Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread

This Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread is so good it’s ridiculous. I scribbled the recipe on a scrap of paper years ago while watching Ina Garten make it on TV and filed it away. A few years later I came across the recipe and made a batch. It was incredible. Sometimes cornbread can be dry but Ina shared a little trick that ensures it comes out moist every time.

We were having dinner with friends and my friend Sue baked some cornbread to go with ribs. She said she had tried a new recipe which was good but we all agreed it was a little dry. Then I remembered that Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread recipe written out on a grocery notepad. My note at the top says “VERY VERY Excellent!!!” What’s that tell you?

Cornbread is perfect with Smoked Pork Back Ribs! And super easy to make.

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jalapeno cheddar cornbread

I don’t usually tweak a recipe from a professional. They do know what they’re doing. In this case though, I use a little less sugar but only because I prefer cornbread (and scones and tea biscuits) to be less sweet. It’s just a personal taste and nothing to do with the recipe. So I’ve now revised the recipe to have only 1 tablespoon of sugar instead of 1/4 cup. I’ve had lots of terrific cornbread in the U.S. but I don’t want it to taste like cake.

There’s a lot of butter in this recipe! I’m sure that’s why it’s so good. I noticed on the website there was a negative review, saying it was too heavy. Um, well yes, there is half a pound of cheese and half a pound of butter in Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread. So just be warned.

The first step in making the cornbread is to melt the butter and mix in eggs and milk. Yes, it doesn’t make sense to add cold milk to warm butter but if you add a little at a time it will actually combine. This is called tempering. If you add cold milk and eggs to hot melted butter all at once you get scrambled eggs. By adding a little at a time it brings the temperature of the butter down to prevent this.

The secret to moist cornbread….

Letting the batter rest.

Sift together the dry ingredients and add into the dairy mixture, stirring gently just to combine. Add most of the cheese and scallions, saving a few for the top. It’s ok if there’s a few lumps and dry bits. Now, let it sit for 20 minutes. This allows time for the cornmeal to absorb some liquid so the bread is moist.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

After 20 minutes pour into a buttered 9 x 13 pan. Or 2 smaller pans. Save a little cheese for the top. The website version says to add the cheese and pepper mixture to the batter before resting for 20 minutes but my notes said to add it after. I’ve made it both ways and there’s no difference!

jalapeno cheddar cornbread

Bake on the middle rack for 35-40 minutes if it’s a large pan or 30-35 minutes for 2 smaller pans. I guess that’s another tweak of Ina’s recipe because I bake mine a little longer than her recipe instructions. It seems the centre of the cornbread wasn’t quite done after 30 minutes.

jalapeno cheddar cornbread

Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the centre. If it comes out clean, your Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread is ready!

jalapeno cheddar cornbread

Here’s a link to the recipe:

Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread

Cornbread with loads of cheddar and jalapenos that's super moist, compliments of Ina Garten.
Course Bread, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword cornbread, ina garten cornbread, jalapeno cheddar cornbread
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings 1 9 x 14 baking dish


  • 3 C all purpose flour
  • 1 C yellow cornmeal
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 C milk
  • 3 extra large eggs, lightly beaten
  • ½ lb unsalted butter, melted plus extra for greasing pan
  • 8 oz extra sharp old Cheddar, grated save some for top
  • 3 scallions, minced about 1/3 cup, save some for top
  • 3 Tbsp seeded and minced fresh jalapeno peppers


  • Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
  • In separate bowl melt butter. Add milk in small amounts to temper butter, then stir in eggs.
  • Add wet ingredients to dry, stirring only until lumps are dissolved. Do not over mix.
  • Shred cheese and add most (about 2 cups) to the cornbread batter. Mince scallions and jalapenos and add to batter as well, reserving some scallions for the top.
  • Allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 350° and grease a 9 x 13 baking dish with butter.
  • Pour batter into pan, smooth the top and sprinkle with remaining cheese and scallions. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
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make it a southern meal

Sheet Pan Barbecue Ribs

Smoked Pork Back Ribs

Smoked Beef Brisket

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