eggs?

green chile cornbread

Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

While we all have our own go-to homemade cornbread recipes, many of us can agree on one thing: It’s A-OK to turn to a cornbread mix when you’re crunched for time (and, to be honest, too tired to dig out all the ingredients). There are several brands that sell boxed cornbread mix, nearly all of which are a solid substitute—and can absolutely pass as made-from-scratch. (Our little secret!)

But when you’re seeking what our taste-testers say is “the quintessential, most traditional cornbread," since the 1930s, this has meant Jiffy brand.

The price is right: often far less than $1 per six-serving box. That said, the flavor and consistency leave something to be desired. Normally, you supplement the boxed mix with 1 egg and ⅓ cup milk. Stir, transfer to a greased 8-inch pan and bake at 400°F for 20 to 25 minutes. Voila! Jiffy cornbread!

But to really help elevate the taste and texture to no-one-will-guess-it's-not-homemade territory, there are dozens of tricks hiding out in our Test Kitchen and around the internet.

bacon cornbread

Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

24 Things To Add to Jiffy Cornbread Mix to Make It Even Better

While Jiffy is often the most affordable and common boxed cornbread mix in our pantries, don’t feel limited to using these baking hacks with Jiffy alone. They should work with any mix—or even most homemade cornbread batters. Just adjust the ingredient amounts accordingly based on your batch size. 

All of the above cornbread mix-in ideas are recommended for use in a six-serving cornbread recipe. Add these in addition to the egg and ⅓ cup milk. Try one each batch for a controlled trial as you experiment toward your new favorite cornbread variation.

  1. ⅓ cup white sugar + ¼ cup brown sugar + ⅓ cup sour cream + 4 tablespoons melted butter + 1 tablespoon vanilla
  2. 1 tablespoon oil, melted butter, or browned butter
  3. ½ cup mayonnaise
  4. ⅓ cup plain Greek yogurt
  5. 3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  6. 1 cup fresh corn kernels, frozen corn kernels, or canned creamed corn
  7. 2 tablespoons extra milk or buttermilk
  8. 6 strips of cooked, crumbled bacon or 6 cooked, crumbled breakfast sausage links + 1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)
  9. 6 ounces cooked, crumbled chorizo
  10. 1 cup shredded cheese
  11. ¼ cup chopped green chiles + ⅓ cup shredded pepper jack or cheddar cheese
  12. ⅓ cup chopped pecans or walnuts + 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  13. ½ cup fresh or frozen cranberries, blueberries, raspberries, or chopped peaches + zest of 1 lemon (optional)
  14. ½ cup dried cranberries, cherries, or figs + zest of 1 orange (optional)
  15. ¼ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes + 1 cup shredded or finely diced fresh mozzarella cheese
  16. ½ cup caramelized onions (try making a big batch of caramelized onions in your slow cooker!)
  17. ¼ cup grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese + 1 minced garlic clove
  18. ½ cup grated apple or pear
  19. ½ cup canned pumpkin purée + 1 extra egg + 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  20. ¼ cup chopped fresh rosemary, sage, thyme, or basil
  21. 1 cup chopped jalapeños, roasted bell pepper, or pimientos
  22. 1 teaspoon maple extract
  23. ½ teaspoon
  24. Creole seasoning blend
  25. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Now that you have two dozen ways to dress up boxed cornbread mix in your baking arsenal, start working your way through these recipes to enjoy on their own or transform into Cornbread Ice Cream (how good with this be with the cinnamon-infused version?!), Cornbread Croutons, Cornbread Crab Cakes, or Southwestern Cornbread Salad.

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