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Jalapeño cornbread is full of peppers and cheddar cheese. It’s perfect for serving alongside chili, meatloaf, or roast chicken.
Cornbread has long been one of my favorite things to eat.
Even as a kid, I looked forward to the corn muffins we would make to go with our bowls of chili.
I still make buttermilk cornbread regularly, and jalapeño cheddar cornbread has made it into our regular rotation as well.
Full of spicy jalapeños and freshly grated cheddar cheese, this easy cornbread recipe might just be your new favorite!
Jalapeño cornbread from scratch
Growing up in the Midwest in the 1980s meant that when we made cornbread, it came from the Jiffy box.
I still have a soft spot for Jiffy cornbread, but making cornbread from scratch just takes a few more ingredients. I promise, it’s quick and easy!
In fact, you probably already have most of the ingredients on hand for this jalapeno cornbread recipe.
Cornbread is such a staple of American cuisine, especially in the South, let’s learn how to make it!
Before you get started to make this recipe, gather all of your ingredients. You don’t want to be halfway through and realize you’re out of eggs! (I’ve been there.)
- All-purpose flour
- Granulated sugar
- Baking soda
- Salt and pepper
- Cheddar cheese
I usually use yellow cornmeal when I make cornbread, but you can use white cornmeal, or even red or blue cornmeal.
This cornbread does have a small amount of sugar. I don’t like my cornbread overly sweet, so the sugar here is just for balancing the flavors. If you prefer, you can leave it out.
We use buttermilk in this recipe to give the cornbread a superior texture, as well as give it extra buttery flavor.
If you don’t have buttermilk, make a substitute by pouring 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar into a cup measure, then filling it to the 1-cup mark with milk. After a few minutes, the milk will be curdled and you can use it like buttermilk.
The amount of jalapeños you’ll need depends on your heat preference, as well as the size of the peppers.
Jalapeños can vary quite a bit in size, so I’ve included a cup measure in the recipe for the amount I use.
This recipe uses cheddar cheese. I buy blocks of sharp cheddar cheese and shred it myself, though you can swap in pre-shredded cheese for ease.
How to make jalapeno cornbread
Preheat your oven to 375°F.
Melt your butter and set it aside to cool. If it is too hot, you will cook the eggs when mixing them in. (If you can, melt the butter ahead of time and let the eggs come to room temperature.)
In a liquid measuring cup, combine the buttermilk and baking soda. Let sit for a few minutes while you start mixing.
Pour the melted butter into a large bowl, add the sugar and whisk together until blended.
Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until the mixture is smooth.
Now, pour in the buttermilk-baking soda mixture you prepared, and whisk to fully combine.
In a separate bowl, stir together cornmeal, flour, salt, and pepper. Add it to the wet ingredients and stir until there are no dry bits remaining.
Fold in the diced jalapeños and shredded cheddar cheese until evenly incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish, and bake for 20-30 minutes.
The cornbread should be golden brown and pulling away from the edges. A toothpick inserted into the center will come out clean.
Additions and substitutions
A 4-ounce can of green chiles work well in place of the jalapeños. Be sure to drain the excess liquid before adding to the batter.
If you want the cornbread hotter, replace some of the jalapeño with a serrano pepper.
You can also add a pinch of cayenne pepper or chili powder to taste.
Don’t have cheddar on hand? Try pepper jack, Monterey jack, or gouda. Even shredded mozzarella will work in a pinch.
Try adding some of these other ingredients:
- Fresh corn kernels
- Creamed corn
- Diced sauteed onions
- Roasted red bell pepper
If you have leftovers or don’t plan to serve your jalapeño cornbread right away, you can store it covered at room temperature for 2 days.
Make sure to cool the cornbread completely before covering to prevent condensation from forming.
For longer storage, place in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or freeze it.
To freeze, wrap the cornbread tightly in foil or freezer paper, then transfer to a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months.
To thaw frozen cornbread, remove from the freezer and let thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
Other bread recipes you’ll love
Bake up a batch of this jalapeño cornbread tonight! It goes perfectly with sweet potato black bean chili.
- 8 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Pinch ground black pepper
- 1 to 2 jalapeño peppers, diced
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 375°F and lightly grease a 9×9-inch square pan.
- In a large bowl, mix together butter and sugar until blended. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
- Combine buttermilk and baking soda and let rest a moment to foam, then stir into butter mixture.
- In another bowl, stir together cornmeal, flour, salt, and pepper. Pour into wet ingredients and stir until fully incorporated.
- Fold in jalapeños and cheddar cheese, mixing just until evenly distributed.
- Pour into prepared pan and bake for 20-30 minutes, until golden and edges are pulling away from the sides. Let cool slightly before serving.