Sunday, November 18, 2012

colonial williamsburg indian corn muffins

When we first moved to Virginia in the early eighties, every summer for years we visited renowned historic Colonial Williamsburg, which was only about 2 hours from our home in Northern Virginia.  My son, Ryan, was only 7 years old when we first started making our yearly summer treks.  Even at  an early age, Ryan was in absolute awe of the enormous history of this colonial area of Williamsburg, that spans over 301 acres, and includes over 88 original 18th-century structures.

At the end of a delightful day of walking all over beautiful Colonial Williamsburg, taking a step back into the 18th-century, we would relax and enjoy dinner at one of the many charming historic taverns, filled with famed Virginia hospitality.

The servers, dressed in period attire, would set a basket of Indian Corn Mini Muffins on our table as soon as we were seated.  The crispy exterior was hot and buttery, and biting into the corn sweetness of the moist interior, was one of our relished courses of the meal, especially Ryan's. :)  Delicious, steaming hot muffins, served straight from the oven, originally baked in a fireplace or over an open fire.

On one of my early memorable visits, I purchased the cookbook published by The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, The Williamsburg Cookbook, containing a traditional array of recipes initially compiled and adapted by Letha Booth.  My copy is now 30 years old, and I cherish it to this day.

Indian Corn Muffins are one of my favored recipes to create from the cookbook, with fond memories of Colonial Williamsburg.  Sitting upon your Thanksgiving table, or alongside a spicy chili or steaming soup - this time of year couldn't be a more perfect occasion to savor them.  Baked in a mini muffin pan, they rise beautifully to look plump and much larger than the mini cup they begin in.

I'm sure you'll delight in these muffins as much as my family has over the years.

Until next time…mangia! xox


Colonial Williamsburg Indian Corn Muffins
Makes 18 - 20 mini muffins


1 cup white cornmeal (I use Indian Head self-rising stone ground white cornmeal) (a little extra for "flouring" the cupcake pan
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter, melted (a little extra for buttering the muffin tins)

Create the Indian Corn Muffins:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Butter and flour (using cornmeal) the mini muffin pans, 1-1/2 inches in diameter cup size.  Shake and move the pan around so the cornmeal adheres to the sides and bottoms; then remove the excess cornmeal by patting the pan upside down.

Sift the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl.

Combine the lightly beaten eggs, milk, and melted butter and add to the dry ingredients, mixing just until blended. Do not over mix.

Spoon batter into the buttered muffin tins, filling each tin completely full.  Bake at 400 degrees F for 18 - 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Do not over bake.

Remove from oven and turn pan upside down so muffins drop out onto your serving piece.  Serve hot from the oven!

Carol's note:
For buttering the tins, I put a pat of butter between my fingers, and smear all over the tins, then use the cornmeal to "flour" the tins.  Don't overdue the butter by leaving chunks, just be sure they are fully greased up. This gives a delicious buttery, crisp taste to the outsides of the muffins.


  1. I can never say no to a warm and buttery muffin! These look perfect for Thanksgiving!

  2. This plate of corn muffins looks so inviting and is the perfect offering to welcome guests or family over the holidays. Thanks for sharing your special recipe;-)

  3. If I were ever to follow my pipe dream of becoming an actress, I would love to be in a period piece set in Colonial America...all because of a childhood visit to Virginia! Such a fascinating era!

    Thanks for sharing this recipe, and it's back story! :) The muffins are lovely!

    1. I love that, Valerie! You should definitely follow your dream!!! Yes, it is such a fascinating era, I can never get enough of reading about it. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  4. They sure ate a lot of great things in those times. Gorgeous muffins Carol, I have such a soft spot for cornmeal in baked things!

    1. Thanks so much, Paula! They were such interesting times! I like cornmeal in baked goods too! It gives them such a great texture!

  5. I visited Colonial Williamsburg with my family several times and loved it. I, too, purchased the cookbook but never was as successful as you are. This is your calling for sure. Follow your dreams. The photos are incredible, as well.

  6. Williamsburg is not far from here and we've been there few times. A great walk back in time and these muffins sounds like the perfect treat when you get back to 21st century

  7. beautiful! i love colonial williamsburg, i'm a history nerd. :) i will definitely try these!

    1. Thank you, Marissa! It truly is filled with so much history! Hope you enjoy the corn muffins...thanks so much for stopping by!!!

  8. What fun memories you made for your children! I'd probably remember the corn muffins most of all :) I'm overdue to make a used to be automatic whenever I cooked chili. I need to try your recipe~

    1. Thanks, Lizzy! I think you'll like them! BTW - LOVE your Orange Rolls! They look amazing!!! :)

  9. Great story AND great lookin' muffins! It's love.

  10. mi piace il tuo blog e le tue delizie!!!!
    nuova follower


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