Cheddar jalapeño cornbread

Cheddar jalapeño cornbread

The Hang Fire Cookbook

A staple in most Southern barbecue joints. The cornbreads we’d tried on our road trip ranged in texture from sweet, syrupy cake to light, crumbly bread. We like to add a little cheese and onion to ours, and jalapeños to give it a savoury profile and a moist texture. Apparently you should cook your cornbread in a hand-me-down family heirloom skillet, blackened with use and years of baking, imparting a flavour unique to that pan. Lucky you if you have one. If not, like us, use muffin trays or regular springform baking tins to make this recipe.


Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
1 large onion, diced
2 cooked corn on the cob, husks removed
or 100g frozen corn kernels
4 large eggs, beaten
200g coarse polenta
125g fine cornmeal flour
200ml full-fat milk
50ml buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking powder
75g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
120g freshly grated medium cheddar cheese
2 fresh green jalapenos, deseeded and finely chopped


  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C. Grease a 22cm cake tin with butter and line the base with baking parchment.
  2. Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium-low heat and add your diced onion. Fry gently for about 15–20 minutes, until the onion is golden, sticky and caramelised.
  3. Hold one cob upright on a chopping board and carefully run a small knife from the top of the cob to the bottom, cutting all the kernels off. Repeat with the second cob. Add the corn to the pan with the onions and cook for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, add your eggs, the polenta and cornmeal flour, milk and buttermilk, baking powder, flour, salt and pepper and most of your grated cheese. Beat until well mixed, then stir in your cooled onion and corn mixture and the jalapeños. Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake for 20–25 minutes, until springy to touch.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow the cornbread to cool in the tin for 15 minutes. Turn it out onto a wire rack or serving plate, then flip so the cheesy side is facing up. Cornbread should be served warm – we’re not fans of the cold stuff. If you have any left over, it will keep well wrapped in foil for a couple of days. To reheat, put the bread, foil and all, in a medium-hot oven for 10 minutes.
Deep South
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