Cornbread Cookies

close up of the top of a yellow cornmeal cookie

Who knew transforming buttered, honey-drizzled cornbread into a soft cookie could be so, so good? Well, turns out it is absolutely delicious. These cornbread cookies began with my classic, snickerdoodle-like base, then got upgraded with the fun, tasty additions of honey and cornmeal.

They’re soft and gooey on the inside and slightly crunchy and chewy on the edges. And they taste JUST like a warm piece of cornbread smothered in butter and drizzled with honey.

stack of four yellow cornmeal cookies on a piece of brown parchment paper with top cookie bitten into

Ingredients

ingredients for cookie recipe laid out in clear bowls on a white marble countertop and labeled

Butter: Salted butter is usually what I use anyway, but it’s definitely is the way to go with this recipe. Without having to add more table salt, it adds a nice contrast to the sweetness of the honey and sugar. I think that the honey and cornmeal really help bring out the savory, buttery flavor in these cookies.

Sugar: In classic, Southern cornbread there is minimal sugar added as it is more of a savory type. These cookies take on more of a Midwest style, sweet, cakey cornbread taste (that I grew up with).

Honey: The honey adds such a wonderful sweetness to these cookies. When you take the first bite of one of these cookies, you’ll get that delicious sweet and savory flavor combination of honey, butter, and cornbread.

Egg yolks: I chose to use egg yolks in this recipe to add to the richness and beautiful yellow color in the cookies. I also didn’t want to use the egg white as the watery consistency would only make the cookies flatter, spread out more, and less tender. It works so well!

Vanilla: Vanilla extract is an essential ingredient in cookies. It really complements the honey and butter. Try to use 100% pure extract if you can, but if you only have imitation, that works just fine.

Bread flour: I like to use bread flour in my cookie recipes because it helps make them more dense and thick due to bread flour’s higher protein content. Over the years of testing cookie recipes, I’ve found the perfect dough consistency. Due to the more liquid, sticky consistency of the dough from the honey, I had to add in more flour than for my classic cookie recipes.

Cornmeal: For what seems like a small amount of cornmeal, these cookies have a great mix of cornbread + gooey cookie texture. The taste is the perfect balance of savory and sweet.

Baking soda & baking powder: Classic leavening agents–nothing unusual here :)

Salt: Since these cookies are extra sweet from the honey, it was important to balance that out with salty and savory flavor, too. The butter adds some salt, but they needed just a touch more, so I added some table salt.

jar of honey with cornbread cookies laid arranged on a baking sheet

How to Make Cornbread Cookies

  1. Cream the butter and sugars. Mix the butter, sugar, and honey until creamed, usually about two to three minutes.
  2. Add the egg yolk and vanilla until smooth and incorporated.
  3. Mix in the flour and cornmeal. The baking soda, baking powder, and salt will also go in at this point, too. Mix until just combined. It’s okay if there are a few flour streaks still.
  4. Form the dough balls and roll in sugar. Divide the dough into ten even balls (I like to use a large cookie/ice cream scoop). Roll each between your palms to smooth out the dough balls, then roll them in a bowl with the extra granulated sugar.
  5. Let chill. Set the dough balls on a parchment lined small baking sheet and set in the freezer for at least two hours (although the longer the better!). Let them chill overnight if possible.
  6. Bake. Bake at 350˚F for 15 minutes. The cookies will just begin to brown lightly around the edges. Let them cool for at least 15-20 minutes before enjoying.
collage of photos that show the steps in making the cookie recipe

Notes & Tips

Tips for Success

For the full break-down of my tips for cookie success, refer to my Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cookie recipe in the “Notes & Tips” section. Here’s a quick explanation of a few of my favorite tips:

  • Keep the butter and dough cool. Keeping the dough and butter cool throughout the entire process will help prevent the cooking from spreading once they hit the oven. Try to start with cool butter and keep the dough making process moving as quickly as possible so that the butter has less of a chance to melt or get too warm.
  • Chill the dough for at least two hours. Don’t skip on this! I know it can be so tempting to get those cookies in the oven, but I promise you that chilling for at least two hours (more if possible) will help improve the texture, taste, and thickness of the cookies.
  • Do not over bake the cookies. Don’t second guess yourself. Pull these cookies out at the 15 minute mark (or whenever they JUST begin to brown lightly around the edges). This will give you cookies with delicious, crispy, chewy edges and outsides and soft, tender insides.
cornbread cookie cut in half and stacked upon itself resting on other cookies

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I substitute all purpose flour?

Yes, you can substitute the bread flour for all purpose flour, however, the texture of your cookies may be slightly different. Bread flour has more protein (gluten), so it helps create a thick, dense, chewy cookie. Cookies made with all purpose flour will be a bit lighter and more tender. They will still taste delicious, though.

Do I have to chill the dough?

I am a firm believer in the power of chilling cookie dough. In short, chilling cookie dough helps produce a cookie that is thicker (doesn’t spread as much), more flavorful, and better in texture. Since the bread flour has a higher protein content, it absorbs more liquid. So, giving the flour time to soak in the liquid ingredients in the cookies helps them stay intact during baking. Additionally, chilling the dough allows the butter to cool completely, so that when the dough is set in the oven, the butter doesn’t immediately melt, causing the cookies to spread thin.

Can I freeze the cookie dough to bake days or weeks later?

Yes! This is one of my favorite things to do. I love to have cookie dough on hand in my freezer at all times so that when I’m in need of a few quick cookies for company or even just a late-night craving, I don’t have to go to all the work of making the dough. Just simply pop them in the oven to bake, let them cool, and enjoy.

one cornbread cookie in the middle with four others around the outside

Storage

These cornbread cookies can be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to four days before they start to dry out. You can also keep these cookies in the freezer in an air-tight container and thaw at room temperature for about a half hour. Alternatively, you can keep the dough balls in the freezer for up to three months until ready to bake.

a cookie with bite out of it leaning up on two other stacked cookies and jar of honey in background

Other Recipes You Might Like

Cornbread Cookies

These cornbread cookies taste JUST like a warm piece of cornbread smothered in butter and drizzled with honey. They're thick, chewy, crispy around the edges, and soft in the middle. Completely irresistible!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Chill Time2 hours
Total Time2 hours 25 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cornbread cookies, gourmet cookies, honey butter
Servings: 10 large cookies
Author: Kate Reeder

Ingredients

  • ½ cup salted butter cold, cubed
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • cup honey
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 ½ cup bread flour
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • cup granulated sugar for rolling

Instructions

  • Add cold, cubed butter to a large, microwave-safe mixing bowl and microwave in 10 second increments until butter is softened, but still slightly cool to the touch (about 30-45 seconds total).
  • Add the honey and ½ cup sugar. Mix (with a hand mixer or stand mixer) on medium speed until creamed together, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Mix in the egg yolks and vanilla on low speed until incorporated. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl with a spatula.
  • Sprinkle the flour evenly over top the wet ingredients, as well as the cornmeal, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix on low speed until just incorporated.
  • Line a small baking sheet or plate with parchment paper.
  • Fill a small cereal- sized bowl with the remaining ⅓ cup sugar.
  • Using a large cookie or ice cream scoop, make about 10 even dough balls. Roll each dough ball gently between the palms of your hands to make it smooth and round, then toss it in the granulated sugar to coat the whole dough ball.
  • Set the dough balls on the parchment lined baking sheet or plate and transfer to the freezer to chill for at least two hours or overnight if possible.
  • Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line two full-size baking sheets with parchment paper and arrange five dough balls per sheet.
  • Bake both sheets (at the same time) for 15 minutes, or until the cookies just begin to brown around the edges.
  • Let cool slightly before digging in. Enjoy!

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6 Comments

    1. I think they keep well at room temperature for up to four days. To make them last even longer, you can stick them in the freezer and just thaw at room temperature for a few minutes when ready to eat. However, my favorite thing to do is to only bake as many as I want at the time and keep the rest of the dough balls in the freezer to pull out and bake later. Hope you love them!

  1. Hi! The ingredients say 1/2 cup sugar for the dough, but step 2 says 1/3 cup – is that a mistake? Isn’t the 1/3 cup for rolling?

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