Marion Cunningham's Boston Brown Bread Muffins

When I was first married, we frequented a restaurant with my in-laws that always served a plate of delicious Boston brown bread in place of rolls. I came to love that bread and every time we went there, I looked forward to a slice (or two) with a slather of cream cheese on it. It was almost like having dessert before dinner! I made it once, years ago, in a can and it had to steam for a couple hours....very tasty, but I never made it again.
While sorting recently through my files, I noticed I had saved a muffin version of this bread, made by Luisa from The Wednesday Chef....and she used Marion Cunningham's recipe. I looked it up in The Breakfast Book and there it was. Don't know how I missed it, you know how much I love that book! Lightly sweetened with a mix of flours, these are unusual and delightful muffins. The molasses lends a nice deep flavor, the cornmeal a very slight crunch and those golden raisins give you a bite of sweetness. We ate them right out of the oven with butter and they sure brought back some fond memories!

Marion Cunningham's Boston Brown Bread Muffins
From The Breakfast Book

1/2 cup rye flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose or whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 egg
1/3 cup molasses 
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup golden raisins

Heat oven to 400 F. Grease your muffin pan. Mix together the flours, cornmeal, salt, and baking soda. In a separate bowl, combine the egg, molasses, sugar, oil, and buttermilk. Blend well. Stir the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well. The batter will be very fluid, that's OK.

Fill the prepared muffin tins 3/4 of the way and bake for 15 minutes, until your tester comes out clean. Serve hot with butter or cream cheese.


  1. Love rye flour! These muffins sound and look healthy, beautiful and delicious. Great with a large bowl of steaming hot creamy pumpkin soup!

  2. I've loved that cookbook and drooled over it many times since you first mentioned it. Now I have to start making more of the recipes and this one is a good one to try. Don't think I've ever had rye flour and cornmeal mixed and am curious now. Just bookmarked page 61! :-) Thanks, Barbara!

  3. Hi Barbara, I know I would love these muffins, love the combo of flours and cornmeal.

  4. I'm always amazed when I find a "new" recipe in a cookbook I've been through many times. The muffins sound terrific!

  5. i've definitely never had a bread like this, and i'm not sure i'd like it except for the puddles of melted butter i see! that's enough to convert me to just about anything.:)

  6. It would be like having dessert! I had no idea there would be corn meal in the recipe. I think we Southerners like to think we have a corner on the cornmeal market---but it is well-used in the North, just a little differently. Great recipe, thanks Barbara!



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