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Cranberry Lemon Cornmeal Cake

Yet again, let me tell you why I love living in NYC, and in Brooklyn in particular, and in Park Slope in particular. We found a stack of clean, beautiful cooking magazines out in front of someone’s brownstone a few blocks away from our apartment just a few days ago.

We often find books this way, too. I even saw a small wok up for grabs. Our neighborhood is known for the abundance of stoop sales and the tendency of its residents to simply place reading materials they no longer want out front for others to take. We usually put books we don’t want anymore out front, too, and marvel at how quickly they disappear.

We have been greedily and delightedly going through the magazines, deciding which to put back out for someone else, and which to keep and cook from. So many interesting new recipes to try!

This recipe is actually adapted from a recipe for a blueberry lemon cake in the September issue of Fine Cooking. That issue was delivered to us directly, on account of my subscription. We made the cake with almond meal instead of cornmeal the first time, and I am not sure which version I prefer. Do what we did – try them both!

Fair disclosure: on this one, Dave did the baking and I did the decorating.

Cranberry Lemon Cornmeal Cake
(adapted from Fine Cooking magazine)
For the cake

1 1/3 C all-purpose flour
1/4 C finely ground yellow cornmeal (or almond meal)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp unsalted butter (at room temperature)
1 C granulated sugar
1 tsp fresh, finely grated lemon zest
2 large eggs
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 C buttermilk
For the cranberry topping
1 C fresh cranberries
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350º.

Butter and flour a 9″x2″ round cake pan. (By which I mean, butter the pan, sprinkle it all over with flour, than tap out the extra flour over the sink. I usually hit the bottom of the pan against the faucet a bit to shake out the extra flour.) Line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper.

Stir together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Beat the butter, sugar, and lemon zest together until pale and fluffy. Add the first egg, beat until just blended. Add the second egg and the lemon juice and do the same. Fold in half the dry ingredients, then the buttermilk, then the other half of the dry ingredients.

Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan and bake for 15 minutes.

While the cake is baking, combine the topping ingredients in a small bowl. Microwave briefly, just until the cranberries soften enough for you to be able to squish them around with the rest.

After the 15 minutes of baking have elapsed, scatter the cranberry gunk across the top of the cake.

Keep baking for another 20-25 minutes, or until a cake tester (or toothpick) stuck into the cake comes out clean.

Let the cake cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes. Run a knife around between the side of the cake and the side of the pan. Invert the cake onto a rack, then invert again (such that the cranberries are once again on top) onto a plate.

Serve warm.

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7 Responses to “Cranberry Lemon Cornmeal Cake”

  1. Alanna says:

    LOVELY for fall, for sure. By “finely ground yellow cornmeal” I presume you mean anything except stone-ground? You’re not suggesting to run the cornmeal through the food processor?

  2. Danielle says:

    Thanks, Alanna. You presume correctly.

  3. Brilynn says:

    What a great find!

  4. jenjen says:

    I can just imagine the beautiful lemony smell of the cake infusing your whole kitchen, delicious! By the way is cornmeal the same as polenta? Because I have never seen cornmeal here is Aus, but maybe because it is really called polenta down here…? not sure

  5. Danielle says:

    jenjen – I’ve never cooked with polenta, but when I asked my partner, he told me that polenta usually refers to an already cooked form of cornmeal. I’m not really sure.

  6. Matt says:

    ok, maybe I missed it (which I wouldn’t put past myself) what is the oven temp for this?

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