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Bacon and Cherry Cornbread Muffins (and Competition)

August 20, 2014

These muffins are inspired by three things:

1. The idea of the all-american, deep south breakfast with cornbread, maple syrup and bacon. I’ve never been to the deep south but I have witnessed people having icecream for breakfast in new York state.

2. Nigella’s cherry-coke baked ham recipe that rears its sugary head every Christmas.

3. All the sweet bacon products doing the round at the moment like bacon jam, bacon brittle, bacon fudge etc.

glace cherry cornbread brunch

Muffin beats these warm out of the oven

Cornbread is a revelation. It’s so easy to make and tastes so good. It can be a willing recipient for cheese, chillies and all manner of other options. Plain it goes with chili con carne really well, or a spicy stew. These beauties though, with their pig and fruit combo make for an amazing brunch product.

Also, the French Glacé Cherry cheerleaders have given me a branded timer, kitchen scale, apron and samples of French Glacé Cherries to give away. I’ll tell you how at the end.

brunch cornbread bacon muffin

Hot Buttered Bliss

Bacon and Cherry Cornbread Muffins

Note: most large supermarkets now have world food sections. I would suggest getting your cornmeal from the Caribbean bit there rather than buying polenta. It’s much cheaper.

Makes 6 + 1 for testing

105g fine cornmeal (polenta)
50g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
small pinch bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp sunflower oil
175g natural yoghurt (I used 0% but low fat or full is fine)
50ml milk (I used skimmed but again, any is fine)
1 egg

50g natural French glacé cherries, chopped into at least quarters
7 whole glace cherries for decorating
8 rashers of smokey streaked bacon

Preheat oven to 230c

Grease your muffin tin. Take a rasher of bacon and wrap it around the edge of each muffin hole to create a “case” with no bottom.

Put the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, bicarb, salt and sugar in a bowl.
In a jug mix the yoghurt and milk, then add the egg, oil and cherries and beat gently to combine.
Add the liquid to the dry mix and stir well until thoroughly mixed.
Pour or spoon the mixture into each muffin hole. It won’t rise quite as much as cake, but it will still grow.

Take the final bacon rasher and divide along the length to create strips (using the grain of the meat). Cut thumb length pieces and wrap one around each cherry. Place them on top of the muffins.

Bake for 15mins.

I took the photos at this point. The bacon was cooked BUT a bit soft for my preference.  I reheated some the next day out of the muffin tin and the bacon crisped up nicely around the edges, so I suggest the following:

Wait for the muffins to cool a little, place a baking tray over the top and flip them onto it so that they are bottom up. Pop them back into the oven for 10mins at 180c.

Serve either on their own with strong coffee, or buttered, or we had them with poached eggs.

To win the Glacé Cherry branded items do one or both of the following:

1. Tweet “I want to win some french glace cherries so I can make these cornbread muffins from @gillbla #glacecherrycomp”

2. Leave a comment below telling me what your favourite cherry based memory is, be it cherry coloured or cherry flavoured. 


I was sent the cherries and given the prize by Sopexa so that I could play around and come up with a new and tasty dish. They are championing French Glace Cherries. If you would like to see another idea, head over to The More Than Occasional Baker to see her cherry and coconut bundt cake.

The prize is only available to UK entrants. Your name will be given to spoexa who will be responsible for sending the prize. Entries close at midnight on 31st August. Please makes sure you fill out your details when commenting so that I can contact you. If I am unable to contact you within 48hrs I will try the next person. I will use a random number generator to choose the winner. 

39 Comments leave one →
  1. Audrey Patterson permalink
    August 20, 2014 11:53 pm

    My favourite cherry memory is of a Northern Irish delight called Fifteens, made with 15 crushed digestive biscuits, 15 marshmallows, 15 glace cherries and condensed milk, all mixed together and rolled in coconut. It was always such a treat in our house…licking the condensed milk spoon, beating the living daylights out of the biscuits to crush them, chopping the sticky cherries and getting to lick your fingers afterwards, rolling the the mix in coconut, and the first delicious slice straight from the fridge…every last bit a joy. I don’t live in Northern Ireland any more, but Fifteens are a tradition that has stuck with me across the miles and down the years.

  2. August 21, 2014 7:29 am

    My favourite cherry related moment was as a child sneaking glace cherries out of my mother’s baking cupboard to consume as a midnight snack! (I was caught, obviously)

  3. August 21, 2014 11:43 am

    This is a bit sad, but my Mum randomly bought cherries for after lunch the other week whilst I visited her, whilst I was there I went for a run, I came back and starting snacking on cherries whilst still sweaty and horrible. I don’t think cherries have ever tasted sweeter and the were the perfect post run snack. I think the taste of those cherries at that moment, in the sunshine, full of post run endorphins will stay with me for a long time!

  4. August 22, 2014 3:28 pm

    When my children were small I took them for a day at a theme park with a friend and her children. I’d taken along a bag of cherries for a treat, and when I picked them out of my bag the two-year-old shouted “Cherries!” so loudly that everyone in the park must have heard – even the ducks came to see what was going on. Quite a crowd collected – just to watch us munching cherries.

    • August 22, 2014 9:51 pm

      You clearly started the children’s healthy snacking campaign before it was trendy – and with more success.

  5. August 22, 2014 3:43 pm

    I have tweeted thank you:

  6. eric wall @prizes247 permalink
    August 22, 2014 3:44 pm

    My best Cherry moment is one from childhood memory. We have a large all week market in the city I live and way back when nearly all food was still seasonal (no year round strawberries then) cherry season meant school holidays and a Saturday visit to the market with my dad to buy cherry’s for my mum. I loved them straight out the bag or in one of my mums pies or puddings. The season lasted long enough to see us go back to school but even better long enough to come home to a slice of cherry pie before sitting down to homework 🙂

    • August 22, 2014 9:51 pm

      Oh gosh, I want to live there. Sounds lovely. My Nanna made the BEST cherry pie, but it was using tinned filling. It was her pastry that made it.

    • September 1, 2014 9:05 pm

      Congratulations Eric, you are the winner!

  7. August 22, 2014 3:45 pm

    I know this sounds sill but my first ever My Little Pony was Cherries Jubilee and she had cherries painted on her bottom! My mum used to (and still does) make her own Christmas cake and I always helped her – chopping the cherries into halves on a plate with flour to stop them sticking to my knife and fingers!

  8. August 22, 2014 4:52 pm

    pinching glace cherries when my dad was making the Christmas cake

    • August 22, 2014 9:50 pm

      I may or may not have eaten all the glace cherries out of a mini christmas cake one year when I didn’t fancy the cake and no-one else was going to eat it, but sssshhh let’s not tell anyone.

  9. August 22, 2014 7:24 pm

    Making christmas pudding with my mum and cutting lots of glace cherries in half and sticking them around the edge of a bowl. I still make the same type for my family now!

  10. Lorna Craig permalink
    August 22, 2014 8:27 pm

    My Mum was a great baker and she made the most fantastic Eiffel Towers with glace cherries on top. I’ve tried to make them but they’re just not as good as Mum’s. Ditto her Empire Bicuits, also with glace cherries on top!

    • August 22, 2014 9:49 pm

      What are these eiffel towers you speak of? They sound amazing.

  11. Hazel Rea permalink
    August 22, 2014 9:34 pm

    My favourite cherry memory is of my Mum making us iced buns with a cherry on top. I always ate the cherry first.

  12. Chris Hunt permalink
    August 23, 2014 7:44 am

    We went to New England a few years ago and I saw all the cherry tree orchards. It was amazing. We bought pounds and pounds of them to gorge on. What i thought of as a luxury was ‘ordinary’ there. I loved the peachy coloured Rainier cherries the best.

    • August 23, 2014 8:55 am

      I’ve never seen a cherry orchard, but we went on holiday to Lisbon there and they were selling massive punnets really cheap – came back and they were £2 for a tiny one.
      Sounds like a lovely holiday.

  13. August 23, 2014 12:03 pm

    My grandma had a cherry orchard, and my fave memories are of me climbing high up to pick the cherries. Proper cherries, of our variety, not the sweet ones you get in the supermarkets. They were fab for jams, with cherries swimming in dark ruby syrup. My grandma also used to make a cherry wine, but being not old enough, I wasn’t allowed to taste it.
    I have tweeted as @maximka25

    • August 23, 2014 12:03 pm

      sour, not our, I really should clean the keyboard, some letters get stuck

  14. Karon Sewell permalink
    August 24, 2014 5:34 pm

    I remember as a child always having a brown paper bag full of cherries when we went to the beach at Sandbanks. They were always so juicy when we were hot and even if you dropped one the sand was easy to rub off before you popped it in your mouth. We weren’t allowed to waste any!

    • August 24, 2014 5:40 pm

      I’m running a marathon out through sandbanks soon! I’ll think of cherries 😉

  15. christine shelley permalink
    August 24, 2014 6:03 pm

    My mumused to make lots of cherry cakes, and her cherries never sank

  16. Louise McNicol permalink
    August 25, 2014 8:21 am

    It’s actually quite recent, we went to Stonhenge and walking back to the visitor centre a man was selling them at the roadside. They were the most juicy, tasty cherries I’ve ever had. Perfect on a hot day.

  17. louisemcnicol permalink
    August 25, 2014 8:22 am

    Tweeted as kathderouet.

  18. louisemcnicol permalink
    August 25, 2014 8:25 am

    It was quite recent, walking back from Stonehenge to the visitors centre we bought cherries from a roadside stall. They were the most delicious, juicy cherries I’ve ever tasted. Perfect for a hot day.

  19. August 25, 2014 1:24 pm

    Mom always used to make cakes for Sunday tea and i always liked it when she made coconut pyramids and she used to put a cherry on the top.I always had to leave the cherry top till the last mouthful.When ever i see glace cherries now i always think of my dear mom and those lovely cakes she used to make.

  20. Ruth permalink
    August 27, 2014 8:42 pm

    My favourite cherry memory is definitely eating cherry drops during lessons at school. I haven’t seen them in shops since!

  21. Alison Lovatt permalink
    August 28, 2014 7:22 pm

    I love morello cherry jam. It was a special childhood treat and it still is. I’m now and adult aged 52 and a bit. But also fresh cherries and my speciality for family dinners, my own cherry pie. I love cherries.

  22. Lynne OConnor permalink
    August 29, 2014 1:47 am

    Back in the 70’s my mum always had a jar of maraschino cherries in the drinks cabinet to go with various trendy cocktails of the time. I was always popping into the cupboard to take a couple. She must have noticed as the jars were tiny. I also regularly raided the tub of glace cherries that only seemed to be used to make Christmas cake.

  23. jodie harvey permalink
    August 29, 2014 11:42 pm

    I used to help my mum every year with the homemade christmas cake, i always used to pinch half the cherries that should have gone into the cake 😀 I also remember the individual trifles she would make topped with squirty cream and a cherry 🙂

  24. jodie harvey permalink
    August 29, 2014 11:43 pm

    Following and tweeted too 🙂 –

  25. August 31, 2014 12:13 am

    Getting a cherry flavoured lip balm from Avon from my gran – i felt ever so grown up…oohh and a 1/4 of cherry lips every Sunday from my dad

  26. melanie stirling permalink
    August 31, 2014 12:47 pm

    Cherry pop we used to get from the milkman when I was small.

  27. Annamarie Riddiford permalink
    August 31, 2014 8:23 pm

    I love cherry muffins and scones they are so delicious


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