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Close up image of cheese cornbread square on wooden board.

Jalapeno Cheese Cornbread

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5 from 4 reviews

This is an easy homemade jalapeño cornbread recipe that delivers a big flavor. It's cheesy and spicy, has fresh corn and can be made ahead and frozen. No beating is required; it comes together in 15 minutes and bakes to a golden, wonderfully textured top. 

  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 10 servings


  • 2 tablespoons + 7 tablespoons unsalted butter (chilled and diced)
  • 1 cup chopped onion (1 small-medium)
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup red pepper (seeded, deveined, and finely chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons jalapeno peppers (seeded and finely chopped)
  • 1 3/4 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk or whole milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups grated white or yellow cheddar cheese, packed (don't use the orange slices for cheeseburgers)


  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF /200ºC
  2. Butter a round or square 9-inch springform pan, a rectangular 8x11-inch pan or ceramic baking dish.
  3. In a skillet over medium heat, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter.
  4. Add the chopped onion and red pepper and cook for a few minutes until softened and a little browned.
  5. Add the corn kernels and minced jalapeños and cook for 1 more minute. Remove from heat and reserve in a small bowl.
  6. In a large mixing bowl, stir cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, salt, and pepper.
  7. Add the cold butter pieces and integrate by rubbing them with your palms into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Or use a pastry cutter. 
  8. In a medium bowl, mix the buttermilk and eggs but don't beat them much.
  9. Add all at once to the dry mixture and stir just to combine.
  10. Add the shredded cheddar cheese and sauteed vegetables and mix. Alternatively, add 1 cup of grated cheddar and leave the 1/2 cup to sprinkle on top. 
  11. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until golden and a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.
  12. Let cool on a wire rack.
  13. Store leftovers covered for a day at room temperature, or wrapped in the refrigerator for 4 days or frozen for a month. 


  • Baking time: keep in mind that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look the same or very similar. The baking time in my recipes is as accurate as it can be, but it might take you more or less time. You can use a thermometer (like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that your oven is at the right temperature. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you need to adjust. 
  • Half recipe: you can make a smaller bread by halving this recipe, using 2 small eggs and an 8-inch pan.
  • Corn: I use frozen corn because it's available year-round, but fresh corn can be used and is even better if it's grilled or roasted.
  • Variations & substitutions: see post above. 
  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Category: Side dishes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1/12
  • Calories: 335
  • Sugar: 7.5 g
  • Sodium: 777.3 mg
  • Fat: 17 g
  • Carbohydrates: 35.9 g
  • Fiber: 2.5 g
  • Protein: 10.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 89.1 mg