Every year during the festive season, namely Eid al-Fitr, my sisters and I (being the non ‘traditional cookie/biscuit’ lovers that we are) would go from house to house hoping to find these amazingly golden, sweet and buttery treat all laid out on the table for the guests but every year disappointment punches us right in the face because all we ever got was the adulterated version of it which is quite frankly only worthy of rejection. Ouch.
When I was younger, my mom would make big batches of this every Eid and we would finish it within a week or so (if it wasn’t because of our self-control, they would’ve been gone within the hour). My mom’s version always had that perfect combination of honey & butter flavour (extremely addictive!) while everyone else’s were always just plain sweet and one-dimensional, it was appalling. Not only that, the cornflakes were rock hard and clung onto the paper cups for dear life! But isn’t this recipe extremely simple that it’s virtually foolproof? Indeed, it is. In fact, it’s so simple that people are brave enough to alter it and make it even simpler. Now that’s where the mistake lies. Most of the time, people substitute the honey in this recipe with plain granulated sugar and use only a few tablespoons of honey for flavour because obviously sugar is cheaper than honey. There’s, of course, nothing wrong with substituting ingredients in a recipe, given that you know what to substitute with.
Honey is invert sugar whereas plain granulated sugar is, well, sucrose. The difference is that the two monosaccharides, glucose & fructose, are not interlinked in invert sugar. It retains moisture better therefore making your cornflakes less hard and you won’t end up eating paper residue as it is less likely to stick to the paper cups like super glue. Hence, it’s important to (know what to substitute with) substitute invert sugar with another invert sugar like golden syrup, corn syrup, agave syrup, maple syrup etc. I normally do mine with golden syrup or corn syrup because they’re cheaper but note that they’re not as healthy as honey or other natural invert sugars. It’s your call, really. Maple syrup or agave syrup might alter the taste a bit but hey, if you’re into the healthy stuff then that’s the least of your worries!
If you’ve done this so many times with plain sugar and you’re thinking “wait what? It’s perfectly fine with just sugar!”, maybe you haven’t tried the good stuff. Try using invert sugar and follow the recipe below and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Honey Butter Cornflake Cups
Sweet and buttery, this is a favourite among kids during Eid celebration. Not only is this recipe quick and virtually foolproof, I promise you, every batch you make won't last more than a blink of an eye.
- 4 cups plain cornflakes
- 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup honey, (see note 1)
- 1 tbsp sugar
- Chopped almonds
Preheat the oven to 150C/300F.
Turn stove on low and melt butter, honey and sugar in a saucepan until just well-combined and frothy. Do not burn the sugar.
Prepare 4 cups of cornflakes in a big bowl and pour the mixture over the cornflakes. Mix well with a spatula.
Spoon the mixture into paper cupcake liners, sprinkle some chopped almonds and place them on a baking sheet.
Bake for 12-15 mins until slightly golden (see note 2).
Once done, take it out of the oven, let it cool and harden before serving. Keep in an airtight container.
- Do not skim on honey! I repeat, do NOT skim on honey. If honey is unavailable, substitute with another invert sugar such as golden syrup or light corn syrup or a mixture of honey and syrup. These are very inexpensive substitutes and make little to no difference to the final outcome of this treat (just less healthy). A lot of times, people substitute with plain granulated sugar and this is, in my opinion, the biggest and most common mistake people do when making these. It makes it taste flat and sweet and quite frankly, bad. I cannot stress enough how important this is.
- Do not bake for too long. This will make the cornflakes stick to the cup and you'll end up eating some paper residue.
TIPS: You can also use sprinkles, dried berries or chopped glacé cherries in this recipe but note that sprinkles are essentially sugar and doesn't really compliment the honey butter flavour. My favourites are chopped glacé cherries and almonds!