This fabulous Sweet Jalapeño Cornbread is packed full of fresh corn, Cheddar, candied jalapeños, and sour cream. It’s moist, spicy, and sweet with a buttery and crispy crust.
Try this extravagant, over-the-top treat that will make you want to eat soup (so you can have cornbread) every night of the week. Don’t miss the video!
Are you a cornbread connoisseur?
A lot of Texans are picky about their cornbread. Southerners like to argue about the rightness or wrongness of adding sugar. Some say it should never happen.
Today, I’m talking to those of you who are more inclined to “cornbread cake.” That includes me. If the cornbread I’m eating doesn’t have enough sweetness, I grab a bottle of honey.
To come up with this recipe, I started with a cornbread recipe from “Flour” by Joanne Chang. From there, I went crazy with substitutions and additions in my quest to duplicate the cornbread served as an appetizer at one of my favorite restaurants.
Ingredients and Substitutions:
Regular yellow or white cornmeal is suitable for this recipe. In my opinion, stoneground cornmeal is not a good substitute.
Use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream if you like.
Related Post: How To Make Healthy Homemade Greek Yogurt
I am infatuated with sweet pickled or candied jalapeños here lately. The sweet and spicy flavors together are ridiculously addictive.
Not all brands are hot, like the ones pictured here. Some brands are mild. Pay attention when buying them if that matters to you.
Alternatively, use regular pickled jalapeños, or leave them out entirely, but in my opinion, they are the star of the show.
The buttery crust ON TOP is the star of the show. There are just too many things to like about this cornbread.
I know. It’s a little much. Just try it once.
Margarine is not recommended.
Fresh Corn Kernels:
Fresh corn is so tender and suits the soft texture of this cornbread. My second choice would be fresh corn you have frozen yourself. The third choice would be commercially-frozen corn. Canned corn comes in last.
The recipe calls for brown sugar. I like the flavor.
If you want to go crazy, sprinkle the smallest amount of white granulated sugar over the top. Do this after you spread the batter in the pan with melted butter.
The sugar idea is entirely optional, and I promise not to tell if you do it.
My favorite skillet for cornbread: a carbon steel fry pan
This recipe is a skillet cornbread from start to finish. But I’m not a big cast-iron-skillet fan. Not only are they heavy, but I think I can taste the skillet if the cornbread is left in there too long after baking. Maybe it’s just my skillet.
Nevertheless, I’ll take a carbon steel fry pan any day over a cast-iron skillet.
It’s lighter in weight but holds the heat just like an iron skillet. Carbon steel fry pans make the crispiest golden-brown crust.
If you don’t have one, use your cast iron skillet with confidence. This cornbread recipe will still turn out perfectly.
And it’s not just for cornbread…
Anytime I want a nice crust, whether it’s on a piece of meat, fish, or some veggies, I pull out this pan.
Just like cast iron, it develops a virtually non-stick dark-colored patina with use. (See the picture below of melted butter.) Since the definition of “patina” includes “a long time,” you shouldn’t be surprised to hear it takes a while to build that highly-desired patina.
How to assemble Sweet Jalapeño Cornbread:
Leftovers are delicious but way too tempting. So, we wrap individual servings and freeze them. When ready to eat, we like to split the cornbread and sauté in a buttery skillet until golden brown.
Speaking of leftovers…
This particular recipe makes tasty cornbread croutons or cornbread crumbles as you would use in dressing as you would serve at Thanksgiving. Love them in this Green Chili and Squash Dressing.
If you make this recipe and enjoy it, consider helping other readers and me by returning to this post. Leave a rating on the recipe card itself underneath the picture. Although always appreciated, comments aren’t required. Thank you for visiting! Paula
- 1/4 cup butter, unsalted, melted and cooled
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup unbleached flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup fresh corn kernels
- 1/4 cup pickled sweet jalapeños, chopped
- 2.5 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place 1/4 cup butter in the skillet you plan to bake in and put in your oven while it's preheating. As soon as the butter is melted, pour out all but approximately 1 tablespoon butter (which will stay in the skillet) into a small dish and set aside.
- In a large bowl, stir together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and brown sugar.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together oil and 2 tablespoons of reserved melted butter. Add egg, milk, and sour cream to oil mixture and whisk well. Stir in corn kernels and jalapeños.
- Fold wet ingredients into the cornmeal mixture until all dry ingredients are incorporated and the corn and jalapeños are evenly distributed. Lightly fold in cheese.
- Spread cornbread batter in buttered iron skillet. It will be somewhat stiff. Pour remaining butter you set aside from step #1 evenly over the top of the batter. Use a brush or the back side of a spoon to ensure the butter is evenly distributed over the top surface of the cornbread batter.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick poked in the middle comes out clean.
Attention Greek yogurt makers:
Substitute yogurt-whey for the milk and Greek yogurt for the sour cream. It is my favorite way to use yogurt-whey.
Substitute for corn:
It's OK to substitute frozen corn for the fresh although I think the fresh is worth the trouble. If you do use frozen, try to find the small and tender white corn as opposed to the larger yellow kernel corn. Only use canned corn if you are on a dessert island somewhere and no other corn is available.
Preparing fresh corn:
My favorite way to fix one ear of corn is to put it in the microwave on High for 3-4 minute--un-shucked. When finished, shuck the corn and cut the kernels off.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 servings Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 247 Total Fat: 13g Saturated Fat: 6g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 6g Cholesterol: 62mg Sodium: 348mg Carbohydrates: 27g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 5g Protein: 6g