It doesn’t get much more southern than this Pimento Cheese Cornbread. Classic moist, tender cornbread is filled with gooey cheddar cheese and studded with pimento peppers.
If you’ve been hanging around these parts for any length of time, you know I’m no stranger to adding the flavors of pimento cheese to all sorts of stuff. From my Tomato and Pimento Cheese Fritters to my Bacon Pimento Cheese Bites to my Pimiento Cheese Scalloped Potatoes to my Tomato Cobbler with Pimento Cheese Biscuits, I love adding it all over the place.
And, yes… I do spell it as both pimento and pimiento. It’s just about however my mood strikes me. I’m a rebel like that. 🤣
So when Heather pointed out that I didn’t have a cornbread recipe that featured the South’s favorite spread, I knew I had to fix that. So, today, I’m sharing my Pimento Cheese Cornbread recipe.
Strongly based on one of my favorite cornbread recipes (yes, I have more than one), Elmer’s’ Cornbread, this version is light, tender, moist, and cheesy with pops of the tart and tangy pimento peppers scattered throughout.
New in this post, you’ll find call-out blocks like the one above and below that feature important information that will help ensure recipe success. I know not everyone has the time to read the entire post, but hopefully featuring vital info this way will help folks gather the tips, tricks, and methods I think are important to help my recipes turn out perfectly every time.
Pimento Cheese Cornbread
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil or shortening
- 1 1/2 cups plain cornmeal (I used yellow)
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar (optional, but recommended)
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 heaping tablespoon real mayonnaise
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 cups thickly shredded sharp cheddar cheese – 1 (8-ounce package)
- 1 (4-ounce) jar diced pimento peppers, drained
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Add 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil or shortening to an 10.25-inch cast iron skillet and place it in the oven to preheat while the oven preheats. (If your oven preheats quickly, you might want to leave the skillet in the oven to heat for at least 5 minutes once it's reached the target temp to allow the skillet to heat through. This is what gives the cornbread its thick, dark brown outer crust.)
- In a large bowl, whisk the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar together. Add the egg, mayonnaise, buttermilk, and water and stir until smooth. Add the cheddar cheese and drained pimentos to the mixture – reserving a few of each to sprinkle on the top. Stir to combine.
- Carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven and rotate it to ensure the oil has coated the entire bottom of the skillet. Pour the batter into the skillet, being cautious as the hot oil can splatter a bit. You'll know the skillet is pre-heated enough if the batter sizzles when you pour it in. Sprinkle the remaining cheese and pimentos on the top of the batter. Return the skillet to the oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. You can also turn the oven on low broil for 2 to 3 minutes if you like the top really brown.
- Remove from the oven and immediately invert to remove the cornbread from the skillet. If left in the skillet, the bottom will lose its crisp, crunchy crust. Serve warm.