Baking · Bread · Dips and Sides

Cheddar Jalapeño Cornbread

Cornbread with a delicious savoury addition of mature Cheddar cheese and spicy jalapeño chilli peppers. Dunk into a warm bowl of chilli con carne, soup or spread with butter. 

Cornbread is the epitome of summer picnic food for me and I love that it pairs well with so many different dishes, dipped into a bowl of chilli con carne, served alongside barbecue ribs, grilled chicken or simply served as it is.

Cornbread isn’t really that popular where I’m from, but I don’t know why as this classic American quick bread is truly amazing.

I first made this recipe about a year ago, I was enjoying a lazy day watching a Barefoot Contessa marathon and on one of the episodes Ina was preparing cornbread with a twist. The delicious twist was the addition of sharp, mature Cheddar cheese, spicy jalapeño and spring onion (scallions). As soon as I saw it I knew I wanted to bake some for myself as I loved the sound of all those flavours combined together.

I especially love this cornbread served warm with butter. It’s incredibly tasty! 

Even though I’ve said this cornbread is brilliant for packing up for a picnic, it’s also fantastic in the cooler months enjoyed with a bowl of chilli or soup for those times when you’re in need of some comfort food. Cornbread is pretty much perfect for all seasons, which is especially great at the moment as the UK summer seems to have mysteriously disappeared yet again and all I’m craving is warm winter foods.

I’ll have my fingers crossed hoping summer will make a reappearance sometime soon… 😉

This cornbread has just the right balance of sweetness and it’s deliciously moist without being too crumbly like some cornbreads tend to be. I’ve spent some extra time with this recipe translating the cup measurements into grams as everyone needs a good, trusty cornbread recipe in their repertoire and it definitely needs to be this one!

(Makes 12-16 large pieces)


360g (3 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour

125g (1 cup) cornmeal or polenta

2 tablespoons baking powder

2 teaspoons salt

50g (1/4 cup) caster or granulated sugar

480ml (2 cups) milk

3 large free-range eggs

225g (2 sticks/1 cup) butter, melted and cooled slightly

225g (8 ounces) mature Cheddar cheese, grated

4 or 1/3 cup spring onions (scallions), chopped – use both white and green parts

1-2 large jalapeños, seeds removed and minced (you can add more if you’d like)


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C / 160°C Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking tray with parchment paper then set aside. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, cornmeal/polenta, baking powder, salt and sugar.
  2. In another bowl whisk together the milk, eggs and melted butter until thoroughly combined.
  3. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until no lumps of flour remain. Be careful not to over mix.
  4. Fold through 2/3 of the grated cheese along with the spring onion (scallion) and jalapeño. Leave the cornbread batter to rest for 20 minutes.
  5. After resting spread the cornbread batter into the baking tray and top with the rest of the grated cheese. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean without any uncooked batter remaining. Leave to cool completely in the baking tray, then slice up into 12-16 large pieces or alternatively pieces of any size you like. Cornbread will keep in an airtight container for 2-3 days. Serve cold or warm.

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61 thoughts on “Cheddar Jalapeño Cornbread

  1. Cornbread is one of my favorite side dishes! I think I could eat it for just about every meal. This jalapeno version sounds amazing, Jessica! I love the touch of cheddar in here, too. Looks so perfect!

  2. I have made Ina’s Jalapeño Cheedar Cornbread many times and love it. Yours looks super moist and delicious.

  3. I really like watching Ina. Her recipes always turn out really well. This cornbread looks great! Now I just need some chili!

  4. Jalapeno and cheddar is one awesome combination! I can just imagine how good this would be dunked into some chili!

  5. Not much that gets the people in my family hungrier than the words “jalapeno” and “cheddar” in one sentence. 😉 This cornbread looks absolutely delish, Jess! Pinning!

  6. Cornbread is one of my favorite things ever, and this is one version I haven’t tried yet. It looks so delicious with that kick of jalapeno and cheese!

  7. My Southern husband (cornbread lover extraordinaire) would flip for the peppers in this – pinning!

  8. Oh, this one is calling my name, Jess! I love the flavors you’ve got going on in here. I mean jalapenos and aged cheddar? Wrapped in cornbread? Yes, yes and more yes, please! Totally gonna make this one sometime!

  9. I LOVE, LOVE Barefoot Contessa. All of her recipes are absolutely outstanding. This cornbread looks amazing! I’ve been looking for a good, not-your-average cornbread recipe and I can’t wait to try this! Pinning!

    1. Thanks so much Erin! Barefoot Contessa is definitely one of my favourite programmes to watch and I love all of Ina’s recipes. This cornbread is delicious and like you said it’s a nice twist on the classic. Let me know if you give it a try!

  10. I absolutely love cornbread! This cheddar jalapeño recipe sounds so amazing and full of flavour! Such a beautiful dish Jess! Barefoot Contessa is amazing! I can’t wait to try this!

  11. Ooh Jess! I’ve never tried making cornbread, but your post has left me asking myself why because it’s so delicious! And to be honest it’s ‘warm bowl of chili’ weather right now, isn’t it?! 🙂

  12. Cornbread is totally underappreciated. Until now!! This looks like a fabulously spicy and savory way to have cornbread. I’m used to having it sweet and with honey/butter. Although I did recently turn a plain cornbread into cornbread french toast! There are so many delicious ways to eat cornbread. Thanks for sharing yours!!

    1. Hi Jessica – thanks for stopping by my blog. 🙂 I’ve only ever made cornbread a few times before without any of the add-ins. Can’t wait to try it the traditional way with butter and honey, I bet it’s delicious.
      Love your idea for turning cornbread into French toast. I’ll definitely be checking out your recipe!

  13. I stumbled across your blog after searching for cupcakes, and you posted about golden cupcakes. I am totally using those for my “Dirty Sock Party” this Sunday, and I can’t wait to break in this cornbread recipe. Super pumped. Thanks for sharing these recipes.

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