Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread

Fall, Quick and Easy, Scones & Muffins, Sides, Thanksgiving

This Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread  has crispy edges, a super moist crumb, is very cheesy and spicy (thanks to the cheese, cornmeal and jalapeño), and a teeny bit sweet. It’s delicious and moist for days after! If you love Jiffy cornbread, this will remind you a bit of that! Make this in a skillet OR make them as muffins. Serve it with your favorite cozy beef stew, vegan chili or pumpkin chili.

Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread

Before we dive in, let’s discuss what I love and want from cornbread.

History of Cornbread

Cornbread history has it that it first started with Native Americans grinding corn into cornmeal and mixing it with water and cooking it over a fire. It was simple back then. It evolved over time; people added buttermilk, leavening, pork fat, salt…all the good things. They often times cooked it on a gardening hoe, over an open flame, hence the name “hoe cake.”

The method, technique and ingredients has varied so much throughout the years. Some argue that sugar should NEVER be added, while others love their cornbread to be super sweet.

As a person who was born in the South but doesn’t consider herself a Southerner (with parents from South America), cornbread wasn’t exactly something I grew up eating.

I personally like it a bit sweet (this is controversial lol) and if you do, I believe it isn’t considered TRUE southern cornbread. I say ok with that!

Things that Make Cornbread Delicious!

I took to Twitter and asked the people what they loved in a cornbread. Here were some answers:

  • “Crispy edges!”
  • “Sweetened with honey”
  • “Very moist!”
  • “Buttermilk gives it tang!”

I happened to agree with all of these notes. I love a cornbread that has a bit of tang, I like it on the sweeter side, I like there to be a balance in the texture. Not too gritty, not too fluffy. I like there to be a moistness to it.

To achieve all of this this is what I went with.

Ingredients You Need for Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread

  1. Cornmeal – You want to use a medium grain cornmeal. I found that a 1 to 1 ratio of cornmeal with flour was ideal for that perfect crunchiness cornmeal gives you and a moist delicious crumb that you can only get with all-purpose flour.
  2. Brown Sugar – Cornmeal can be a bit drying so you really want to add as much moisture as possible. Brown sugar gives a delicious caramel/molasses flavor to this cornbread and keeps it super moist.
  3. Butter AND Oil – I use this combination in most of my cakes. The butter gives a lot of flavor while the oil gives a lot of moisture. This balance of both makes for an amazing texture and crumb.
  4. Buttermilk – I like buttermilk in this application because it gives a lot of moistness and adds to a great texture.
  5. Eggs – Eggs give a lightness to all baked goods. They also bind the batter together.
  6. Baking Powder and Baking Soda – baking powder gives a good lift to the cornbread, while the baking soda adds lift AND color.
  7. Shredded Cheddar – I used a medium sharp cheddar. I didn’t want it too piercing. I’m in favor of using cheese from a block vs. buying already shredded cheddar. I find that it melts much better.
  8. Diced Jalapeño – I used fresh jalapeño and diced it up. But feel free to use canned pickled jalapeños if you like. Both are great.

Achieving that Crispy Cornbread Crust!

I always learned that in order to get a super crisp crust on cornbread, preheating the pan in the oven is necessary. So, I did just that, using a bit of oil. I didn’t love the flavor and found it a bit cumbersome to remove the very hot pan and add batter to it.

I came up with something better! Since we already have to melt butter for this recipe, I figured why not do it in the cast iron skillet we’re cooking the cornbread in. Swirl it around to coat the pan with butter. And then add the batter to it. It’ll be preheated and greased with butter.

Doing this resulted in a super crisp crust and flavorful one…thanks to the butter. I was afraid that the butter was going to burn but it absolutely didn’t—it was fantastic.

Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread

Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread

How to Make Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread

  1. Melt the butter in the pan and let it sit.
  2. Whisk together all of the dry ingredients
  3. Mix together the buttermilk, neutral oil, eggs and then add the melted butter.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well.
  5. Add the batter to the preheated cast iron skillet AND then transfer it to the oven to bake.
  6. After 25 to 30 minutes to bake. As a result, it’ll be fluffy and delicious.
  7. Serve it with a scallion butter if you like!

If you make this on Instagram, let me know!

Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Recipe

5 from 18 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Serving Size: 6
Calories: 200kcal
Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread has that perfect cornbread crust. This classic Southern cornbread is studded with cheesy cheddar and diced jalapeños.


Dry Mix:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and diced

Wet Mix:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/3 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1/2 cup neutral oil, (such as grapeseed, avocado oil or vegetable oil)
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature

Scallion Butter:

  • 2 scallions, ends trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon flakey sea salt


To Make the Cornbread:

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Set your 10-inch cast iron on the stove.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the shredded cheddar and diced jalapeños and toss the dry ingredients together.
  • Place the skillet over medium-high heat and add the butter. When melted, swirl it around so that it coats the entire bottom of the pan, as well as the sides. Turn the heat off.
  • In a medium bowl or a large measuring cup, measure out the buttermilk, whisk in the eggs, and neutral oil. Lastly, pour in the melted butter (some butter remaining in the pan is great! don’t scrape it clean with a spatula). Whisk until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix no flecks of flour remain, being sure not to overmix the cornbread. Pour the batter into the buttered cast iron skillet and immediately transfer to the oven to bake until golden brown on top and until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes

To Make the Scallion Butter:

  • In a small skillet set over medium heat. Add the scallions and cook until bright green and softened, about 1 minute. Add a pinch of salt and mix.
  • In a small bowl, add the softened butter and scallions. Mix together until combined. Add to a small bowl and sprinkle the top with flaky sea salt.
  • Serve with warm cornbread.


Other Cheese Options: 
You could use other types of cheeses like smoked gouda, fontina, smoked cheddar or swiss. 
10 1/4-inch Le Creuset Cast Iron Skillet | Silicon Spatula | Stainless Steel Bowls | Chef's Knife
To Freeze Cornbread: 
You can make ahead and freeze cornbread. Allow to come to room temperature and then wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Transfer to the freezer and keep up to 1 month. Thaw in the fridge overnight and then warm up in a 200 degree oven. 
CourseBread, Side Dish
CuisineAmerican, Southern, Thanksgiving
Keywordcheesy jalapeno cornbread, cheesy jalapeno recipe, jalapeno cheddar cornbread, jalapeno cornbread recipe, southern cornbread, southern cornbread recipe
Serving: 6g | Calories: 200kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Cholesterol: 120mg | Sodium: 20mg | Potassium: 40mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 4IU | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 20mg
Did you make this Recipe? Tag me Today!Tag @acozykitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #acozykitchen

Looking for recipes to pair with this Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread? Here are a few of my favorites:

Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread

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Recipe Rating

  • Reply Don L September 22, 2020 at 2:29 pm

    5 stars
    Excellent recipe Adrianna, thanks for sharing. My first scratch cornbread and it turned out perfect! I made this yesterday, had to use whole milk and salted butter (reduced the added salt to a pinch) and it is so good. Moist and flavorful with a crispy crust and just the right amount of sweetness from the brown sugar. This will be my go to cornbread recipe.

  • Reply Mary April 7, 2020 at 1:01 pm

    I did this earlier today and although it looked really pretty, I could not get it to set….
    I followed the recipe exactly to the T but it came out really crispy on the edges and top but the center was too moist…kinda like a soggy bread. I cooked it for 30 mins to start…then another 5, then another 5, then another 5 and another 5 after that for a total of 45 mins and the center was still soggy.

    What did I do wrong?

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme April 7, 2020 at 10:20 pm

      oh no i’m sorry it gave you trouble! one thing that i can think of is that perhaps your oven is off? have you confirmed your oven with a meat thermometer. you can place a meat thermometer in there to make sure that it’s the right temperature. let me know how it goes!

      • Reply laura Farlow June 20, 2020 at 1:17 pm

        Same thing happened to me. I think I used a smaller cast iron skillet then I should have. Otherwise, I’m not sure what it is. I have a gas stove and it is alway on the mark.

  • Reply Lori Silbert November 24, 2019 at 1:36 pm

    I just made this and am anxious to see how it will taste with
    a pot of homemade soup I made today!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme November 24, 2019 at 5:29 pm

      Oh amazing! Hope you loved it.

    • Reply Shannon Bulk September 6, 2020 at 4:10 am

      Can I use something other than a cast iron skillet?

      • Reply Adrianna Adarme September 6, 2020 at 2:08 pm

        an 9-inch cake pan should work! it just won’t be as crispy on the bottom but will still be good!

  • Reply food March 10, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    5 stars
    I love this recipe cornbread is very good I encata this blog is excellent thanks for an excellent fabulous recipe conparit this blog

  • Reply Debbie N December 22, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    I have made this 3 times now and my family LOVES it. The first time, I double the recipe and did have to cook it about 15 minutes longer, as I cooked it in one skillet. It turned out great. Thank you.

  • Reply Melody November 28, 2013 at 7:40 am

    5 stars
    Hi Adriana,

    I made this last week and it was great!

  • Reply Nia June 16, 2013 at 9:30 am

    5 stars
    Yum. I made this cornbread for dinner yesterday and it was great. I did add a dash more buttermilk and some cool melted butter to the batter. I let a friend borrow my cast iron skillet so I placed the batter in a regular dish. Once it finished cooking I cut a piece and placed it on top of some collard greens made with smoked turkey. The cornbread was so good I’m skipping my bowl of Cheerios this morning and having a slice for breakfast.

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme June 16, 2013 at 4:47 pm

      Cornbread is so much better than Cherrios. So glad it turned out!

  • Reply Barbara October 10, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    5 stars
    This sounds delicious…..Can you freeze corn bread?

  • Reply Darlene April 12, 2012 at 11:08 am

    So sad for those who have never had cornbread…it is the best!!! Especially with brown beans! YUM!!!

    • Reply Renee Russell July 29, 2020 at 10:25 pm

      5 stars
      Darlene you must have grown up in the south to be a fan of cornbread n beans. I agree that real Southern cornbread is not sweet, but you maintain some of that authenticity via your cast iron skillet and use using buttermilk. It’s OK to leave out most of the sugar. Try it both ways. Perty doggone good recipe and intro! You know the crust will be crispy brown when you hear a little sizzle as you pour in batter. If your skillet is smoking, rest it a few minutes bc it is a little too hot. Using it to melt the butter is a grand idea.

  • Reply Annie @ Annie's Cooking Lab February 25, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    5 stars
    I finally got around to making this and it’s SO good! My cast iron skillet is on the small side, so I did half the batter in there and divided the rest up between some mini-muffin tins. Thanks so much for this recipe!

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