Kicked-up Cornbread

Kicked-up Cornbread ingredients


Sometimes demand dictates the work, and today’s recipe is one of those cases. This past weekend I was immersed in the kitchen on a cooking and baking bonanza. There was soup, cookies, pizza, a beer tasting (of course), chili, and cornbread to accompany the spicy dish.

Monday rolled around which means sharing photos of food and beverages made, ate or drank over the weekend on social media; Twitter’s #weekendeats and food fans on Google+. Oohs and ahhhs prevailed as pixels of drool-worthy dishes traversed the internet. It’s a fun way to connect with friends, make new ones, keep tabs on food trends, restaurant menus, and through it all, be inspired to whip up something in the kitchen.


 Folding in the diced cheddar and green onion


To my surprise, a photo of cornbread snapped on my phone garnered an enthusiastic, favorable response. Described as savory bread studded with diced cheddar cheese, diced jalapeno and sliced scallions, several inquiries for the recipe ensued. I was ill-prepared to respond for I hadn’t formalized the recipe in writing―until today.


Kicked-up Cornbread by Cakewalker


Kicked-up cornbread is scrumptious on its own, pairs wonderfully with an array dishes, and makes a superb base under a piping hot ladle-full of beef chili. Did I tell you the chunks of cheddar cheese ooze from the warm bread like hidden pockets of molten gold when you cut into it?


Chili smothered Kicked-up CornbreadI adore cornbread underneath chili: garnished with a sprinkle of shredded sharp cheddar and a dollop of sour cream, it’s the squeeze of fresh lime that seals the deal.

Kicked-up Cornbread MuffinOn its own, the cornbread makes a magnificent muffin! Mrs. W enjoys hers warmed, with a little butter and a drizzle of honey.


Kicked-up Cornbread Slice by Cakewalker


Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: One 6 or 8-inch round loaf

Serving Size: One wedge

This easy to make, full-flavored cornbread recipe is a star on its own, and pairs perfectly with an array dishes. Makes an outstanding muffin too!


  • 1 cup yellow corn meal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 large egg at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 5 oz. diced cheddar cheese (approx. 1 cup)
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons diced fresh jalapeno (most seeds removed)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rendered bacon fat (or butter)


  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Gently melt 1/3rd cup butter; set aside.
  • Whisk together the corn meal, flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. To the dry ingredients add the milk, butter and egg; mix until just combined. Allow the mixture to set up for a couple of minutes. Meanwhile, put the bacon fat in a 6 or 8-inch iron skillet, place in the oven for a couple of minutes to melt the fat and slightly heat the pan.
  • Reserve a tablespoon or so of the cheese chunks and sliced onions; set aside for later. Gently fold the rest of the cheese, green onions and jalapeno into the batter.
  • Swirl the heated skillet to coat the bottom and sides with the fat. Pour the batter into the skillet, smooth top to the pan's edge. Dot the batter top with the remaining diced cheese and onions. Bake for 22-25 minutes until the edge is golden brown and a toothpick test comes clean from the center. Serve warm.


Don't have an iron skillet? The recipe may be made in an 8-inch square baking pan. The jalapeno measurement variance is to your liking. I used the full 2 tablespoons.

For muffins, spoon the batter into your choice of lined muffin tins to 2/3rds full. Bake for approximately 15 minutes; start checking around 12 minutes with a toothpick test. Cool on racks.


  1. I love that you diced the cheese rather than grating it–pockets of molten gold, indeed! =) What a great recipe, Brooks. I was one of those you teased on G+ and Instagram, so I am selfishly happy that you shared this! I love sweet and hot together. I think Mrs. W. has the right idea with the honey!

    • Brooks Walker says

      The melty cheese tucked away in the bread is a pleasant surprise. You’re right Jenni, I enjoyed Mrs. W’s sweet/hot take on the bread for breakfast…scrumptious. So glad to have you visit my friend.

  2. Oh you didn’t. Oozing cheese in cornbread! Love nothing more then a big slab of savory cornbread next to a big bowl of chili. Yep … adding this to my Super Bowl must make list!

    • Brooks Walker says

      Serve yourself a nice wedge, Denise and enjoy it! So good to have you here, I’m glad you stopped by.

  3. I ordered honest to God American cornmeal from USA foods last week. It should have been here today but it didn’t arrive. Hopefully Monday and then I’m going to kick up some REAL cornbread. Cakewalkr style.

  4. Love me some cornbread!! I can never stop at one piece!

    • Brooks Walker says

      We’re right there with you, Raven. The bread doesn’t last long in my house! It’s great to have you here.

  5. My kind of cornbread right there, Brooks. I am not a fan of overly sweetened cornbread. As the saying goes, “If you want cornbread, eat cornbread. If you want cake, eat cake!” and I love ones like this with savory additions!

    • Brooks Walker says

      So true, Janet. So true. The sweet v. savory cornbread debate is as old as time and still divided. Thank you for the compliment and for visiting!

  6. This looks divine! Anything spicy is a hit with my family.

    • Brooks Walker says

      Why thank you, Krystle. The heat, which lives in the ribs and seed of the pepper, is adjustable to personal preference by how much you leave in the batter. Enjoy!

  7. If I made this, I’d have to eat it all myself 🙂 Seriously, teasing me with those chunks of oozing cheese, Brooks!

    • Brooks Walker says

      Melting cheese is quite captivating. Break out the cast iron, Priscilla, and enjoy!

  8. Amazing, I too have an upcoming cornbread recipe but mine is baked in small corn-shaped cast iron moulds! I’ve never been fond of the skillet cornbread that is, until now. Your description of the oozing cheddar sold me. I’ve always grated my cheddar into the recipe and have been relatively satisfied with the flavour it brings to the cornbread, but cutting it into cubes that ooze out just takes it to the next level and the presentation in the skillet is outstanding. I also love how the edges caramelize a bit, I bet they are coveted! Seeing it on that plate of chilli makes me want to make it for the Sopa Azteca I often make. Another wonderful recipe to bookmark. Thanks Brooks.

    • Brooks Walker says

      You’re welcome, Eva. Give it a try, I hope you’ll like the results!

      p.s. Those crusty edges are indeed coveted. 🙂


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