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Yeastless Jalapeño Cornbread is a Surefire Hit

Remember when you couldn’t find yeast in the stores? I have a fabulous bread recipe that doesn’t require yeast. I have been making this yeastless Jalapeño Cornbread for years and it always gets rave reviews.

Normally, I make this Jalapeno Cornbread for our bi~annual Kentucky Derby Party. In fact, 7 weeks ago, I thought that I would be baking it today. Unfortunately, that is an event that also was canceled due to the coronavirus. This was Derby Party year for us, so no Jalapeño Cornbread, no homemade Pimento Cheese, and, here I wipe the tears from my eyes, no Mint Juleps (Actually, Sweeet Shark will make Mint Juleps for us.)

Over the years I’ve introduced new dishes to the party, but there are some recipes that are just so good and popular that I always serve them: Sweet Shark’s Smoked Salmon, the Southern Pimento Cheese, Maple~Glazed Ham, and Fried Chicken Drumettes. Another all-time favorite is Jalapeño Cornbread Salad made from the Jalapeño Cornbread, which I serve for dinner after the race. Here’s the story behind this Jalapeño Cornbread and the salad it is used in. Don’t all good recipes have stories?

Years ago when I worked in the culinary school at Sur La Table, one of our favorite guest instructors was Shannon. A local restaurant pastry chef at the time, he shared his mother’s Jalapeño Cornbread that was part of a recipe that I call  Shannon’s Mother’s Jalapeño Cornbread Salad ~ and that’s what all my friends call this dish. After you read through the Jalapeño Cornbread recipe, check out the salad. It’s amazing.

This Jalapeño Cornbread definitely has a southern vibe since cornbread is the foundation, but with a variety of peppers, red onion and cilantro. It’s the perfect accompaniment to so many main dishes or just good by itself. And, with our current yeast shortage, this yeastless Jalapeño Cornbread becomes even better.

Yeastless Jalapeño Cornbread is a Surefire Hit

This Jalapeño Cornbread uses baking powder instead of yeast to make it rise. The eggs also act as a leveaner.

TIP: I will give notice that this yeastless Jalapeño Cornbread is a bit labor~intensive at the beginning. Give yourself plenty of time to chop the peppers and onion.

Preparing the Jalapeño Cornbread

While you are preparing the ingredients, heat a large 10~inch cast iron skillet in a 400˚F oven.

Combine all your dry ingredients. I use a whisk to completely incorporate the flour, baking powder, cornmeal, sugar, salt, and cumin.

whisking dry ingredients

Gather all your wet ingredients and combine in a large bowl.

Yeastless Jalapeño Cornbread recipe ingredients

Add the peppers and remaining ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix to combine.

mixing Yeastless Jalapeño Cornbread recipe ingredients

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and thoroughly combine, making sure there are no pockets of dry ingredients.

mixing yeastless Jalapeño Cornbread recipe

Add a small amount of bacon grease or canola oil to the skillet and swirl it around the coat the inside. Then pour the mixture into your heated skillet and bake for about 45 minutes.

This is how your Yeastless Jalapeño Cornbread should look when baked. I love how the red bell pepper and the jalapeño pieces rise to the surface. Makes for a very pretty dish.

Yeastless Jalapeño Cornbread recipe

When the cornbread is done, flip out the cornbread onto a wire rack to cool. When the cornbread is cool, wrap in foil and set aside until you are ready to use it.  You can enjoy it hot with a little butter. If you are using in Shannon’s Mother’s Jalapeño Cornbread Salad, the cornbread is best made one day ahead before you assemble the salad.

Yeastless Jalapeño Cornbread recipe

Yeastless Jalapeño Cornbread

Jalapeño Cornbread

Delicious Southern skillet bread recipe that doesn't require yeast. Southern-style cornbread with a Tex-Mex kick is a great accompaniment for soups, chili, and stews.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword cornbread recipes, southern cornbread, Tex-Mex cornbread
Servings 12 servings



  • 7 1/2 ounces all~purpose flour 2 cups, 4 teaspoons
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 9 ounces yellow cornmeal 2 cups, 4 tablespoons
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 6 ounces butter or bacon fat, melted 3/4 cup
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 2 large Jalapeño peppers meat only, finely chopped
  • 1 small red onion finely chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper meat only, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves


  • Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Place 10~inch cast iron skillet in the oven to heat.
  • Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk to thoroughly combine.
  • Combine all the wet ingredients in a separate bowl and whisk to combine.
  • Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Gently fold the ingredients together with a rubber spatula or large wooden spoon. Do not overmix.
  • Carefully grease the iron skillet with bacon grease or canola oil. Pour the batter into the skillet. Bake the cornbread for about 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Invert the cornbread from the skillet onto a wire rack to cool.


Measurements by volume are given at the end of the ingredient for flour, cornmeal, and butter.

Yeastless Jalapeño Cornbread is one recipe that you definitely want to PIN for your recipe file.

pin for later graphic in blue
Yeastless Jalapeño Cornbread is a Surefire Hit.

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  1. I’m always looking for new dishes to bring to BBQs and this looks like it will fit the bill nicely. I’ll have plenty of time to practice making it for my own BBQs before we’re allowed to meet up with friends again! Thanks for the recipe 🙂