Our Test Kitchen Found the Best Cornbread Mix for Every Baker

Updated: May 04, 2024

There's one big name in cornbread, but do you really know which brand makes the best cornbread mix? Our Test Kitchen sampled nine options to find out.

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Test Kitchen Preferred The Best Corn Bread MixTaste of Home

When it comes to simple sides for hearty meals—think chili, barbecue or anything with a tasty gravy—cornbread is a go-to guaranteed to please. It’s the perfect vehicle for soaking up tasty leave-behinds like homemade barbecue sauce or that last spoonful of chicken chili.

But let’s get real: After spending all afternoon making pulled pork, you don’t really want another involved recipe. That’s when you reach for a box mix.

But are you really using the best cornbread mix out there? After all, you want your sides to be just as tasty as the main event (even if the sides are made with shortcut ingredients).

How We Found the Best Cornbread Mix

To find the very best cornbread mix on the market, our staffers shopped for the most popular cornbread brands and prepped them in our Test Kitchen. Each pan of cornbread was made according to the packages’ directions and tested blindly. Every tester kept these qualities in mind:

  • Flavor: Most importantly, how does the cornbread taste? Can you detect the flavor from the cornmeal? Are there any other flavors present like honey or citrus (some mixes have extras added)?
  • Texture: What’s the texture of the bread like? Is it fluffy? Dense? Moist? Cornbreads have a tendency to be a bit gritty (that’s just the cornmeal—not a bad thing), but is the bread unpleasantly textured?
  • Appearance: How does the cornbread look? Is it golden? Is it too pale?

Also, check this gluten free cornbread recipe which is simplest of all!

Our Test Kitchen-Preferred Cornbread Mixes

Test Kitchen Preferred The Best Cornbread L 01Taste of Home

After sampling 10 brands, our experts found four options that deserve to be called Test Kitchen-Preferred.

Best Classic Cornbread Mix: Fleischmann’s Simply Homemade Cornbread Baking Mix

Fleishmann'sTaste of Home

Craving an old-fashioned cornbread but don’t have the time to make a batch from scratch? Snag a box of Fleischmann’s Simply Homemade Cornbread Baking Mix instead.

This golden yellow pan of cornbread had the perfect level of moisture and great flavor. Yes, there were some sweet notes but they were balanced out with a touch of salt and nuttiness from the cornmeal. This mix also delivered the most on corn flavor which is, of course, the whole point of cornbread!

If you had to, our Test Kitchen thinks you could get away with calling this homemade on your dinner table. But feel free to share your find with friends! Everyone will want to know what the best cornbread mix is.

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Best Sweet Cornbread Mix: Krusteaz Honey Cornbread & Muffin Mix

KrusteazTaste of Home

Sometimes you’re craving a cornbread mix with a touch of sweetness. After all, so many of our favorite cornbread toppings are sweet like honey or orange butter. For these accouterments, you want a sweet cornbread mix. That’d be Krusteaz Honey Cornbread Mix in the eyes of our Test Kitchen.

This cornbread was pale yellow when baked with golden brown edges. Slicing into the pan, our pros found that the bread was tall and light. It had a just-right cornbread texture—some bite but not grainy. Biting into this bread, our team got notes of honey and even a touch of orange on top of a mild corn flavor.

Overall, this bread had the right texture, the right level of moisture and just a bit of sweetness that we often crave from this kind of quick bread.

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Best Gluten-Free Cornbread Mix: King Arthur Baking Company Gluten Free Classic Cornbread & Muffin Mix

King ArthurTaste of Home

How do you know when a gluten-free mix is good? When most testers can’t even tell it’s gluten-free. That was the case with King Arthur Baking Company Gluten Free Classic Cornbread Mix.

The pan of King Arthur Baking Company cornbread baked up nice and tall with a toasty gold crust on top; it looked absolutely tasty.

Inside the bread was airy with authentic corn flavor. This option had the right texture, too—no need to slather with butter to combat a dry bread. This cornbread was equally well with chili as it was with just a drizzle of honey.

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The Best Cornbread Mix to Stir into Recipes: Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix

JiffyTaste of Home

Every baker in need of a quick fix cornbread knows Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix.

This cornbread mix is a staple in pantries for good reason. Our Test Kitchen team found this cornbread mix to be simple and satisfying. It bakes up golden yellow with that just-right cornmeal aroma. Right out of the oven, this is a treat to be savored with honey.

But where our Test Kitchen really found Jiffy to shine was as an ingredient. That’s right: There are all sorts of recipes with Jiffy mix in the ingredient list. When combined with some extras you can make a tasty cornbread salad, corn dogs or even a potpie with a fluffy crust.

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How to Upgrade Any Cornbread

The mixes our Test Kitchen tested were pretty darn good on their own or slathered in butter, but there are lots of ways to doctor up a box mix. Here are some of the best ways to add your own twist to these packaged products:

  • Use buttermilk: If the box calls for milk, you can always substitute buttermilk. This ingredient adds extra flavor and makes bakes more tender.
  • Add spice: Want to add some heat to your batch of cornbread? Stir in chopped jalapenos or a dash of chili powder.
  • Stir in cheese: A handful of shredded cheese stirred into the batter is always welcome with savory cornbread.
  • Use fresh corn: You can add a little more texture and flavor to your bread by adding fresh corn from the cob into your mix.

Use these tips when making homemade cornbread, too!

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