There's nothing better than a slice of homemade skillet jalapeño cheddar cornbread! Made with a handful of staple pantry ingredients, this cornbread turns out tender and flavorful, with chopped jalapeños and melty cheddar cheese.
If you love skillet cornbread, you'll need to try this jalapeño cheddar version! Made with simple pantry staples and fresh jalapeños - easy to make for even a novice baker.
To make this recipe, you'll need a 10 inch cast iron skillet and a single bowl. In just 30 minutes you'll have a skillet of warm, homemade cornbread.
Ingredients and substitutions
Since baking is an exact science, I do not have many substitutions to offer. Each ingredients serves a purpose in the recipe and I do not recommend making any substitutions I do not offer below.
I recommend adding two to three jalapeños to your skillet cornbread. I used three medium sized jalapeños, slicing one for the top and dicing the remaining two to fold into the batter. Jalapenos can be substituted with other fresh peppers you have on hand, or omitted entirely without affecting the recipe.
Shredded sharp cheddar cheese should be freshly shredded from a block. I do not recommend using pre-shredded bagged cheese that is often coated in anti-clumping powders. When melted, these powders can give the cheese a grainy texture. Sharp cheddar can be substituted with monterey jack, mild cheddar, pepper jack, or gruyere. Cheese can also be omitted entirely without affecting the recipe.
Buttermilk is a must to obtain the correct acidity in this recipe. Don't have buttermilk? Add one tablespoon of vinegar to a 1-cup liquid measuring cup, then fill with milk and allow to set for five minutes. You've just made a homemade buttermilk substitute!
Granulated sugar can be a hot topic when it comes to cornbread. I think it adds a nice flavor and balance without making the cornbread 'sweet'. If you don't like sugar in your cornbread, omit it from the recipe.
Tips and tricks
Don't overmix your batter - Mix your wet and dry ingredients together until just combined. Overmixing your batter can create tough bread.
Buttermilk substitute - Don't have buttermilk on hand? Do not substitute with regular milk - it doesn't have enough acidity. Instead, add one tablespoon of white vinegar to a liquid measuring cup, then fill to the one cup mark with milk. Allow your milk to sit for 5 minutes, then add to the recipe as directed.
Grease your pan with butter - Butter adds flavor to your bread and gives it a lovely golden brown crust when baked.
Serve same day - Homemade cornbread is best served the same day, if possible. Cornbread will begin to dry out after about two days.
Freeze leftovers - If you know you'll have leftovers, freeze your skillet cornbread in individual slices. Wrap in wax paper or foil and store in a freezer safe container until ready to serve. Frozen cornbread will keep for 3 months or more.
What size pan to use
I used a 10 inch Lodge Cast Iron Skillet to make this cornbread recipe.
If you don't have a cast iron pan on hand, you can substitute with a 9 to 10 inch pie pan. Take note, your baking time may vary slightly.
Preheating your cast iron skillet
Place your cast iron skillet in the oven while you make your cornbread batter. Pouring the batter into a hot, buttered skillet gives your cornbread a crunchy, golden brown crust.
You don't have to preheat your skillet, but I highly recommend giving it a try.
What to serve with cornbread
A few main courses to serve with skillet cornbread:
- Slow Cooker Chili
- Oven Baked Ribs
- Easy Beef Stew
- Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs
- Beans and Rice Taco Soup
- Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup
Skillet Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread
- 1 ¼ cups ground cornmeal
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 2 large eggs
- 3 jalapeño peppers
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a 10 inch cast iron skillet in the preheating oven to warm up while you mix your batter.
- In a large bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients - cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the buttermilk, melted butter, and eggs to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Do not overmix your batter.
- Slice one of your jalapeños, setting it aside for later. Dice your remaining two jalapeños and fold them into your batter along with the shredded cheese.
- Remove the hot skillet (carefully!) from the oven and coat the bottom and sides with butter (you can also use a cooking spray or oil, but butter will provide the best flavor).
- Pour your batter into the hot skillet, top with the sliced jalapeños, and place back in the oven. Bake for 20-24 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean (or with a few crumbs). Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
- Optionally, brush the top with more melted butter before serving.
- If you do not have a cast iron skillet, a 9 to 10 inch round deep dish pie pan will work. Baking time may need to be adjusted slightly.
- Cornbread will keep for 1-2 days in a sealed container at room temperature, up to 1 week in the refrigerator, or frozen for up to 3 months.
- Buttermilk substitute - add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to your measuring cup, then fill to the 1 cup mark with milk. Allow to set for 5 minutes, then add to your batter as directed.