Monday, February 28, 2011

Lemon Cornmeal Cake with Blueberry Topping

I have been able to get back into somewhat of a routine since Jake was born, but I am still having trouble finding time to get into the kitchen. During Jake’s naps would be the ideal time but there always seems to be other things that take priority in those precious, sometimes only 30 minutes long, moments of tranquility. This past weekend Jake (and Daddy) went down for a nap and I could tell they were going to be sleeping for a little while, so I decided to finally bake a cake. I mixed all the ingredients, placed the batter in the pan, and slid the pan into the oven. I snuck a taste of the batter and it left me wanting to wait by the oven until the cake was ready! As I was cleaning up I turned around and realized I had failed to include a crucial ingredient, the melted butter. I had left it sitting on the counter; I immediately realized the cake would not work out. I knew the batter was so scrumptious that I had to start over and try again. Believe me, it was worth the extra effort!

This cake is not overly sweet. It has a wonderful, but not overpowering, lemon flavor and the blueberry topping really brings everything together. I promise you will not be disappointed if you make this cake...just don’t forget the butter!


  • 1 1/2 cups (packed) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk *
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled

*I didn’t have any buttermilk on hand so I used a buttermilk substitute. Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice (you can also use white vinegar) to a liquid measuring cup. Add milk until it equals 1 cup. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Blueberry Topping*:
  • 2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
* I choose to use a different blueberry topping than what the original recipe called for.



Combine the powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice. Stir to combine. If needed add more lemon juice 1/2 teaspoon at a time. You want the glaze to be somewhat thick but still spreadable. Set aside.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter or grease a 9-inch cake pan with 2 inch sides; line the bottom with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a separate medium sized bowl, combine buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, and grated lemon peel.

Pour buttermilk mixture and melted butter into the flour mixture. Using a spatula, fold mixture until blended--do not stir! Pour batter into pan and spread evenly.

Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean and the sides of the cake begin to separate from the sides of the pan.

Remove cake from the oven and immediately run knife along the sides of the cake. Place a rack over the top of the pan. While holding the rack and the cake pan, invert cake to remove from pan. Place another rack on the bottom of the cake and invert once more so the cake is top side up.

Stir glaze until blended. Drop by the spoonful on top of hot cake; within 1/2 inch of the edge of the cake (some glaze may drip down the sides of the cake). Cool completely and serve with blueberry topping (recipe below).

Blueberry Topping:

In a medium, non reactive saucepan, add blueberries and sugar; heat until blueberries begin to release their juices. Combine the cornstarch with the cold water and lemon juice, until no lumps remain. Stir the slurry into the blueberries. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 1 minute.

Serve warm or chilled. Can be stored for 3 days in the refrigerator.

Source: Cake originally from Bon Appetit Magazine, as seen on Amanda’s Cookin’, Blueberry Sauce originally adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz as seen on Annie’s Eats
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