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Cornmeal Cranberry Cake

Behold, it is time for good cheer!

What better way to show your loved ones how much you care than by stuffing them full of cake?

I was drawn to this cake by one interesting component – cornmeal.  I don’t know about you, but I love cornmeal.  So does Chris.  Surprisingly, Chris doesn’t like whole kernel corn, though.  He says it’s just a whole lot of nothing and can’t understand why people like it.  Me, I’m indifferent.  But cornmeal, now.

I always find it intriguing when cornmeal is worked into sweet baked goods.  It seems to make them a little more substantial, a little more rustic, and I feel just the tiniest bit less guilty eating them.  I know that really doesn’t make sense, because this cake contains a stick and a half of butter and 6 egg yolks, but it does.  It just doesn’t seem so bad.

Now the cake.  It was good.  I liked the crunch of the cornmeal between my teeth as I bit into it, and the combo of orange zest and cranberries is always a winner.  It made a dense, moist cake, punctuated by bursts of tart cranberries and the slightly gritty texture of the cornmeal (that doesn’t sound good, I know, but it is).  So I’m not raving about it, but I liked it.

It was definitely a bit too sweet.  I’d reduce the sugar by 1/4 cup, at least.  Especially with something as hearty as cornmeal, you almost want the cake to be a little bit savory.

Cornmeal Cranberry Cake
From Giada deLaurentis

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar (reduce this if you like)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow fine cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup orange zest (from 2 large oranges)
1 1/4 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 large egg yolks
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes with an electric mixer. Add eggs and egg yolks one at a time while beating. Mix in vanilla extract.

Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and orange zest. Mix in little by little into the eggs/butter mixture, until incorporated.

Fold in cranberries.

Scrape into a buttered and floured 9-inch round cake pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until cake is golden on top. Let cool before removing from pan.

4 comments to Cornmeal Cranberry Cake