The perfect combination of sweet and spicy, this crumbly Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread checks all the boxes for a delicious and easy side dish!
If you're a cornbread connoisseur, you know how different one cornbread can be from the next. This recipe is a delicious combination of sweet and savory, with as much spice as you'd like tossed in. If you veer on the side of caution, add a small amount of diced peppers for a little flavor. Like to live on the wild side? Add more peppers and leave the seeds in for a spicy treat in each bite.
What better way to mellow out the spice from jalapeño than a generous sprinkle of cheese baked right inside? This cheesy cornbread with jalapeño peppers is crumbly, moist, and loaded with flavor in each bite. It's the perfect side dish for any BBQ, bone-in chicken thighs, or a big bowl of potato corn chowder! And it also pairs amazingly well with this sweet potato pudding!
🛒 Ingredients You'll Need
- Flour - All-purpose four helps make the base of this cornbread. For a gluten-free option, you can use a 1:1 all-purpose substitute like King Arthur Flour.
- Cornmeal - Use yellow cornmeal as it has a stronger "corn" flavor than white. As we're not using actual corn in this recipe, the cornmeal will give it a distinct corn flavor and crumbly texture.
- Sugar - Regular granulated sugar adds a touch of sweetness to this otherwise savory and spicy bread.
- Cheese - Cheese helps to mellow out the spicy and adds extra moisture to the cornbread. The type of cheese will change the flavor some. Mild, medium, or sharp cheddar will all work!
- Jalapeño peppers - Add a spicy kick to this cornbread.
- Buttermilk - Helps create a more tender, moist texture and adds a richer flavor.
- Butter - Use unsalted butter as a fat source for a tender crumb.
- Eggs - Whole eggs help the bread bind together and add a bit of richness.
- Honey - While sugar adds the bulk of the sweetness, don't skip the honey! The delicate flavor shines through, and a little extra drizzle on top makes the sweet and spicy contrast even better.
- Baking soda - Helps the bread rise while baking.
- Salt - helps control the rise of the bread, creating a more tender crumb instead of a tough texture.
Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full ingredients list & instructions!
- After making several rounds of this jalapeño cheddar cornbread, a 9x13 pan works best, but you can use different sizes if that's what you have. Here are the pan sizes and baking times I tried:
- 8-inch cast iron skillet baked at 375°F for 28-30 minutes (or until golden brown).
- 10-inch cast iron skillet baked at 350°F for 30-32 minutes (or until golden brown).
- If you like extra spicy cornbread, use two jalapeño peppers instead of one. You can also leave some of the seeds in, adding quite a bit of heat to the recipe. If you want less heat, just use one pepper or even a half, and remove all of the seeds.
- While adding a big drizzle of honey on top isn't necessary, it adds such a beautiful contrasting flavor to this cornbread.
- Using different cheeses will give you slightly different flavors in this cornbread. Use mild cheddar cheese for a smooth and creamy taste or sharp cheddar, which will add a little tang. Medium cheddar is a good mix between the two.
🔪 Step-By-Step Recipe Instructions
Step 1: Start by preheating the oven to 375°F. Prepare a 9x13 pan with butter and set aside.
Step 2: Using a sharp knife, remove the seeds and finely dice the jalapeño pepper and set aside.
Step 3: In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking soda, and salt.
Step 4: In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, melted butter, sugar, eggs, and honey.
Step 5: Pour the wet mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients and stir using a spatula until well combined.
Step 6-7: Add the diced jalapeño and shredded cheese to the mixture, string to combine.
Step 8-10: Pour the cornbread batter into the 9x13 baking dish and spread evenly.
Step 11: Place the baking dish into the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
Step 12: When done, remove from the oven and cool for at least 5 minutes before cutting and serving.
Enjoy your warm, cheesy jalapeño cornbread with a bit pat of butter and a drizzle of honey. If you can't wait until the rest of dinner is ready to dive in, I won't judge!
🙋🏼♀️ Recipe FAQs
Let the cornbread cool to room temperature, then place it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
If you don't have buttermilk on hand, make your own by mixing one cup of dairy milk with one tablespoon of lemon juice. Whisk together and let sit for 10 minutes on the counter until the milk is just slightly curdled.
💭 Expert Tips
- To check for doneness, use the toothpick test. At about 30 minutes, or when the top is starting brown, insert a toothpick into the center of the pan. If it comes out with any batter on it, the cornbread needs to continue to bake. Check every 3-5 minutes until the toothpick comes out completely clean.
- Avoid over mixing the batter to keep the final result light and crumbly, not hard and dense. Stir everything together just enough so that the dry ingredients are moistened.
Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread
- 9x13 baking dish
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1-2 Jalapeño peppers, seeded and diced
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese mild or medium
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Lightly grease a 9x13 pan with 1 Tablespoon of butter. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine 1 cup of flour flour, 1 cup of cornmeal, ½ teaspoon baking soda and ½ teaspoon salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together 1 cup of buttermilk, ½ cup melted butter, ½ cup sugar, 2 eggs and 1 Tablespoon of honey.
- Pour the wet mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients.
- Stir using a spatula until well combined.
- Add in the diced jalapeño and ½ cup shredded cheese. Stir to combine.
- Pour the cornbread batter into the 9x13 baking dish and spread evenly.
- Place the baking dish into the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes.
- When done, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.