Cornbread mix is a convenient way to make the side dish at home.
In the rare cases I make cornbread at home, I usually follow a simple recipe, but there are plenty of prepackaged options.
From organic to restaurant-style to stone ground, it’s hard to know which mix is the best.
So I tried cornbread mixes from Bob’s Red Mill, Marie Callender’s, Jiffy, and Simple Truth Organic to find out.
The Bob’s Red Mill mix is made with stone-ground ingredients.
The Bob’s Red Mill cornbread mix was the most expensive at $5.99, but it looked promising.
The label says it’s made with stone-ground ingredients, like whole-grain cornmeal and whole-wheat flour.
The recipe doesn’t call for the entire bag.
I simply combined some of the mix with water, oil, and an egg.
This was the only mix I tried that didn’t call for the entire package, however, it didn’t have enough for me to make two full batches, either.
I put the tray in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for exactly 30 minutes.
It had an earthy flavor and needed butter.
Instead of coming out yellow or golden, this cornbread had a pale, brownish color. But the batter rose well in the oven, and the final result looked fluffy.
Unfortunately, the texture was a little too dry for me. A thick smear of butter could probably make it softer and moister.
The flavor was OK — it was earthy and not very sweet.
Marie Callender’s cornbread mix just calls for water.
Marie Callender’s “just add water” mix seemed wonderfully convenient.
The bag cost $3.79.
It was the easiest of the four to make.
I opened the package, dumped it in a bowl, and added cool water before combining the ingredients with a whisk. I then popped the mix into the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
The package said it would take 30 to 35 minutes to bake, but after half an hour, the center was still very wobbly.
I inserted a toothpick after 40 minutes and it came out clean.
Marie Callender’s cornbread had a good flavor and decent texture.
I had pretty low expectations for a “just add water” mix but was pleasantly surprised.
It had a deep, golden color on the top and sides. And when I cut a slice, it seemed denser and more crumbly than the option from Bob’s Red Mill.
Although the texture was dense, it had a nice amount of moisture.
It was slightly sweet but mostly sported a strong corn flavor.
Jiffy is a well-known brand I ate as a kid.
At my store, there were both classic and vegetarian Jiffy mixes. As a vegetarian, I was slightly confused since none of the other options I tried had ingredients that would be an issue for me.
Turns out, the classic mix contains lard while the vegetarian one uses vegetable shortening.
I opted for the vegetarian mix, and both boxes only cost $0.65.
It had a great flavor and texture.
The cooked cornbread was light yellow with darker, golden-brown edges.
Although the batter didn’t fill the pan very well, it rose a decent amount in the oven. The Jiffy cornbread pieces were still on the smaller side, but their flavor and texture made up for the size.
This option had a sweet corn flavor, but it wasn’t too sugary. Plus it was moist and held together well with a light, spongy texture.
It didn’t even need any extra butter or toppings to make it better — it was delicious all on its own.
The mix baked in a strange way.
This cornbread required an egg, oil, and milk. I baked the mixture at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 27 minutes, even though the package suggested 22 to 24 minutes.
The top center got dark brown in the oven, even more so than the edges or bottom of the cornbread.
Additionally, the batter rose a lot while baking.
The cheapest cornbread mix was my favorite.
I liked most of these cornbreads, but I’ll mostly stick to Jiffy’s vegetarian mix going forward.
It’s incredibly affordable, plus I thought it had the best texture and a good balance of corn flavor and sweetness.
I’d make Simple Truth Organic or Marie Callender’s mixes again but probably skip the Bob’s Red Mill cornbread. Although the flavor was fine, I didn’t love the texture, and it was the most expensive package.