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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