There's nothing better than a slice of homemade jalapeño cheddar cornbread! Made with a handful of staple pantry ingredients, this cornbread turns out tender and flavorful.
If you love skillet cornbread, you'll need to try this jalapeño cheddar version! Using simple pantry staples and fresh jalapeños, it's 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 jalapeño cheddar cornbread.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Cornmeal - Yellow or white cornmeal works in this recipe.
- All-purpose flour - Necessary to add stability and balance with the wet ingredients in the recipe. I have not tested this recipe with other types of flours, so I can't say how substitutions would turn out. If you have other types of flours on hand, I recommend searching for a recipe written for your desired ingredients.
- Eggs - Add moisture and structure to the cornbread.
- Butter - Adds moisture to the cornbread. If using salted butter, I recommend reducing the listed salt by half.
- Salt - Enhances the flavor of the cornbread.
- Leavening - You'll need a combination of baking soda and baking powder to get the proper rise. The two are not interchangeable.
- Jalapeños - 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.
- Cheese - 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 - 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 to the 1-cup line and allow to set for five minutes.
- Granulated sugar - This ingredient can be a hot topic when it comes to cornbread. A small amount adds 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. Be aware that your baking time may vary depending on the size of your pan.
Preheating your skillet
Place your cast iron skillet in the oven while you mix the 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
Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread
- 1 ¼ cups (195 g) ground cornmeal
- ¾ cup (90 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (227 g) buttermilk
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 large eggs
- 3 jalapeño peppers
- 1 cup (113 g) 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 the 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 adds the best flavor).
- Pour batter into the hot skillet, top with sliced jalapeños, and place back in the oven. Bake for about 20-24 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out with crumbs. Allow to cool for 10 minutes 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.