Apple Cheese Skillet Cornbread

Made with granny smith apples and cheddar cheese, this apple cheese skillet cornbread recipe is a twist on the traditional Southern version that is perfect for fall. My Thanksgiving dinner menu wouldn’t be complete without it!

Apple Cheese Skillet Cornbread Recipe

Cornbread is a staple of holiday meals in Southern kitchens everywhere.

So when I came across a version made with granny smith apples and cheddar cheese in an old Southern Living Christmas book* I had to make it. (Who wants to make the same cornbread that everyone else is making?)

The apples add a bit of tartness that offsets the creaminess of the cheese, and it is delicious!

Even better, this cornbread recipe has no sugar in it…which is always a bonus in my books. Unless of course, you like sweet cornbread, then you can add some 🙂 (See the substitutions below).

My version of the recipe (simplified a bit from the original) has now become a staple of my Thanksgiving dinner!

And there’s some good reasons why:

1. It’s fast and easy to make from scratch.

2. It’s pretty hard to mess up cornbread!

3. It tastes really good 🙂

Ingredients

Here’s the shopping list for our apple cheese skillet cornbread:

  • Fruit: 1 granny smith apple
  • Dairy: 4 ounces of cheddar cheese, 12 ounces of milk, butter. Avoid buying pre-grated cheese since it has an additive that prevents the cheese from sticking together as it should
  • Eggs: 1 egg
  • Baking supplies: flour, cornmeal, baking powder, shortening
  • Spices: salt

Equipment

  • (optional) apple peeler* – this one comes with a bonus apple corer / slicer
  • (optional) apple corer / slicer – get this if you don’t want the peeler
  • 9″ cast iron skillet* – a cast iron frying pan is the best way to make really good cornbread
  • Small saucepan or microwave-able bowl
  • 2 mixing bowls – one larger than the other
  • Wooden mixing spoon
  • Whisk* – you can also use a fork as a whisk for beating the eggs and milk

How To Make Apple Cheese Cornbread

Prepare the ingredients

First, pre-heat the oven to 425 F.

Then, peel, core and chop the apples

And grate the cheese.

Make the batter

The number one thing to remember when making the cornbread batter is not to mix too much. (No electric mixers for this recipe!)

First, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

Then in a separate bowl, beat the egg with a whisk (or a fork). Add in the milk and whisk again.

Add the egg and milk mixture into the cornmeal mixture and mix just enough to combine.

Melt the butter. You can either do this in a small saucepan over low heat on the stove (about 5 minutes). Or in a small microwaveable bowl in the microwave (about 1 minute, depending on how strong your microwave is).

Add the melted butter, diced apples and grated cheese to the cornmeal mixture.

Cook the cornbread

First, melt the shortening in the cast iron skillet by heating it in the oven for about 5 minutes.

This will also get the frying pan hot which helps to make the edges of the cornbread crispy.

Then add the batter to the frying pan (be careful, it will be very hot!).

Bake for 25 minutes or until golden.

Cut into 16 pie shaped slices and serve either hot or cold.

Substitutions

  • If you prefer a sweet cornbread recipe, add 1 to 2 Tablespoons of sugar to the cornmeal / flour mixture before adding the liquids.
  • To make this recipe gluten free, substitute King Arthur’s Measure For Measure Gluten Free Flour* for the all-purpose flour. Cornmeal is naturally gluten-free but make sure that the type you bought isn’t processed in plants that also make wheat products. Look for the Certified Gluten Free label to be absolutely sure.
  • If you prefer to use butter instead of shortening to coat the pan:
    • heat the skillet in the oven for 5 minutes
    • then add 1 Tablespoon of butter to the hot frying pan and swirl it around so it coats the entire bottom of the pan
    • pour in the batter and cook as directed

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Apple Cheese Skillet Cornbread

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 16 slices
This traditional cornbread recipe with a twist is the perfect addition to your holiday meal. Made with green apples and cheddar cheese, it has a little more flavor than the original version.

Ingredients

  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • 4 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar Cheese or 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Tablespoon shortening

Instructions

  • Heat the oven to 425 F
  • Peel, core and dice the granny smith apple.
  • Grate the cheese.
  • In a large bowl, mix the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt together.
  • In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg with a whisk.
  • Then use the whisk to combine the milk with the egg.
  • Add the milk and egg mixture to the cornmeal mixture, stirring just until moistened.
  • Melt the butter in a small pan over low heat or in a bowl in the microwave
  • Add the butter, grated cheddar cheese and diced apples into the cornmeal mixture, stirring just until combined.
  • Add the shortening to the cast iron skillet and melt it in the oven for 5 minutes.
  • Pour the batter into the hot skillet.
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until golden.

Notes

  • A cast iron skillet is the secret ingredient to making the best cornbread. Regular baking pans won't get the edges to be as crispy as they should be. Fortunately, cast iron frying pans aren't very expensive so there's no excuse not to get one. 
  • Avoid buying pre-grated cheddar cheese. It has an additive in it that prevents the cheese from sticking together in the bag. This also prevents it from combining properly with the cornbread.
  • Using an apple peeler and apple corer / slicer makes quick work of getting the apples ready.
  • A fork can be used instead of a whisk for beating the egg and milk
  • Once the liquids and flour mixture have been combined, stir as little as possible to prevent the cornbread from getting too heavy.
  • Make sure to heat the cast iron skillet in the oven before adding the batter to it. This will makes sure the edges of your cornbread are crunchy.
  • Also make sure not to touch the heated skillet handle with your bare hands...it will be hot!
Substitutions:
  • If you prefer sweet cornbread, add 1 to 2 Tablespoons of sugar with the cornmeal and flour mixture (before you add the liquids).
  • To make this recipe gluten free, substitute King Arthur's Measure for Measure Gluten Free Flour for the all purpose flour. Cornmeal is naturally gluten-free but make sure that the type you bought isn't processed in plants that also make wheat products. Look for the Certified Gluten Free label to be absolutely sure.
  • If you prefer to use butter instead of shortening to coat the pan:
    • heat the skillet in the oven for 5 minutes
    • then add 1 Tablespoon of butter to the hot frying pan and swirl it around so it coats the entire bottom of the pan
    • pour in the batter and cook as directed
Tried this recipe?Mention @EntertainingDiva or tag #entertainingdiva!

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