Chili Pepper Skillet Cornbread with Cayenne Spiced Brown Sugar Butter

Who doesn’t love cornbread? Some like it sweet, some like it spicy. I like my cornbread both sweet and spicy, which is why I was inspired to make a chili pepper spiked cornbread with a cayenne sweet butter. There are many variations and additions to cornbread. You can add real corn, cheese, honey, etc. Some cornbread recipes call for sugar, but I omitted sugar from this recipe because the cornmeal adds a natural sweetness.

Recipe adapted from Black Skillet Cornbread by Anson Mills.

For this recipe you will need a well seasoned 8- to 9-inch cast iron pan, a large bowl, a whisk, a 4-cup glass measure, and a rubber spatula, plastic wrap and a food processor

Cornbread Ingredients

2 1/2 cups (12 ounces) coarse yellow cornmeal

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 large room temperature egg, beaten

1 1/2 cups whole milk, room temperature

1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1 serrano minced

1 jalapeno minced

1/2 habanero minced

Butter Ingredients

1 Whole Stick Butter softened

2 1/2 tablespoons golden brown sugar

3/4 of a teaspoon cayenne ( or more to taste)


1. Adjust the racks to the lower and upper middle positions and heat the oven to 425º F. Heat an empty 8- to 9-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat until the pan is too hot to touch (about 3-5 minutes).

2. While the pan heats, place the cornmeal, salt, and baking powder into a large bowl and stir to combine.

3. Pour the melted butter and beaten egg into small bowl and whisk until smooth. Add the milk and continue whisking until smooth.

4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk lightly until smooth. The batter will be fairly thin. Add the vegetable oil to the hot skillet so that it spreads evenly. Pour the batter into the skillet and immediately place on the lowest oven rack bake 15 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the upper rack and continue baking until the corn bread is golden brown on top and tests clean with a toothpick, 5 to 10 minutes more.

5. Prepare butter: Combine butter, cayenne & brown sugar in food processor until smooth. Place on a piece of plastic wrap and roll to form a cylinder about an inch thin. Freeze for 20-30 min. Can be stored in freezer for up to two months.

6. Remove skillet and let cornbread cool in skillet. Cut into wedges and serve with Cayenne Spiced Sweet Butter.

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