This rustic Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread is loaded with shredded cheese, sweet corn kernels and jalapeño pieces. It is the perfect salty sweet side dish for all of your summer BBQs, or served with a steaming bowl of hot soup for colder weather.
This cheesy skillet cornbread recipe is super quick and easy to whip up. Hence, it’s perfect for that last minute bread side dish for all of your summer BBQs! It has the perfect mix of salty sweet, super moist, and only slightly spicy if you’re wondering about the heat level.
Ingredients and Substitutions
You can always find the full list of ingredients and amount at the end of this post in the recipe card. But here are some notes on the main ingredients and substitutions.
- Cornmeal – medium or fine cornmeal will work best as they yield a lighter texture cornbread. Coarse cornmeal will yield a more rustic texture with more apparent corn flavor, a good option if you’re not adding corn kernels.
- Flour – you may wonder why we don’t use all cornmeal but a mix of cornmeal and flour in this recipe. Flour will give this jalapeno cornbread structure, and help it rise in the oven. If you’re using all cornmeal, the texture won’t be the same.
- Brown sugar – you could substitute granulated sugar here. Adjust the amount of sugar if you like your cornbread less sweet or even sweeter.
- Buttermilk – I’ve always made all of my cornbread with buttermilk though I can’t really tell if there is extra “tang” with the buttermilk or not. So if you run out of buttermilk, you can certainly use whole milk or make homemade buttermilk.
- Shredded cheese – shred your favorite cheddar or use a pre-shredded mixed cheese.
- Corn kernels – you can skip corn kernels if you want but I like them for the added corn flavor and sweetness. I use frozen sweet white corn, do not thaw the frozen corn. You can substitute with canned corn, but make sure to drain and pat dry.
- Jalapeño – for more heat, leave the seeds on. I dice 1 of the jalapeños and slice the other one into rings to add to the top. You could dice both of them if you prefer to have all of the jalapeños inside the cornbread batter.
Step by Step Instructions
This recipe is extremely easy and quick to whip up even at the last minute. The great thing about baking cornbread in a cast iron skillet is that the skillet is also your serving vessel, no need to transfer your delicious cheesy cornbread to a serving basket or plate.
- First, mix together all of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- Then add 1 cup of shredded cheese (reserving ½ cup for later), corn kernels, and the diced jalapeno.
- Toss to combine.
- In a large measuring cup or a small mixing bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients until smooth.
- Add it to the dry ingredient mixture.
- Fold just until the batter forms.
- Transfer the cornbread batter to a grease cast iron skillet.
- Add the remaining ½ cup of shredded cheese on top.
- Finish it off with the sliced jalapeno and bake until golden brown.
- I baked this in a 10” cast iron skillet, you can use a 10” round cake pan or a 9” square baking pan.
- You could also bake this recipe in a muffin pan, like these sweet cornbread muffins. Baking time might vary a bit since this jalapeno cornbread has a lot of filling in the batter.
- Allow the cornbread to cool slightly before serving and serve it directly from the cast iron skillet with a drizzle of honey or some honey butter.
- Leftovers can be toasted into croutons and used in Thanksgiving dressing.
Since this cornbread contains cheese, it is best to store leftovers in the refrigerator. They should last 3 – 5 days.
This jalapeño cheddar cornbread also freezes well and should last 3 – 6 months in the freezer. Simply reheat in the oven at 350°F for 10 – 15 minutes straight from the freezer, you do not need to thaw it.
More side dishes
- Cheese Biscuits
- Purple Sweet Potato Dinner Rolls
- Honey Whole Wheat Biscuits
- Hot Cross Buns
- Creamed Corn au Gratin
Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread
- 1 cup cornmeal (140 g)
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour (98 g)
- ¼ cup brown sugar (light or dark, firmly packed, 56 g)
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ cup shredded cheese (lightly packed, 150 g)
- 1 cup frozen sweet corn kernels (130 g)
- 2 jalapenos (diced and sliced, 69 g)
- 6 tablespoon unsalted butter (melted & cooled, 84 g)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 ½ cup buttermilk (room temperature, 360 g)
- Extra butter for the pan
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt.
- Add 1 cup of shredded cheese, the frozen corn kernels, and the diced jalapeño to the flour mixture and toss to combine.
- In a smaller mixing bowl or large measuring cup, beat together melted butter, eggs, and buttermilk until smooth. Pour the milk mixture into the bowl containing the dry ingredients and fold just until the batter is formed.
- Grease a 10” cast iron skillet or equivalent size baking pan with melted butter. Transfer the cornbread batter to the pan. Level out the top and sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese over the surface. Add the sliced jalapeño rings on top.
- Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 10 – 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
- Dice one of the jalapeño and slice the other one into rings if you want to add it to the top of your cornbread. You can also dice both of them if you prefer all the jalapeño in the cornbread batter.
- Remove the jalapeño seeds if you don’t want too much heat. Any type of shredded cheese should work fine.
- I used cheddar, and also a mix of cheddar and jack cheese.
- You can bake this recipe in a 10” round cake pan or a 9” square baking pan.
- You could also bake these into cornbread muffins. Reduce the temperature to 375°F and bake for 20 – 25 minutes.
Originally published on 11/26/2014. Updated and republished on 4/25/2021 with process photos and more tips.
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