This light and fluffy jalapeño cornbread has just the right balance of sweet and savory. Plus, the pinch of jalapeño adds a nice little punch. Easy to put together, this jalapeño cornbread has become a go-to recipe for me. I hope you enjoy it, too.
Cornbread is one of my favorite foods of all time. There is something so satisfying to me about a warm piece of freshly baked cornbread with a dab of creamery butter melting on the top. I love cornbread in all its myriad variations, from plain to spicy, sweetened, cheesy… you name it. I would eat it all the time… but Jay, although he will happily eat whatever I cook… is not a lover of cornbread. So I try not to subject him to it very often.
If you’re new to the recipes section of this blog, you will not be aware that my husband is amazing when it comes to my cooking! He has gone through every recipe adaptation, experiment, failure, triumph and catastrophe with grace and composure. Basically, he eats whatever I cook, although he does have his favorites.
So, regarding cornbread. After many recipes, I finally tweaked and adapted, and with some inspiration from this recipe from Peas and Crayons, came up with the perfect cornbread recipe for Jay (and me). This jalapeño cornbread is it!
It’s just cornbread after all… but the proportions of the ingredients make it fluffy rather than dense, almost cake-like, with a perfect balance of sweet and spicy, due to the jalapeño and sugar. I also use finely ground corn flour, not coarse cornmeal, which adds to its cakey texture. You can use yellow cornmeal for a more traditional cornbread texture; that would also be delicious – just a bit different from what it is when using cornflour.
I am using non-GMO white cornflour that I happily discovered at a market recently. It’s not often that you find guaranteed non-GMO corn or corn products in this region (Republic of Georgia, where we are living) or anywhere, really, you have to look for them. But here we have lovely non-GMO white cornflour. Of course I had to do some detective work, but the packaging was ever-so-helpful, with its nice drawing of an ear of corn and the non-GMO circle at the bottom. I squeezed it and figured out that it was pretty finely ground corn flour so decided to give it a whirl. I’m so happy I found it! I also use it when making the traditional corn cakes called mchadi that are a big deal in Georgia – for good reason, as they are really yummy and easy to make. You can see that recipe on the post with my three bean chili… I make mchadi sometimes when I make chili if I don’t make this cornbread.
The cornbread looks yellowish even though the cornmeal is white, because the eggs here have amazingly golden yolks. Much more orang-ey than the eggs you find at grocery stores in the US. A bit of research revealed that egg yolk color is based upon the diet, not on the variety of the hen. Interesting, no? Apparently, hens that are fed a diet high in cartenoids (the pigmented lipid that makes orange foods orange) produce deeper orange-yolked eggs. The additional cartenoids passed onto the egg yolks provide some added health benefits to humans eating naturally orange-yolked eggs!
I also read that some breeders add marigolds to their chickens’ feed to get those more orange-yolked eggs. That seems likely here, as Georgians use marigold powder specifically as a natural colorant in several of their traditional culinary recipes… in much the same way as Mexican cuisine features annatto as a natural yellow colorant. So with marigolds readily available here, I can see them making their way into chicken feed. Regardless, see what I mean? Orange-y egg yolks…
Also, although I normally opt for butter instead of oil in almost all baked goods, I use oil in this recipe because I know I am going to be putting so much butter on top! It also gives this jalapeño cornbread a very light crumb, which I love. If you are a butter vs. oil person for baked goods, you can easily substitute butter in the same amount… it will also be wonderful. So… give it a try! The last time I made it Jay actually asked for more! As in, make it again sometime!
I’m sure I will…
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Perfect Jalapeño Cornbread
- 1 cup cornmeal or corn flour (NOT cornstarch!)
- 1 cup all purpose white flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup oil I use sunflower oil, but you can also substitute an equal amount of butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 TBSP vinegar
- ½ cup plain yogurt
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup finely chopped jalapeños
- Preheat oven to 375°F
- Mix dry ingredients in medium bowl, set aside
- In large mixing bowl, mix wet ingredients; whisk until smooth
- Add dry ingredients to wet, mixing until more or less blended; some lumps may remain. Batter should not be as runny as cake batter but add a bit more water as needed so it is pourable.
- Pour/scrape batter into an 8"x 8" greased square baking pan
- Bake at 375°F for about 25-30 minutes; check at 25 minutes for doneness – cornbread should be lightly browned on top and toothpick should come out dry.