Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread the perfect snack for the big game! Or to dip in your chili. Or to snack on while watching Netflix. Or whenever you want, actually 😆.
This cheesy cornbread is super delicious and satisfying. It comes together quickly and makes for easy snacking.
The jarred jalapeños make quick and easy work of adding just the right amount of heat. And those crispy, cheesy edges! So good.
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Cast Iron Cornbread
When developing this recipe, I discovered making this cornbread in a cast iron skillet was the way to go. The skillet can be used directly on the stovetop to brown the butter then placed in the oven for baking.
And the crispy edges created by the baked cheddar cheese in the cast iron skillet are reason enough to use it! Clean up is a breeze, too, with cast iron.
To clean cast iron, I like to give the cast iron skillet a quick rinse under hot water. Then I use a scrub brush or paper towel to gently scrub off any residue.
How to Make the Very Best Cornbread
This recipe starts off by browning butter in the cast iron pan. To do this, simply place the butter in the skillet over medium heat. Swirl the pan to lightly coat the sides and bottom with butter. Watching the butter carefully so it doesn’t burn, wait until the foam subsides and the butter turns a deep nutty brown color. Inhale deeply because it smells amazing!
Pour the brown butter into a Pyrex measuring cup or heatproof bowl and set aside. Do not wipe out the pan, as the melted butter that’s left in the skillet will help the cornbread get all crispy on the edges while baking.
Next, mix the wet ingredients, then the dry and combine them. Add in the grated cheese and diced jalapeños then pour into the skillet, topping with more cheese, of course, then bake. It’s that easy!
You’ll notice this cornbread recipe does not have baking powder or baking soda in it. The lack of chemical leavener helps keep this cornbread from becoming too fluffy and cake-like. Which happens to be the type of cornbread I was going for here! The buttermilk does act as a leavener in this recipe while also helping to tenderize the cornbread batter and give it really good flavor.
Ingredients Needed to Make Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread
- Butter: I prefer to use unsalted butter. That way, I can control the amount of salt going into this recipe. if you only have salted, go ahead and use it, but be sure to cut by at least half the amount of salt called for in the recipe below
- Cornmeal: The recipe calls for medium grind cornmeal, as this will produce the best texture in cornbread. If you can only find coarse cornmeal, you can pulse it in a food processor a few times to produce a finer texture. Fine ground cornmeal will work just fine in this recipe as well
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Salt: I prefer to use kosher salt, however, you can use whatever kind you have. Salts have varying levels of saltiness, so start out by adding just a little bit then adding more if you need to. You may want to add more or less than is called for in the recipe based on your preferences
- Honey: Be sure to use runny honey for this recipe. If your honey has crystalized (this is completely normal), microwave it to loosen it up. Or, place the sealed jar of honey in a simmering pot of water until the honey loosens up
- Eggs: room temperature eggs work best here, as they’ll incorporate into the batter much easier than will cold eggs. If you forgot to take your eggs out of the fridge beforehand, allow them to sit in a bowl of tepid (not hot or boiling!) water for 10 minutes to remove the chill from them before adding to the batter
- Cheddar Cheese: I highly recommend buying a block of cheese and shredding it rather than buying the pre-shredded kind. The pre-shredded cheeses tend to have fillers and/or preservatives in them. I also recommend buying extra-sharp cheddar for this recipe, otherwise the flavor of the cheese will get lost in the baked cornbread
- Jalapeños: The recipe calls for jarred jalapeños out of convenience. If you prefer to buy fresh, whole jalapeños, go for it!
Can the cheddar cheese and jalapeños be substituted in this recipe?
Yes! You can try all different mix-ins in equal amounts. Try mixing in corn kernels, bacon, crumbled cooked sausage, diced chipotles and even chopped apple.
Can this recipe be made gluten-free?
I have not tried making this cornbread gluten-free. The majority of the ingredients are gluten-free except the all-purpose flour. Try substituting the all-purpose flour for 1-for-1 gluten-free all-purpose baking flour such as Bob’s Red Mill Brand. I would try adding a bit more buttermilk if using gluten-free flour as well, as gluten free flour tends to absorb more moisture than regular all-purpose.
Can this recipe be made in a regular skillet (not cast iron)?
Absolutely! Just be sure the skillet you’re using is oven-safe before using in this recipe.
Can the buttermilk be substituted in this recipe?
Yes, buttermilk can be substituted in this recipe for any of the following ingredients:
- 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon removed, add 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes
- sour cream mixed with water to thin it out
- plain full-fat greek yogurt mixed with water to thin it out
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