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Cornbread, Jalapeno Maple Bacon Recipe
by Amos Miller

Cornbread, Jalapeno Maple Bacon

When the daytime temperature hits around 50 degrees and the evening plunges to 30 or lower, it is time to begin the annual maple syrup processing in our neck of the woods. We use it for many things and one of them is this cornbread.

I first had a jalapeno cornbread in Texas, made by my sister's cowboy husband's aunt Netha, and since we with have maple syrup and pigs here in Cass County, Michigan, I brought it all together in this recipe. The reviews say it all: IT'S OUTSTANDING!

I am using some gluten-free flour here, but make it with all-purpose all the time. The results will be the same: DELICIOUS! NOTE: an extra egg will require a few extra minutes to cook. Without opening the oven door, you can reduce the heat to 400 at the 23 minute mark, and add five minutes to the timer. Remember the toothpick-in-the-center-comes-out-clean-it's-done trick. The following recipe is for 8" skillets. I will also make this recipe in a 10" skillet - it comes out less high, but requires a shorter bake time.

TIP: Someone asked how I get such evenly diced bacon. Freeze it before you cut it. It is very easy (and clean) to work with frozen bacon: not greasy and can be cut in all sorts of ways. Bacon thaws very quickly.

Rating: 4.9/5
Avg. 4.9/5 12 votes
Prep time: United States American
Cook time: Servings: 8 Servings

Goes Well With: Chili, bean dishes, fried chicken, grilled steak, game dishes

Wine and Drink Pairings: cold beer, milk, soda pop, Jarritos soda, horchata


  • 1-1/2 C Good cornmeal (coarse is nice)
  • 1/2 C All-Purpose flour (or Domata gluten-free flour)
  • 1/8 lb hog jowl bacon, diced (your best smoked bacon)
  • 1/4 C of the best, pure maple syrup you can acquire
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, (split, with ribs and seeds removed) diced
  • 1 T + 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp fine salt
  • 1 C whole milk OR 1/2 each -whole milk & buttermilk (try it - or you can use whole milk)
  • 1 lg egg
  • 1/4 C oil (use the bacon fat first, then top up with canola)


  1. Turn your oven to 425 degrees with the rack in the middle, as you bring everything together
  2. In a medium bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and whisk and shake until well mixed
  3. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, maple syrup, and eggs. Whisk vigorously to frothy
  4. In a 7 inch to 10 inch cast iron skillet, saute the minced bacon over medium heat to render as much fat as possible. When the bacon is well cooked, remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a little dish to cool
  5. Roll the bacon fat in the skillet around to well coat the sides of the pan, then pour the fat into a measuring cup and, if necessary, top to 1/4 C with canola - some fat left in the skillet is fine
  6. Put the cast iron skillet back on the now-turned-off burner
  7. Incorporate the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients - just enough to combine them. You now have a batter.
  8. Whisking, slowly add the 1/4 C of oil to the batter
  9. Turn the burner on medium-high under the oiled, empty skillet
  10. Add the cooked bacon and minced jalapenos to the batter and mix well with a whisk or spatula for 1 minute. The pan should be smoking about now
  11. Pour the batter into the hot skillet - hear it sizzle? Turn off the flame and pick up a pot holder
  12. Move the hot, batter-filled skillet into the oven quickly and close the door
  13. Set the timer for 25 minutes. When the timer goes off, your cornbread should be done, with a beautiful golden top, and a toothpick or skewer stuck down to the bottom in the middle of the cornbread should come out clean. If not, pop the skillet back in the oven for 5 minutes. Opening the oven door has dropped the heat, so 5 minutes will not burn your bread, but will dry it a bit more. Now. It is done!
  14. Set the pan on a cooling rack for about 5 minutes. If you have properly seasoned your skillet, you need only place your hand close to the cornbread and turn the pan upside down. Give it a little shake and the round should drop onto your hand. You can then put the plate on it and flip it right side up.
  15. Otherwise, put a plate over the skillet and, holding the skillet and plate firmly, flip them to dislodge the cornbread onto the plate. If the bread doesn't drop, hold the inverted skillet just above the plate and tap the botton of the skillet with the butt of a knife. The cornbread will be upside down, so repeat with a second (serving) plate to get it right side up.
  16. Or you can serve in out of the skillet, cutting it into about 8 wedges. Try this with my Texas Chuck Wagon Chili...