These muffins have a sweetness natural to cornbread, but also a kick from the jalapenos and a touch of savoriness from the cheese. Simple but oh so good!
It boggles my mind to this day how I could be the only person in our household who likes corn. I’m talking about real, actual like– the sort where you’ll willingly go out of your way to buy and eat corn because you want to, not because you don’t have any other choice.
I must be the only one among us who particularly enjoys corn desserts like mais con hielo or maja blanca (the more corn the better), or who orders sweet corn flavoured with barbecue powder off the streets. I’m the only one who buys fresh corn on the cob from the lady who often comes around to sell them door-to-door.
So every time I make cornbread or corn muffins, it frustrates me how ambivalent my family is about them. Cornbread is so awesome! Even the corn muffins sold in Kenny Rogers puts a smile on my face (except when they hold back on the corn bits inside). While my family will eat anything I feed them, I just feel sad about the lack of enthusiasm. They don’t get the thrill of the corn (lol).
So when I came across this Jalapeno Cheddar Corn Muffins recipe, I immediately went to work with it. It was the perfect compromise of things that we all liked: corn muffin for me, and anything with cheese and a spicy kick for all of us.
It was a decision on my part to add that crown of jalapeno on top, but I thought it really made a plain old corn muffin look a lot more interesting. People who like spicy things like my brothers tend to hone in on touches like that. And it worked!
They gobbled these up, and whoa was it awesome! Hands down, some of the best savoury type of corn muffins I have ever made!
The original recipe uses fresh jalapeno peppers, but since I have no idea where to get that locally, I went for the pickled version. Actually I think it worked more to the benefit of this recipe because the juices of the pickled jalapenos (there was a bit left over even though I tried to pat them dry) added some extra flavour to the batter.
Instead of just spiciness from the peppers, sweetness from the cornmeal, plus savouriness from the cheese, you get a little bit of sourness from the pickling juice too! It kind of tickles the senses in a good way, and it makes the muffins just a bit more moist. You can buy pickled jalapenos in most grocery stores these days (canned veggies section) but I’ve only ever seen cornmeal sold in Healthy Options. Now get to it and have these for your next breakfast! 😉
Jalapeno & Cheese Cornbread Muffins
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk*
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 pieces fresh or pickled jalapenos, seeded and diced**
- 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Lightly coat or line a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick spray; set aside.
- 2. In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk*, butter, sugar, eggs, and honey.
- 3. Pour wet mixture over the flour mixture and stir using a rubber spatula just until moist. Add the chopped jalapenos and shredded cheese, gently tossing to combine.
- 4. Scoop the batter evenly into the prepared muffin tin, filling almost all the way up. Top each muffin with a sliced piece of jalapeno (and more cheese), if desired. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm.
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