Masa de Harina Sweet Cornbread

Masa de Harina Sweet Corn Bread recipe, Corn bread recipe with masa de harina, Sweet yellow corn bread recipe

Masa de Harina Sweet Corn Bread

This isn’t any ol’ ordinary cornbread. It’s light as air, slightly sweet,  a tad yellow, and the answer to a challenge. Well, not a challenge in the conventional sense, but a challenge to me nonetheless. I know someone (who shall remain nameless) who told me he made cornbread using the boxed Jiffy brand. While not horrified, exactly, I decided to come up with a very simple, sweet yellow cornbread that would wean him from the box. And this is it.  

Quick breads (or breads using another leavening agent beside yeast) are just the most wonderful things. Using the “stirring method” – meaning no mixer required – makes them so simple to whip up in a…well…in a jiffy. Hmmm…I’m a little slow…but it just dawned on me where that brand name may have originated. Go figure.

Anyway, I decided to try to replicate the cake-like texture of that brand. So, it dawned on me, that when baking cakes, cake flour is very fine. This is what got me to thinkin’ about using Masa de harina.

Masa de harina is a white corn powder that is made with finely ground hominy. So, instead of just ground corn, there is another process entirely that takes place to make the masa. In order to make hominy from white corn, the corn kernels are first dried, then soaked and cooked in a solution of slaked lime. That’s what puffs up the corn kernels for hominy. Like this photo I nabbed from the interwebs at Cook’s Thesaurus:



Then, the hominy is ground into a really, really fine powder-like flour: Masa de harina, which is (round robin here) very much like the consistency of cake flour. So, that’s why I used it for this cornbread. I added some yellow cornmeal and some all-purpose flour, along with baking powder and salt for leavening…pretty standard. Then, for my liquids and fat I used half and half, sour cream and butter..can you say, RICH? The eggs, and the fact that you don’t over-mix this batter, give it a light fluffy texture.

I want some. Now. I hope you’ll try it too.


5.0 from 4 reviews
Masa de Harina Sweet Cornbread
Sweet cornbread with a texture that is just unbelievably light. The use of masa de harina (a very fine white corn powder), mixed with yellow corn meal completely changes both the flavor and texture of typical pan cornbread.
Recipe type: Quick Bread
  • 1 cup masa harina
  • ½ cup yellow cornmeal
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1½ cups half and half (you could use milk) it may require a titch more if the batter seems dry.
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Place masa, yellow cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar and salt together in a large bowl and stir to combine.
  3. Whisk half and half (or milk), sour cream, eggs and 4 tablespoons butter together in a small bowl.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients.
  5. With a wooden spoon, stir to combine. Do not over-mix.
  6. Spray or grease the inside of a 9" cast iron skillet.
  7. Spoon batter into skillet and smooth top.
  8. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the edges are browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  9. Once removed from the oven, drizzle about a tablespoon melted butter on the top (optional).
  10. Cool in pan or on a rack slightly before serving.
  11. Serve warm.



About P ~ The Saucy Southerner

I started cooking when I was ten years old. For me, the process of cooking, from inception of a dish, to the execution, to the washing of the pots is sheer delight. I am now retired from a business I still own, in partnership with my husband. I used to work six days a week and still cook every night. Now, I'm gardening, still cooking, always having fun and hoping to share my joy with you. Thank you for reading...and commenting! P~
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18 Responses to Masa de Harina Sweet Cornbread

  1. Laura says:

    Such a delicious recipe! I will be sharing this with everyone I know!

  2. Amy says:

    I’ve been using this recipe for the past couple of years for thanksgiving and this year I’m getting requests for it… “Bring the cornbread!! Yours is the best!” haha thanks for sharing 🙂 🙂 🙂

  3. Pat says:

    Can I bake this in a 9in. square pan?

  4. Johanna says:

    Can I incorporate fresh jalapeños into this recipe? If so, how much do you recommend?

  5. Gary Gathright says:

    Mother wanted cornbread and I only had a half cup of cornmeal but a bag of masa harina. I came across your recipe and it is wonderful! The recipe worked for me as written.

  6. SandyE says:

    could you use buttermilk? what substitutions would I use?

  7. PhaserCats says:

    I haven’t tried this recipe but, lacking regular cornmeal, I did try a Martha S. cornbread recipe substituting the cornmeal for masa and just adding more milk since the masa is more absorbant. It was the moistest, fluffiest and most flavorful plain cornbread I’ve ever had. It is cake-like. Such a good idea!

  8. Kristen says:

    Can you make this in muffin tins?? Trying to find a way for husband to take this with him to work…

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