Birds Eye View: gluten-free jalapeño cheddar cornbread in a cast-iron skillet with white enamel. One slice is missing and a metal cake lifter is in its place. A slice of the cornbread on a wooed and marble cuttling board, a wedge of cheddar, 2 green jalapeños, and a glass of honey are on the counter.

Gluten-Free Jalapeño Cheddar Honey Cornbread Recipe

This is the best Gluten-Free Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread baked in a skillet for a soft, fluffy inside and perfectly crisped outside.

My recipe for classic Gluten-free Honey Cornbread serves as the base for this flavorful, cheesy jalapeño cornbread. It’s a rich twist on traditional cornbread that achieves a delicate balance of savory, sweet and spicy flavors.

While you can make this cheese cornbread in all kinds of baking dishes from square to muffin tins, a cast-iron skillet is my favorite choice. The edges get the ideal cornbread crisp in a cast-iron pan. Plus, a rustic skillet is a visual upgrade that adds to the sentimental and timeless appeal of this side dish. It’s a simple touch that makes this classic comfort food company-worthy.

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EQUIPMENT

Birds Eye View: gluten-free jalapeño cheddar cornbread in a cast-iron skillet with white enamel. One slice is missing and a metal cake lifter is in its place. A wedge of cheddar and 2 green jalapeños are on the counter.
  • 12-Inch Oven-Safe Skillet: Pictured in this recipe is an Enameled Cast Iron Skillet from Target. (The recipe card also includes bake time adjustments for a smaller 10-inch skillet, 8×8 square baking dish, and 12 count muffin pan.)
  • Whisk: I use a whisk for all of the mixing in this recipe, except for stirring in the cheddar and jalapeño peppers.

Gluten-Free Ingredients

Birds eye view of ingredients on a counter: butter stick, cup of gluten-free flour, small bowl of cheddar with a jalapeño on the edge, square bowl and 2 measuring spoons with white powder ingredients, 2 glass cups with honey and yellow cornmeal, and measuring cup of milk.
  • Gluten-Free Baking Flour Blend that contains xanthan gum: I used King Arthur Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour.
  • Yellow Cornmeal: Choose cornmeal that is labeled gluten-free, to reduce the risk of cross-contact with gluten-containing grains during processing.
  • Baking Powder & Baking Soda: Both give this fluffy cornbread the perfect rise. Baking powder is especially important in gluten-free baking.
  • Honey: Adds sweetness and creates a moist crumb.
  • Eggs: An important binder.
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese: Sharp cheddar cheese is my personal favorite. Use your favorite cheese… mild cheddar or pepper jack cheese are both great options. Pre-shredded cheese works fine in this recipe, if you don’t want to shred cheese yourself.
  • Jalapeño: diced, fresh, jalapeños add a little kick to every bite.
  • More Staples: Salt, Milk, Butter
  • Cooking Spray or Oil: to grease the skillet before baking. Make sure your cooking spray is gluten-free. Pam Baking Spray, for example, contains wheat flour and is made specifically for “greasing and flouring” a pan.

Step-By-Step Instructions

In a large mixing bowl, add gluten-free flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Use a whisk to stir the dry ingredients until they are well-combined.

A whisk with an aqua handle mixing white and yellow dry ingredients.

In a separate medium bowl, beat eggs and honey.

Then, whisk in milk and melted butter. Tip! To quickly melt butter, cut it into smaller pieces and melt in the microwave in 30-second increments.

Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients, and whisk until combined. It’s fine to have some small lumps remaining. The batter should be thick but pourable.

Stir in the shredded cheddar and diced jalapeño. For all the other mixing in this easy recipe, I use a whisk. But for this step, I switch to a soft spatula or spoon.

An aqua spatula stirring shredded cheese and diced jalapeños into cornbread batter.

Let the batter rest for 20 minutes, so the gluten-free flour and cornmeal have time to hydrate. This is an important step in gluten-free baking, and will give you the perfect light, moist cornbread you’re after.

While the batter is resting, preheat the oven to 400℉. Grease a 12-inch skillet with oil or gluten-free cooking spray. 

Bird's eye view: a greased cast-iron pan.

Bake the cornbread at 400℉ for approximately 18-23 minutes. It’s ready when the crust is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

For muffins or other baking dishes, see the baking times in the notes section of the recipe card. Muffins will bake faster, and most other baking dishes will have a thicker batter and take longer to fully bake.

Let the cornbread cool for five minutes before slicing. Serve warm with butter and a drizzle of honey or alongside a bowl of chili.

A slice of gluten-free jalapeño cheddar cornbread. In the background: more cornbread in a cast-iron skillet with white enamel, cheddar cheese, 2 green jalapeños, and a glass of honey.

Variations

  • Increase the amount of jalapeño for an extra kick.
  • Swap out shredded cheddar for your favorite cheese.
  • Want real corn in your cornbread? Simply add 1 cup of sweet corn kernels (fresh, frozen or drained canned corn).
  • Add crispy bacon. Mix four slices of chopped, fully-cooked bacon to the batter when you add the jalapeño and cheddar.
  • Jalapeño cheddar cornbread muffins are a great option for freezing and reheating individual portions. (see reheating instructions below)

Storage

Keep leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days. Do not store leftover cornbread in the fridge, where it will dry out.

For longer storage, wrap the cornbread tightly in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. I use a freezer bag to save precious storage space.

Reheating

Cornbread is susceptible to drying out, and gluten-free cornbread is especially so. Be sure to add moisture when reheating:

  • Microwave Method: Place a damp paper towel on top of the cornbread and reheat. One slice takes about 30 seconds. If reheating several slices of cornbread, start with one minute and then reheat in 30-second increments until fully warm.
  • Oven Method: Spray the cornbread with water or add a little butter to the top of the cornbread for moisture. Cover loosely with aluminum foil. Bake at 350℉ for approximately 10 minutes.

Related Gluten-Free Recipes

Chili in a white bowl, topped with cilantro and cheese. Cornbread resting on the corner of the bowl.
Birds Eye View: gluten-free jalapeño cheddar cornbread in a cast-iron skillet with white enamel. One slice is missing and a metal cake lifter is in its place. A wedge of cheddar and 2 green jalapeños are on the counter.

Gluten-Free Jalapeño Cheddar Honey Cornbread

Gluten-Free Jalapeño Cheddar Honey Cornbread is baked in a skillet for a soft, fluffy inside and perfectly crisped outside. This homemade cornbread has the perfect combination of sweet honey and cornmeal, savory cheddar cheese, and just-the-right-amount of spicy jalepeño.
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Resting Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Bread, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Mexican
Servings 12 servings

Equipment

  • 12-inch oven-safe skillet (See cook times for various baking dishes in the "Notes" section.)

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup gluten-free one-for-one replacement flour that contains xanthan gum ( I used King Arthur Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour)
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (approximately 4 ounces)
  • ¼ cup jalapeño, diced (approximately 1 large or 2 small jalapeños)
  • cooking spray or oil (check for gluten-free, note: Pam Baking Spray contains wheat flour)

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl, add gluten-free flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Use a whisk to stir the dry ingredients until they are well-combined.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, beat eggs and honey. Then, whisk in milk and melted butter.
  • Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients, and whisk until combined. Stir in shredded cheddar and diced jalapeño. Let the batter rest for 20 minutes, so the gluten-free flour and cornmeal have time to hydrate.
  • While the batter is resting, preheat the oven to 400℉. Grease a 12-inch skillet with oil or gluten-free cooking spray.
  • Bake at 400℉ for approximately 18-23 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (For muffins or other baking dishes, see baking times in the notes section below.)
  • Let it cool for five minutes before slicing. Serve warm with honey and butter or alongside a bowl of your favorite chili.

Notes

Baking Times (ready when a toothpick comes out clean):
  • 10-inch skillet: 22-27 minutes 
  • 12-inch skillet 18-23 minutes
  • 8×8 baking pan: 23-28 minutes
  • 12-count muffin tin: 16-20 minutes
Storage: Store leftover cornbread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. For longer storage, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. 
Keyword gluten-free
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