Classic moist cornbread meets fiery jalapenos and savory cheddar cheese for a sweet and spicy jalapeno cornbread that’s perfect for potlucks or dinners.

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Top down view of jalapeno cornbread baked in a cast iron skillet, surrounded by jalapenos, plates, silverware, an salt and pepper shakers.

About Jalapeno Cornbread

With a spicy kick of jalapenos, a dash of cheddar cheese, and a dense, crumbly texture, this cheesy jalapeno cornbread takes this southern classic to a whole new subtly-sweet-and-spicy level.

What’s in jalapeno cornbread?

  • All-purpose flour, eggs, baking powder, baking soda, kosher salt – Classic baking ingredients.
  • Yellow cornmeal – Gives this cornbread its trademark flavor, texture, and color.
  • Jalapenos – The ingredient that gives this cornbread a bit of a kick! I recommend removing the seeds and ribs of the jalapenos for texture reasons, but you can also include them if you’d like your cornbread to be spicier.
  • Cream-style sweet corn – Adds flavor, a touch of sweetness, and kernels of corn.
  • Cheddar cheese – To give this cornbread some savory cheesy flavor. Medium cheddar cheese is recommended, but feel free to use mild or sharp (or even a different type of cheese altogether, like Mexican blend) if you’d prefer.
  • Dark brown sugar – Needed for baking chemistry and adds a little more sweetness to soften the edges of the jalapenos. You can also use light brown sugar instead.
  • Buttermilk and greek yogurt – Gives this cornbread a deliciously dense texture.
Close up side view of jalapeno cornbread in a cast iron skillet.

Should you grate your own cheese?

Using pre-grated cheese is extremely convenient, but it contains some preservatives (such as potato starch) that help keep the grated cheese separated in the bag. And while this is great for grabbing a quick pinch of shredded cheese, it will also cause the melted cheese to appear lumpy or harden faster than it normally should.

So if you’re a cheese lover like me and want ultra soft and flavorful melted cheese in your cornbread, I highly recommend grating a block of cheese. I know it’s more work, but the end result will more than make up for it.

Do you have to use a cast iron skillet?

While a well-seasoned cast iron skillet provides an excellent cooking surface that gives the cornbread a dark, golden crust (not to mention all the rustic presentation vibes) it’s not required cookware for this particular recipe.

If you don’t have (or don’t want to use) a cast iron skillet, you can follow the same instructions with any oven-safe skillet, 8×8 baking dish, or pie dish of a similar size. if you use different cookware, you also don’t need to heat it in the oven before hand – doing so would be totally up to you.

How long is jalapeno cornbread good for?

Once prepared and cooled, jalapeno cornbread can be stored at room temperature in a sealed container for up to two to three days. If stored in the refrigerator, it can last up to four days.

Close up side view of jalapeno cornbread in a cast iron skillet with a slice cut out, showing off crumbly texture of cornbread.

Can you freeze jalapeno cornbread?

Yes, you totally can!

Once prepared and cooled, this cheesy cornbread can be stored in a sealed container or freezer bag for up to three months.

Notes & tips for jalapeno cornbread

  • Jalapeno cornbread can be served warm or cold.
  • Whenever you are preparing jalapenos, be sure that you are wearing food safety gloves while handling them and avoid any contact with your eyes while you work. Also, you have a crucial choice to make: to include the jalapeno seeds or remove them. The seeds are where this pepper gets its trademark fire, so only include them if you want the extra kick. For a full tutorial on cutting jalapeno peppers, check this out: How to Cut a Jalapeno Pepper the Right Way.
  • Don’t have any buttermilk? No problem! To make 1 cup of buttermilk: Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to a measuring cup. Next, pour in milk, filling up to 1 full cup. Let mixture sit for at least 5 minutes or until mixture begins to curdle. Give the mixture a whisk to fully incorporate, then use in a recipe as directed. If you need less than 1 cup, just adjust the amounts accordingly. For example, this recipe uses a 1/2 cup, so you’d use a 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar and then fill the measuring cup up with milk to a 1/2 cup.
Close up side view of jalapeno cornbread in a cast iron skillet with a slice cut out, showing off crumbly texture of cornbread.

More spicy recipes to try

Other great bread recipes

How to make jalapeno cornbread

This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.

Step 1 – In a medium bowl, whisk together the following ingredients: flour, cornmeal, baking powder, garlic powder, baking soda, and salt. Set this bowl aside for now.

Step 2 – In a large bowl, mix together these ingredients: one diced jalapeno, some melted butter, cream-style sweet corn, some cheddar cheese, buttermilk, greek yogurt, beaten eggs, and brown sugar.

Step 3 – Working in batches, add the dry ingredients to the wet until all of the ingredients are incorporated.

Step 4 – Add a 10-inch cast iron skillet to your oven on the middle rack, then preheat it. Once warm, add the remaining melted butter to the bottom of the skillet in an even layer.

Step 5 – Pour the cornbread batter into the skillet and spread it into an even layer. Decorate the top of the batter with one sliced jalapeno and more cheddar cheese.

Step 6 – Bake!

Step 7 – Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Details

Top down view of jalapeno cornbread baked in a cast iron skillet, surrounded by jalapenos, plates, silverware, an salt and pepper shakers.
5 from 1 vote

Jalapeno Cornbread

20 mins prep + 30 mins cook
371 kcal
Yields: 6 servings
Classic moist cornbread meets fiery jalapenos and savory cheddar cheese for a sweet and spicy jalapeno cornbread that's perfect for potlucks or dinners.

Ingredients 

Instructions

  • Place a 10 inch cast iron skillet on middle rack in oven. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Prepare jalapenos by dicing one and slicing the other, storing the different cuts separately until ready to use. Remove seeds and ribs if desired. Set both aside.
    2 jalapenos
  • Prepare butter by dividing it into 6 tablespoons and 2 tablespoons. Melt both and store separately until ready to use. Set both aside.
    1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, garlic powder, baking soda, and salt. Set bowl aside.
    1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 cup yellow cornmeal, 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • In a large bowl, add the diced jalapeno, 6 tablespoons melted butter, cream-style sweet corn, 3/4 cup cheddar cheese, buttermilk, greek yogurt, beaten eggs, and brown sugar. Gently fold ingredients together.
    1 cup cream-style sweet corn, 1 cup shredded medium cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup buttermilk, 1/2 cup greek yogurt, 2 large eggs, 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well until ingredients are incorporated.
  • Once oven is preheated, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter into the hot cast iron skillet, coating the bottom.
  • Pour prepared batter into the cast iron skillet, spreading into an even layer. Garnish the top of the batter with remaining sliced jalapeno peppers and 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese.
    1 cup shredded medium cheddar cheese
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a tester toothpick comes out clean.
  • Allow jalapeno cornbread to rest for 10 minutes before cutting.
  • Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servings | Calories: 371kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 106mg | Sodium: 341mg | Potassium: 307mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 647IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 106mg | Iron: 2mg

I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.

Author: Chrisy