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Masa Harina Cornbread – Properly Prepared Grain, Sweetened With Honey

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If you love cornbread, just wait until you try this easily digestible, properly prepared version.

I’ve been messing around with this recipe for a few months and it’s finally ready to be released to the world. This is not your standard dry and crumbly cornbread. This cornbread is dense and moist and lightly sweetened. Perfect for breakfast or as a side for your favorite chili.

Slices of masa harina cornbread with text overlay.

Masa harina is the star of this unique recipe. It is a traditional flour made from corn but treated in a way that helps make the nutrients more bioavailable. Masa harina is traditionally eaten in Mexico and Central and South America where it is used to prepare tortillas, tamales, sopes, and more.

Slices of masa harina cornbread on a plate.

The Difference Between Cornmeal and Masa Harina

Cornmeal is just dried corn that has been ground. Masa harina is corn that has been dried and then soaked in lime water (from limestone, lye, or ash), dried again, and then ground. This process is called nixtamalization. According to the 2003 study Nixtamalization, a Mesoamerican technology to process maize at small-scale with great potential for improving the nutritional quality of maize based foods by Carmen Wacher, these extra steps are done in the traditional preparation of maize and help to make the nutrients in corn more available while reducing phytic acid and mycotoxins.

This is why I choose traditionally prepared masa harina cornmeal over conventional cornmeal, polenta, or corn flour.

Other Recipes To Try That Use Masa Harina

Sourdough and Masa Harina Cornmeal Pizza Crust – Made With Fully Fermented Sourdough Starter and Traditionally Soaked Masa Harina

Homemade Sourdough Corn Tortillas – The Best of Both Worlds

Slices of masa harina cornbread with text overlay.

Why Use Sprouted Whole Wheat Flour?

The sprouting process changes the wheat grain from a hard-to-digest, inflammatory food source into one with boosted nutrition. Sprouting wheat increases vitamins B and C along with increasing carotene and neutralizing phytic acid that acts like an anti-nutrient.

A plate of masa harina cornbread just waiting to be slathered in butter and raw honey.

If you are craving a lightly sweetened cornbread made with real food ingredients then this is the recipe for you! This masa harina cornbread is made with properly prepared corn and sprouted wheat and sweetened with just a tad of honey for a perfectly balanced real food cornbread.

Masa Harina Cornbread

Yield: 16
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

This delicious cornbread made with traditionally prepared grains like masa harina and sprouted wheat is sweetened with just a touch of honey. 


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  2. Butter a 9 by 13-inch baking dish.
  3. In a large bowl mix the dry ingredients well with a whisk.
  4. In a separate bowl blend the wet ingredients well. 
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well.
  6. Pour the batter into your prepared baking dish and bake for 50 minutes. The top should be lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread should pull out clean. 
  7. Cool the cornbread completely before serving.

Doug Mascaro

Friday 20th of October 2023

I was wondering whether or not I could just use three cups of buttermilk, instead of two cups of milk and one cup of yogurt

Butter For All

Sunday 5th of November 2023

Hi Doug,

Absolutely! Just adjust with more or less to get the right batter consistency if needed. I bet it will be delicious!


Tuesday 3rd of October 2023

This was really good! I was looking for a cornbread recipe using masa harina and this was perfect. I did cut the honey in half.

Thank you!

Butter For All

Thursday 12th of October 2023

Hi Courtney!

You must be cool since we share the same first name and good food choices! 🥳 Glad you liked it!


Thursday 12th of January 2023

Tried this recipe but swapped in 1 cup of sourdough starter for 1/2 cup of the flour and 1/2 of the milk. Next time I will do more honey, maybe closer to 1/2 cup, to get that cornbread sweetness. This was more savory like regular bread. Also, odd comment, but don't pour hot melted butter onto the eggs! I had all of my liquids in a bowl and poured in the butter, and then discovered many chunks of cooked egg yolks in the batter. Luckily not noticeable in the finished product!

Butter For All

Wednesday 18th of January 2023

Hi Heidi!

Such a great idea to make this sourdough! I need to try it!

Yes, in any recipe, you want to be whisking the eggs vigorously when adding anything hot. This method is called tempering and should be done with a very small amount of hot ingredient at a time. This will slowly bring the temperature of the eggs up without cooking them.

Happy Baking!


Tuesday 24th of November 2020

Hi, do you think we could use sourdough for the rise instead of baking powder? How do you feel about the other chemicals in baking powder?

Butter For All

Saturday 28th of November 2020

Hi again!

Yes, I'm sure you could! You can add a little extra sprouted flour and about 100g of starter. You will have to wait for the batter to start to ferment before baking though, so it won't be as quick as the original recipe. I would probably mix it, and put it into a greased baking dish to rise, once I saw bubbles I would bake (4-6 hours?). I'd love to know if you try it! Please keep me posted!

Best to you!


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