Jalapeño and chive cornbread

Flavourful additions spice up a classic favourite!

My mother made cornbread often when I was growing up, although she called it johnnycake. I think she served it because it’s an inexpensive yet tasty way to fill up a large, hungry family. I still love cornbread for many reasons – the crunchiness of the cornmeal, the tang of the buttermilk and especially the crispy exterior. I usually prefer to make my cornbread in mini-muffin pans, for one-bite wonders that maximize that delicious crispiness. Although it’s not essential, using bacon fat to grease the pans adds another great taste element. Yes, I admit it, I keep a jar of bacon fat in my fridge. No shame. Feel free to add or subtract from the seasonings; a bit of grated cheddar is also very yummy. Fresh cornbread is best eaten within 24 hours but it also freezes beautifully. I like to serve it with chili, hearty soups, or even in as a polenta substitute. You can easily halve this recipe to make a smaller batch and if you prefer to serve it in pretty wedges, bake it in two round pans.


  • 3/4 cup (185 mL) yellow cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup (185 mL) all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) baking soda
  • 1 1/2 (7.5 mL) teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 (7.5 mL) teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) minced chives (or green onion tops)
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) minced pickled jalapeños
  • 1 1/4 cups (310 mL) buttermilk (or regular milk mixed with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • bacon fat or butter for greasing pan


  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Grease with bacon fat or butter a 13×9 inch metal baking pan, 18 regular-sized muffin tins or 48 mini-muffin tins.
  • Whisk all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  • Stir in jalapeño and chives.
  • Whisk buttermilk and eggs together in medium bowl, then whisk in melted butter.
  • Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients and stir just until blended.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan (whether making a large pan or muffins, it should only come about 2/3 of the way up the sides of the pan.
  • Bake until lightly browned on top and toothpick inserted into centre comes out clean, about 25 minutes for a 9 x 13 pan, 18 minutes for regular sized muffins and 13 minutes for mini muffins.
  • When cooked, allow to cool completely in pan(s) on a wire rack.
  • If not serving within 2 hours, cover tightly and store at room temperature for up to 24 hours or freeze for up to one month.

Serves 10 – 12.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

8 thoughts

  1. This looks so delicious. I like making jalapeno sweet corn muffins, but a savory version with chives sounds like it could bump that out of the rotation 🙂 Especially with bacon fat (and I LOVE that you keep a jar in the fridge!) Thanks for posting!

    1. Thanks for your kind words! I love both sweet and savory versions but this is my favourite, for sure. And yup – bacon fat finds its way into lots of things (mmm…pancakes fried in bacon fat….) in my kitchen! 🙂

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