Honey Jalapeno Cornbread


Honey Jalapeno Cornbread is perfectly moist with a hint of sweet heat! 

It feels weird to blog per usual, as anything I could bring to the table seems rather trivial in comparison to what’s happening in Newtown right now, but perhaps Honey Jalapeno Cornbread can provide a short respite from the constant stream of sad news.

I was able to spend the weekend with a lot of people that I love. One of my best girlfriends was in town so we had coffee and went Christmas shopping together on Saturday, then Finn, my 3-year-old nephew, had his very first Christmas concert at church. Guess who sat through the entire thing with his hands folded neatly in his lap?? I’ve never laughed so hard. That was fun! he exclaimed afterwards. ;)

Yesterday, after a trip to the gym and running some errands, I got down to cooking a warm and hearty dinner for Ben and myself – my favorite Sweet & Spicy Chili with Honey Jalapeno Cornbread.

Last week I came to the realization that I hadn’t made a single batch of chili all fall, which I needed to change quickly. Since you can’t have chili without cornbread (well you could, but, WHY WOULD YOU?) I decided to whip up a batch of honey jalapeno cornbread to go with, based on something I’d seen at Whole Foods a few months ago.

This Honey Jalapeno Cornbread was positively awesome! Perfectly sweet and moist, with a fresh-jalapeno kick. Ben and I both devoured a warm, honey-drizzled slice with our cauldrons of chili. And as if it doesn’t get any better, this cornbread tastes even better the second day!

Start the Honey Jalapeno Cornbread by whisking together 1/4 cup each melted butter, unsweetened applesauce, and sugar. I adore using unsweetened applesauce to replace half the butter when baking and do it all the time in cakes, and, well, cornbread!

Next drizzle in 1/4 cup honey. The honey will give the cornbread a sweet, crispy crust, and a dense, moist center. Ridiculousness.

Now onto those jalapenos. Cut the tops off of 2 jalapenos then, using a paring knife, hallow out the insides to remove the ribs and seeds, which is where all the heat in a jalapeno lives. After they’ve been hallowed out, thinly slice them into rings.

Add the jalapenos into the applesauce mixture, then whisk to combine.

To round out the wet ingredients, add 2 eggs, and 1 cup low-fat buttermilk then whisk until smooth.

Now, in a separate bowl, stir together 1 cup flour, 1 cup cornmeal, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. TIP: You don’t have to buy an entire bag of cornmeal if you don’t think you’ll use it often. Visit the bulk bins to buy just enough for this recipe!

Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in two batches, then pour the mixture into an 8×8 or equivalent-sized baking dish sprayed well with non-stick spray. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Slice then serve drizzled with honey for the ultimate chili companion!

Honey Jalapeno Cornbread

Serves 6-8


Honey Jalapeno Cornbread is perfectly moist with a hint of sweet heat! 


  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray an 8x8 or equivalent sized baking dish well with nonstick spray then set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter and applesauce. Add sugar and honey then whisk to combine. Add jalapenos then whisk to combine. Add eggs and buttermilk then whisk to combine.
  2. In a separate bowl, stir together cornmeal, flour, salt, and baking soda. Whisk into dry ingredients in two batches. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish then bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.

Like I said, the honey caramelizes as it bakes to produce a crispy outside crust. It is sublime.

The inside is really creamy and moist though. The only way I like my cornbread. I know there are some savory cornbread lovers out there, but for me it’s all sweet, all the time!

And, believe it or not, a drizzle of honey on top is actually amazing combined with the subtle heat from the thin slices of fresh jalapeno. I usually hate raw honey, but it is a MUST with a big ol’ slice! BTW: if you really like heat, I would up the jalapeno count to three. Two was just perfect for me, the spice hater.

Click here for the Sweet & Spicy Chili Recipe >

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  1. One of our favorite restaurants in Napa (Rutherford Grill) has THE best cornbread ever, and it sounds just like this! It has some kind of chiles dispersed throughout too… And I’m totally with you on loving the crunchy stuff! This sounds toooo good.

  2. I’m thinking the boyfriend would adore this recipe – he recently discovered how much he likes cornbread.

  3. Lisa 12.17.2012

    I love the combination of jalapenos and cornbread. Sweet and heat are great together. :)

  4. Tug 12.17.2012

    I think your comments regarding Newtown are right on target. It is a terrible and evil thing that happened. Reading your blog, however, gives me an opportunity to do a normal thing when I don’t necessarily feel like things are normal. Have a good night.

    • Amy 12.17.2012

      My thoughts exactly!!

  5. I like the addition of honey! I’ll have to try this next time I make corn bread.

  6. Ed 12.17.2012

    I bet that would be awesome with some natural honey on it…sloane knows the score!

  7. Yep, thinking this NEEDS to happen soon.

  8. Sage 12.17.2012

    Where did you get your black chili bowls? I love them!

  9. Melissa 12.17.2012

    My husband loves cornbread but he insists I make them as muffins. Grrr..thats not bread thats muffins. He’s lucky I love him. LOL

  10. I just made chili tonight and was cursing myself for not also making cornbread. NOT a wise decision! Usually I just make Jiffy mix cornbread but oh, this recipe looks so tasty. This would go perfectly with the leftovers! :)

  11. Amanda 12.17.2012

    Kristin! This recipe looks delicious! I love cornbread and it is now pinned! However, I also invite you in trying cinnamon rolls with your chili. Yes, I know this sounds ridiculous, but it is the most delicious combination ever. I grew up in the very small town Goodhue, Minnesota and everyone there thinks this combination is completely normal. Anyone else I tell about it thinks it’s completely crazy. =).

    • Iowa Girl Eats 12.18.2012

      On it!! That actually sounds really, really good!

    • rosemary 12.18.2012

      we ALWAYS had cinnamon rolls with chili..growing up!

  12. Jill 12.17.2012

    Kristin–Do you like molasses on cornbread? I can’t eat it without it!!! Good recipe.

  13. Amy 12.17.2012

    Looking forward to making this! I love a dense cornbread!!

  14. Lauren 12.17.2012

    Thank you for addressing the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy and for giving people reminders to get help. I am a high school social worker and a big part of my job involves connecting students and families with mental health resources. Feel free to contact me if anyone needs help doing so (in any area of the country/world.)

  15. anyssa 12.17.2012

    looks yummy. must try but minus sugar and honey. Not sure why I have never enjoyed sweet cornbread? love it spicy with cheese inside. yum!

  16. Mary Johnson 12.17.2012

    Well, this is a must try. I’m also a huge fan of sweet cornbread. And moist. I hate dry cornbread. And thank you for addressing the Sandy Hook tragedy- I have a 6 year old and have spent most of the weekend in tears thinking about the families and their losses. Many prayers lifted up for them, indeed.

  17. You have me sold on this recipe! I absolutely adore cornbread, especially as a side to chili. The additions of jalapenos and honey sound fabulous!

  18. OMG, Finn is adorbs. I love the crazy things kids do :)

  19. Such tragedy in Newton, it makes me feel sick.
    This cornbread, though, has me salivating. I love jalapeno cornbread! Have you ever tried Jenna’s (Eat Live Run) cheddar jalapeno cornbread? Too die! Love it with a drizzle of honey on top too!

  20. Aggie 12.18.2012

    Oh that pic of your nephew is just precious. I’m loving this cornbread!! Jalapeños make me happy :)

  21. I just realized that I’ve been chili-less so far this winter too! There’s been other soups, but no chili? I must be losing it…

    The cornbread looks awesome!

  22. Sadye 12.20.2012

    Made this and the blueberry cornbread muffins for a work potluck, and I think a bigger dent was made in this dish!

  23. zuupdesign 12.28.2012

    Kristin! This recipe looks really yummy! I just can’t resist cornbread. Your chili is perfect with ice cold beer. Wowh, now I’m really feeling the cravings.

  24. […] Recently I was visiting one of my favorite food blogs Iowa Girl Eats and came across this post: http://iowagirleats.com/2012/12/17/honey-jalapeno-cornbread/ […]

  25. […] source: http://iowagirleats.com/2012/12/17/honey-jalapeno-cornbread/ […]

  26. […] recipe is adapted from a version Iowa Girl Eats made that I’ve been eyeing for months. In fact, although it’s been in my […]

  27. Liana 05.10.2013

    I made this for dinner last night and my family loved it. Perfect amount of heat and sweet! I made two small changes to the recipe, for the dry ingredients, I used two boxes of Jiffy Cornbread mix, and since I used the mix, I halved the sugar amount. It was perfect! Oh, i did use a 8×8 metal pan, and had to turn the oven down to 325 so it wouldn’t over cook on the edges before the center was done.

  28. The Burmese MOm 08.07.2013

    I made this with olive oil instead of butter. Absolutely loved it! Thanks for the recipe.

  29. IC-Hawk Girl 08.23.2013

    I just found this recipe on your site, which I love BTW, and being a long fan of Palmer’s jalapeno cornbread, I had to try this and it was AMAZING. I made it for my boyfriend, who had never heard of jalapenos in cornbread, and I dont think he’ll ever go back. I love how sweet and moist it is also – Thanks for the recipe :)

  30. […] find it hard to enjoy a bowl of chili without a side of sweet and luscious cornbread. Honey Jalapeno Cornbread is a fantastic spin on the classic. Not too spicy, […]

  31. Lindsey 09.19.2013

    DROOLING…Cornbread is my weakness. I absolutely love it! I’m thinking I need to add some jalapeno to it now :)

  32. […] those of you who have asked, I used Iowa Girl Eat’s recipe for Honey Jalapeno Cornbread (yes, oh yes, I BAKED!) and my mother’s recipe for chili.  It was a killer […]

  33. […] ham hock is delicious. I like to use chicken bouillon or vegetable bouillon instead. On the side, jalapeno honey cornbread with the peppers from My Father’s […]

  34. Harriet K. 11.18.2013

    I love this recipe and really want to try it, but am allergic to apples! How much butter would you use if you didn’t use the unsweetened apple sauce?

  35. Novice Baker 11.27.2013

    Fantastic recipe! I made this for a Thanksgiving potluck and everyone loved it!

    The only things I changed was that I added 3 jalapenos (one of the jalapenos I left with the core because I love spicy) and I added 2 more tablespoons of honey (because if I felt that the spiciness and the sweetness should be proportional).

    Thanks for such a great dish!

  36. YuBalance 11.29.2013

    I made this yesterday for Thanksgiving and it was so delicious. The recipe is perfect. This was my first time making cornbread so I was a little nervous it wouldn’t turn out well, but I was so wrong. Everyone loved it! Thank you so much. :)

  37. […] Honey Jalapeno Cornbread […]

  38. […] Honey Jalapeno Cornbread: brought by Laura- see recipe under the Sides tab, or here […]

  39. Melanie Keen 10.05.2015

    For the past two years, this has been my go-to cornbread recipe! My friends and family love it! I use a cast-iron skillet, however, so that the edges are crisp instead of cakey. This is seriously the best recipe though. Thank you!

    • Kristin 10.05.2015

      Great idea, Melanie, I’ll have to give that a try sometime!

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