Here’s a tribute to my southern roots! (Georgia girl here ^^). These cornbread bagels stuffed with cream cheese and sweet corn filling, as strange as it sounds, WORKS. The fresh kernels of corn are crisp, sweet and pops when you bite into them, and the creamy tangy cream cheese gives you that sour cream taste that you can’t miss in a truly authentic Southern Corn Casserole. Expect the unexpected! These Cornbread Bagels might just become your favorite home-baked project.
Here's why I love this recipe
- No eggs, milk or butter and can be vegan friendly!
- The added cornmeal gives these bagels a chewy texture.
- A fun breakfast version of cornbread
Ingredients Used to Make Cornbread Bagels Stuffed With Cream Cheese
**I've linked some of these ingredients to amazon.com to give you an idea of what they are, but you should also be able to find them in your local grocery store (usually, the baking aisle, or the natural & organic food section). They are also affiliate links, which means that I earn a commission as an Amazon Associate if you decide to purchase the items. The price will be the same for you, link or no link 🙂
- Bread Flour - I used bread flour for this recipe (I use King Arthur Bread Flour most), which I prefer and highly recommend for the best texture and structure. Please read the note on the substitution section below if using other flours.
- Instant Yeast - you can find instant yeast in the baking section near the flours. My favorite is SAF Instant Premium Yeast, which works quickly and consistently produces great results. I recommend using instant yeast over active yeast for this recipe since active yeast (unlike instant yeast) needs to be activated in water, which we don't add until the very end.
- Sugar - I used raw cane sugar, but you can use regular granulated white sugar, or healthier alternatives like coconut, date, or maple sugars which are less processed and more natural. I also sometimes like to use honey powder.
- For yeasted breads, I would not recommend using sugar-free substitutes such as monk fruit sweetener or stevia powder since they can cause the bread to not rise properly. If you prefer a lower sugar recipe, you're welcome to leave out the sugar. The bread might taste slightly plain, but it will not significantly impact the shape or texture of the bread.
- Salt - Pink Himalayan salt is what I have at home, so it’s what I use, but you can use any kind for this recipe.
- Corn - we'll need whole kernel corn for this recipe. I used canned corn, but the corn can be from fresh, or from frozen. Read below to see how you should prep the corn depending on which you use:
- Canned Corn - For best results, drain and rinse the corn with water before using. It's best if you can find a "no salt added" corn. If you're using regular (salt added) corn, you can also adjust by using just half of the salt that's called for in the recipe.
- Frozen Corn - cook the frozen corn in the microwave or over stovetop at least until it's thawed or warm.
- Fresh Corn - Remove the corn kernels from the corn using a sharp knife. Since the corn will be cooked with the bread, there's no need to pre-cook the corn before using.
- Cooked Corn - no prep required on this one 🙂
- Corn Meal, any kind - in this recipe, the corn meal provides addition texture, chew and color. If you don't have this available, you can also use equal amounts of almond flour.
- Cream Cheese of Choice – I used reduced fat cream cheese, but you’re welcome to use low fat or full fat. For vegan options, you can also use dairy-free cream cheese (such as Tofutti, or cream cheese made from almond milk).
- Whole Kernel Corn - I used what was leftover from the canned corn that wasn't pureed
- I used a KitchenAid Stand Mixer with a dough hook to knead the dough. You're also welcome to use a bread machine, or knead the dough by hand.
More Corn Recipes (HERE)
Step by Step Guide
How to Make Cornbread Bagels
Prepare puree: drain a can of whole kernel corn, and rinse with water. Add to a mini blender or food processor and blend until pureed.
Also, remember to set aside the leftover corn to use in the stuffing (read recipe card for more details)
Mix all the dry ingredients (flour, corn meal, yeast, sugar, salt) in the bowl of a stand mixer
Add pureed corn and knead at a low setting for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until the dough pulls away from the bowl and forms a smooth, supple ball.
Cover and let rise until doubled, about 60-90 minutes.
Gently deflate, then transfer the dough to a generously floured surface.
Shape the dough into a ball, and divide into 4 equal sized pieces
1. Use a rolling pin to roll out each piece of the bagel dough into a thin, 5 x 7 inch rectangle (thinner the better!)
2. Spread about 2-3 Tablespoons of the filling onto the bagel dough.
3-4. Roll the bagel dough over the filling.
5. Seal the ends by pinching the seams of the dough with wet fingers.
6. Bring together the two ends of the bagel dough by inserting one end of the rolled dough into the other end.
7. Pinch the seams together so that they won't fall apart during the boiling process.
8. Loosely cover the shaped bagels with plastic wrap or a clean wet paper towel. Let rise for 40-60 minutes, until the bagels look slightly puffed up.
Bring a pot of water to boil. Bring the heat down to medium-hot so that it's gently boiling. Cook the bagel for just 30 seconds on each side.
TIP: If the bagel won't float up to the surface by the end of the 60 seconds, it probably means the bagel needs to proof longer. I usually try this with one bagel first before cooking the other bagels in batches.
Top the wet bagels with more cornmeal for added texture
Bake the boiled bagels in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until the tops are glossy and slightly browned.
Let the bagels cool completely before slicing. Enjoy!
Recipe Variations and Optional Add Ins:
Here are some awesome ways you can make this recipe your own 🙂
- Add more flavor! A few tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese (nutritional yeast for a vegan twist) or a teaspoon or two of dried herbs would go really well with this bagel recipe. If you want a sweeter cornbread (like Southern Cornbread) version, you can add an additional 3 Tablespoons of sugar.
- Add more texture! Adding chopped nuts, seeds, or dried fruits or oats is a fantastic way to increase the nutrition and flavor in breads. You can also add up to ¼ cup more of corn meal.
More Bagel Stuffing Ideas:
- Make these bagels healthier by adding a handful of nuts, seeds and old-fashioned oats to add texture and nutrition. Here are some ideas
- Nuts - chopped walnuts, pecans, cashews
- Seeds - poppy seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flaxseeds or chiaseeds
- Other Dried Fruit - chopped apricot, raisins, cranberries, dried cherries, candied ginger, citrus zests, etc.
Note on Substitutions
- Unfortunately, gluten-free flours cannot be substituted for bread flour in this recipe.
- If you don't have bread flour, you can also use All Purpose Flour instead. AP flour has less protein than bread flour, so it will yield softer bagels with less chew/ bite.
- As I mentioned in the Ingredients Section, almond flour makes these bagels more flavorful and more nutritionally balanced, but it also makes the bagels less chewy (and more tender). If you prefer a traditional bagel texture, use ¼ cup of bread flour instead of ½ cup of almond flour.
- The almond flour can be subbed with other nut flour like pecan, cashew and walnut flour.
How to Store Cornmeal Bagels Stuffed With Cream Cheese
- For unstuffed bagels, you can store these bagels in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3-4 days.
- For bagels with cream cheese filling, these bagels can be out at room temperature for a maximum of 1 day. For longer storage, you can place the bagels in a plastic freezer bag or airtight container and keep them in the fridge for up to 7 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, toast inside an air fryer or toaster with the filling side up.
Cornmeal Bagels Stuffed With Cream Cheese
- 6 oz cream cheese of choice
- ½ cup whole corn kernels , I used what was leftover from the canned corn that wasn't pureed
Combine the Dough Ingredients
- Prepare corn puree*** by blending the corn kernels in a mini blender until creamy.If using regular (salt added) canned corn, be sure to rinse the corn with water a few times to remove the excess salt. Also, remember to set aside the leftover corn to use in the stuffing.
- Mix all the dry ingredients (bread flour, corn meal, yeast, sugar, salt) in a clean bowl of the stand mixer.
- Add the corn puree to the dry ingredients
- At a low setting (speed 2), knead for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until the dough pulls away from the bowl and forms a smooth, supple ball.NOTE: the bagel dough is supposed to be firm and somewhat stiff, since bagels require a lower water-to-flour-ratio. You can add additional 1-2 Tablespoons of water if there are still dry ingredients, but be sure to add one tablespoon at a time, so you don’t overhydrate the dough.
- Remove the finished dough from the mixer bowl and place in a lightly greased bowl.
- Let rise, at a slightly warm place, for 60-90 minutes, until puffy.
Shaping the Dough
- Punch down the dough, then remove from bowl. Place on a generously floured surface.
- Shape the dough into a ball, and divide into 4 equal sized pieces
Filling the Bagel Dough
- In a clean mixing bowl, mix the filling ingredients. Set aside.
- Use a rolling pin to roll out each piece of the bagel dough into a thin, 5 x 7 inch rectangle (thinner the better!)
- Spoon about 2-3 Tablespoons of the cream cheese & corn filling onto the bagel dough.TIP: For a thick cresent-shaped filling, place the filling towards one end of the rectangle. For a swirled effect, spread the filling throughout the dough so that it is evenly distributed.
- Roll the bagel dough over the filling, and seal the ends by pinching the seams of the dough. TIP: wet your fingers with some water to help with the sealing
- Bring together the two ends of the bagel dough by inserting one end of the rolled dough into the other end and pinching the seams together so that it won't fall apart during the boiling process.
- Place the stuffed bagels on a parchment lined baking pan, and loosely cover with plastic wrap or clean wet paper towel.
- Let rise for 40-60 minutes, until the bagels look slightly puffed up.
Boil the Bagels
- Bring a pot of water to boil. Bring the heat down to medium-hot so that it's gently boiling.Also, preheat the oven to 350F
- Use a wide slotted spoon or spatula to gently transfer 1 bagel into the water.
- Cook the bagel for just 30 seconds on each side. TIP: If the bagel won't float up to the surface by the end of the 60 seconds, it probably means the bagel needs to proof longer.
- Take the bagel out of the boiling water using a wide slotted spoon or spatula and back to the parchment lined baking sheet.
- Repeat the boiling process for the rest of the bagels.
Bake the Bagels
- Sprinkle with 1 tsp of corn meal on top of the boiled bagels for additional texture (if desired).
- Bake the boiled bagels in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until the tops are glossy and slightly browned.
- Let cool to room temperature before serving. TIP: If slicing the bagels crosswise, you'll get the cleanest cut if the bagels (and the filling) are completely cooled.
- Canned Corn – For best results, drain and rinse the corn with water before using. It’s best if you can find a “no salt added” corn. If not, we can also adjust the salt that’s added to the bread by using half the amount of salt called for in the recipe.
- Frozen Corn – cook the frozen corn in the microwave or over stovetop at least until it’s thawed or warm.
- Fresh Corn – Remove the corn kernels from the corn using a sharp knife. Since the corn will be cooked with the bread, there’s no need to pre-cook the corn before using.
- Cooked Corn – no prep required on this one