Cornbread takes on an even heartier, more substantial place at the table with the inclusion of cheese and, if you please, corn kernels and jalapeño.–David Leite

Cheddar Cornbread FAQs

Can I still bake this cornbread if I don’t have a cast-iron pan?

Sure! A lot of recipes call for cast iron, but if you don’t happen to have any, you can still bake. Your best bets are going to be non-stick, but try stainless steel skillets, Dutch ovens, saucepans (with oven-proof handles), or Pyrex-type casserole dishes.

Dishes baked in cast-iron tend to have a crispier crust to them, but you’ll still have great success using another option. Don’t let a cookware decision deter you from trying this cornbread.

Can I substitute fresh jalapeno for the pickled version?

Absolutely, but with the knowledge that the flavor and texture of the fresh jalapenos will be different than the pickled. Fresh jalapenos will be more crunchy than the softer, canned pickled peppers. They may also have a bit more heat to them – especially if you’ve added the seeds – so you may not need to add two full tablespoons of fresh peppers.

What should I serve with this cornbread?

We love cornbread on the side of a hearty chili when the weather is cool. In the summertime, plop a wedge on any plate of barbecue, right between your baked beans and dilly green beans.

Cheddar cornbread in a cast-iron skillet, cut into 8 wedges, with one wedge removed.

Cheddar Cornbread

4.67 / 15 votes
Cheddar cornbread is a twist on a Southern classic. It’s a little untraditional given the inclusion of a slight amount of sugar and a rather generous amount of cheese and, if you please, jalapeño.
David Leite
Servings6 to 8 servings
Calories349 kcal
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time55 minutes


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (3/4 oz) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels, (fresh, frozen, or left over from a cooked cob)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pickled jalapeños, (optional)


  • Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cayenne. Blend in the milk, eggs, and butter. Fold in the cheese, corn, and the jalapeños, if using.
  • Scoop into a well-seasoned 10-inch cast-iron skillet or a buttered 8-inch square baking pan and smooth over the top. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. (Do not overbake it or the cornbread will be dry.)
  • Cut into wedges or squares and serve hot.
Mad Hungry by Lucinda Scala Quinn

Adapted From

Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys

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Serving: 1 squareCalories: 349 kcalCarbohydrates: 44 gProtein: 14 gFat: 13 gSaturated Fat: 7 gMonounsaturated Fat: 4 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 93 mgSodium: 638 mgFiber: 3 gSugar: 6 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2009 Lucinda Scala Quinn. Photo © 2009 DiAnna. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Super easy and the crunchy edges were oh-so-delicious. My only addition, as I am a salt lover, would be a bit more salt, perhaps 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons in total. The addition of corn helped to keep the cornbread moist and, although the recipe calls for Cheddar, next time I’ll try it with Pepper Jack for an extra kick.

It’s wonderful reheated in the oven with a huge pat of butter on top and served with a big bowl of chili. I had two leftover pieces, which I crumbled into a meatloaf for an unexpected burst of flavor and texture.

This is a good, solid corn bread recipe. The addition of the cheese and corn make it more substantial than the usual. I’d use more salt in this recipe—perhaps not adding the jalapeños changed a delicate balance that calls for more salt?

The timing was just about perfect—just under 35 minutes in a seasoned cast iron skillet. The crust was crunchy while the inside was soft and full-flavored with the corn and cheese. I might even experiment and add more of the cayenne but as I was making this as a go-along for the Spicy Tomato and Blue Cheese Soup, I decided that was enough heat in one meal without adding more to it.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 4 stars
    I needed a change of pace for breakfast and thought of cornbread so of course I went to LC. I omitted the corn since I didn’t have any, and made them into muffins. Kept a close eye on the bake, and they were done at 20 minutes. Fabulous flavor and a nice crunch on top. The only drawback – operator error I think – is that they stuck to the muffin cups. Next time I’ll either grease the cups (which seems contradictory) or the pan (and skip the cups altogether). Or just do it in the skillet. Either way, will definitely be making this again!

    1. Thanks, Greg. We’re so pleased that you loved these and appreciate you taking the time to comment.