OK, so maybe you didn’t make those candied violets like I suggested in my last post, but you can put this cake together in less time than it takes to go to the store and buy the ingredients. Of course if you had made those candied violets, you could use some of them to decorate the top of this cake.
Don’t worry, the cake looks pretty with the lemon glaze alone and you can even get fancy and make a cross-hatch design like I did. The recipe is from Bon Appétit magazine but I first saw it on The Food Librarian’s blog.
It’s called a lemon cornmeal cake, but honestly, without the lemon glaze, the cake has a very subtle lemon flavor. I might add even more lemon peel to the recipe next time. It’s really so simple to make you don’t even need a mixer – just a bowl and mixing spoon. If you don’t have the candied violet decoration, you might want to make the blueberry sauce that Bon Appétit includes.
The cake is deliciously moist and has a tender crumb and you’ll probably find yourself falling back on this recipe all the time. You don’t even have to think ahead of time about having the butter at room temperature – it gets melted in a pan instead.
If you happen to have any of those candied pansies, place one in the center with a mint leaf and stand back to admire. It’s almost too pretty to eat. But I never let that get in the way of me and my fork.
Lemon Cornmeal Cake
from Bon Appétit
- 1 1/2 cups (packed) powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 tablespoons (or more) 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
Combine powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons lemon juice in small bowl. Stir with spoon until smooth and paste-like, adding more lemon juice by 1/2 teaspoonfuls if glaze is too thick to spread. Set aside.
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter 9-inch-diameter cake pan with 2-inch-high sides; line bottom with parchment. Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in large bowl; whisk to blend. Whisk buttermilk, eggs, lemon peel, and vanilla in small bowl. Pour buttermilk mixture and melted butter into flour mixture. Using rubber spatula, gently fold liquids into flour mixture until just blended (do not stir). Scrape batter into pan; spread evenly.
Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean and cake pulls away from sides of pan, about 30 minutes.
Immediately run knife around sides of cake. Place rack atop cake in pan. Using oven mitts, hold pan and rack firmly together and invert cake onto rack. Remove pan from cake. Place another rack on bottom of cake; invert 1 more time so that cake is top side up. Stir glaze until blended. While cake is still very hot, drop glaze by tablespoonfuls onto cake; spread to within 1/2 inch of edge (some glaze may drip down sides of cake). Cool completely.