Orange Zest Cornmeal Cake

March 9th, 2015

Cornmeal Cake 4

It is strawberry time in Florida.  I wanted to make a simple cake to showcase berries.  This flavorful cake was the perfect vehicle.  It is citrusy with the orange zest and a bit crumbly with the cornmeal.  I really love this easy cake; so much so, that I am going to be making it from now on for strawberry shortcake, a simple tea cake, or served with ice cream.  David ate it last night with chocolate sauce.

Cornmeal Cake 3V

Yummy cake indeed.  Even if baking is not your thing, this is so quick and easy that you cannot fail.

Cornmeal Cake 1 Close

On another note, the light is returning.  It may not be Spring yet, but we bloggers tend to have an eye for the quality of light.  I have been struggling all winter trying to take good pictures in less than perfect light.  The shift in the angle of the Sun has improved my photography.  Spring shows itself in subtle ways.  Some sense it in the smell of fresh soil and the warming air currents.  Some sense it by listening to new bird calls and some, like me, can feel it in the light.  May this returning light brighten your days.

Cornmeal Cake 2 close

This cake will also brighten your days.


1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons grated orange rind
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 9-inch round cake pan with butter.  Add a round of parchment paper and grease again with butter.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt.  Combine butter, sugar, orange rind and vanilla in a stand mixer.  Blend on medium speed until well combined.  Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.  Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture and cornmeal alternately with milk, beating just until evenly incorporated.  Scrape into prepared pan, spreading evenly.

Bake 30 minutes or until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Cool in pan on wire rack.  Invert, remove parchment paper and flip to top side. Slice and serve when cool.

Printable Recipe

22 responses to “Orange Zest Cornmeal Cake”

  1. Barbara says:

    I agree, love citrus cakes like this one, Penny. So many ways to serve them, sometimes just a slice with tea does it for me. The cornmeal gives the crumb such a nice texture. There’s an almond flour version I like just as much. I don’t need gluten free, but really love the flavor of almond flour.

    • Penny says:

      Will have to try it with almond flour Barbara. I love using it in financiers. I love light desserts like this.

  2. Cornmeal in a cake? Count me in! I adore cornmeal and how lovely your cake looks Penny with the fruit on top. Sounds like a real winner. Pinning for the future.

    • Penny says:

      That is a great compliment coming from you Sam. I know you do not have much of a sweet tooth, but I have a feeling that you would love this cake. Not too sweet and so good with fruit.

  3. Madonna says:

    Our berries still have white shoulders, but can’t wait for the season. Love the cake, must try the cornmeal.

    • Penny says:

      Strawberry season is not until May in NC. The cornmeal adds a lot to the cake and so does the orange zest. Thanks Madonna.

  4. Diana says:

    Trying it today. Loving the orange zest and cornmeal ingredients! Hope to see you soon!

  5. Susan says:

    It’ll be quite some time before it’s strawberry time here but we’ll enjoy your Florida strawberries until then 🙂 What a wonderful cake to serve with berries or chocolate sauce, as your husband did. This is my kind of cake too – simple but delicious. I’m just not a fan of sweet frosting even though it looks beautiful. I sure here you on the change in light! It’s brightened my photos and my attitude!

    • Penny says:

      Simple cakes are my favorite too Susan. I know it will be a while before your area harvests strawberries, but at least I hope the winter weather is improving. Wonder if you read the “Piglet” review at Food52? Mimi’s book got an unfair review in my opinion.

  6. It’s ALMOST strawberry time here in Los Angeles, I can’t wait. This cake combines my favorite flavors, I’d love a piece right now!

  7. I agree with you about the light, Penny. It’s so nice to have that extra hour at the end of the day. Your cake looks delicious and I like your suggestion to use it for strawberry shortcake.

  8. Cornmeal. Who knew? Well probably a lot of people, but I didn’t. I love it in everything now. I have a recipe I got somehwere, I think Martha Stewart for Cornmeal Raisin Cookies. When I tell people what they’re called, I get a face, but everyone who dares to try them loves them.

    • Penny says:

      Gary! So good to hear from you. I am heading over to your blog right now. Cornmeal adds grit, which we all need.

  9. Your simply little cake makes such a pretty presentation…I can’t wait to give it a try.

  10. Hello Karen! This is my first visit and I could go for a slice right now, cornmeal and citrus, sounds yummy.

  11. Your citrus cake is lovely! I made an Italian version similar with olive oil. They are delicious! Definitely going to try your recipe! Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  12. Cassie says:

    Oh wow, that looks incredible! Will have to try this recipe for a brunch or afternoon tea. Love the photography and food styling! It’s so spring-y! xx Cassie

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.