Something that always takes me back to my childhood and my mom cooking is the smell and taste of cornbread, hot from the oven. While it’s hard to improve on a simple yet classic dish like this, you can add a few things here and there to turn it into a really special side dish.
This cheddar and black pepper cornbread has the savory element added from the cheddar and parmesan cheeses, but then has a little kick of the black pepper to balance it all out. For the best flavor use freshly ground pepper- it makes a huge difference.
To make this recipe it’s not all that different to making regular cornbread. I do find that cornbread made in a cast iron skillet just tastes better to me personally. But, you can make this cornbread as muffins or corn shapes if you have those pans, too. You may need to take them out sooner if you’re making small cornbreads like that.
You don’t want to over-mix the batter, which will be lumpy just like all cornbread batter. Unlike other cornbread this one is chilled in the fridge for 20 minutes before baking, then brushed with heavy cream and black pepper.
Some flaky sea salt on top gives it a fancy finish, but you can use regular sea salt if you don’t have the flaky Maldon variety. It will be equally delicious.
As with regular cornbread I like to have this with a pat of butter for a really delicious combination. It’s perfect for serving alongside beans, chili, BBQ, or really anything you want.
Cheddar & Black Pepper Cornbread
35m prep time
45m cook time
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, plus extra for topping
- 1 1/2 cups grated white cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- Maldon salt for topping
- In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cheeses. Cut in butter by hand or use a food processor and pulse butter into flour mixture. Mix only until just combined and sandy mixture forms. Stir in cream. Batter will be lumpy.
- Pour into a 10" cast iron skillet and level with back of spoon. Allow to sit in refrigerator for 20 minutes before baking.
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. Brush with heavy cream, black pepper, and Maldon salt. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until set in middle and lightly browned at edges. Cover with foil part way through baking if browning too quickly.
- Allow to cool for 15 minutes before cutting into wedges or squares to serve.
Recipe adapted from Food 52.