Bensonhurst Kitchen: Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread

As a confessed culinary heat-seeker, a jar of vinegar jalapenos or bottle of hot sauce is de rigueur at this blogger’s dinner table.

Today, Colleen aspires to make cornbread better, incorporating the jalapeno – along with some tasty sharp cheddar – into a wonderful corn bread side dish.

When Googling the words “Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread,” you will come across many recipes. Some use baking powder, while others also use baking soda.

In this week’s edition of BK, Colleen one-ups the competition, utilizing a combination of baking powder and baking soda as leavening agents, plus olive oil (in place of butter) as a shortening.

Much like in Irish soda bread, baking soda neutralizes acid – which helps make the cornbread more palatable, especially if you’re using canned peppers. Along with the olive oil, it should result is a lighter, airier bread that won’t leave you feeling too filled up for your main course.


Colleen’s Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread


1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
4 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped jalapeno peppers
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a bowl combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Add chopped jalapenos to the cornmeal mixture. Blend until fully incorporated. Set aside.

In another bowl whisk together eggs, milk and olive oil.

Combine egg mixture with the cornflour mixture. Mix thoroughly.

Stir in shredded cheese.

Pour into a greased 8 X 8 baking pan.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test.

Cut into squares and serve warm.


Adjust the heat of your cornbread based on your love (or lack thereof) of spicy foods.  Add more jalapenos to increase the heat and if you really want to breath fire, include the seeds in your cornbread. You will be asking for a glass of milk before you know it!

Are you a meat lover? Do you love to incorporate meat into everything you eat? Brown and crumble some pork sausage and add it to your cornbread batter with the cheese. Sure to make any carnivore fall in love!

Recipe and tips by Colleen