Jalapeño Cornbread

If using fresh jalapeños, taste test them first. Some jalapeños can be very hot and some can be as mild as bell peppers. If you get scorching chiles, you may want to scale back a bit. If they are too mild, taste the seeds, if there's heat in the seeds, make sure you use the seeds. If the chiles just aren't hot, add some chile pepper flakes to the batter.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 8 servings


  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup finely chopped, drained pickled jalapeños or fresh jalapeños (depending on how spicy you want your cornbread to be)
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup grated Monterey jack or cheddar cheese


1 Preheat the skillet: Put the canola oil in a 9 or 10 inch cast iron skillet and place the skillet in the oven. Heat oven to 400°F with the skillet inside.


2 Whisk together the dry ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking soda and salt.

3 Whisk together the yogurt, milk, egg: In a separate bowl, whisk together the yogurt, milk, and egg.

4 Combine wet with dry and add the butter, chiles, corn, and cheese: Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients and stir to combine.

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Stir in the melted butter, the chopped jalapeños, corn, and cheese.

5 Pour batter into hot skillet: Once the oven has reached 400°F and the skillet is hot, carefully remove the empty skillet from the oven (double up the pot holders, the handle is hot!).  Pour the cornbread batter into the skillet, and smooth the surface with a wooden spoon or spatula.

jalapeno-cornbread-method-7 jalapeno-cornbread-method-8

6 Bake: Return the skillet to the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until lightly browned on top and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

7 Let rest before cutting: Let the jalapeño cornbread rest in the skillet for 10 to 20 minutes before cutting wedges and serving. Remember that the skillet is still very HOT. I recommend keeping a pot holder draped over the handle, or rubbing the handle with ice to cool it down. (I've burned my hand picking up a hot skillet; it's no fun.)

Serving tip—drizzle with honey! There's plenty of butter in the batter, none extra needed.

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  • Didi B

    Could these be made in cupcake tins?

  • Margo Haynes

    Notes Regarding My Changes: I omit the Canola oil*. I also use 5 Tblspns. of bacon drippings** in place of the 5 Tblspns. of butter. I add 3 Tblspns of the bacon drippings to the batter the very last thing, stirring well to make sure the drippings are thoroughly incorporated into the batter. I use the*2 Tblspns of bacon drippings left in my skillet & I sprinkle a very light sprinkling of the cornmeal to the skillet lightly coated with the 2 Tblspns. of bacon drippings left in my skillet. This makes a delicious golden brown crust on the bottom of my cornbread. I always use a cast iron skillet for baking my cornbread and I love the golden brown crust it makes on the bottom of the cornbread.
    Regarding the jalapeños,** I use 2 to 4 canned or fresh jalapeños, drained, seeds removed, chopped. The recipe is correct in that you should taste test them first. Some jalapeños can be very hot and some can be as mild as bell peppers. If you get scorching chiles, you may want to scale back a bit. If they are too mild, taste the seeds, if there’s heat in the seeds; make sure you use the seeds. The recipe says that IF the chiles just aren’t hot, add some chile pepper flakes to the batter, however so far I’ve been really blessed in that I’ve never had to add chile pepper flakes to my batter. I ALWAYS use two thick hot pads on the extension used for hanging the skillet and two thick hot pads on the handle of the skillet when removing the skillet from the oven and when holding the handle to cut the cornbread into wedges to serve. I cut our cornbread into wedges as shown in the picture as some of us slice our wedge open & place butter into the cooked wedges while still hot & replacing the tops of the slices for the butter to melt into each wedge and some of us do not add butter to our wedges of cornbread. I serve our cornbread hot with the meal as opposed to cooling it almost completely first. Hot bread is delicious with a hot meal.


  • Wendy Smith

    I’ve made this twice now. The first one was ok but I may have overlooked it. It also needed more peppers and a little sugar. I didn’t have plain yogurt but used my vanilla flavored and it didn’t change it at all so use what you have. My second try was great….more peppers, still used vanilla yogurt and 1/3 cup of sugar…I also turned the oven down to 350 and cooked it about 30 min watching and checking carefully after the first 20 min.


  • Cait

    I made this and loved it. It has a strong jalapeño taste, which I haven’t gotten in previous bread recipes, and the spice perfectly comes out. It’s also moist and not too salty.


  • Captain Terry

    First time I followed the recipe exactly and it came out great. Next time I doubled the cheese, heaven.

  • shawana

    Very moist and spicy. It’s awesome!


  • Carol Ann

    Can the yogurt be substituted and if so with more of what? Maybe milk or eggs) jalapeño cornbread

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Carol Ann, you may be able to substitute the yogurt with some diluted sour cream.

  • grsa

    Very good but the baking soda could be cut down a bit.

  • Elise Bauer

    Hi Adie, I haven’t tried a gluten-free or egg-free version of this recipe, but if you do, please let us know how it turns out!

  • Adie

    Hello Elise,
    lovely recipe!
    Can this be made without wheat flour? for a gluten free version? also, any option to skip the egg? this already has yoghurt so shouldnt that help with structure?

  • TODD

    Really wish this called for some sugar as that would’ve made it much more delectable. As is, not so great.

    • MoonDust

      I’ve made this recipe several times and found it to be delicious. Personally, I would never put sugar in my cornbread but I’m sure you could have added some when you made it, if that’s what you’re used to. People do have differing tastes and what one finds “not so great”, someone else finds to be “very great”.

  • Sam

    If I use fresh corn, do I have to cook the corn in advance? Or put the kernels in raw?

  • Reir

    I have a question – has anyone tried this with all cornmeal? I assume that would make it a bit dry?

    • MoonDust

      Reir, I can’t say I’ve tried it using all cornmeal, but I swear I believe my grandmother made hers that way (without flour) & it was never dry or crumbly. I’ve been making my cornbread recently (3 or 4 times) using flour and it always comes out very crumbly and dry. Next time I make it I’m going to leave out the flour and see how it turns out. My last batch of cornbread wasn’t quite as dry as usual because I added a small can or creamed corn. If I can remember, I’ll let you know how my next pan of cornbread comes out.

  • Reir

    I made this yesterday, followed the directions exactly. It was DELICIOUS! Thanks so much for such an awesome recipe!

  • Amy

    I made this last night and found it to be bland and dry. I really wanted to like it, but I’m thinking it definitely needs more salt and I’m not sure what to do to increase the moisture.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Amy, if it’s bland, it likely needs more salt (and maybe more chiles too). If it’s dry, it likely cooked too long.

    • Elise Bauer

      You can also add a tablespoon of sugar to the mixture, that will make it more moist.

  • Anna

    My family adores jalapeno cornbread, but it’s usually my brother-in-law who makes it. Now I have a recipe of my very own so I can start making it myself. As far as I know, his is pretty much like this one with the exception being that he adds 3 or 4 finely chopped green onions to it. Smack-dilly-icious!

  • Mavis

    Discovered coarse ground polenta is our cornmeal. Problem solved. Hope to make the recipe this weekend!

  • Kristen

    Wow this looks delicious, I really love spicy foods. I might try making this during the weekend, maybe do a Southwestern food theme. Could you also add a few drops of hot sauce to help spice it up a bit more?

  • Elise Bauer

    Regarding cornmeal, I don’t know how to make cornbread without using cornmeal. That’s sort of making wheat bread without flour. If you can’t find cornmeal in your local market, you may be able to order online. Good luck!

    • Zazzy

      What about polenta or corn grits?

  • Pam

    Elise, I was shopping online for a cast-iron skillet when I saw this sheath which seems like a good solution to the hot-handle problem.


    • Elise Bauer

      I have one of those, though it’s always hiding in the back recesses of one of the kitchen drawers when I need it, so it doesn’t get used that often!

    • Anna Reed

      I see that sheath is silicone. Pam, have you had any experience with silicone hot pads or anything? It just seems to me that heat would bleed right through them, though I know logically it probably doesn’t or silicone items wouldn’t be so popular right now. I used to have three handle covers made of – oh, I don’t remember exactly what – whatever hot pads were made of back in the 70s? The really good hot pads with insulation in them, not these mostly cheap ones today that are nothing but cloth. I wish I still had those; don’t know how I managed to lose them.

  • Mavis Urwin

    Hi. I live in Australia, but the recipe sounds delicious. I don’t think we have cornmeal! Is there a substitute? I don’t own a skillet either at the moment – does it work in a regular bread tin! Thanks.

    • Reir

      You can use polenta

  • Evie

    My mouth is watering, Elise! I wonder if I could use some of the roasted piquillo peppers I bought in quantity on the Internet (because I couldn’t find them locally). They aren’t spicy, but they are very flavorful–not to mention colorful! I really like the idea that this cornbread doesn’t need extra butter; it would be easier to serve and to eat!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Evie, I’m sure the cornbread would be great with the piquillos!

  • Jayne @ Tenacious Tinkering

    I have an age old question. Can I bake this in a baking pan instead of a skillet? I don’t own one but absolutely love corn bread!

    • Elise Bauer

      Yes, you can use a baking pan. I’m not sure about the timing though. Let us know how it works out for you!

  • Jill McInturff

    What can I substitute for the yogurt?

    • Elise Bauer

      Substitute the yogurt and milk with an equal amount of buttermilk.

    • Lone Star Bright City

      I used sour cream instead of yogurt. It was delish.

  • Mary

    Thanks – simple solution and you can control the amount!

  • Chris Thomas

    I dice up some Texas Sweet & Hot Jalapenos and add them to my cornbread. If you’ve never had Texas Sweet & Hot Jalapenos, it’s definitely worth a try. They’re like bread & butter pickles gone nuclear. It’s not that they’re very hot, just extremely flavorful. I also add them to deviled eggs and deviled ham.

  • Mary


    One of my favorite restaurant cornbreads has jalapeños but it also has honey. Could you please offer a suggestion about how much to add if I went that way?

    • Elise Bauer

      I would just serve it with some honey to spread on it.

    • Jenny

      I added ~1/3 cup honey to the mix for the hell of it and thought it turned out delicious. Great recipe!

  • Carol

    I prefer cornbread made with buttermilk. I have never made it with yogurt. What a great idea. This recipe has it all with the extra fun texture of the corn and the zap of the jalapenos.

  • Sandy S

    One winter, every night after work I had to wait for a bus in front of a very small business that sold fresh cornbread, only!! I never could resist! It was where I first had cornbread with jalapenos and was surprised to find it to be my favorite! You could also get your fresh hot buttered cornbread served in a bowl with buttermilk, which I still enjoy on occasion! Now-a-days it needs to be GF. But, that is doable and I look forward to making this recipe with a GF flour!!

  • Payal

    This looks delicious – could I leave the egg out? Maybe add some extra milk and oil to compensate? I’m not vegan, so all the other dairy is fine!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Payal, the egg is there to help provide structure and a little leavening. You can leave it out it you want, the result may be a little more crumbly, but still good.

  • june lovell

    i love the combination of cheese and chiles but i use the cream corn version and make it thinner (larger skillet).