Let Your Cornbread Take A Page Out Of Lava Cake's Playbook

Corn chowder topped with cheddar, grilled street corn coated in cotija, and corn pudding finished with ricotta – yeah, it's safe to say that cheese and corn are a dynamic duo. The two, when put together, achieve a taste — and texture — made in heaven. It's for this reason that cheese-stuffed cornbread works so well. In fact, some of the best cheese-filled cornbreads follow the structure and sentiment of chocolate lava cakes, which model the gooey, molten center you want your cheese to achieve.

Of course, chocolate cake and cornbread couldn't be more different. However, both give their respective fillings the chance to shine. To make your cheese filling as soft and gooey as melted chocolate, make sure you use a variety that melts easily, like Velveeta. Cubed pepper jack likewise does the job, as does classic cheddar. 

Once you settle on your choice of cheese, pulling off the cornbread is all about your preferred technique. To achieve the right balance — that soft, cornbread exterior with that gooey, cheesy center — you'll want to be methodical. This applies not only to how you bake your cornbread but also to how you stuff it. 

Concoct your cornbread's centerpiece in balls or layers of cheese

Making cheese-stuffed cornbread is as simple as stuffing your cornbread with, of course, cheese. You can do so in two ways. First, some cornbread recipes suggest making individual cornbread rounds or muffins and stuffing them with separate, cheese-based balls. Simply mix together butter, cheese, and whatever else you want to flavor your cornbread's center, whether it be peppers or herbs, and form that mixture into individual balls and freeze them. Once frozen, press the cheese-centric mounds into your cornbread batter and bake. Inside the oven, that frozen center will transform into a gooey interior that rivals even the best of lava cakes.

If you'd rather bake a sheet of cornbread rather than singular pieces, opt for a layering approach. Other recipes for cheese-based cornbread scatter cheese over a base of cornbread batter, and finish off the recipe with a top coat of more batter. This technique is the more straightforward of the two, and after roughly 25 minutes in a 375-degree Fahrenheit oven, you'll have perfectly cooked cornbread with a perfectly molten center. 

Regardless of your favorite technique, you can't go wrong with cheese and corn. Who knows? Maybe you'll prefer this savory lava cake iteration to the chocolate version — or follow a meal of cheesy cornbread with a molten dessert.