Cornbread Dessert

Is your sweet tooth aching, but you’re trying to avoid too much glop in your diet? This cornbread dessert is simple to make and tastes like you’re being naughty.

I made this up a couple months ago when we had a pile of strawberries that needed to get used fast, but we’d already eaten all the good ones, and the rest just weren’t sweet enough to eat by themselves. Strawberry shortcake? Bluck. Too heavy. We’re trying to watch our weight here. Besides, I didn’t have any shortbread mix.

I had cornbread mix, though. Strawberry corn-cake muffins?* Sure, why not?


It quickly became a household favorite. Of course, by the time I got around to making it again for an article, strawberry season was over and the ones in the store were beyond unacceptable. Bright red nuggets of disappointment on top of the package, lumpy greenish blobs of bitterness on the bottom, and moldy WTFs tucked in the corners.

The raspberries and blackberries looked pretty good, though.

You’re going to love this. It doesn’t take long, and you don’t need much: just a selection of berries, a smashing tool (I use a potato masher), and some sugar.

Set-up: Blackberries, raspberries, sugar. potato masher, bowl

Put the berries in the bowl.

Blackberries and raspberries in a bowl

Add a couple spoonfuls of sugar. Just enough to counteract the tartness. It doesn’t need to be too sweet.

Blackberries and rasperries with a pile of sugar in the center

What next?

Yes! Exactly.

Blackberries and raspberries, smashed up with sugar added

Once they’re sugared and smashed to your liking, set them aside in the fridge. If you don’t already have corn bread made, do that now.

Home-made cornbread from scratch? Ooooh, that sounds delicious. You go right ahead; we just use Jiffy Mix. The instructions on the side of the box are easy to follow, so I won’t bother repeating them (but here’s a trick for when you grease the pan). We do muffins, but I’m sure reasonably-sized slices of corn bread from a sheet pan would work just as well.

THAT’S IT. Whatever berries are in season, a tin of muffins, and, if you like, some whipped creme. If you’re dieting, they make both “lite” and “fat-free” versions of whipped creme (not that we can find the fat-free kind where WE live, so I wish you better luck).

The finished cornbread dessert: juicy berries piled on a corn muffin with a dollop of whipped cream

Boom. A yummy low-cal dessert that feels like cheating but isn’t.

*Ok…cornbread isn’t exactly diet food, but if you don’t take too big a chunk (hence the small muffins: portion control), our cornbread dessert is less harmful than shortcake. Use fat-free milk and make the muffins a little smaller, and it’s even better.

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