I know I once read a recipe for cornbread/corn muffins that aren't a mess to eat, but don't recall what the trick was. I've read contradictory claims about buttermilk making less crumbly cornbread, but I like it so I use it. Even if my coffee break corn muffin had been halved and buttered at home, then carefully wrapped and carried to work, it made for a messy desk. This is what I came up with: Use a recipe intended for an 8" square pan.
Line two 7.5x11" pans with parchment paper (more surface area for browning than two 8" pans) and divide batter between them. Adjust baking time according to how much browning you want - about 20-25 min. Lift parchment and transfer the contents to cooling racks. When at room temperature, carefully turn the cornbread upside down and peel off the parchment. With a spatula, butter one upside-down cornbread with softened butter. Turn the other right-side up and place it atop the buttered one, so that the undersides of both pieces are on the butter. Slice in half lengthwise, then crosswise into desired portions and wrap in plastic wrap. Store in the fridge in airtight container. Because there is crust on both the top and bottom, and on at least one side of each portion, there is minimal crumbling during consumption.
If anyone knows the recipe for non-messy cornbread, please post!