Jalapeno Popper Cheese Bread

Jalapeno Popper Cheese Bread

An easy Jalapeno Popper Cheese Bread, with all the flavours of jalapeno poppers … in bread form!

I love jalapeno poppers. Anytime I am anywhere where they are served, I will order them up. Truth is though, I’m not likely to undertake filling, breading and deep frying a jalapeno at home any time soon. I’m guessing they’re fiddly little things to make.

That said, I’m definitely not the least bit averse to stuffing my bread with cream cheese, jalapeno and cheddar though. Not one little bit :) It was meant to be that jalapeno poppers and cheese bread should come together in my kitchen at some point in time.

So what we have here is my favourite soft cheese bread recipe, filled with cream cheese that’s mixed with diced, roasted jalapenos and cheddar cheese. Roasting the jalapenos is key. Raw jalapenos have surprisingly little flavour once mixed with other ingredients. And besides, to truly capture the flavour of jalapeno poppers (that are fried), you need to cook the jalapenos, right?

The finished bread has great creamy veins of spicy cream cheese and cheddar flowing through it and peeking out of the top. It is a jalapeno popper … in bread form.

Cook’s Notes for Jalapeno Popper Cheese Bread

This bread is great out of hand, with butter, toasted, as a sandwich bread or try it for a killer grilled cheese (because more cheese is always good!). This bread is a great side for chili or soup dinners, too.

Sometimes I will pan saute the diced jalapeno, then let cool before adding to bread. It makes a nice roasted jalapeno flavour.

The twisting shape of the bread ensures that the loaf bakes up without holes or gaps and with the filling evenly distributed throughout the loaf. Despite the shaping, it bakes up in to a solid and very sliceable loaf. If you roll this one up jelly-roll style, you will probably find large holes/gaps where the filling meets the dough. It will still be delicious, but less sliceable.

Jalapeno Popper Cheese Bread

Jalapeno Popper Cheese Bread

Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cheese bread with cream cheese and jalapenos, yeast cheese bread with jalapenos
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 24 servings
Energy: 194 kcal
Author: Jennifer
All the flavours of jalapeno poppers, in bread form, with veins of cream cheese, roasted jalapenos and cheddar running through it. A great side for chili or soup. Freezes well. Makes 2 loaves.


  • 6 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour (can use all purpose if that’s all you have)
  • 2 tsp fine salt or 1 Tbsp. coarse kosher salt
  • 5 Tbsp white or brown sugar (or 3 1/2 Tbsp. honey or agave nectar)
  • 1 cup lukewarm water about 95 F. For even softer bread, use 1 cup water leftover from boiling potatoes, cooled)
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp buttermilk lukewarm, or milk
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup butter melted, or vegetable oil


  • 8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
  • 5-6 large jalapeno peppers halved, cored and seeded
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese shredded


  1. Preheat oven broiler. Place halved jalapenos, skin side up into oven, about 6 inches below the broiler and broil until the skins of the jalapenos are blistered and blackened in spots, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and place into a paper or plastic bag and place in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. Remove and carefully peel away the skins with the edge of a knife. Discard skins and dice jalapenos. Set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, salt and sugar* together. (Tip: If measuring your flour in cups, without a scale, hold back 1 cup to add as needed later). *If you’re using honey or agave, add with the liquid ingredients instead.
  3. In a large measuring cup or bowl, combine the water and buttermilk and whisk in the yeast until dissolved. Add this mixture, along with the melted butter, to the dry ingredients. Mix by hand or with a dough hook, until the mixture is combined, about 2 minutes. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.
  4. Continue mixing the dough, adding more flour or water, as needed, until the dough becomes soft, smooth and tacky, but not sticky.
  5. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for a couple of minutes, then form dough into a ball. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and either refrigerate for up to 4 days, or allow to sit at room temperature until doubled in size (about 60-90 minutes). (*Tip: I like to use an 8-cup glass measuring cup, so it’s easy to see when it’s doubled by the markings).
  6. Note: If you have refrigerated your dough, remove from the refrigerator 2 hours before you plan to bake, to allow it to come to room temperature.
  7. Grease two 8-inch by 4-inch loaf pans and set aside. In a large bowl, stir the cream cheese until smooth and creamy (I like to pop into my stand mixer and stir with the paddle attachment). Fold in 1/3 cup of the diced jalapenos until evenly mixed through the cream cheese. Set aside.
  8. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Dust each with a bit of flour and then, using a rolling pin, roll into a rectangle approximately 10 inches wide and 16 inches long.
  9. Spread 1/2 of the cream cheese/jalapeno mixture evenly over the dough (spreading out almost to the edges). Sprinkle with 1/2 of the remaining diced jalapeno, 1/2 of the shredded cheddar and lightly press the cheese down onto the cream cheese with the palm of your hand. Starting with the shortest side, roll the dough up jelly-roll style and pinch the seam together.

  10. Using a sharp knife, cut the roll of dough down the centre, lengthwise. Rotate each piece so that the cut sides are facing upward and place them side-by-side. Pinch together the farthest end. Keeping the cuts sides facing upwards as much as possible, place the right-side piece over the left-side piece. Straighen it up and then repeat, pinching together the end closest to you. If any cheese escapes, just place it back on top. Using a bench scraper or spatula, carefully lift the dough into the greased loaf pan. Repeat with the other dough log, then cover both with a greased piece of plastic wrap and allow to rise until the dough rises to about 1-inch above the side of the pans in the middle.
  11. Preheat oven to 350° Bake for 45-50 minutes total, but after 25 minutes of baking, rotate pans front-to-back in the oven and loosely cover with a piece of aluminum foil if necessary (if bread is already well-browned), to prevent the top from over-browning. Bread should reach about 185° internal temperature in the centre.
  12. Remove the bread from the oven and allow to cool in the pans for a couple of minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the bread and carefully remove the loaves to a cooling rack. Allow to cool for 1 hour before slicing.

Recipe Notes

Be sure to read the "Cook's Notes" in the original post, for more tips, options, substitutions and variations for this recipe!


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  • Hi, Jennifer. This looks delicious. Curiously, the instructions only use 1/3 of the jalapenos. Can you clarify when to add the remaining 2/3? I’m looking forward to making this tomorrow. Thanks!

  • When I fold in the 1/3 of the jalapeno peppers into the cream cheese where do I put the rest of the papers did not see anything in the recipe for it or directions

  • Would the bread turn out okay if you just placed it in the pan without braiding the bread ? My wife prefers the normal looking loaf of bread. Thanks it looks delicious

    • Hi Jay, The problem with filled breads like this one, is if you roll it up jelly-roll style, it will probably bake up with large holes/gaps where the filling is. Of course, it will still be delicious, but not great for slicing, usually. The solution is to twist it together. Twisting makes a very solid, sliceable loaf, with the filling evenly distributed. That said, if you really don’t want to go that route, I would knead in the filling first, then roll jelly-roll style. That will get you a normal looking loaf, without the gaps etc.

      • Thank you so much I will do one the way you suggested in your original recipe and I will do like you suggested with the Jelly Roll for my wife thank you so much. :)

  • Hi,
    After reading step number 10 (the part about cutting the bread and flipping the sides etc) I’m still confused. I have even read your responses to the other people asking to clarify this step. Is there a YouTube video that may illustrate this? I don’t care if it’s someone else’s video that already exists on YouTube that happens to be doing the same thing as you are suggesting. I’m just more of a visual person

    • Hi Sarah, You can have a look at this youtube video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcJHIaREg6A Start watching at about the 2 minute mark. A couple of notes. She doesn’t cut all the way through (she leaves the one end attached). You can do it that way if you like, instead of cutting all the way through to make two separate pieces. Twisting is exactly the same as the video. Note that you are trying to keep the cut sides facing up. For my loaf, you won’t form in in to a ring, but rather just take the twisted piece and place it in a loaf pan. Hope that helps :)

  • I’m so excited to try this today. I’m going to add bacon to one of the loafs and leave the other as is. I’m not really sure I understand the cutting process. Do you have any pictures of this? I get the rolling then slicing down the middle, after that I’m a bit confused. When you say to flip it so the cut side are facing up, do you meant turn it completely upside down? And I don’t get how to lay the pieces over one another, are you folding it in half and twisting? If there’s any way you could explain I would greatly appreciate it. It looks absolutely beautiful. Thank you for the recipe.

    • Hi Amanda, It’s so much simpler than it sounds :) Once you cut down the middle lengthwise, the two cut sides will be facing each other in the middle. Simply turn them so the cut sides are facing up. Snug them up against each other again. Now pinch the far end together and start twisting (braiding) your two pieces together. Once you’ve made a couple of braids, pinch together the end closest to you. Hope that helps :)

    • Hi Nikki, Sorry, can’t help you there. I have never used a breadmaker, so I have no idea how to approach this recipe that way.

  • Jennifer,
    Thank you so much for all of your efforts and generosity in sharing your knowledge and experience.
    I am new to bread making and was o excited when I saw the herb cheese loaf so I tried the recipe for the first time yesterday (was very excited). I used 1 cup less in measurement since I was using cup measurement and my dough was really stiff. I followed the recipe exactly. I left it out on the counter for a while and it rose a bit but decided to put in the fridge. I took it out today 2 hours before baking and the dough is stiffer and isn’t rising.

    Has anyone had this happen and could you comment on what could have gone wrong?

    • Hi Katy, What kind of yeast did you use? If you used dry active, did you proof it in warm water first? Secondly, when I make bread, I always use the liquid measurement as the constant and the flour as the flexible, meaning I put all the liquid in first, followed by half the flour. Mix. They begin adding flour 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough comes together. Flour measurements vary wildly, depending on the type of flour and humidity and even how the cup is measured. That way, you can never go too far with the flour, which it sounds like you may have, if your dough was stiff. The fact that it didn’t rise at all though makes me question the yeast a bit though. Hope that helps and hope you’ll try it again.

  • Having found your lovely website I made this wonderful bread recipe the other day. My husband and I both loved this. Since it is just two of us I made this as a roll “cinnamon roll style” froze the extra rolls on a tray unbaked. The next morning we cut them in half like a bisquit, toasted and buttered — wonderful! It is traditional here in Kansas to make poppers with bacon — I think my next batch will have bacon included! Thank you so much — can’t wait to try another of your recipes.

    • Hi Tonya. So glad you enjoyed this bread and love your idea of making them cinnamon roll style. I loved this bread toasted and buttered, too and I don’t think you an ever go wrong adding bacon to something :)

  • I don’t quite understand step number 10. I understand rolling it and cutting it like cinnamon buns, and keeping the cut side up…

    But then Pinch together the farthest end. Keeping the cuts sides facing upwards as much as possible, place the right-side piece over the left-side piece. Straighen it up and then repeat, pinching together the end closest to you.

    Could you clarify please

    • Hi Betty, You don’t cut them like cinnamon buns. You just roll it up, jelly-roll style, then cut down the center lengthwise, making two long and narrow pieces. Flip the pieces so the cut side is up, placing them side-by-side. Then pinch the far end and twist the two pieces together, pinching the end closest to you once you have twisted it together. Does that help?

  • FINALLY, getting around to trying this TODAY and using up the last of the peppers from our garden! On its first rise now. I hope I can form the bread to look as beautiful as yours!

    • Hi Karen. If goat cheese is what you have and you don’t want to get cream cheese, give it a try. It might be a bit messier (goat is crumbly vs. the spreadable cream cheese), and while cream cheese is traditional in jalapeno poppers, goat is at least a tangy cheese as well. If you try it, let me know how it turns out.

      • Finally made it, the goat cheese wasn’t hard to work with but cheddar looks a lot prettier when it melts into the bread. Tasted good though! Next time, I will leave the goat cheese as a spread.

  • This as a grilled-cheese sandwich? YES!

    I agree that making jalapeno poppers at home is a bit of a fuss, delicious as they are. At restaurants, they are always a favorite of mine as well! This looks amazing and as always, your braiding skills are just wonderful.

    I see so many dishes with jalapeno and cheese/jalapeno popper flavorings on Pinterest…. I’m imagining this might make you a Pinterest star! Wouldn’t be the worst thing :)

    • Thanks Sophie. And yes, the jalapeno popper thing is everywhere these days. That’s probably what got me thinking about it. The power of suggestion :)

I love hearing from you, so if you have a question or something isn't quite clear, I'm happy to help. If you made this recipe, I'd love to know how you liked it ~ Jennifer

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