This buttermilk jalapeño cheddar cornbread has a moist texture, incredible flavor from jalapeños & cayenne pepper, cheddar cheese, creamed corn, & salty honey butter. It is moist & cake-like, but still crumbly, and the edges are incredibly crisp from the toasty butter in a hot cast iron pan.
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I never really understood the excitement around cornbread, so I decided to make a recipe of my own that I love and would be proud to share with my own family on Thanksgiving! This buttermilk jalapeño cheddar cornbread recipe is it. It has a little bit of sweet, salty, spicy, and the texture is *mwah* chef's kiss!
This cornbread is made with jalapeños, creamed corn, a salty honey butter, and cheddar cheese for the ultimate flavor combination, and sour cream & buttermilk for added taste & texture. It's made with Diamond Crystal Baking Salt - which is a finer cut of kosher salt designed to dissolve faster and blend easier in your holiday bakes!
Why you will love this buttermilk jalapeño cheddar cornbread
- Easy Thanksgiving side. Cornbread is such a good Thanksgiving side, and this one is incredibly easy to make! Only a few steps and ingredients are required, no mixer is needed, and it bakes in only 20 minutes!
- Full of flavor. There is so much flavor in this cornbread from the chopped jalapeños & cayenne pepper, European style butter, sweet honey, cheddar cheese, and creamed corn. Each bite has a little bit of sweet, salty, & spicy!
- Crispy crust. The crispy crust is so good that it must be highlighted! This cornbread should be baked in a piping hot cast iron pan with heated butter & oil, so the batter is lightly fried when poured into the pan. This toasty buttery also adds so much richness & flavor.
- Fine yellow cornmeal: the base for the cornbread, adding the classic corn flavor & crumbly texture.
- Flour: adds structure to the cornbread - the flour helps achieve the perfect balance of density & fluffiness.
- Salt: I used Diamond Crystal Baking Salt in this recipe for the best flavor & texture!
- Leavening agents: both baking powder & baking soda are use to create a light & airy rise.
- Cayenne pepper & jalapeños: adds a little heat to the cornbread!
- Cheddar cheese: the cheddar cheese adds moisture and flavor - the cheesy richness complements the corn flavor nicely.
- Honey: adds a touch of sweetness to the cornbread, and is later mixed with butter to make the honey butter topping!
- Buttermilk & sour cream: both of these ingredients have acidity which reacts with the leavening agents, letting the cornbread rise. They also add moisture.
- Eggs: acts as binders, contributing to the structure & stability of the cornbread.
- Creamed yellow corn: I like to use canned for ease! Creamed corn adds flavor and texture to the bread.
- Butter & oil: we use one tablespoon of butter & one tablespoon of oil to coat the cast iron pan. We also use butter for the honey butter. Salted European style is preferred for the best flavor.
- Preheat & prep. Preheat oven to 425F and heat up a cast iron pan in the oven. Dice your jalapeño and grate the cheddar cheese (if you have a cheese block).
- Mix dry ingredients. Whisk together cornmeal, flour, baking salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cayenne pepper. Add the shredded cheese & toss to combine.
- Prepare pan. Spread the butter around on the hot pan until melted. Then spread around the oil. Return the pan to the oven.
- Prepare wet ingredients. Whisk honey, buttermilk, sour cream, and eggs until combined. Add the creamed corn and whisk until combined.
- Combine wet & dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into a well in the dry ingredients. Gradually whisk until almost combined, then add diced jalapeños & extra cornmeal (if batter is looking too wet).
- Bake. Pour the batter into the pan and spread in an even layer. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden & crispy. Invert the cornbread onto a plate or cutting board, then flip back upright onto a cooling rack for crispy edges.
- Make honey butter & serve. Mix room temperature butter and honey together. Spread on top of the warm cornbread. Slice & serve while still warm.
You can, but I would skip the pre-heating of the pan/coating the pan steps and just lightly grease whatever pan you use. Note that the edges won't be as crispy & the texture may vary slightly.
Ensure you are not over-baking. Also, only add extra cornmeal if you think your batter needs it. Otherwise you are adding more dry ingredients for no reason.
Absolutely! Feel free to reduce/omit the jalapeños and cayenne pepper if you prefer.
Make sure to thoroughly coat the pan with butter and oil. If it still sticks, gently run a knife along the edges to loosen it before inverting.
Absolutely! Bake the cornbread in advance and reheat it in the oven for a few minutes to restore its freshness.
Wrap the cornbread tightly or put it in an airtight container at room temperature if planning to eat in 1-2 days. For longer storage, tightly wrap the cornbread and place it in an airtight container in the fridge/freezer.
If you don't have baking salt, substitute for 1 ¼ teaspoons of fine sea salt or adjust as necessary.
Baking in grams
I rely on gram measurements when testing recipes because they offer the highest level of accuracy (and less cleanup!). Unlike volume measurements, which can vary, grams provide a reliable and consistent standard. I carefully test all of my recipes using this kitchen scale, therefore I cannot guarantee the outcome when using volume measurements. However, volume measurements are available in the recipe card.
Other Thanksgiving recipes
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Buttermilk Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread
- 1 ½ cups (216 grams) fine yellow cornmeal plus more if needed
- 1 cup (125 grams) all purpose flour
- 2 ½ teaspoons Diamond Crystal Baking Salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup (4 oz) freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons (42 grams) honey
- ¾ cup (180 grams) buttermilk room temperature
- ½ cup (120 grams) sour cream room temperature
- 2 eggs room temperature
- ¾ cup (188 grams) canned creamed yellow corn
- 1 large jalapeño finely diced
- extra cornmeal if needed
- 1 tablespoon salted butter European style is preferred for better flavor!
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- ¼ cup (57 grams) salted butter room temperature, European style is preferred for better flavor!
- 1 ½ tablespoons (32 grams) honey
- Preheat oven to 425F and immediately put in a cast iron pan to get very hot.
- Finely dice your jalapeño & shred the cheddar cheese if you have a cheese block. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, all purpose flour, baking salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cayenne pepper. Add the shredded cheese and toss to combine. Make a well in the center of your dry ingredients. Set aside.1 ½ cups fine yellow cornmeal, 1 cup all purpose flour, 2 ½ teaspoons Diamond Crystal Baking Salt, 2 teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
- Take the hot cast iron pan out of the oven and add the butter. Spread it around until melted. Then add the tablespoon of oil and spread it around. Place the pan back in the oven.1 tablespoon salted butter, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Then, In a separate bowl, whisk together the honey, buttermilk, sour cream, and eggs until well combined. Add the creamed corn and whisk until combined.2 tablespoons honey, ¾ cup buttermilk, ½ cup sour cream, 2 eggs, ¾ cup canned creamed yellow corn
- Pour the wet ingredients into the well you made and gradually whisk in the dry ingredients until almost combined. It’s usually at this point that I add the jalapeños and about two extra tablespoons of cornmeal (if needed) and fold to combine. I add the extra cornmeal if the mixture is looking a little too wet. You want it to be thicker than a pancake mix but you should be able to pour it.1 large jalapeño, extra cornmeal
- Remove the pan from the oven and pour in the batter. The butter/oil in the pan should bubble up. Spread the batter into an even layer and place the pan back in the oven.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until the tops are golden and the edges look crispy. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean.
- Once finished, immediately invert the cornbread out onto a plate/cutting board/etc., then flip it back upright onto a cooling rack. It should easily flip out of the pan but if you are having trouble, trace a knife around the edge of the pan to gently loosen it, then try flipping again. Keeping the cornbread on a cooling rack will keep the edges crispy.
- While it’s cooling, beat the room temperature butter and honey together. Spread on top of the cornbread. Slice and serve warm - add more honey butter as needed/wanted 🙂¼ cup salted butter, 1 ½ tablespoons honey
Tried this recipe? Make sure to rate and review and tag @sturbridgebakery on Instagram!