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This Old Fashioned Cornbread with Cheddar Cheese is easy to make and packed with freshly grated cheddar. Serve this comforting side dish with BBQ in the summer or spicy chili in the winter!
Who doesn’t love a soft, warm slice of cornbread? There’s something about the sweetness from the corn and the light texture of the bread that makes this dish a comforting side any time of the year.
This cornbread is baked with freshly grated cheddar and fresh corn kernels. You can taste the gooey sharp cheddar cheese in every bite.
What Makes this Cornbread So Good?
When making this recipe, I wanted a cornbread that was easy to make with rich undertones. I thought about what I could add to a traditional cornbread recipe that would still remind me of summer barbeques in sunny weather, but that also would add something new and unique. I ended up deciding to bake cheddar cheese into the batter. The rich flavor and creamy texture pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the fresh corn kernels.
This buttery homemade cornbread is so light and airy. It tastes best when made with fresh kernels, but you can easily substitute frozen or canned. The sharp cheddar cheese adds a layer of depth and richness to this easy recipe!
What You’ll Need
This cornbread is super easy to make and doesn’t require too many ingredients. Keep in mind that some of the ingredients can be substituted to work for you!
- Butter: Make sure it is unsalted and that it is melted and cooled just slightly.
- Eggs: This acts as a binding agent, adding structure so your cornbread stays together.
- Half-and-Half: Or you can use whole milk.
- Fine Yellow Cornmeal: Cornmeal gives it a traditional cornbread texture and a pretty golden yellow color.
- Flour: I use unbleached all-purpose.
- Kosher Salt: Enhances the flavor of the bread.
- Baking Powder: This makes the bread rise.
- Sugar: Adds a touch of sweetness to the bread.
- Corn Kernels: I prefer fresh but you can use frozen (just thaw them first) or canned.
- Freshly Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese (Or Any Cheese of Your Choice): Baking the cheese into the batter adds a moist, creamy texture.
How to Make Cheddar Cornbread
Although this cornbread may taste like it took you hours to make, this recipe is both quick and easy. You’ll need a whisk, spatula, two bowls, and 9 x 13 inch baking pan!
After preheating the oven, whisk the eggs in a medium bowl.
Add the rest of the wet ingredients to the eggs, mix the dry ingredients in another, and combine. Then, just add the corn and cheddar cheese and mix!
Bake until lightly golden or a toothpick comes out clean!
(I know these steps are ridiculously short and to the point, but this really is a simple recipe.)
Tips for Success
While this homemade cornbread is easy to make, I do have some tips to make sure it comes out perfectly soft, airy, and golden. Here are a few of my recipe notes that will help you make the best cornbread.
- Use fresh kernels – Something about fresh ingredients just makes the final product taste so much better. Especially when those juicy kernels are baked right into the batter. That being said, when I make this cornbread in the winter I will use drained canned corn or frozen corn. The bread is still delicious.
- Use half-and-half over whole milk – While both will work well in this recipe, using half-and-half gives this bread just a little bit of a richer taste.
- Mix all of the wet ingredients until just combined – If you over-mix this batter, your cornbread will come out too tough. Mix until just combined to ensure a light, soft texture.
- Smooth the surface of the batter – Smoothing the surface of the batter once it is in the pan will make this cornbread bake evenly with that gorgeous golden top.
How you serve this cornbread can be just as important as how it’s made. Here are a few ways that I have found to make it taste that much better on the plate.
I highly recommend you serve this cornbread warm. Better, serve it out of the oven on the same day it’s made. A slice of warm cornbread just screams comfort food any time of the year. Plus, when warm, the creamy cheddar adds softness and moisture to the bread. Add softened butter on top, or even a generous drizzle of honey! (So good.)
Or add it to a summer barbeque! Trust me, you will get so many compliments if you bring this bread to a summer potluck!
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
To stores, place any leftovers in an airtight container. It can be refrigerated for up to three days. Reheat using either a microwave or oven. In the microwave, reheat for 20 to 30 seconds. If reheating in the oven, preheat the oven to 350°F and warm for 5 to 10 minutes.
Can I Freeze This?
Yes, you can freeze cornbread. Although freezing isn’t ideal (this bread is best served fresh from the oven), sometimes you just want to save some for later.
Let the cornbread come to room temperature, then slice and wrap each piece in saran wrap. Place the wrapped slices into a freezer safe container. It will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer. When are ready to use it, defrost overnight in the fridge, then reheat as described above.
Cornbread with Cheese
- Butter for greasing pan
- 3 large eggs
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 2 cups half-and-half, or whole milk
- 2 cups fine yellow cornmeal
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 cup fresh corn kernels, from 2 ears; or 1 cup frozen, unthawed kernels; or well-drained canned corn kernels
- 1 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese, or any other cheese you like
- Prep your tools. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a 9×13 inch baking pan and set it aside.
- Mix wet ingredients. Break the eggs into a medium-size bowl and whisk until just combined. Add the butter, half-and-half and whisk well.
- Mix dry ingredients. Place the cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar in a large bowl and whisk to combine well.
- Make the batter. Add the egg mixture to the cornmeal mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until partially combined. Add the corn kernels and cheese and stir until just combined. Do not over mix the batter or the corn bread will be tough. Spoon the batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth the surface (the batter, will be very thick).
- Bake. Place in the preheated oven and bake the cornbread until it is lightly golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 35 minutes. Serve warm.