These Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins put a spicy, cheesy, and savoury spin on the classic. Easy and quick to make, the individual servings makes it even more delightful.
This classic, much-loved skillet cornbread is moist, rich, fluffy, but not cake-like fluffy, and definitely not dry. Superlative as is, I didn’t think it needed anything more. But then its spicier, jazzier, cheesier cousin came to visit in cute muffin form, and now I may just not know which to choose.
These craveable cornbread muffins are laced with chopped jalapeños, cheddar cheese and chopped green onions for maximum savouriness. The addition of both fresh and pickled jalapeños ensures these muffins are not just slightly spicy, but deeply flavourful. While baking, a crunchy golden edge forms around each muffin thanks to the cheese and melty butter.
Serve these warm from the oven, slathered with even more butter to make them extra-delicious and satisfying. These will be perfect to bring out on a game-day, alongside a huge pot of chili. Oh yes please.
Ingredients And Substitutions
This is an easy cornbread muffin recipe to throw together. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:
- Cornmeal – I always use medium ground cornmeal for making cornbread. This one is my favourite and I find it at almost every well-stocked grocery store.
- Flour – This recipe uses 1 cup all-purpose flour. You can also use Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour which I have tried here and works beautifully. I have not tested it with other GF flours.
- Baking Powder and baking soda – Both are essential for achieving a fluffy cornbread muffin with the texture texture.
- Buttermilk – Using buttermilk will make these cornbread muffins tender and extra moist. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can use regular whole milk, or make a quasi-buttermilk version by adding 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice to a cup of milk.
- Eggs – The eggs will help make these muffins light and fluffy.
- Butter – Here we use 4 tablespoons melted butter. I haven’t tired it with vegan butter or coconut milk but I imagine it would work just fine.
- Sweetener – Cornbread is not supposed to be very sweet. In fact, a true Southener would be appalled if served an even slightly sweetened cornbread. However, with no disrespect to the South, we enjoy ours lightly sweetened. I use maple syrup to sweeten my cornbread with great success. Honey would also be great or use brown sugar, coconut sugar, or any other sweetener of your choice.
- Salt – Like most bread batters, this one benefits from the addition of a bit of salt.
- Fresh and/or Pickled Jalapeños: I like to use a mix of both. Fresh jalapeños are unpredictable and sometimes have very little, if any heat. Pickled jalapeños have a lot more flavour and spice and will make the cornbread really taste like a jalapeño cornbread. I still like to add some fresh jalapeños because they retain their vibrant green colour, and a slight crunchiness, even when cooked. That said, I have made this recipe many times with just fresh jalapeños and it is delicious. If using only fresh jalapeños, you will need two small jalapeños; seeds and membranes kept in, or removed, depending on how spicy you like it.
- Cheddar cheese – If possible, use a really sharp cheddar cheese for more cheesy flavour. I sometimes use a mix of sharp cheddar and applewood smoked cheese and it’s delicious.
- Green onions – These are optional but they add wonderful flavour to the muffins.
How To Make Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins
This recipe calls for starting the muffins in a very hot oven and then reducing the heat after 6 minutes. This temperature variance ensures that they rise quickly and bake with a beautiful top and a tender interior. If this sounds fussy to you, just bake at 400ºF for 20-23 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a 12-muffin tin with liners or if using a good non-stick pan, grease lightly with neutral oil.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the cheese and mix again to combine.
In a medium bowl, or whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, maple syrup, jalapeños, and melted butter until fully combined.
Pour wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and use a spatula to stir until just combined. Don’t overmix.
Using a cookie scoop or measuring cup, scoop batter into each muffin cavity, filling each one about 3/4 way to the top. If desired, garnish each muffin with a slice of jalapeño.
Bake the muffins for 6 minutes then reduce heat to 375ºF and bake an additional 14-17 minutes, or until puffed in the center and golden brown around the edges.
Remove from oven and let the muffins cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then enjoy!
How Spicy Are These Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins?
These muffins can be as mild or as spicy as you like. With fresh jalapeños, it is harder to control the spice level because they vary so much in heat. Here is a rough guide that has worked for me:
For a noticeably spicy cornbread, use 3 tablespoons chopped pickled jalapeños plus 1 to 2 fresh jalapeños and leave the seeds and membranes in. If you prefer things on the mild side, use 1 small seeded jalapeño and 1 tablespoon chopped pickled jalapeños. Lastly, if your middle of the road, follow the recipe as written which will give you muffins with a definite kick, but very tolerable.
Keep in mind the spiciness of the jalapeños in these muffins is slightly tamed when baked, and after sitting for a few days.
Can I bake this in a regular pan?
Yes, you can use an 8×8-inch square dish. Alternatively, you can bake it in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet like I did in this recipe.
These jalapeño cheddar cornbread muffins are delicious on their own enjoyed for breakfast or as a snack anytime of day. Here are a few favourite ways to serve them as a side:
- With any variety of chili: Not surprisingly, these spicy, savoury muffins are fabulous with chili. Try it with this vegetarian chili or this turkey chili.
- Soups: I can’t think of any soup these jalapeño cornbread muffins wouldn’t go well with, but they are especially delicious with this Chicken and Rice Soup or this Black Bean Soup.
- Stews: Fabulous as a side with these Braised Short Ribs, Beef Stew, or this Slow Cooker Chicken Stew.
- Anything with eggs: Delicious with fried or scrambled eggs, or even with a frittata or this Easy Breakfast Casserole.
- To store: The jalapeño cornbread muffins can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- To freeze: These muffins freeze perfectly. Transfer leftover cornbread to a freezer safe container and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, or reheat in the microwave for about 2-20 second intervals.
More Bread Baking Recipes To Try
- Zucchini Banana Bread Recipe
- Quick Skillet Cornbread Recipe
- Morning Glory Muffins
- Super Moist Pumpkin Muffins
- Easy No-Knead Focaccia
Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins
- 1 cup 125g all-purpose flour
- 1 cup 140g yellow cornmeal, preferably medium coarse (see notes)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup 300g buttermilk (see notes)
- 3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup or honey
- 3 Tablespoons chopped pickled jalapeño plus 1 small jalapeño seeds and membranes removed, finely chopped (see notes)
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted unsalted butter, slightly cooled (can also use coconut oil)
- 1/3 cup green onions, white and light green parts, thinly sliced and roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 425º F.
- Line a 12-muffin tin with liners or if using a good non-stick pan, grease lightly with neutral oil.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the cheese and mix again to combine.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, maple syrup, jalapeños, and melted butter until fully combined.
- Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and use a spatula to gently fold until just combined. Don't overmix.
- Using a cookie scoop or measuring cup, scoop batter into each muffin cavity, filling each one about 3/4 way to the top. If desired, garnish each muffin with a slice of jalapeño.
- Bake the muffins for 6 minutes then reduce heat to 375ºF and bake an additional 14-17 minutes, or until puffed in the center and golden brown around the edges.
- Remove from oven and let the muffins cool for 5 to 10 minutes in the pan. Enjoy!