Capping it Off


It’s undeniably September, but I’m going to refrain from writing that kind of a post. On evening runs, it’s getting darker just a touch earlier and, like clock-work, summer is kicking into swing full-force in the Bay Area. We’re good for Indian summers and we’re also known for forgetting they happen each and every year. We all walk around shocked that it’s hot in September when it’s always hot in September. So while I’m excited for all that fall brings, let’s look back at summer for just a second and then talk about cake, shall we?

raspberries
This is the perfect cake to talk about today because it celebrates summer with fresh corn and berries but also looks towards fall with its sturdiness, dense crumb and complete and total unfussiness. A seasonal “bridge dessert” of sorts. Now we’ve done bridge desserts before: there was the Raspberry Pear Pandowdy a few years ago and last year’s Rustic Fig and Almond Cream Galette. Today we’re adding maybe one of my favorites to the line-up with this simple, special Cornmeal Cake with Fresh Corn and Raspberries.

When I do have a little bakery of my own, I will serve this cake. I will serve it in the morning and in the afternoon and I think I’ll bake it in a cast-iron skillet. It’s the kind of cake you want to share with someone: you want to order a very large slice with a healthy dollop of whipped cream, and talk about how wonderful the fresh corn kernels are with the cornmeal, buttermilk and slightly tart berries. How it all works together even though you may have doubted it at first. It’s a stunner, this cake.

whipped cream
And it caps off a stunner of a summer. There was the perfectly still week up at my mom’s cabin on Lake George where we made this banana pudding. Then there was the time I roasted tomatoes, made gougeres, and visited Seattle a few times–meeting wonderful new people and one wonderful new boat. Then remember we ate a lot of summer fruit and made pie and had a few cocktails? Well, a lot of cocktails, really.

summer
There was that major love affair with rhubarb. And chocolate zucchini bread and ice cream. Two kinds of ice cream in fact…and popsicles, too. There were a few good novels, a few good memoirs, not many good movies, a great TV series, a few good hikes, a weekend in Tahoe with my Dad, a wonderful dinner party, a new-to-me restaurant that I can’t get enough of, and a lot of productive work. Balanced and good. Like this cake.

Cornmeal Cake with Fresh Corn and Berries

Cornmeal Cake with Fresh Corn and Berries

  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Prep time: 15 mins
  • Cook time: 40 mins
  • Total time: 55 mins

This cake will keep up to three days covered at room temperature. I think it’d be equally lovely with tart blackberries,  sour cherries, or whatever fruit is in season that excites you.

Adapted from: Farmers Market Desserts

Ingredients

1 pint raspberries
3/4 cup corn kernels (from one ear corn)
1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup + 2 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 cup medium stone-ground yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Lightly sweetened whipped cream for serving (optional)

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 F and oil a 9″ round cake pan. Dust with flour, tap out excess, and set aside.

Measure out 3/4 cup berries and set aside for garnish. Put the remaining 1 1/4 cups berries into a small bowl with the corn kernels and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour and 2 tablespoons sugar. Stir gently to coat and set aside.

Stir together the remaining 1 cup flour, 3/4 cup sugar, cornmeal, baking powder and baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and olive oil in a small bowl and stir in into the flour mixture until just combined. Gently fold the berries and corn into the batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake until the top is just golden and a toothpick inserted comes out clean, around 40 minutes. Let cool in the pan. Once cool, run a knife around the edges to loosen and invert onto a flat plate, inverting again onto your choice of serving platters.

Serve warm or at room temperature with a dollop of whipped cream and a handful of fresh berries on top.

Comments

  1. Noelle

    This looks and sounds delicious!

  2. Kelly Senyei

    Your photos are absolutely stunning and I cannot wait to make this cake! I can just about grab the last ripe berries here in NYC, so thank you for my weekend baking inspiration!

  3. Kathryn | Dramatic Pancake

    Definitely a stunner! I love cakes like this that are a little bit savory, a little bit sweet. I bet this is amazing with a nice dollop of whipped cream!

  4. Janae

    I have the Farmers Market Desserts cookbook (love it! The chocolate-cherry cupcakes are my go-to vegan cupcake recipe, minus the cherries), and I've eyed this recipe a few times but something always held me back - probably the corn with the berries. Your post has given me some reassurance though, so thanks! I'll have to give this one a try before the corn is gone. Glad you hear you had a great summer :)

  5. kickpleat

    your photos of this cake are beautiful. i just ate some sweet corn on the cob for lunch and now i'm wishing i would have saved a cob for this cake.

  6. Sabina

    fabulous as usual ~ this was a must make for me today!! xx's

  7. lori

    I love corn--but not in anything--and yet this cake looks so delicious I think I'll have to try it. Hope you are having a fun night!

  8. Eric

    yum, made me tear, more please!

  9. Maris (In Good Taste)

    What beautiful photos - looks like such a peaceful summer and I wish I could dig into that pie!

  10. momgordon

    Oh, I love the picture of the mailboxes! Good bye Lake George. Cake sounds amazing!

  11. NicoleD

    I love a good rustic cake and an unassuming stunner like this. Your summer pics are so pretty!

  12. Danielle

    My 'bridge dessert' always features figs. Figs figs figs....can't get enough of them. It's been a big summer for all of us (especially you!) and I can't wait to see what Fall brings!

  13. Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite

    "When I do have a bakery of my own..." I can't WAIT till you have a bakery of your own! I want a slice of this for breakfast....

  14. shannalee

    I met two people who know you this weekend and I told them I'm completely jealous. When will Marge become a traveling bakery that lands in Nashville?

    1. megang

      Ahhhh, cool, Shannalee! Danielle and Cheryl?

  15. Kasey

    When you have your little bakery, I'm totally coming by to eat this cake. What a beauty. This summer has seriously flown by and p.s. we need to make it back to Outerlands again soon! I miss you.

    1. megang

      Miss you too, Kasey! Yes we sure do. Brunch?

  16. naomi

    Great cake. I love the use of corn kernel-intriguing and uniques. Gorgeous photo too!

  17. Mary

    Love the pic of the mailboxes too. Btw: Your Outerlands piece captured that place perfectly. Have never been to dinner. I can confirm the dutch pancake and egg sando are worth a brunch visit. Btw: the last time I was there, when I tried ordering a cocktail for lunch, I was told they're only served @ dinner. But he made one for me anyhow :)

    1. megang

      Thanks, Mary. And oh so good to know about pre-dinner cocktails and brunch. It's on my weekend to-do list. Hope you're well, my friend!

  18. A Canadian Foodie

    My goodness! This would make a delicious breakfast - it actually appears healthy! I adore raspberries - and cream.
    i certainly have missed reading your inspirational posts - glad I popped in.
    :)
    Valerie

  19. Chez Us

    Lovely. I would love to share a piece of this with you over coffee, to catch up, my long lost friend. :)

  20. Kelsey (Happyolks)

    I will visit your bakery one day. And I will have this beautiful cake with a cup of coffee in the morning, and perhaps a glass of white wine in the afternoon. It will be a very, very good day.

    :)

  21. Y

    What a stunning cake! It's funny, I have those moments sometimes too, when I've made a cake I'm especially happy with and tell myself, "This will definitely feature in that bakery I'll open some day"..

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