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"..

Join the Discussion

Seasonal Selections

A Certain Rhythm

A Certain Rhythm

Something funny happens when you live with someone instead of dating them from afar. You learn little nuances about each other's behavior, see the bottom-of-the-barrel sweaters, take out the trash, and buy underwear and shampoo together. Sam calls my beloved furry slippers old lady slippers and, to be fair, they kind of are. And I've become well acquainted with his holey "sick sweater," his eagerness to retrieve the mail in the early afternoon, and his uncanny ability to drink more tea than anyone I've ever known. Also, I'm learning things about myself. Like the fact that, apparently, most people don't eat a whole grapefruit when they sit down for breakfast. According to Sam, they stop at a half.

Read More
A Place at the Table

A Place at the Table

Waffles. I don't make them often enough and I'm not sure why. Oh, wait: I am sure why. Because they always seem like kind of a slow, slumbery, Sunday thing to make and I rarely have those kind of mornings--even on Sundays. But I found a recipe I've fallen pretty hard for. It's an old-fashioned waffle recipe and you make the yeasted batter in advance, put it in the fridge for 12-24 hours, and it's ready to go in the morning. I've actually kept the batter in my fridge for a few days and just pull it out, put a scoop on the waffle iron, and have a warm waffle to take in the car on the way to work. Beats a granola bar or banana any day.

Read More
A Vision of Shanghai

A Vision of Shanghai

The early morning view from our hotel Hi from Shanghai! I'm sitting here stealing a bit of Internet on the 32nd floor of our hotel all too early in the morning. The sun's gleaming in through the curtains, horns are starting to honk below, and I'm clutching a steaming cup of strong coffee that Walter has so kindly prepared for me. Walter's the dining room attendant and, for the lone souls who can't seem to sleep much in Shanghai (I being one of them), he'll make you one mean cup of coffee at sunrise. I have so much to share with you: photos & stories. The World Expo was really incredible, the food's been amazing, the streets are lush with leafy trees and wide-open city parks. I've discovered dragon fruit and boiled peanuts, and learned that scooters and bicyclysits don't adhere to traffic laws. We've finally figured out how to say common phrases like "thank you" properly and are logging some serious miles in our Converse.

Read More
Almond Butter Blondies + The Waiting Game

Almond Butter Blondies + The Waiting Game

I am officially on maternity leave and it feels stranger than I'd imagined. I thought it'd be all about catching up on novels, leisurely baking and maybe sewing a little something for Sprout. Going on lots of walks with friends and out to lunch. The reality is that most people are working during the week and can't just sneak away for lunch dates, and sitting around the house aimlessly reading seems to make me antsy. Instead, I find myself deciding that certain tasks have immense and immediate purpose (when they never seemed to before): repotting our house plants, researching new insurance plans, and planning a new product line for Marge for 2016. In the midst of all of this though, I've found some time to catch up on Netflix movies (any recommendations?), went out to Lebanese food with Sam, and finally made it to a cafe on Capital Hill I've been wanting to try for quite some time. It's gotten a bit chilly in Seattle this week so I've been making lots of cider and chai in the afternoons for an energy boost, and there certainly doesn't seem to be a shortage of soup-making or baking -- which brings me to these not-too-sweet, protein-packed blondies that I've taken quite a liking to. 

Read More
As You Do

As You Do

There are some things you don't question or plan for. They're the things that just happen, that unfold throughout the day or week or month. The things we don't always document or discuss because they don't really seem important enough, but that -- all the same -- so often bring us together in one way or another. Patterns or obsessions or phases. Late-night online shoe shopping. Permission to nap at odd hours. Spontaneous cell-phone photo exchanges. Maybe you can relate. Maybe lately you've been doing something similar. As you do. As we do.

Read More