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Polenta Cupcakes Morphed Into Corn Muffins – A Story with a Moral

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Polenta cupcakes seemed like a good idea. My Taste & Create partner this month, My Kitchen Treasures, had a recipe for a date, ricotta, and polenta cake that sounded like it would be a winner in cupcake form. I decided that I would give it a try using mangoes instead of dates.

First, I made some polenta.

And there – right there in the very first step – is where I went wrong.

You see, when the recipe called for polenta, it was referring to uncooked polenta (essentially corn meal), not the cooked, fluffy stuff that I posted about last week – oops!

Fact: Almost all cupcake recipes take about 20 minutes to bake.
Fact: My polenta cupcakes were still raw on the inside at 45 minutes in the oven. Cooked polenta = too much moisture.

But Then, The Miracle Happened

After one hour in the oven, I had basically given up on my poor polenta cupcakes and was about to throw them all in the trash when Jonathan tried one and noted that it tasted like a corn muffin. I had a bite and had to agree. They were sweeter than a typical corn muffin and moist rather than crumbly, but if I thought of them as corn muffins, not cupcakes, they were rather tasty. Rather than trashing them or frosting them, I left them naked, called them corn muffins, and served them with the main course to our dinner guests.

The Verdict: Our guests loved them! They even went back for seconds.

When I told our friends the story and asked whether the recipe was good enough to post on the blog, they said, “Definitely.”

The Moral of the Story

Don’t give up just because something doesn’t go the way you had planned; you might just discover something new and exciting!

The “Corn Muffin” Recipe

As I said above, this recipe is a modification of the date, ricotta, and polenta cake from My Kitchen Treasures. I encourage you to check out the recipe in its original form and give that a try as well.

If you've tried this recipe, please RATE THE RECIPE and leave a comment below!

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Polenta Cupcakes Morphed Into Corn Muffins – A Story with a Moral


For The Muffins

  • 2 C flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 2/3 C cooked polenta
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 1/4 C ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 C butter room temperature
  • 3/4 C water
  • 1 C finely chopped mango

For The Filling

  • 1 C ricotta cheese
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 2 T powdered sugar


  1. Combine flour, baking powder, polenta, sugar, cheese, butter and the water in large bowl, and beat on low speed with a electric mixer until combined.
  2. Fold in mango.
  3. Fill cupcake liners half full with batter.
  4. In a small bowl, mix all filling ingredients.
  5. Spread a thin layer of filling over each filled muffin.
  6. Top off each muffin with remaining batter until they are all 3/4 full.
  7. Bake at 375 F for about one hour.


About the Plates

The plates you see in these photos were a gift from Marx Foods. They are disposable palm leaf plates.

According to the info on Marx’s website:

These environmentally friendly small hexagonal palm plates are made from a natural, renewable, and biodegradable raw material. Naturally discarded sheaths of the leaves of the Adaka palm tree, which in the course of its biological life cycle, dry, fall and regenerate, are collected. No trees are cut down. The palm sheaths are then cleaned in fresh spring water and molded into bowls.Palm leaf plates are leak proof and able to withstand hot and cold temperatures without getting soggy or flimsy. They are smaller than our full sized Hexagonal Palm Leaf Plates and thus perfect for salads and side dishes.

Even though these are disposable plates, each durable piece is unique with an attractive wood pattern finish that fits into both rustic and elegant events.

I was very impressed with the quality of the plates. They were super thick! Also, aside from the fact that they are environmentally friendly, they are gorgeous – perhaps even too gorgeous to throw out. The good news is that we didn’t have to throw them out!

Even though the palm plates were billed as disposable, there is no reason that you have to trash them after one use. We used them for the muffins and for some greasy pizza and we were still able to rinse them off, let them dry, and use them again. I think we should be able to get many more uses out of them before having to pitch them. We did, however, give up one of our plates because a friend wanted to feed it to her compost worms and see how they liked it. I haven’t heard the report on how that went yet.

The plates are available for sale on the Marx Foods website.

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9 comments on “Polenta Cupcakes Morphed Into Corn Muffins – A Story with a Moral”

  1. Ivysays:

    I made a blood orange polenta cake a while back and used the dry polenta like the recipe indicated-the cake was really dry and a bit crunchy with the polenta pieces. Ended up saving it with the blood orange sauce but, still.

  2. Elianasays:

    I’m glad these worked out for you. They do look yummy. And thanks for the tip on these plates. They are rather stylish.

  3. Sounds good to me, Stef!

  4. I am so glad jonathan tasted them befire you were going to bin them.
    I think i should write in my recipe it is not cooked polenta.
    I love that you made them into cipcakes.

  5. Aparnasays:

    The mango and ricotta must have made for a very moist muffin. And tasty too.

    These plates are very common here in India and we have been using them over the years. Earlier the leaves were fashioned into plates by hand, but nowadays done by machine to resemble real plates.
    These are probably sourced from India.

  6. Way to go Steff, tried and true and eaten too!!!

  7. I love it when kitchen disasters turn into kitchen successes! :)

  8. Anonymoussays:

    You can also get these plates from http://www.thewholeleafco.com. They’ve got a bigger range as well.

  9. As you mentioned environmentally friendly palm plates. There are some biodegradable tableware may give your more inspiration for your cooking. ^_^

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