For my Juneteenth celebration this year, I had to whip up a big soul food plate. And what goes better with Mississippi-style mixed greens than this Jalapeño Skillet Cornbread? (nothing, that’s what!) Once you taste the flavor combination of buttermilk, jalapeños, and a touch of sugar, this will quickly become your favorite cornbread recipe.
This recipe’s inspired by the cornbread they serve at a soul food restaurant back home in Mississippi. It’s spicy but slightly sweet, not dry, and can honestly be eaten with just a bit of creamy butter (or am I the only one who can eat cornbread by itself?…) Join the celebration on Instagram by posting your Juneteenth plates, and have a great holiday!
What is Juneteenth?
First – a quick blurb on Juneteenth. The day has recently made headlines in the news since President Biden signed a law to make Juneteenth a federal holiday, but many people still don’t know that much about it.
Juneteenth is a holiday that celebrates the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans in the US. Although the Emancipation Proclamation officially outlawed slavery in 1862, it was still legal in many Confederate and southern states for years after. On June 19, 1865, the news of emancipation made its way to Galveston, TX. One year later, formerly enslaved people in Galveston celebrated “Jubilee Day.” It became more widespread and commercial over the years, and here we are with finally having it recognized as a federal holiday in 2021.
Juneteenth is what I consider to be my culture’s Independence Day celebrations. It’s a time to be even more unapologetically black. So of course, one way I celebrate is through food! This year’s plate is greens, mac & cheese, fried catfish, and my super yummy Jalapeño Skillet Cornbread. Check out the bottom of this post for other great Juneteenth-inspired dishes to make!
- Buttermilk – Our base of this cornbread lies in buttermilk. Using buttermilk over regular milk gives the cornbread TONS of moisture and a rich, buttery flavor. If you don’t have buttermilk, check the FAQs section for a quick recipe to make it yourself!
- Yellow Cornmeal – Of course, we need cornmeal for cornbread! Cornmeal is simply ground field corn. I suggest the fine-textured cornmeal to make sure we have a light, beautiful crumb on the bread.
- Jalapeños – Using fresh jalapeños gives the perfect kick to jazz up your standard cornbread mixture.
- White Sugar – Just a tablespoon of white sugar helps with flavor balance. Not to worry though; this is definitely a more savory cornbread vs. the sweet kind!
Technically, you don’t need a castiron… but it makes ALL of the difference in the world. Especially for this recipe! Using a buttered cast iron skillet will give us a beautiful golden-brown crust with a moist and tender inside.
If you run out of prepared buttermilk, you can make your own by adding 1 tbsp. of lemon juice to a 1-cup measuring cup. Then, fill the cup up with regular milk. Let it sit for a few minutes until it’s slightly curdled.
First, make sure you use a cast iron skillet for even heating. Then, use the technique I list below of buttering the skillet, setting it in the oven for a minute or two, then pouring the cornbread batter into the hot skillet. That helps immediately start sizzling and cooking the outside for a buttery, golden-brown crust!
Other Juneteenth-Inspired Recipes
Jalapeño Skillet Cornbread
- 1 ct. egg
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1 ¾ cups yellow cornmeal
- 1 tbsp white sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 ct. large jalapeño chopped
- 1 tbsp salted butter
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the egg and buttermilk. Pour in the cornmeal, stirring well.
- Add in sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and chopped jalapeño. Mix until fully incorporated.
- Add a small cast iron skillet to the oven for a few minutes until it is hot, then add ½ of the butter to the skillet until the bottom and sides are fully coated.
- Pour the batter into the hot skillet. Bake for 20 minutes until lightly brown and a knife through the center comes out clean.
- Top with the rest of the butter. Let cool for a few minutes, then slice and serve. Enjoy!
The Coined Breakdown
- Total Cost per serving: $0.69
- Total Cost (8 slices): $2.74
- Those Other Guys: $6.99 per serving