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How to Make Your Own Box Mixes: Cornbread & Brownies

Updated on May 16, 2014

Mix 1: Cornbread Muffins

Sweet and yummy.  Homemade cornbread muffins are perfect with a bowl of chili!
Sweet and yummy. Homemade cornbread muffins are perfect with a bowl of chili! | Source

Do you make any of your own baking mixes?

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5 vs. 20 Ingredients

I am a fan of Jiffy cornbread mix because of its convenience and inexpensive price. But, what is really in that mix? Do you need extra preservatives in your body? According to the box, the ingredients are as follows:

INGREDIENTS: WHEAT FLOUR, DEGERMINATED YELLOW CORNMEAL, SUGAR, ANIMAL SHORTENING (CONTAINS ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING: LARD, HYDROGENATED LARD, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED LARD), contains less than 2% of each of the following: BAKING SODA, SODIUM ACID PYROPHOSPHATE, MONOCALCIUM PHOSPHATE, SALT, WHEAT STARCH, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, BHT PRESERVATIVE, TOCOPHEROL PRESERVATIVE, CITRIC ACID PRESERVATIVE, BHA PRESERVATIVE, TRICALCIUM PHOSPHATE, THIAMINE MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID, SILICON DIOXIDE.


Whew! That mix has quite a few ingredients! The cornbread muffin mix I make has just 5 ingredients as follows:

INGREDIENTS: CORN MEAL, ALL PURPOSE FLOUR, SUGAR, BAKING POWDER, SALT.

Sigh. That is much simpler. Instead of picking up just one box at the store, however, I will need to pick up the 5 ingredients, measure them, and put them in a bag. Realistically that takes just a few minutes. Those extra minutes up front are worth it when you want cornbread without extra preservatives in a pinch!

Just 5 ingredients and a bag!
Just 5 ingredients and a bag! | Source

To Make Cornbread Mix You'll Need:

  • Resealable baggies
  • Permanent marker
  • Corn meal
  • All purpose flour
  • Sugar
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • 1/2 and 1/4 measuring cups, 1/2 tsp measuring spoons

Homemade corn muffin mix in a bag.
Homemade corn muffin mix in a bag. | Source

Add Cute Labels to Your Mixes

 Couldn't be easier!  Add your custom title and cooking instructions. Customizable for any mix. Perfect for you or for a gift.
Couldn't be easier! Add your custom title and cooking instructions. Customizable for any mix. Perfect for you or for a gift. | Source

Cornbread Muffin Mix Recipe: Makes 6

I keep an index card of the recipe taped inside one of my cupboards. When I use a bag of the mix, I save it and tape it beneath this card. When I'm in the mood to "restock" I simply take down my taped baggies along with the recipe and put an assembly line of bags together to make several bags of mix at once.

Process:

  • Begin by labeling your resealable baggies with the directions to make the muffins:

:: Preheat oven 400 degrees

:: Grease tins

:: Add 1/2 c milk, 1 beaten egg, 2 T melted butter 1/8 tsp vanilla, 2 T honey

:: Bake 13-17 minutes

  • Set up an assembly line (I usually do 3 bags at once). Measure the cornbread mix ingredients in each labeled bag. (Tip: Do not do what I did the first time and measure into a bowl then try to pour into a baggie....that was quite a mess!)

:: 1/2 cup corn meal

:: 1/2 cup all purpose flour

:: 1/4 cup sugar

:: 1 1/2 tsp baking powder

:: 1/2 tsp salt

  • Seal the bag and shake! Store for later.


When you're ready to make your muffins...

Grab the bag, pour ingredients in a bowl, mix, and bake!  Just as easy as a boxed mix.
Grab the bag, pour ingredients in a bowl, mix, and bake! Just as easy as a boxed mix. | Source

Directions on the bag:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Grease tins
  3. Add 1/2 c milk, 1 beaten egg, 2 T melted butter 1/8 tsp vanilla, 2 T honey
  4. Bake 13-17 minutes

Simply take out one of your pre-made mixes and follow the directions on the bag! Just as easy as if you purchased a mix at the store. But you can feel confident knowing exactly what is in yours.

I recommend measuring the milk in a glass pyrex measuring cup, adding the remaining ingredients, then the mix last. It will all fit into the cup and means less dishes to clean!

Bake 400 degrees for 13-17 minutes

Before popping them in the oven.
Before popping them in the oven. | Source

Love cornbread? Learn about its history:

I'm fascinated by history! Every time I learn something new it helps me to appreciate my life today. Can you imagine baking your bread over a fire? The time? The heat? My goodness! We are truly blessed!

Mix 2: Brownies

Want a quick dessert?  Use our brownie mix, swirl in some peanut butter, sprinkle some chocolate chips, and bake!
Want a quick dessert? Use our brownie mix, swirl in some peanut butter, sprinkle some chocolate chips, and bake! | Source

5 vs. 9 Ingredients

Having brownie mix on hand is very convenient. Makes a quick dessert for any celebration. I typically buy Betty Crocker brownies as they are usually the least expensive. Have you read the ingredients on the box? They are as follows:


INGREDIENTS: SUGAR, ENRICHED FLOUR BLEACHED, COCOA PROCESSED WITH ALKALI, CORN SYRUP, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN AND/OR COTTONSEAD OIL, CORN STARCH. CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: SALT, CAROB POWDER, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR.

As with the Jiffy mix, there are many more ingredients in the boxed mix than in mine. Compare the above with the following:

INGREDIENTS: SUGAR, FLOUR, COCOA, SALT, BAKING SODA.

Just 5 ingredients. Need I say more?

Source

To Make Brownie Mix You'll Need...

  • Resealable baggies
  • Permanent marker
  • Cocoa
  • All purpose flour
  • Sugar
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • 1, 1/2 and 1/3 measuring cups
  • 1/4 tsp measuring spoons

Brownie Mix Recipe: Fills 8 x 8 pan or 9-12 cupcakes

As with the cornbread mix, I keep an index card of the recipe taped inside one of my cupboards. When I use a bag of the mix, I save it and tape it beneath this card. When I'm in the mood to "restock" I simply take down my taped baggies along with the recipe and put an assembly line of bags together to make several bags of mix at once.

Process:

  • Begin by labeling your resealable baggies with the directions to make the brownies:

:: Preheat oven 350 degrees

:: Grease pan

:: Add 2 eggs, 1/2 c veg oil, 1 tsp vanilla

:: Bake 20-25 minutes

  • Set up an assembly line (I usually do 3 bags at once). Measure the brownie mix ingredients in each labeled bag. (Tip: Do not do what I did the first time and measure into a bowl then try to pour into a baggie....that was quite a mess!)

:: 1 cup sugar

:: 1/2 cup all purpose flour

:: 1/3 cup cocoa powder

:: 1/4 tsp baking powder

:: 1/4 tsp salt

  • Seal the bag and shake! Store for later.


When you're ready to bake your brownies...

Remember to spray the pan first!  Bake 350 degrees 20-25 minutes.
Remember to spray the pan first! Bake 350 degrees 20-25 minutes. | Source

Directions on the bag:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease pan
  3. Add 2 eggs, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1 tsp vanilla
  4. Bake 20-25 minutes

Bake 350 degrees 15-20 minutes

Brownie mix in muffin tins makes brownie cupcakes! Remember to spray the tins first.
Brownie mix in muffin tins makes brownie cupcakes! Remember to spray the tins first. | Source

When you want brownies, simply grab your homemade brownie mix and follow the directions on the bag! Pour the mix into a bowl, add the eggs, oil and vanilla, then pour into a greased 8 x 8 square pan OR into greased muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes (for the pan) or 15-20 minutes (for the tins)! The opportunities are endless!

Brownie Ideas We Like:

  • Peanut butter (pictured): Before baking, press a peanut butter cup to the middle of each brownie cupcake or about 3 rows of 3 in an 8 x 8 pan. If you don't have peanut butter cup candies, place a few scoops of peanut butter on top, then gently use a knife to swirl the peanut butter into the brownies. We like using crunchy peanut butter and sprinkling some chocolate chips on top! That's my personal favorite way to eat a brownie!
  • Mint: Before baking, press a peppermint pattie to the middle of each brownie cupcake or about 3 rows of 3 in an 8 x 8 pan. After cooled, sprinkle with green sugar or crushed candy canes to give a hint about the mint surprise.
  • Raspberry: Before baking add a spoon of raspberry jam and gently swirl it in. If you have time, for an added bonus mix 4 oz. softened cream cheese with 1/4 cup powdered sugar and 2 T raspberry jam. Spread on top! Yum!
  • Baseballs (pictured below): Bake brownies in muffin tins. Frost cooled brownie with white frosting and pipe red frosting (or use cut pieces of licorice) to look like baseballs! My husband loved this one!

Brownie muffins can be transformed into baseballs with some white and red frosting!
Brownie muffins can be transformed into baseballs with some white and red frosting! | Source

Please share recipes or links to sites with mixes you like in the comments below!

Try Your Own Mix

While it seems simple, I have recently just realized this: you can make any baking mix you buy in a box! Simply take a recipe you like and put the dry ingredients in a bag or mason jar. Make sure to write the directions for how to complete the mix, including the wet ingredients you'll need, baking time, and any other notes you might need.

The mixes in this hub are mixes I actually use and keep in our home. However, I am interested in trying other mixes too! In my quest to search specifically for mix recipes, I have noticed many versions for cake mixes. I do not make cakes very often, so these are not mixes I keep on hand. If you do, perhaps you might like checking out recipes for: yellow cake mix, white cake mix, and chocolate cake mix.

About the Author

Thefedorows is a regular contributor to Hubpages, an avid pinner, and frequent blogger.

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    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      I agree with your message: You know you're eating healthy if you make the mix your self. Thank you for the recipes, the ideas and instruction. Voted Up and shared.

    • thefedorows profile image
      Author

      thefedorows 3 years ago from the Midwest

      Thank you, MsDora! I'm happy to hear you found them helpful!

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