I know many people cook from scratch, as I do on occasion. But when dinner is due in 30 minutes and you want a little something special and you want to make sure it comes out perfectly, I have no qualms about using a mix. This little box of "Jiffy Cornbread Mix" is often on sale for .35 to .50 a box, so I stock up. It's a good simple basic cornbread when you follow the package directions, but here's a way to make it just that much more special and tasty.
1 box Jiffy Cornbread mix
1/3 cup milk
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 400.
Put all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and mix well by hand. Do not overstir. There will be some small lumps in batter.
Use pans of your choice. I sometimes use an 8 inch round cake pan, muffin tins (with paper baking cups) or, as you can see by this picture, little bread pans. If you are not using paper baking cups, spray the pan generously with Pam Spray.
Divide batter between the pans, filling up about half way. Use a paper towel to wipe off an spills or drips on the top of the pans (easier to clean later).
Let the batter REST for about 10 minutes. This is key to good corn bread!
Place pan in preheated oven, cook for about 15 minutes or until nicely golden with a slight brown edge.
Remove from oven (turn oven OFF) and lightly spread butter on the top of each cooked "cake". Put back in oven until butter is melted. Remove from oven.
Let cool in pan for about 10 minutes, then let cool on a cake rack for another 10 minutes. (If you eat corn muffins too soon out of the oven, they will crumble.)