Grandmas Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins (with video)

Grandmas Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins, a rich batter of cornmeal and luscious thick yogurt, elevating a southern recipe to the next level of flavor and healthy ingredients!

jalapeno cornbread muffins
Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins

Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins – Grandmas Way

These jalapeno cornbread muffins happened by accident and what a beautiful accident indeed!

I live in Maryland, in an area surrounded by cornfields in the summertime, but I didn’t grow up making cornbread. Remember, I am of Mediterranean descent.

Then one day, I invited a friend to come cook with me for the weekend, a southern gal… totally a cornbread gal!

We both competed on a Food Network program, Clash of the Grandmas, back in 2016, different episodes; but through an accident, we met.

Production accidentally crossed our emails and accidentally sent her emails to me. We connected and it was the beginning of a fabulous friendship!

But what does that have to do with Cornbread? I’ll show you!

Grandmas Cars Coffee And Cornbread

I won’t lie… I love cars; sports cars, vintage cars, race cars, artsy cars!

While playing in my kitchen, a few years ago, with my new Food Network southern gal friend, we made my cornbread recipe to take for a gift.

The gift was intended to let us in, to view their massive collection of vintage cars.

While I was elated to take her to see the cars, I was really being quite ‘cheeky,’ because she is a true southern gal.

I’m sure she has probably made cornbread in a cast iron skillet since she was ‘knee-high to a grass hopper’!

Me? I’m a Mediterranean raised gal that likes to put ‘my twist’ on everything I cook.

None the less, we had a blast and the cornbread was fabulous, and the guests that received our offerings were elated and happy to show us the cars!

Cornbread and Cars
Cornbread and Cars

Corn Season Is Ripe For Cornbread

Okay, enough about cars! Let’s talk about corn, of which I am inundated with all summer.

Fresh corn to be harvested
Fresh Corn To Be Harvested

Living near an area where the seasons are marked, by what the local farmers are growing, often inspires the recipes I create, or re-create.

Having observed the pristine orderly rows and rows of four inch stalks of corn, a few months ago, I was inspired to create a new twist on an old cornbread recipe I have used for years. 

I will also challenge you to experiment with a corn ice cream, yes ice cream, that is rich, creamy and made from freshly picked sweet corn! Corn Ice Cream. 

But that is for another day and another chat.

corn ice cream

Cornbread Muffins

While cornbread, being a quick bread, most often associated with the southern cooking, rarely has corn in it; I wanted to change that.

While corn meal is not a gluten flour, in order to create a moist, fluffy muffin, the cornmeal was going to need help.

Wanting to keep these muffins gluten-free, I created a new recipe that didn’t add wheat flour, but rather gluten-free flour that worked perfectly.

Homemade Muffins With A Purpose

There’s a good reason I created 52 muffins, in My Muffin Madness cookbook; as a single mom of four, I needed a ‘make-ahead breakfast’ for those insanely busy years. 

Not just any ole store bought muffin or boxed muffin, but healthy muffin recipes with less sugar, wholesome ingredients, whether savory muffins or seasonal flavor muffins; like the beloved pumpkin muffin. 

Want to know what the best part of this collection of muffin recipes is?

These easy recipe muffins could be (and were), made by the kids (taking turns of course, so no bickering), making my job as a single mom a tad easier.

That is why, in my family, I am known as the Muffin Queen!

My Muffin Madness Cookbook
My Muffin Madness Cookbook

Let’s Talk First About A Base Recipe Before I Share My Best Muffin Recipes With You

The good news is that nearly every basic muffin recipe starts out with rather basic ingredients; dry ingredients and wet ingredients, using something to puff them up.

As I pondered every muffin recipe I would create, these were the first two categories I gave much thought to, and where I could incorporate healthy ingredients. 

Dry Ingredients, are definitely much more than all purpose flour and baking powder. 

This category is the perfect way to build nutritional support into these individual little quick breads. 

Options For The Flour Mixture

  • Almond flour, or any nut, oat, spelt or barley flake, ground into a flour.
  • Whole wheat flour or gluten-free option flour, instead of bleached flour.
  • Dry sweetener, can be white sugar, brown sugar, coconut sugar, stevia, or monk fruit sweetener.
  • Cocoa powder, carob powder, protein powder, depending on the flavor, or muffin you are making, becomes part of the dry ingredient mixture. 
  • Warm spices such as our favorite cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, or exotic spices such as MahlabMastic, even root powders such as beets measure into the dry mix. 
Options For Dry Ingredients
Options For Dry Ingredients

Wet Ingredient Options

  • Some type of fat is needed to make for moist muffins and there are so many choices here, from melted butter, a vegetable oil, nut oils, or simply use the fat in almond butter or peanut butter.
  • Eggs contribute much of the rising aspect when baking muffins, and while egg substitutes can be used such as flax egg or aquafaba (the liquid in a can of chickpeas), these options work however the rise or texture may not be quite the same. 
  • Creamy ingredients have so many options, from the basic milk in your fridge (dairy, coconut milk or almond milk), to Greek yogurt, sour cream, cream cheese.
  • The wet aspect of the muffin batter must also take into account, when balancing wet and dry, ingredients such as maple syrup or honey, pumpkin if making pumpkin muffins, squashed banana, fresh blueberries or other fresh fruit juices such as lemon juice. These are wet aspects that need balancing along with the dry ingredients. 
Wet Ingredient Options
Wet Ingredient Options

Making The Muffin Recipe

Once the wet and dry ingredients have been mixed, along with your favorite add-ins, we are ready to bake. 

A muffin tin is most commonly used, metal or silicone, and they are usually lined with muffin liners, also known as cupcake liners. 

The use of paper liners makes it easier to remove the muffins once baked, without the added step of having to grease or spray the muffin cups. 

I have also included, in my cookbook, a fun Tahini Muffin Tops recipe (made from homemade tahini), because let’s face it, we usually love the tops most, however these muffin tops tins do need to be greased. 

Last is the consideration of the oven temperature.

Regardless of the muffin recipe, I find the best results by placing in a high temperature setting, even if you turn it down after the first 5-minutes of bake time. 

This helps to firm a crust on the muffin tops, while baking the inside of the muffin consistently. 

Muffins will last about a week in an airtight container in the fridge, but are best served room temperature or as warm muffins. 

52 Muffin Recipes In My Muffin Madness Cookbook

Growing Jalapeños For My Cornbread Muffins

By the time the corn fields are ripe for the picking of juicy sweet corn, so are the multitudes of various peppers growing locally or in my garden.

Sweet cornbread muffins are nice, especially for breakfast, but why not a spicy hot, Latin flavored cornbread! For that I was going to need jalapeños for my muffins.

my pepper garden
My Pepper Garden

Cornbread Muffins With Jalapeños

I love this recipe with chopped jalapeños throughout the batter, offering both the sweetness of corn and the heat of peppers.

I found peppers to be one of the easiest things I grow in my yard.

The only finicky aspect of growing peppers, is waiting for them! They are often drought tolerant, and don’t take up much room.

Planting a seed in April and not being able to pick until August can make you wonder why you bothered.

But then when their color pops up all over, and the flavors are amazing, freshly picked, or frozen for later in the year, you are reminded why you grow them.

growing a variety of peppers is easy and rewarding
Growing A Variety Of Peppers Is Easy And Rewarding

Muffins Are A Great Way To Showcase Cornbread

The traditional way of making cornbread is in a cast iron pan, over fire or on top of the stove.

That’s great if you’re camping or cooking ‘down home’ style and don’t mind placing the pan on the table to serve.

We were going to give these jalepeno cornbread muffins as a gift, so muffins were the best way to bake our flavor abundant gifts.

cornbread ready to bake
Cornbread Ready To Bake

How To Make Cornbread Muffins

Muffins are my favorite way to bake a huge variety of things we love to eat, into an easy to-go, or present, meal in a few bites.

I love muffins so much that I created 52-Muffins in a cookbook called My Muffin Madness! So, of course I had to create a cornbread muffin with the summer’s heat of jalapenos!

Making jalapeno cornbread muffins is as easy as mixing the batter for your favorite cake; wet ingredients, dry ingredients and something to make them rise.

For the wet aspect, I am using buttermilk and the luscious creaminess of thick plain yogurt. Plain yogurt has the zing of sour cream, the richness of cream cheese and is… let’s face it, healthier! 

The fresh corn (or frozen if it’s all you have), and peppers will get folded in just before baking. Be sure to place one thin slice of jalapeño on the top of the batter before baking.

I use this as a ‘warning’ sign that this cornbread has extra pizzazz!

Fun Variations Of Hot Cornbread For Halloween

For a really fun treat, around Halloween, I have devised a fabulous cornbread recipe with black pepper and bacon.

Halloween Skull Cornbread are what I call them and my grandchildren ask for them every year!

Instead of using a traditional muffin tin, I love using ‘skull’ molds, which are easy to use and really compliment the vibe of a spicy hot cornbread treat. 

pepper bacon cornbread
Pepper Bacon Cornbread

Halloween Pepper Bacon Cornbread

Ingredients Needed

  • Gluten-free flour
  • Corn meal
  • Sugar
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Plain yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Buttermilk
  • Olive oil
  • Corn
  • Jalepenos
Cornbread Ingredients
Cornbread Ingredients

Equipment Needed

  • Mixing bowl
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Wooden spoon
  • Whisk
  • Muffin tin
  • Baking paper cups
  • Cutting board
  • Chopping knife
  • Oven

Grandmas Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins

Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins, a rich batter of cornmeal and luscious yogurt, elevating an old southern recipe to a new level of health and flavor!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free
Keyword: Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6 servings


  • Muffin tin
  • Non-stick spray


  • 1 1/2 cups Gluten-free flour
  • 3/4 cup Corn meal
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 cup Thick Plain Yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp Baking soda
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3/4 cup Goat Milk or Buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup Olive oil
  • 1 cup Corn
  • 2 Small Jalapeños 1 finely chopped plus 1 for garnish
  • pinch Coarse salt


  • Preheat the oven to 350.
    Lightly grease the muffin tin.
  • In a medium bowl, mix the flour, corn meal, sugar and baking powder in a bowl and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix the yogurt and baking soda.
    Stir and let it set for 5 minutes.
  • Add the eggs, oil and milk to the yogurt mixture. Whisk to incorporate.
  • Fold in the dry ingredients, add corn and 1 finely chopped jalapeño.
    Add a little extra milk if needed to make a smooth batter (not runny nor dry).
  • Place the batter evenly into the prepared muffin tin, or a loaf pan.
    With the remaining jalapeno, arrange very thin slices of jalapeño across the top and a sprinkle of coarse salt.
  • Bake in a 350 degree oven until tester (toothpick), comes out clean, about 25-minutes..
  • Cornbread will last up to a week in the fridge or freezes well.


Grandmas Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins
Grandmas Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins
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