I love these jalapeño cheddar cornbread muffins with a passion usually reserved for cake (granted, cornbread is one of my favorite foods!). They’re a mash-up between spoon bread and corn bread, with an ultra moist texture and a pop of sweetness from corn kernels. The muffins are laced with melted cheddar with a gentle kick from fresh jalapeño. 

A jalapeno cornbread muffin on a counter top, with a bowl of chili in the background.

Jalapeño cheddar cornbread muffins

This recipe comes from my book, Fresh Flavors for the Slow Cooker. In the book they’re paired with this Slow Cooker Beef Chili—the slight sweetness of the muffins is the perfect complement to the spiced chili. However, the muffins are also awesome with any type of soup or stew (like this Mexican White Bean & Chicken Soup, this Healthy Sweet Potato Soup or this Vegetable & Quinoa Chili!). 

Close-up of a cornbread muffin dunking into a bowl of chili.

Buttermilk jalapeño cheddar cornbread

Using buttermilk in the jalapeño cheddar cornbread batter provides an ultra tender texture. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make a hacked version by creating an acidic milk solution. Mix 1 ½ cups of whole milk with 1 ½ tablespoons of lemon juice. Let the mixture sit for 5 to 10 minutes, or until it starts to curdle, before using.

Process shot divided into four quadrants, showing the steps for making the jalapeno cheddar cornbread.
Overhead shot of the cornbread batter in muffin tins.

How to make gluten-free cornbread muffins

This recipe can easily made gluten-free by using a gluten-free 1-to-1 flour blend. I recommend this brand or this brand

Can you make the muffins ahead?

Yes! The muffins can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days, or they can be frozen for several months!

How to serve these muffins:

These muffins are so moist that you don’t even need any garnishes but you can absolutely slather them with butter if you wish! They make for a delicious accompaniment to soups and stews, including:

Cornbread muffins lined up on a serving board.

Get the recipe!

5 from 1 vote
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Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Muffins

Adapted from Fresh Flavors for the Slow Cooker: Reinvent The Slow Cooked Meal, by Nicki Sizemore (Storey Publishing, 2019). These muffins are like the offspring between muffins and spoonbread—they’re light and fluffy with a soft texture. You can use raw corn kernels, defrosted frozen corn kernels or leftover cooked kernels. Serve them with this Slow Cooker Chili, or with your favorite soups and stews!

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword cornbread muffin recipe, easy cornbread muffins, gluten free cornbread muffins, jalapeno cheddar cornbread
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 12 muffins
Author Nicki Sizemore

Ingredients

  • Oil or cooking spray for muffin tins
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose or gluten-free flour* (see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • ¾ cup fresh or frozen and defrosted corn kernels
  • 1 large jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Lightly coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray or oil.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, honey and melted butter. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir until just incorporated. Fold in the corn, jalapeño and cheddar cheese.
  4. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tins, and bake until golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20-22 minutes. Place the pan on a wire rack and let cool 5 minutes, then remove the muffins from the tins (if needed, run a small knife around each to release it from the pan). Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe Notes

Storage: The muffins can be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, or they can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Tips:

  • If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make a hacked version by mixing 1 ½ cups of whole milk with 1 ½ tablespoons of lemon juice. Let the mixture sit for 5 to 10 minutes, or until it starts to curdle, before using.
  • This recipe can easily made gluten-free by using a gluten-free 1-to-1 flour blend. I recommend this brand or this brand
  • When baking muffins it’s best to use a light colored muffin tin. This will prevent the bottoms and sides from turning too dark.

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