Warm cornbread served straight from a cast iron skillet is a delicious accompaniment to a bowl of chili, pulled pork, or baked beans. Many people consider cornbread to be one of their favorite comfort foods.
The mix of sweet cornbread paired with spicy jalapeño peppers gives this bread a little extra kick. And if you add a large handful of some shredded sharp cheddar, the flavor can’t possibly get any better!
This dish can easily be prepared in the kitchen or at the campsite.
Although I typically make it in a cast iron frying pan, I also like to sometimes make it in those dedicated cornstick pans as well. Generally, the single pan version will turn out more moist, and the cornstick pan will turn out more crispy – which is very, very good when they are still warm.
If you go the cornstick route, you’ll probably need at least two pans to make a full batch. I tend to cook three or four batches at a time, which serves about 18 to 30 pieces, depending on the type of pan used (and we like leftovers!).
Lodge Logic Large Cornstick Pan available on Amazon
You can find them in antique stores or buy new, made in the USA Lodge versions. Depending on where you live, it may be cheaper to buy new rather than trying to source an antique. Avoid the Chinese knockoffs (which includes some brand names).
If you can’t get enough of the satisfying taste of sweet corn, be sure to check out our round up of the 23 best corn recipes!
And if you need a vegan version of this recipe, we’ve got one of those for your too!
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Heat the Skillet
Heat the oven to 400°F. Using a paper towel, evenly grease a cast iron skillet with vegetable oil. Place the skillet in the oven to warm as you complete the other steps.
Step 2 – Gather and Prep Ingredients
Crack the eggs, measure the buttermilk, and heat the butter until melted.
Can’t handle the heat? You can remove the ribs and the seeds of the pepper if you want this recipe to be less spicy.
Step 3 – Whisk the Dry Ingredients Together
Place the cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. Whisk until thoroughly combined.
Step 4 – Combine the Wet Ingredients and Peppers
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, butter, and jalapeños.
Step 5 – Combine
Add the wet ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients. Gently mix until just combined. Do not overmix, or the batter may become tough.
Fold the corn kernels into the batter, again without overmixing. If using, fold in the shredded cheddar cheese.
Step 6 – Transfer and Bake
After you have made the batter, carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven. Pour the batter into the pan, spreading it evenly. Place the skillet back into the oven.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the top is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean, with a few crumbs.
Step 7 – Serve
Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before cutting into wedges and serving. Enjoy!
A Fluffy and Spicy Cast Iron Creation
This recipe gives you perfectly fluffy baked good with a subtle sweetness, hearty corn taste, and playful spiciness. You’re going to love serving it with chili and baked beans.
If you’re trying to use your cast iron on a more regular basis, we have a wealth of cast iron recipes to keep you busy, like our vanilla Dutch Baby, or our herb-roasted new potatoes. But be sure to read up on the proper care and maintenance of this material first, to keep your pans looking and functioning at their best!
For more baked goods featuring corn, try these hearty recipes:
What are your favorite ways to cook this fluffy goodie? What do you think: cheese or no cheese? Spicy or mild? Let us know in the comment section below.
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Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Product photo by Lodge. Originally published May 1st, 2015. Last updated: August 22, 2021 at 10:58 am. Additional writing and editing by Nikki Cervone.
*Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Jennifer Swartvagher
Jennifer is an experienced journalist and author. Her work has been featured on TODAY Parents, The New York Times Blog, BlogHer, Scary Mommy, and scores of other parenting and cooking publications.