Lemon Cornmeal Cake with Blueberry Sauce

Up until a couple of weeks ago, I hadn’t yet made a cake with cornmeal. I had been holding on to the recipe, a page I pulled out of my Bon Appetit magazine over a year ago, and finally decided to make it. It’s strangely addicting. I found myself taking bite after bite trying to determine if I really liked it or not. Before I knew it, the piece was gone. I never told anyone there was cornmeal in it, yet my oldest son, daughter, youngest son and my husband all had a piece or two and enjoyed it. Some used the blueberry sauce, some didn’t. After all, it was good with just the glaze, but the sauce pushed it over the top.

Cornmeal adds an interesting texture to cake, giving it a slight crunch that’s noticeable but not too much that it’s no longer a cake. The aroma of this cake while it was in the oven was heavenly. When making the glaze I was tempted to question the recipe and add more lemon juice, but it was important to keep it thick so that it can be gently spread across the warm cake. This is not a drizzled topping, so follow the instructions, only adding a little liquid if needed to get to the right consistency.

Lemon Cornmeal Cake with Crushed-Blueberry Sauce
slightly adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine

printable version

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

ANOTHER DELICIOUS IDEA >>  Candy Bar Peanut Butter Cookie Cups

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
Crushed-Blueberry Sauce (recipe below)

For glaze:
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.

For cake:
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 (I used a 9-inch springform pan).

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.

ANOTHER DELICIOUS IDEA >>  Nigella's Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake

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. Serve with Crushed-Blueberry Sauce.

Crushed Blueberry Sauce

3 cups fresh blueberries or frozen, thawed (13 to 14 ounces), divided
2/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
Pinch of salt

Combine 1 1/2 cups blueberries and all remaining ingredients in medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to simmer, about 7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until berries are very soft and liquid is syrupy, stirring often, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat; add remaining blueberries. Using back of spoon, gently press fresh blueberries against side of pan until lightly crushed.

DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill. Serve chilled or rewarm before serving, if desired.


More from me you might like:
More from the internet:
Rhubarb Cornmeal Cake – from Baking and Boys
Buttery Scones with Lemon Curd – from Heritage Cook
Meyer Lemon Olive Oil Cake – from Healthy Green Kitchen
Blueberry Cheese Danish Cake – from Modern Comfort Food

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  1. Winnie says

    That cake looks fantastic Amanda! And the blueberry sauce? Yum! Thanks for linking to my meyer lemon cake- it's one of my favorites.

  2. Katrina says

    Ooh, that does look and sound really good. I loved the cornmeal cake I posted and I like how yours is thicker and looks more light and moist. And I love the icing on top. I'd definitely go with the blueberry sauce, too. I'm going to make this for sure. I'd like a slice right now, thank you. ;)
    Thanks for the link.

  3. thruthebugsonmywindshield says

    Oh, wow! MM is gonna love this one! And, I think I have everything I need without even going to the store. I know what dessert is going to be! Sweet!

  4. Barbara @ moderncomfortfood says

    The words simple, blueberries, lemons, buttermilk, and cake always get my full attention. And you've certainly hit all my favorite sweet spots with this wonderful recipe! Many thanks for sharing this gem with us (and also for linking to a recipe of mine).

  5. megan says

    Looks delicious Amanda, LOVE the blueberry sauce on it. I made some cookies with cornmeal once and while the texture kind of threw me, I liked them. I know I would like this!

  6. Cookin' Canuck says

    I know what you mean about trying to decide whether or not you like cornmeal cakes. I felt the same when when I first tried it. Now I am addicted. The blueberry sauce over this is gorgeous!

  7. Tiffiny Felix says

    OMG! I love things made with cornmeal–I want to try this! :) Num, num, num…I can almost taste it already!

  8. Jane says

    Looks and sounds very tasty. I love using cornmeal in desserts and this fits the bill perfectly. Lovely photography, too!

  9. Lana @ Never Enough Thyme says

    I'm really intrigued about using the cornmeal in a cake. The thing is, in the south we have different "grinds" and colors of cornmeal. You can get white or yellow in a fine, medium or coarse grind. I'm guessing I'd need the medium grind yellow cornmeal for this. Either way – it sounds incredibly delicious!

  10. Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] says

    That blueberry sauce has me drooling!! I've never made anything out of cornmeal either. Don't even know if it would be available here!

  11. Taylor says

    I've never used cornmeal in a cake either…your description of it is enticing though! I also love the blueberry and lemon combination…perfect for the summer!

  12. Jane Bonacci says

    Amanda – this looks fabulous and I can't wait to try it! Thanks for the reference to my scones. I hope you like them as much as I do!

  13. Katie@Cozydelicious says

    I adore the combo of blueberries and cornmeal. I have been going crazy with blueberry cornmeal waffles, and muffins and pancakes… and this cake looks fantastic! I can;t wait to try it. Yum!

  14. marla {family fresh cooking} says

    This cake looks amazing, I love the texture cornmeal adds to cakes, pancakes & all baked goods. It has a subtle unique flavor. With the glaze & the blueberries I am smitten. xo

  15. Nana Jackie says

    I made this cake this afternoon, and it really is delicious. I don't know if I can be trusted alone with it tomorrow. It has a tender, moist texture and the glaze complements it nicely. The blueberry sauce is yummy and makes for a beautiful presentation. Nicely done, Amanda!

  16. Anonymous says

    This was HANDS DOWN one of the best desserts I've ever had!!! The lemon was so refreshing and the blueberries just added that extra touch. Definitely a must!!!

  17. theravegan says

    This looks wonderful! I know it would take it in a different direction, but I wonder if I could veganize and de-gluten this…. maybe a little more cornmeal.. some gluten-free baking mix, soymilk… hum…. This is going to be a project very soon since it looks wonderful AND I have some blueberry sauce to use up!

  18. HCM says

    I made this the other day and was pleasantly surprised by how delicious this cake is. The cake is not too sweet with the perfect lemon flavor, and the blueberry topping really brings everything together! Thank you for sharing such a yummy recipe!


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