Jalapeño Jack Cornbread Recipe

Fresh jalapeños and pepper jack cheese give this cornbread a fruity, spicy kick.

Jalapeños jack cornbread in a skillet, a slice has been taken out, next to two whole jalapeños.
Jalapeños and pepper jack cheese bring the heat in this sweet and spicy cornbread. .

Serious Eats / Joshua Bousel

Why This Recipe Works

  • Preheating the pan and coating it with butter creates a dark crusty with a light nutty flavor.
  • Using sour cream along with buttermilk increases the mild tanginess and overall flavor of the bread.
  • Adding a little oil to the batter results in a more cake-like moistness.

Jalapeño-cheddar cornbread has made recurring appearances throughout my summer barbecue series, thanks to my personal love for all things Tex-Mex. Since I had already used cheddar in my cheddar bacon scallion cornbread, I decided to try out pepper jack here to shake things up.

I like to seed my jalapeños for cornbread, which gives the loaf more fruitiness than spiciness, since the hottest parts of the pepper have been removed. I thought pepper jack would be a good way to bump up the heat ever so slightly, and it worked out very well.

Taking a slice of jalapeno jack cornbread out of the skillet.

Since I now have a great Northern-style cornbread recipe to begin with, this one is the best jalapeño cornbread I've ever made. It's super moist and sweet, with enough contrasting heat to make things interesting. If you prefer it extra-hot, you can certainly leave the seeds and veins intact when dicing the jalapeño; if you want it milder, regular Monterey jack or cheddar can be subbed for the pepper jack.

After you make this jalapeño bread, try maple walnut, orange cranberry, roasted red pepper, or cheddar bacon scallion.

November 2014

Recipe Details

Jalapeño Jack Cornbread Recipe

Active 10 mins
Total 40 mins
Serves 8 to 10 servings

Fresh jalapeños and pepper jack cheese give this cornbread a fruity, spicy kick.


  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup white sugar

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 3/4 cup sour cream

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

  • 2 large eggs

  • 3 tablespoons melted butter, cooled slightly, plus 1 additional tablespoon for pan

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

  • 6 ounces Pepper Jack cheese, grated

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped seeded fresh jalapeños


  1. Place a 10-inch cast iron skillet on middle rack in oven and preheat to 425°F (220°C). In a medium bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together sour cream, buttermilk, eggs, 3 tablespoons melted butter, and canola oil. Pour wet ingredients into bowl with dry ingredients and whisk until completely combined. Stir in cheese and jalapeños.

    Whisking ingredients for cornbread until well combined.
  2. Using pot holders, carefully remove hot pan from oven. Place 1 tablespoon butter in skillet and swirl to completely melt and coat inside of pan. Pour in cornbread batter and place in oven. Bake until skewer inserted into middle of cornbread comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let bread cool in pan for 5 minutes, then carefully turn out to wire rack and let cool an additional 10 minutes. Serve immediately. Reheat any leftover cornbread before serving again.

    Jalapeno jack cornbread in a skillet.

Special Equipment

Cast iron skillet


Seeding the jalapeños results in a mild heat. For a spicier cornbread, the seeds can be left in. For an even less spicy cornbread, pepper jack can be substituted for regular Monterey Jack cheese or cheddar.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
312 Calories
17g Fat
31g Carbs
9g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 10
Amount per serving
Calories 312
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 22%
Saturated Fat 9g 43%
Cholesterol 75mg 25%
Sodium 472mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 31g 11%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 12g
Protein 9g
Vitamin C 6mg 28%
Calcium 223mg 17%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 129mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)