Come November and my countdown to the holidays starts! The excitement of who’s coming over or where are we going soon turns into, what am I making or taking? A favorite around the house is instant pot cornbread.
One thing I love doing around holidays is to try recipes that are quick to make, sure to please, and, can be made ahead of time. Last weekend, I jazzed up a tried and trusted store-bought cornbread mix from Trader Joe’s, that I have been using for years, and made two variations with it- Pumpkin Spice Cornbread & Cranberry Orange Cornbread, hit a home run with both in my house!
I have made cornbread from scratch many a times and have found this pre-mix from Trader Joe’s taste very similar to that. So, this is one short-cut that leaves me more time for the zillion other things to do. From one 15 oz. box of cornbread mix, I can make four mini loaves. I typically half the mix and make two flavor variations out of it. If you want to stick to one flavor, simply double up the ingredients in this recipe.
Advantages of Instant Pot Cornbread
I baked, or should I say cooked, this cornbread in my electric pressure cooker, the Instant Pot DUO this time. This instant pot cornbread was done in about the same time as the oven, was missing the golden crisp top layer that a cornbread typically has. BUT, it was the most moist cornbread I have ever had! Seriously, it was delicious- a sponge cake like consistency with the earthiness of the cornmeal. I am definitely going to be pressure cooking my cornbreads from now on. To learn more about the instant pot, check out my Instant Pot FAQ and Accessories blog.
This flavor combination of Cranberry Orange Cornmeal was just meant to be. It took me 2 tries to get this right. Adding orange zest to the second batch took this cornbread to another level of flavor-town. The orange compliments the subtle sweetness in the cornmeal and the cranberries’ tartness provides a nice contrast and balance to the cornbread. This result in a well balanced, moist and flavorful cornbread, which smells of orange and cornmeal. You can enjoy the cranberry orange cornbread as-is or also use it as a great base for stuffing.
Using the same recipe, you can make Cranberry Orange Corn muffins too, this will be a great add for a breakfast or brunch table. I made this recipe using Mini Loaf Baking Pans. This size just works great for my family and also makes for a perfect size for gifting or adding to your holiday basket.
Oven Recipe for Cranberry Orange Cornbread
These Cranberry Orange Cornbread loaves can be made in the oven too. Simply mix everything as per the directions and bake in a preheated 350F oven for 12-14 minutes. The actual time will depend on your oven. At the 12 minute mark, check for doneness by inserting a toothpick, if it comes out clean, you’re good, else, pop-it back for another minute or two.
Another great variation on cornbread is my Pumpkin Spice Cornbread.
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Cranberry Orange Cornbread in Instant Pot (or Oven)
Note: These ingredients are for half a box of cornbread mix half of 15oz., which makes two loaves. If you wish to use the whole box (four loaves), simply double up the following ingredients:
- Melt butter in the microwave, about 20-30 seconds. Add orange juice, sour cream, egg and orange zest. Whisk together. Add cornbread mix and dried cranberries and mix with a spatula.
- Grease mini-baking loaf pans with any baking/cooking spray. Divide the better equally between two loaf pans.
- Pour 1 cup water in the inner pot of your Instant Pot (I used the Instant Pot 6QT DUO). Place trivet. Place two loaf pans on top. If you're doubling up the recipe, you can stack two more on top as shown in the photo above.
- Close lid. Set valve to Sealing. Press Manual for 12 minutes. Open lid after natural pressure release. Cool cornbread for 5 -10 minutes before slicing. Enjoy as-is or with honey butter!
- Simply mix all the ingredients as per the directions above and bake in a preheated 350F oven for 12-14 minutes. The actual time will depend on your oven. At the 12 minute mark, check for doneness by inserting a toothpick. If it comes out clean, you’re good, else, pop-it back for another minute or two.