Thanks to my Southern childhood, I’ve eaten countless cornbreads over the years. This is not a complaint—I love cornbread. Each of my grandmothers had their own recipes and methods, and so did my mom. I make it often to this day; it tastes like home.
Being from the South, I grew up largely eating unsweetened cornbread that contained no flour, only cornmeal. It was baked in a blistering hot oven until risen and crisp on the outside. I still enjoy this type of cornbread (especially when made into cornsticks), but I also like the more cake-like, fluffy iterations (sorry, grandmas!). I’m an equal-opportunity cornbread superfan.
My nostalgia has led me to try countless cornbread recipes, putting my own spin on them so they suit each particular occasion. That’s how I ended up making this jalapeño honey cornbread. I wanted something spicy and sweet, with a texture and flavor someplace right in between unsweetened buttermilk cornbread and fluffy sweet cornbread. Mission accomplished.
Jalapeño honey cornbread is based on Elise’s Jalapeño Cornbread recipe, which is delicious. I left out the corn and cheese and swapped it for honey, adjusting ingredients as needed for the ideal texture. I also added a spicy honey butter which really takes this recipe over the top. The finished cornbread is just spicy enough and just sweet enough, a fun balance of flavors.
- If you don’t have the right size cast-iron skillet, you can use a 9-inch cake pan instead. The crust won’t be as crisp and it might take a few more minutes to bake, but it’ll still be delicious.
- The heat level is easy to adjust. As written, the recipe has a kick but it’s not especially spicy. For more spice, add more jalapeños to the batter and more cayenne pepper to the honey butter. For less heat, use less or omit either (or both) ingredients.
- Make this recipe gluten-free by swapping the flour for a 1:1 gluten-free flour blend.
More Fun with Jalapeños
- Jalapeño Popper Grilled Cheese
- Spicy Cucumber and Jalapeño Salad
- BBQ Bacon Jalapeño Poppers
- Cheddar and Jalapeño Biscuits
- Pineapple Jalapeño Pitcher Margaritas
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Add the oil to a 9 to 10-inch cast-iron skillet and place it in the oven so that it heats as the oven preheats.
Make the batter:
Add the egg, honey, and butter to a medium mixing bowl and whisk together until well mixed. Add the cornmeal, flour, baking soda, salt, sour cream, and milk. Whisk just until combined—do not overmix. Add the jalapeños and give a quick mix.
Carefully remove the hot pan from the oven and tilt it slightly so the bottom is coated in the oil. Immediately pour the batter over top. The oil will sizzle, so be careful.
Return to the oven and bake until browned around the edges, golden brown on top, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.
Make the hot honey butter:
Combine the softened butter, honey, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl and mix well.
Let the cornbread sit for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing and serving with the hot honey butter alongside.
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