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My Mexican cornbread recipe is more tender than Southern, and way better than Jiffy! Slathered with honey and dotted with fresh corn and hot jalapeños, it’s a really complex and undeniably delicious cake. Pair it with meaty chilis, beans and wholesome stews, or enjoy it as a snack on its own.
Imagine a delicious side dish that takes less than 30 minutes to make, only dirties a few dishes, and goes with almost anything you have planned for dinner… Those are all of the reasons why this Mexican cornbread recipe is one of my favorites!
What is Mexican cornbread — and what makes it so different?
As you might guess from the peppers nestled in there, this cornbread recipe has a bit of a kick! A brush of honey on top and sweet corn stirred throughout makes it a touch sweeter than Southern cornbread, but it’s also much more moist, so it all works together well.
Table of Contents
- Butter – This Mexican cornbread recipe requires ¼ cup of melted butter – about half a stick.
- Milk – You can substitute buttermilk for regular milk in any cornbread recipe for fluffier, tangier results. It’s a great option if you prefer a more savory cornbread.
- Cornmeal – It’s traditional to use yellow cornmeal, but you can easily substitute it with white cornmeal with little to no change in the flavor.
- Sugar – I use granulated white sugar. However, it’s not uncommon to see a cornbread recipe with brown sugar for a little more moisture and molasses-like sweetness.
- Pickled Jalapeños – These aren’t too spicy at all – they add just enough texture and heat for some really great cornbread!
- Corn – I use canned corn, but you could use either fresh or frozen as long as it’s been cooked and drained.
- Honey – Use a clear, pourable honey that’s easier to brush and soak into the surface of the Mexican cornbread. This ingredient can easily be lessened or left out entirely if desired.
Cornmeal vs Masa
Cornmeal and corn flour are made from ground, dried field corn, and masa harina is made from dehydrated nixtamalized ground corn. The process of nixtamalization gives masa harina a distinct flavor that you won’t find with cornmeal and is what masa is when water is added and made into tortillas and tamales.
- Preheat & Prepare Pan. While preheating the oven to 400 degrees F, lightly grease your pan or skillet. (If making cornbread muffins, preheat to 350 degrees.)
- Mix Wet Ingredients. Add the butter, milk, and egg to a large mixing bowl and whisk together.
- Add Dry Ingredients. Spoon the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into the bowl and whisk until just combined and the flour is fully moistened.
- Add Corn & Chiles. Now, fold the corn and jalapeños into the batter. It will have a lumpy texture – don’t try to stir until smooth!
- Prepare to Bake. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan (if making muffins, there will be a little batter left over). Lightly tap the pan on the counter so that the batter spreads evenly, then smooth the top with a spatula so no lumps are sticking out.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes. Once the edges turn golden brown, stick a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean, remove from the oven.
- Brush & Serve. Immediately brush the surface with the honey and give it a moment to soak in. Serve while warm.
- Cake Pan – Mexican cornbread is generally baked round, but if you’re a fan of browned edges on your cornbread, definitely go with the square pan. That’s also a great shape for easy slicing and serving.
- Skillet – Cast iron is another option. A skillet will result in crisper, more browned edges and bottom, especially if it’s preheated.
Storing and Reheating
Wrap well in plastic wrap or store in an airtight container. If kept at room temperature, leftovers will stay fresh for 2 or 3 days before drying out. Alternatively, they’ll last for a week in the fridge!
To reheat, simply microwave for 30 seconds or so. Brush a little more honey on top to get it nice and moist again.
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It’s really a matter of what flavors you enjoy the most.
For denser bread with plenty of sweetness, go with regular milk – sometimes called “sweet” or “fresh” milk for this reason.
Use buttermilk for a fluffier crumb and tangier taste. That bit of acidity goes well with the jalapeños and corn, so it wouldn’t be at all out of place.
Over-mixing and overcooking are the most common causes of crumbling breads. Mix just until the flour moistens, then very gently fold the peppers and corn into the batter.
Secondly, remove from the oven once it lightly browns and its edges start to pull away from the pan.
Finally, don’t skip the egg! It provides both texture and the necessary structure to hold it all together.
Add some great salty flavor and gooey texture with cheese! Cheddar, Monterey Jack, or Pepper Jack melt well and complement the other flavors.
This cornbread is also good with additional vegetables: onions, bell peppers, green chiles, spinach — anything that isn’t too wet and might weigh down the cake.
Mexican Cornbread Recipe
- Heat the oven to 400°F. Spray the bottom and sides of an 8” square pan, 9” round cake pan with the cooking spray. OR use a cast iron skillet.
- In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter, milk and egg until well mixed.
- Add the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt , stirring until the flour is moistened.
- Stir in the corn and chopped jalapeños (batter will be lumpy).
- Pour batter into the pan spreading evenly and smooth top of batter.
- Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and brush honey on top, allow to soak in.
- Serve warm.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.