I Tried 8 Cornbread Mixes and This Was the Best

eight brands of cornbread

Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

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eight brands of cornbread
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

The King of the Corn

Throwing a backyard BBQ? Worried about what to bring to a potluck? Got some chili in the crockpot? There are hundreds of reasons you might want to grab a box of quick and easy cornbread mix, but when you look at the shelves, your options are many. Which brand of cornbread mix is best?

For a cornbread taste test, I hit my local grocery store and grabbed every brand I could find, and because I’m a Trader Joe’s fanatic, I needed to throw them in the mix, too (no more baking puns from here on out, I promise). 

Here are eight popular boxed cornbread mix brands, ranked based on taste and ease of baking.

Prices and availability are subject to change.

Trader Joe's Cornbread Mix
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

Best: Trader Joe's Cornbread Mix

Available in store

I’m not sure how this is possible, but Trader Joe’s makes the only cornbread mix I tried with actual corn in it. This catapults it ahead of the competition, but there’s still no outrunning the importance of good flavor. This is sweet, rich, earthy, and soulful in the best way. 

I do have a disclaimer, though. The recipe calls for oil instead of butter, but I only have one very fancy-shmancy olive oil that I didn’t feel like using. Maybe I juiced it up to its full potential here, who knows. The next time I make cornbread, I’m heading to Joe’s.

Related: The Most Popular Items at Trader Joe's

Krusteaz Honey Cornbread and Muffin Mix
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2. Krusteaz Honey Cornbread and Muffin Mix

$2.34 at Walmart

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Despite the fact that Krusteaz may be the least appetizing word you could attach to a food product, this cornbread is absolutely slammin’, if I may borrow a phrase from the Guy Fieri playbook. It’s very sweet like honey, and almost feels sticky, like you’ve rubbed some honey butter on it. 

30 minutes is the perfect bake time too, and mine came out with a gorgeous golden crust. I’ve got no notes. If you served this to me in a restaurant, I wouldn’t think twice that it came from a mix. 

Related: 7 Best Bottles of Hot Honey To Spice Up Your Meal

Simply Homemade Cornbread Baking Mix
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3. Fleischmann's Simply Homemade Cornbread Baking Mix

$1.93 at Walmart

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Fleishmann’s is very good. It’s not great, but it’s far from bad. The quality feels high, and maybe it’s just because I tasted it back-to-back with so many honey-flavored varieties, but it never quite reaches the threshold of greatness. If all the honeyed cornbread mixes are too sweet for you and you want a classic boxed mix of considerable quality, grab this.

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Zatarain's Honey Butter Cornbread Mix
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4. Zatarain's Honey Butter Cornbread Mix

$2.46 at Walmart

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Even though I baked my Zatarain’s longer than was said on the box, it still came out a little bit underdone for my taste. I like a nice golden crust across the top and this didn’t have it. I’m overall just a little bit let down, especially when compared to the sweet beauty of Krusteaz. This wasn’t nearly as reminiscent of honey butter as I would have liked. What a bummer.

Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
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5. Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix

$0.62 at Walmart

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For the price, this is unbeatable. What else can compete with 60 cents a box? Jiffy tastes good; fine, even. It’s got the most grit to it, which I happen to like. If I was eating some soul food for lunch, I’d want a sturdy, team-player cornbread like this. I can see why Jiffy is America’s favorite.

Related: From Cob to Casserole: The Best Corn Recipes for Summer

Dolly Parton's Sweet Cornbread & Muffin Mix
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6. Dolly Parton's Sweet Cornbread and Muffin Mix

$2.87 at Walmart

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I take no pleasure in this cornbread’s mediocrity. In fact, it breaks my heart that Dolly is on the lower side of the list, but it is what it is. I refuse to acknowledge her presence in this product, and from this point forward I will solely be blaming Duncan Hines.

Duncan Hines really blew it this time, am I right? My cornbread came out light and fluffy, but ultimately, it was boring. There’s so much more sweet and savory flavor in the others I tried. Tough stuff, Duncan.

See how Dolly's brownie mix fared in our taste test of the best boxed brownie mixes.

Martha White Gluten-Free Sweet Yellow Cornbread and Muffin Mix
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7. Martha White Gluten-Free Sweet Yellow Cornbread and Muffin Mix

Available from Instacart

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There’s a funk to this semi-sweet cornbread that I can’t explain. It’s not corn flavor. It’s something… else. I don’t know what’s going on in this gluten-free situation, but it’s doing nobody any favors. I’ve eaten plenty of delicious gluten-free baked goods in my life, and none of us need to settle for this nonsense.

Martha White Cotton Country Cornbread
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8. Martha White Cotton Country Cornbread

$6.55 at Walmart

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Martha White has an overwhelming amount of cornbread options, and many of them require nothing more than water. That’s the case here, and right off the bat, it gives me an uncomfortable feeling. What have they figured out that nobody else has? Before I even put it in the oven, I felt like this mix would be lacking flavor.

Taking this out of the oven is a jump scare. The thing is ghostly white. The flavor matches. Words like “dry” or “bland” or “tasteless” don’t do it justice. It just feels like it’s made incorrectly, and since I’m the one that made it, I can confirm this is true. Cornbread needs milk, eggs, and butter, people.