Hot out of the pan, fully stuffed, and primed for pairing with your favorite warm-you-up soup, it’s Mexican Cornbread. It takes all the fluffy, buttery bliss that’s there to love about classic cornbread, then adds gooey, melty cheddar, fresh jalapeños, and, YES, corn. I normally have strong feelings about actual corn in my cornbread (they go like this: please don’t), but here it doesn’t merely work. It triumphs!
If you are looking for a simple, classic Southern cornbread recipe, this isn’t it. It’s stuffed with spices, cheese, and includes another ingredient that would make many a cornbread purist squirm: honey. If you are in the camp that doesn’t believe in sweetening cornbread, I volunteer as tribute to eat your slice.
If you are trying to make cornbread with Jiffy mix, I hope you’ll stay. This Mexican cornbread is made from scratch (not the box), but I pinky promise homemade cornbread is truly one of the easiest, highest-payoff recipes you’ll try. This Mexican Cornbread is more moist than Jiffy cornbread and more wholesome (I took the healthy cornbread route; this one is 100% whole grain), and all you need to make it is a bowl and a wooden spoon.
And if like me, you just love cornbread and think that a bowl of chili, hearty stew, or game watch feels more complete with it than without, then this stuffed Mexican Cornbread is most assuredly the recipe for you. It’s a fun change of pace from classic cornbread and adds interest and flair to any meal at which you serve it.
How to Make Mexican Cornbread
This is a straightforward dry-ingredient-meets-wet-ingredient recipe.
Mix up the dry ingredients:
- Cornmeal. I like a medium-grind cornmeal like this one, which gives the Mexican cornbread extra texture, but if you don’t have it on hand, regular finer-grind cornmeal works too.
- White Whole Wheat Flour. For whole-grain goodness. Its mild flavor tastes just like all-purpose flour in this recipe.
- Baking Powder AND Baking Soda. For that perfect rise.
Mix up the wet ingredients:
- Buttermilk. I adore how tender buttermilk makes baked goods, and its light tang is a non-negotiable addition to cornbread. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, I included a tip to make your own.
- Butter. Not too much to be heavy, but enough to make this cornbread taste appropriately indulgent.
- Honey. We talked about this. Just do it.
- PSA: I am recently obsessed with these liquid measuring cups. They are flexible so the liquids (especially sticky liquids like honey) “squish” right out. They are easy to wash too.
(Gently) stir the dry and the wet ingredients together, then pile on the good stuff!
- Mexican Corn. Or Mexicorn. Or Fiesta Corn. Whatever your brand of choice calls it, it’s sold by the regular canned corn at the grocery store and is a fab shortcut. In addition to the corn kernels, which in this Mexican cornbread recipe taste welcome, appropriate, and in keeping with the recipe’s Southwest vibe, Mexican corn has bits of red and green pepper that add pretty flecks of color and extra flavor.
- Jalapeños. As long as you remove the seeds and membranes, they’re here for freshness and herbaceousness, not for spice. If you’d like more of a kick, I recommend swapping out the cheese (more below) or sneaking in a pinch of cayenne pepper with the dry ingredients.
- Cheese. Gooey greatness. I opted for a cheddar-jack blend because it is yummy and what we had in the refrigerator. If you’d like to up this cornbread’s spice-factor, swap a hot pepper jack cheese.
- Green Onion. For color, balance, bite, and further evidence that this is not your run-of-the-mill cornbread recipe.
How to Serve Cornbread
- Most recently, I’ve been loving this cornbread with my shortcut Green Chili, to the extent that anytime I eat one, I crave the other.
- Should you want to branch outside the classic chili/cornbread duo, try a big, fluffy slice of this cheesy Mexican cornbread alongside salsa- and avocado-topped fried (easy), poached (fancy), or scrambled (standby) eggs.
- For a meat option, Mexican Cornbread with sausage or bacon would be sublime and ideal either for a lazy gal brunch or fast weeknight brinner.
Storing Mexican Cornbread
- Mexican cornbread should be refrigerated and will last several days…or as long as you can resist it.
Recommended Tools to Make Mexican Cornbread
- Best 8×8-inch baking pan
- Liquid measuring cups
- Short-ish whisk (so much easier than the larger standard ones)
- Metal measuring cups
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal - I like medium grind for the texture
- 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 eggs - at room temperature
- 1 cup low-fat buttermilk - at room temperature; or 1 cup 2% milk mixed with 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups freshly grated sharp cheddar, cheddar jack, or pepper jack cheese, or a mix - divided
- 1 (7-ounce) can Mexican-style corn - drained (about 1 cup)
- 1 large jalapeño pepper - seeded, membranes removed, and minced
- 2 green onions - chopped, divided (about 1/4 cup)
- Line an 8x8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper, leaving overhang on two opposite sides like handles. Lightly coat with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- Melt the butter in a medium microwave-safe mixing bowl and set aside to cool to room temperature.
- In a large, separate bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the eggs to the bowl with the melted butter and whisk until blended. Stir in the buttermilk and honey. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and, by hand, stir gently just until combined. The batter will be lumpy. Gently stir in 1 cup of the cheese, corn, jalapeño peppers, and half of the green onions. Let the batter sit at room temperature for 20 minutes while you preheat the oven.
- Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle the remaining green onions and 1/2 cup cheese on top. Bake the cornbread for 28 to 32 minutes, or until center is set, the top is golden brown, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan, then using the parchment paper, lift it onto a cutting board. For tidy slicing, let cool completely. For warm, messy slices, cut right away and enjoy!
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