Holy Hot Habanero Cornbread (Gluten-free)

I recently picked up a new toy at one of my favorite Charlotte farmers markets, Atherton Market … a cast iron pan for breaking cornbread sticks. I did not know that I needed a cast iron cornbread stick pan until I saw this one. Who wouldn’t want this pan? It’s gorgeous!

Cast Iron “Cornbread Stick” Pan from Cluck Around

The other highlight of my morning at the market was that I also met the awesome gal who peddles these cast iron wares – Trish Vevurka. If you live in Charlotte, or come to visit Charlotte, you must stop by Atherton Market and look for her. Trish and her husband have just recently opened this unique stand at the market with the most endearing name – Cluck Around. They sell stunning handmade wooden kitchen utensils, lots of cast iron pots and pans (of course), but, most importantly, this girl knows her stuff! If my children weren’t sneaking off heading for the honey sticks every time I looked away, I would have pulled up a chair and spent the whole day discussing the important things in life like cooking, preserving, raising chickens… Alas, another day!

Although we did not have much time to chat, I did pick up a couple of tips for using my new cast iron pan: 1.) use coconut oil to grease the pan and,  2.) never ever let cast iron soak in water. Easy. I felt confident. I raced home to test out a new cornbread recipe in my fancy new pan. I’m pretty sure that the new pan put this recipe over the top. Burn-your-fingers-delicious.


Coconut oil

Coconut oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 or 3 jalapeno peppers or other spicy pepper, chopped
1 ear of corn, kernels removed or 1/2 can corn, drained
1 cup gluten-free all purpose flour (I used Jules’ GF Flour)
1 cup corn meal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter (melted) or oil
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 to 3/4 cup shredded habanero cheese (I used Cabot Hot Habanero Cheddar – super spicy – or use Pepper Jack for a milder flavor)


1. Grease your pan with coconut oil. If you don’t have a handy cast iron cornbread stick pan, grease an 8×8 pan.

2. Just for kicks, I sauteed the onions in some coconut oil. I picked up a bottle recently at a local health food store, Healthy Home Market, and had been waiting to use it… Trish gave me the impetus to take it off the shelf and put it to use. Saute the onions for a few minutes until they are translucent.

3.Combine the flour, corn meal, salt, and baking powder in a bowl. Set aside.

4. Lightly beat the eggs by hand, add the milk, oil, and honey. Whisk together until combined.

5. Add the milk and eggs to the cornmeal combo and stir well.

6. Add the sauteed onions, corn, diced jalapenos, and cheese.

Holy Hot Habanero Cornbread Ready For The Oven …

7. Add the mixture to your cornbread stick pan (or your 8×8 pan).

8. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes at 400 degrees.

Spicy Hot Disclaimer: I made these cornbread sticks in two batches … the first batch, I didn’t add in any cheese so they would be kid friendly. They had a bit of a kick from the diced jalapeno, but it wasn’t overpowering. For my second batch, I added in about 1/3 to a 1/2 cup of shredded hot habanero cheese. Wow! My older daughter loved it, but my son laughed at me when I even suggested he take a bite – no way was he going near it. No worries, all the more for me…

Learn more about Cluck Around: Click here to read Edible Charlotte online to learn more about Trish Vevurka and Cluck Around.

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Erin Brighton

I am a native New Englander now living in beautiful Charlotte, North Carolina and enjoying summers in sea-breezy Scituate, Massachusetts with my five small kids and two large dogs. I love to cook easy, local, and gluten-free for friends and family.

4 thoughts on “Holy Hot Habanero Cornbread (Gluten-free)”

  1. Erin, thank you for the wonderful shout out! I loved meeting you and will most certainly be sharing this recipe with everyone who comes in the market. Come back out to chat when you have time!!

  2. Love, love, love cast iron. Will be visiting Trish in the near future to pick this pan up. I’ve never heard of using coconut oil – I always use Crisco (thanks, Grandmother)!
    Also – no soap on castiron, just water and a scrub brush. Or sometimes when I’m lazy I boil water after I’m done and wipe it out.

    1. Thanks, Katie! Another great tip… good to know! You must check out Cluck Around and say hi to Trish – she has beautiful pans. I started with this one but I will be back.

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