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Late Summer Corn Muffins

Late Summer Corn Muffins

Gluten Free Corn Muffins with real corn kernels

Dear Friend,

I’ll have to be brief today. I’m on borrowed [Internet] time.

Fourteen hours ago — I lost power.

For a blogger like myself, having no power is like having laryngitis. Or a muzzle.

Yesterday morning, smack in the middle of the actual hurricane, this happened in my kitchen. It was aMAZing:

Gluten Free Corn Muffins with real corn kernels

Ask me if that could happen now. After the hurricane.

It can’t.

Maybe it can happen to you. If it can, ’cause of all your power and stuff, do me a solid.

Make it happen. For the Team. For me? For us.

We lose power, like, at least once a summer. Unfortunately for you, right after power, I lose my ever lovin’ mind. Not a good look. Needless to say.

Can you hear that noise? It’s my neighbor’s generator. He’s a genius.

I’m totally getting a generator.

Can you spare $4,000? I’m good for it. Totally good. Pinky promise.

While you rifle thru the couch cushions for those 4 Gs, I’ll teach you how to make magic with some sweet late summer corn.

P.S. The secret ingredient is ricotta cheese. I know. Wow. It lends these muffins such moistness and texture. You have no idea. Add to that the kernels of raw corn, right off the cob. Then just the right blend of stone ground yellow cornmeal and Better Batter. Creamy & lightly sweet. Party time. In my mouth.

P.P.S. You can make these without fresh corn. But don’t use canned corn, please. It’s grody. Use frozen corn. Don’t defrost it much. Just enough to break it up, get rid of the ice. It’s easier if you buy it frozen in a bag, not a box. If you can. If not, still totally possible. Make it happen.

Late Summer Corn Muffins
Recipe Type: Muffins
Author: Nicole @ Gluten-Free on a Shoestring.com
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 18 mins
Total time: 28 mins
Serves: 12
Gluten-free super corny corn muffins with ricotta cheese & whole corn kernels
  • 1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour (I use Better Batter – buy some)
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if using Better Batter)
  • 1 cup stone ground yellow cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons milk or cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/3 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels (if fresh, sliced off 3 to 4 ears of fresh corn)
  1. Grease well a 12-cup muffin tin with unsalted butter, and set it aside. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and whisk to combine well. Add the milk, vinegar, ricotta cheese, butter and eggs, mixing to combine well after each addition. Add the corn kernels and mix until evenly distributed throughout the batter.
  3. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Place in the center of the preheated oven, and bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until the muffins are lightly browned on top and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Rotate once during baking.
  4. Remove from the oven, and cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely.


I send you love. And magic. In the form of corn muffins.

Know how I’m all johnny-on-the-spot with comment replies? Might be a bit delayed today.

Send me power. And 4k. Or a generator. And l-o-v-e.

I hope you’re all safe. I wish I knew how to find out. I’m thinking about you. Even as I whine about not having power. I know it’s only a minor problem. I know.

Me (it’s Nicole)

*UPDATE* I’m all powered up, and ready to go. Business as usual. I’m open for business!

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  • […] Saturday – Zesty Wheat Berry Chili with fresh avocado, GF Corn Muffins […]

  • Lisa
    September 21, 2011 at 5:49 PM

    These were so good. They are going to be a staple in our house. My 4 year old moaned the entire time eating them. Were not missing gluten anymore :)

    • Nicole
      September 21, 2011 at 9:33 PM

      Hi, Lisa,
      Your comment made me smile a big, stupid dork grin from ear to ear. I am so completely happy to hear everything you said. Thank you so much for telling. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • PegLeg
    September 12, 2011 at 3:26 PM

    I’m trying these out this weekend but making them in a casserole or souffle dish. If the recipe makes 12 muffins, would a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish or a 9-inch square pan be about the right size?

    And I noted that you suggested baking it at 350 for about 40 minutes. I can’t wait to try this!

    • Nicole
      September 12, 2011 at 4:17 PM

      Hi, Peggy,
      I would go with a 9″ square pan. Sharp edges will make it easier to slice and get out of the pan.
      350 for 40 minutes sounds just about right. If baking in glass, lower the oven temp by about 15 to 20 degrees so the top browns before the bottom burns. Enjoy!
      xoxo Nicole

  • September 5, 2011 at 9:33 PM

    Follow up: I made the muffins! People enjoyed the muffins. I’m going to make more and see how they freeze.

    • Nicole
      September 5, 2011 at 10:23 PM

      I’m really glad, Farida.
      Let me know how they freeze! I have never frozen them, but I expect that they will freeze beautifully. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Lydia Sher
    August 30, 2011 at 4:05 PM

    Thank you, Nicole.
    So I guess I should convert the gram measurement to cups, and then sub in the same number of cups.
    Back to experimenting, I guess. I just seem to keep turning up with hockey pucks or wonky Jello things when I do try to sub in gram for gram. hmm… Maybe I should just stick to the recipes you’ve created and that Naomi has posted, at least It’ll be an appropriate starting point.
    Thanks again for the help,
    xs and os back,

    • Nicole
      August 30, 2011 at 4:20 PM

      You’re welcome, Lydia.
      Yes, I generally recommend that people start out with tried and true GF recipes before they begin converting their own. That way, you know what to expect and what to tweak, etc. When converting, it’s much closer to recipe development than you’d think, and that can be a very frustrating endeavor, especially before you’re very, very practiced at it and have a full understanding of all the different ingredients, how they interact, what they do standing alone, where there needs to be balance and how to achieve it, etc. If there’s something in particular that you are really craving, feel free to suggest it to me, to see if I can come up with something for the blog (or maybe I already have something similar on the blog or in my book).
      Good luck!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Lydia Sher
    August 30, 2011 at 3:40 PM

    sorry for the trouble,
    But to clarify, so I would substitute 100 grams of All purpose flour with 100 grams Better Batter, or would I substitute 100 grams All purpose flour with 165 grams of Better Batter,
    Sorry for the dumb question, I’m sure it’s quite straight forward, but I just can’t seem to understand it.

    • Nicole
      August 30, 2011 at 3:49 PM

      Hi, Lydia,
      I think I misunderstood your question, then. You’re asking essentially about how to convert a recipe that calls for conventional all purpose flour to one using Better Batter, then, it seems. Better Batter is a cup-for-cup replacement for conventional flour in most gluten-containing recipes, but I honestly don’t know if it’s a gram-for-gram replacement. You’d probably have to google how many grams in a cup of conventional all purpose flour (I just don’t remember – it’s been so long), and then compare that to the 165 grams/cup of Better Batter. There are almost always other things that need to be done to the recipe as well to convert it from a conventional recipe to gluten-free, though. But it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. It’s pretty specific to the recipe. Sorry I couldn’t be more help! You can try contacting Better Batter (check their site for contact info http://www.betterbatter.org). Naomi is wonderful with helping people convert their favorite recipes.
      xoxo Nicole

  • August 30, 2011 at 12:15 PM

    I understand how losing power can make you lose your mind. I find adults to chat with out in the world, but much of my intellectual interchange is online. I think in text.

    I bought ricotta cheese a few days ago. I thought, “For what will I use this? Surely GF on a Shoestring has a recipe I must try.” Lo and behold….

    • Nicole
      August 30, 2011 at 1:21 PM

      Hi, Farida,
      It’s writing (blogging, book writing, magazine writing) that I simply can’t seem to do unless it’s on a computer. My dictionary and thesaurus are dust-covered. The Internet has replaced all of that. I tried to sit down and write a blog post longhand, and I didn’t get past the date. Terrible. I’m kaput without going online.
      We’re so connected, you and me. By ricotta. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Nicoly
    August 30, 2011 at 11:02 AM

    These look delish but more importantly I’m glad you weathered the storm! I don’t have many east coast homies so you were on my mind this past weekend! Thanks for the yummy looking recipe, can’t wait to try!

    • Nicole
      August 30, 2011 at 11:09 AM

      Hi, Nicoly,
      I’m honored to be one of your homies, homes. And I’m really touched (no joke) that I was on your mind. We are safe and sound, and even now have power (which I will never take for granted again – at least until this storm is a distant memory, and then I’ll do the whole thing all over again with the taking for granted, then being chastened, and making the promise again, blah blah blah).
      xoxo Nicole

  • Lydia Sher
    August 30, 2011 at 10:26 AM

    Hi Nicole!
    Random question here, If I was converting a recipe from grams, how would I go about using the better batter in its place. would I sub in the same amount of grams or convert the grams to cups first, or what. Please help. I’m asking you since you seem like the bloggy expert on Better Batter.

    • Nicole
      August 30, 2011 at 11:07 AM

      Hi, Lydia,
      On average (in my experience), Better Batter weighs approximately 165 grams per cup. I would use that as a guide.
      xoxo Nicole
      a/k/a Bloggy Expert on Better Batter :)

  • Jennifer
    August 30, 2011 at 2:19 AM

    I’ve been meaning to ask you a question but hoping I’d come across the answer myself first and spare us both the time. I have noticed you use unsalted butter in your recipes. I’ve always preferred the taste of salted butter. So, is it a taste preference or does it alter the chemistry of the recipe enough that’s why you use it?
    BTW, good news is I have a great generator. You can use it anytime. Being off the grid sounds like being told one day you can’t have bread anymore… oh wait :). Thankfully there’s a substitute for everything, right? Thx!

    • Nicole
      August 30, 2011 at 9:24 AM

      Hi, Jen,
      Always ask. No problem asking. It’s never a good idea to bake or cook with salted butter. Spreading butter on a piece of bread? Go ahead and use salted if you prefer it. But in baking and cooking, you always want each of your ingredients to be as elemental as possible, so you can tweak them. If you use salted butter, you can’t control the amount of salt in your recipes. And salt is typically used for many more reasons than making something taste “salty.” It brings out the flavor in sweet foods, brightens savory ones. It’s really important to be able to add more here, less there. Make sense?
      Don’t joke about letting me use your generator. Wherever you are, I’ll find an extension cord that reaches! ;)
      xoxo Nicole

    • Anonymous
      August 31, 2011 at 1:46 AM

      Makes perfect sense. I’m still such a novice to much of actual baking. Cooking a meal isn’t always the same as baking for me, so I don’t think I would have realized there was enough salt in salter butter to make a difference, but now that you explain it, it makes perfect sense. Ok, good to know. I’m still waiting for my flour to come. I ordered it 10 or 11 days ago (better batter), so as soon as it comes I can really let loose on some of these recipes. I’m very excited.
      AND you’re right… no kidding about the generator. I live in the west where it’s every man for himself. Several neighbors have sheds on their property that generate enough power to run their entire property. (Why would I have my own, I just need extension cords, right?) :)

    • Nicole
      September 1, 2011 at 10:37 AM

      Hi, Jen,
      If you ordered Better Batter 10 or 11 days ago, you should definitely give them a call to find out what’s going on with your order. That’s way too long!
      Every year I swear I’m going to get a generator. And then I check my pockets. ;)
      xoxo Nicole

  • August 29, 2011 at 9:02 PM

    Those look so amazing! Good to know you’re safe, I was wondering how all the bloggers I follow were coping with the storm! I know, power cuts are nasty. I’m a bit used to the idea now, after our earthquakes – I understand what you’re going through, natural disasters suck. Last time we had a major power cut I took the opportunity to paint my nails, because I knew that I wouldn’t be doing any nail ruining cooking jobs anytime soon!

    • Nicole
      August 29, 2011 at 10:28 PM

      Hi, Theresa,
      Thanks so much for your concern! And I even have power back tonight. Things are lookin’ up! I figure I lost power for more than one day because I didn’t appreciate it properly. I promise to appreciate it. I promise! I can’t imagine getting used to earthquakes, but I guess you do. We even had an earthquake (that I felt, before I knew what it was), too, this past week. Big goings on in the northeastern U.S.
      So smart to preemptively do your nails. I don’t have that sort of presence of mind in a blackout. I seize the opportunity to whine incessantly. No time to do nails with all that whining. :)
      xoxo Nicole

    • Peggy
      August 29, 2011 at 10:55 PM

      We love you anyway!

    • Nicole
      August 29, 2011 at 11:41 PM

      Thanks Peggy! :)

  • Peggy
    August 29, 2011 at 3:29 PM

    This reminds me of the Mexican cornbread I used to make! I used to add grated chedder cheese to mine! Hum!?! Thanks!!! I’ll be making this recipe for our next bbq get together!

    • Nicole
      August 29, 2011 at 3:34 PM

      Hi, Peggy,
      Now why hadn’t I thought of that? This would be amazing with grated cheese tucked in there – or even just sprinkled on the top for the last few minutes of baking. Excellent with BBQ! Some pulled pork, maybe, a side of cole slaw. Follow it up with some warm pie a la mode. I’ll bring my fork!
      xoxo Nicole

    • Peggy
      August 29, 2011 at 7:01 PM

      LOL…I’ll let you know where & when…

  • August 29, 2011 at 1:53 PM

    Sometimes I put fresh corn into my cornbread….nomfest!!!! These remind me of that…I’ve GOT to go out and get some ricotta… Must. Try. This. Recipe!!!

  • Susan
    August 29, 2011 at 1:49 PM

    Where did you find the cute muffin cups???

    • Nicole
      August 29, 2011 at 1:52 PM

      Hi, Susan,
      They’re so cute, right? I got those cups, and all kinds of other darling baking things (like paper straws and sweet vintage style bottles) at Bake It Pretty. http://bakeitpretty.com/ Love that little piece of the Internet. Those cups are actually intended for serving, but you can bake in them as well. They make awesome popovers, too. I’m developing some popover variations, and I’ll be sure to snap some photos in those cups to show you.
      xoxo Nicole

  • Shalini Lynch
    August 29, 2011 at 1:25 PM

    Can masa harina be substituted for cornmeal in an equivalent quantity? or how can this substitution be made? lately my kids have been boycotting the grainy texture of cornmeal.

    • Nicole
      August 29, 2011 at 1:46 PM

      Hi, Shalini,
      That’s an interesting question. Instead of coarse cornmeal, rather than using masa, I would try substituting regular fine grain corn flour. Masa is corn flour, but precooked, and it does behave differently. As a more distinct alternative, you could use 2 cups of all-purpose gluten-free flour rather than 1 cup flour, 1 cup cornmeal. They won’t taste so corny, though.
      Let me know how it goes. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • PegLeg
    August 29, 2011 at 9:24 AM

    I’d been wondering how to adapt my favorite corn pudding/casserole recipe and–poof–there’s your new recipe! The one I used to make used a box of Jiffy corn muffin mix, so I think this one–with the sugary sweetness–will be perfect. I’ll give this a try in a couple of weeks at a family get-together. I think I’ll probably try it in a casserole dish and bake a little longer. Have you tried freezing the muffins? I can’t remember if my old recipe froze well–there were usually not leftovers to try it out, but it’d be great to have these muffins frozen to pull out a few at a time. Thanks for the recipe! Oh, and don’t worry about responding until you get your power back and things are back to normal for you . . . . Good luck!

    • Nicole
      August 29, 2011 at 1:50 PM

      Hi, Peggy,
      I miss Jiffy corn muffin mix. That stuff is good. I did make a batch in a souffle dish, and it came out really well. I baked it at 350 degrees, for about twice as long. I find that I have more luck converting a muffin recipe into a larger form when I lower the temperature and increase the baking time. That way, you know it won’t dry out, but will cook through. I haven’t frozen them, but I’m certain they would freeze really well. I would thaw them for a few seconds in the microwave (or about an hour in the refrigerator), and then finish them off in the toaster oven. Yum.
      I still have no power. I’m so lost without power. It appears I’m a power junkie. Right now I’m in the local library, mooching their power and their wifi. I prefer it to Starbuck’s. :)
      Let me know how the recipe modifications go, would you? It’s always helpful to know what readers did and how it turned out. :)
      Think good power thoughts for me, would you?
      xoxo Nicole

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