The best cornbread I ever ate came from Flame Tree Barbecue at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and for whatever reason they discontinued it a few years ago. It was savory, slightly sweet, and it had chunks of jalapeno for a nice kick of flavor and spice, but most of all it was moist and almost cake-like, not dry and crumbly. I found myself craving it one day and came across a copycat recipe that involved combining Jiffy’s boxed cake mix with their cornbread mix. However since that method is chock-full of processed ingredients it wasn’t a viable option for me so I set out to try to recreate this recipe with the main aim of making it clean and tasty.
To make it I used medium grind cornmeal (you can also use a combination of fine and medium grind for a more cakey texture if you prefer), some whole wheat pastry flour, buttermilk (if you don’t have any one hand you can use 1 cup of milk to 1 tbsp of lemon juice or distilled vinegar) melted butter, eggs, honey, baking powder, salt, sweet corn kernels and diced jalapenos.
Into a bowl go your dry ingredients while your wet ingredients are added to a separate bowl.
I used my immersion blender to create a completely homogeneous mixture out of my wet ingredients. However this isn’t necessary (though it is convenient!) you can use anything from a blender, hand mixer, a whisk or even just a fork to do this. I also fully mix all my dry ingredients together.
Add your wet ingredients to your dry ingredients and gently mix using a spatula. You don’t want to overmix your batter.
Stir until just combined, being sure to scrape the bottom of your bowl to ensure no surprise pockets of dry ingredients are left behind. If there are a few lumps in your batter that’s okay.
Finally, fold in your corn and diced jalapenos until they seem evenly distributed throughout the batter.
Pour your batter into a greased tin lined with parchment paper. Now, while the parchment isn’t totally necessary, it makes life much easier if you want to lift your cornbread out of the baking tin, plus it essentially guarantees that your cornbread won’t get stuck to the bottom or sides…and I know we’ve all been there at some point and that it is very much frustrating and almost disheartening to have happen.
After a little rendezvous with your preheated oven, your cornbread should be ready to be devoured. Notice the little hole in the middle? I poked a skewer in to check for doneness and once it came out clean I knew I was in the clear.
The smell will be heavenly and tempting but I would recommend letting it cool a bit in the pan before lifting it out (see how handy that parchment paper is?) and setting it onto a cooling rack to cool even more before attempting to cut into it. If not, you risk the cornbread breaking and crumbling (think of it like cutting into a hot cake).
But once it cools and you cut and bite into it let me tell you, it’s so worth it! Moist and cake-like because of the rich goodness of the honey, butter, buttermilk and eggs, as well as the use of the whole wheat pastry flour, and with a wonderful little crunch from the cornmeal and a delicious hint of heat from the jalapenos 🌶️ (which by the way is balanced by the sweetness of our dual-purpose honey 🍯) This cornbread is an absolute winner.
And while it’s good on its own, why not opt to be a bit more indulgent by adding a little pat of butter and a drizzle more of honey? I won’t tell! 😋
Clean Eating Jalapeno Cornbread (Inspired by Disney's Flame Tree Barbecue)
- 1 cup stone ground whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup whole grain stone ground cornmeal (medium grind)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt
- 1/2 cup salted butter (melted)
- 1/3 cup honey
- 2 large eggs (beaten)
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 tbsp jalapenos (diced) (optional)
- 1/3 cup whole kernel sweet corn (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- In a large bowl combine whole wheat pastry flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt thoroughly so all ingredients are well mixed.
- In a separate bowl, combine the melted butter, eggs and honey and buttermilk. Mix to combine using a whisk, hand mixer, or even immersion blender.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until combined. (Don't over-mix!)
- Fold in the sweet corn kernels and diced jalapenos until evenly distributed throughout the batter.
- Pour the cornbread batter into a well-greased 8x8 pan and bake for 35-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the top is lightly browned with a firm (not wobbly) top.
- Allow the cornbread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing and place on a cooling rack to cool for another 10 minutes before cutting.
- Bring any leftovers to room temperature before storing in the refrigerator for up to a week or wrap each individual piece in foil or cling wrap and freeze for up to 3 months.
- If you don't have buttermilk you can use 1 cup whole milk with 1 tbsp of lemon juice or white vinegar. Stir the lemon or vinegar into the milk and allow it to thicken for 5 minutes.
- You can use any corn you like, fresh, frozen, or canned. If using canned, pat the kernels dry on a paper towel to remove any excess liquids.
- To make the recipe more authentically Disney, use both red and green jalapenos. Or you can substitute the red jalapenos for red bell peppers.
- Another add-in option is freshly shredded mild cheddar cheese. Add 1/3 cup to the batter along with the jalapenos and fold it all together for a cheesy jalapeno cornbread.