Better Sesame Corn Muffins – Recipe

Sesame Corn Muffins
Sesame Corn Muffins

I posted the original version of these Sesame Corn Muffins a couple of years ago. When I came back to them today, I could see several opportunities to improve the recipe. Pre-toasting the sesame seeds, using buttermilk, not buttermilk powder, altering the ratio of cornmeal to all-purpose flour, and upping the salt all contribute to a better structure and more flavor.

These muffins aren't particularly sweet. You can take them in two directions. Offer them up with plenty of room temperature butter and honey for a breakfast treat, or if you want to go savory, serve them instead of cornbread with a big bowl of vegetarian chili.

Other things that would be good to add: blueberries, grated ginger, lemon or orange zest.

Sesame Corn Muffins (Improved Version)
Makes 12

  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons hulled sesame seeds, divided
  • 1 1/4 cups medium-grind cornmeal
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil (Asian sesame oil)
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F, using convection if available. Line a 12-muffin pan with paper cups or grease with butter.
  2. In a small skillet, toast 1/2 cup of the sesame seeds over a medium-low flame until browned and fragrant.
  3. In a large bowl, thoroughly whisk together the toasted sesame seeds, the cornmeal, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, vegetable oil, sesame oil, milk, and buttermilk.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and gently fold together. Do not overmix, as this will make tough muffins. Just try to get the flour moistened. It is ok if there are some small lumps.
  6. Divide the batter in to the muffin tins. Sprinkle with the remaining sesame seeds. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until lightly golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Do not overbake. Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then remove to a rack, cool 5 more minutes, and serve.
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Posted by Michael Natkin on Monday, November 15th, 2010 in Baking, Breakfast, Recipes.

4 Responses to “Better Sesame Corn Muffins – Recipe”

  1. Reply
    November 15, 2010 at 10:07 am #

    can i just come over and eat at your place? my dinners seem so mundane after reading your blog! 🙂

  2. Reply
    November 15, 2010 at 7:51 pm #

    Ciao Michael,

    Could you do go totally savoury and make them without sugar? Or do they need a bit of sugar to ‘stand’!

  3. Reply
    Michael Natkin
    November 15, 2010 at 7:54 pm #

    Hey Alessandra – I haven't tried them without sugar; but my guess is that since there is only 1/4 cup in there, you could probably leave it out and be ok. As always, if you try it, let me know the results!


  4. Reply
    November 21, 2010 at 7:50 am #

    My daughter and I made these this morning. I think that of all the herbivoracious recipes I’ve made, this is the one I’m least excited about — but to be clear, I still think they’re pretty good. They’re just not something I’d make again. Then again, my son just walked in and said “THESE are GOOD. WOW!” So I guess there’s a difference of opinion. 🙂

    + The toasted seeds give the texture a nice variation. Corn muffins tend to be soft, and turn to mush in your mouth as you eat them; these have a little push-back because of the seeds — a kind of crunch as you bite down.

    + The overall batter structure is very nice. The muffins don’t rise a lot, which means that although the muffin cups seem like they might be too full, they’re not.

    + The sesame flavor is very strong without being overwhelming.

    – The recipe should say “Divide the batter in to the muffin tin” rather than “tins”; I had this sudden worry that I was to have greased TWO tins.

    – The sesame flavor is too one-note for my taste. The corn flavor doesn’t really balance it enough. I might be inclined to add a little ginger or something to add another note.

    – The 2T of sesame seeds on top seemed like too much to us. I think that 1T would have been enough (and would have ended with fewer seeds falling off the muffins at the end).

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