Beer cheese soup is a rich, creamy comfort food favorite of my family in the Midwest. I love when the crispy croutons on top soak up a little flavor from the soup -- and that’s what sparked the inspiration for this twist on cornbread! It’s slightly sweet like a Northern-style cornbread, balanced with a hint of hops from the IPA and sharpness from the Cheddar.
Place a 10-inch cast-iron skillet (see Cook’s Note) on the center rack of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.
Melt 6 tablespoons of the butter and let cool in a medium heatproof bowl.
Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, corn, 3/4 cup of the Cheddar and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in another medium bowl. Make a well in the center.
Add the beer, eggs and vegetable oil to the cooled butter and whisk together. Pour into the well in the dry ingredients. Stir together gently until just combined.
Once the oven has preheated, carefully remove the cast-iron skillet and add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, swirling until completely melted. Pour in the cornbread batter and smooth the top. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup Cheddar.
Bake until the cornbread is golden brown and springs back to the touch, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool for 10 minutes and serve.
I used drained canned corn kernels but you could also use cooked fresh corn or thawed frozen corn. If you don’t have a cast-iron skillet, feel free to use any 10-inch ovensafe pan!