Best Lemon Cornmeal Cake with Blueberries

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Let me introduce you to the best lemon cornmeal cake with blueberries. Every tried cornmeal in cake? If not, I really think you should! There is something about that cornmeal texture that I just love!!

Lemon Flavor

This lemon cornmeal cake is loaded with lemon flavor. I don’t use any artificial flavors for most of my baked goods. The best way to get that deeper flavor is from the the lemon zest. Now, regardless of whether your lemon is organic or conventionally grown, I always wash the lemon first before zesting. So, give it a good scrub and get started.You can use any zester you choose, but let me suggest mine. I have loved my Microplane and have been using it for a really long time. This is not a paid promotion, just a product I like.

woman zesting lemon on microplane

Another trick I use to make sure the lemon zest is evenly distributed is mixing it with the granulated sugar first. It isn’t necessary, but I definitely recommend it!

woman pouring sugar into a clear glass bowl

So, add all that lemon zest into the sugar and mix well.

woman adding lemon zest to sugar in glass bowl for a lemon cornmeal cake with blueberries

The flour, and my recommendations.

You will notice in almost all my cakes and cookies, I will use partial flours. This means I will use part all purpose flour and part wheat flour. While plenty of people like a 100% whole wheat baked good, my family generally doesn’t. For this recipe, and every other cake I make, I use a whole wheat pastry flour. Why the pastry flour? It is a wheat that is lower in protein. This cakes for a more tender crumb that a red or white hard winter wheat. Trust me, you will love it better and so will everyone you are serving it to.

I have a Nutrimill grain mill, which I love for grinding my flour. If you don’t own a grain mill, this is a really good starter mill. I have been using buying a soft winter wheat (for my whole wheat pastry flour) from a great farm in Washington, Farm Fresh Wheat.

woman pouring whole wheat pastry flour into clear glass bowl

Prepping your baking pans

These steps might seem a little extra, but I promise you, it is so nice not having to worry about whether or not they will come out. This is a really great safety net. Start by buttering your pan with softened butter.

woman buttering an 8 inch cake pan for the lemon cornmeal cake with blueberries.

Next, cut a circle of parchment paper. Do this by tracing the bottom of the pan on the parchment, then cut out. I make sure and cut any traces of the pen or pencil off the circle. Now, place the parchment in pan. Some people like to flour the pan also. I think this is a little too much. I find the butter and parchment circle are enough.

woman placing parchment circle in cake pan

Making the cake batter

Now, let’s get started putting together our best cornmeal cake with blueberries.

Cornmeal became a staple in my life after living in Texas for 12 years. It isn’t a suggestion, but a necessity to use it there!

woman pouring cornmeal into flour

Mix all your dry ingredients first in a separate bowl.

woman adding baking powder into dry ingredients for cake.

In plenty of my cakes I use a mix of butter and oil. For this one I used all butter. I just really wanted that buttery flavor!

woman adding butter into stainless steel bowl

Add that flavored sugar to the butter and mix until light and fluffy.

woman adding in lemon sugar into stainless steel bowl

Next are your eggs.

woman adding egg into stainless steel bowl

For this recipe and most of my cakes, I always use a yogurt or sour cream. It helps to maintain moisture in the cake. This is, of course, particularly important when using whole grains. Anyway to keep that moisture in is really important.

woman adding in nonfat greek yogurt into bowl

Add in your dry ingredients.

woman adding in dry ingredients into cake batter

Now, spoon batter into prepared pans. Dividing equally between 2- 8 inch pans.

woman spooning cake batter into cake pan

Smooth, place in oven and bake.

woman spreading cake batter into pan

Removing cake from pans

When the cake is baked and slightly cooled, remove from pans. I do this by turning it over, either onto my hand, or on a cooling rack. Then flip it over again. This will allow it to cool right side up.

woman removing cake from cake pan

Before flipping though, remove the parchment paper from the bottom. This is simple as all you need to do is peel it back.

woman removing parchment paper from bottom of cake.

Lemon icing

I love having lemon icing on a lemon cake. The extra boost of lemon is really pleasing to my palate. If you just a buttercream, omit the lemon zest and juice. Then in place of the lemon juice, use milk.

The icing is simple to make with minimal ingredients- butter, powdered sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla. That’s it!

woman adding powdered sugar to bowl

Icing and decorating the cake

Now, let’s put together this cake! Make sure your cakes are completely cooled before starting. If it isn’t cooled, your icing will melt and make a mess of the cake! Trust me, I know!

You can level your cake, but I didn’t feel like it needed it. I simply started layering. So, place your bottom layer on a cake plate or even just a dinner plate, like I did. Spread icing on your first layer. This is easiest to do with an offset spatula.

woman spreading lemon icing onto cake

Add your next layer.

woman adding second layer of cake to bottom layer

I wanted this to be one of those naked cakes that have become so popular lately. These are also the simplest to ice! All you need to do is add a thin layer and using your spatula, brush on lightly.

woman icing cake with offset spatula

Decorating the cake

Add whatever fruits you want on the top. It is blueberry season here and they are so good right now, so I used those.

woman adding blueberries to top of cake

I also added some thinly sliced lemons and bachelor’s button to the top. While bachelor’s buttons are edible, I didn’t add them for taste, just the beauty.

lemon cornmeal cake with blueberries

The best lemon cornmeal cake with blueberries in all it’s glory.

And here it is! The finished product. It is such a beautiful summery cake!

best lemon cornmeal cake with blueberries

I mean….seriously!

best lemon cornmeal cake with blueberries

I grew these bachelor button because they are beautiful, but because they are edible. They came from Floret Flowers. If you are looking for flower seeds, y’all check out their seeds. They were so good!

best lemon cornmeal cake with blueberries

I wish I could share a slice of this cake with you. It was just so good!

slice of the best lemon cornmeal cake with blueberries on small dessert plate

I think this best lemon cornmeal cake with blueberries is pretty perfect, but if it isn’t you thing, I have got you! If you are looking for other cake ideas, I have plenty. I have a bit of an obsession y’all!

top view of lemon cornmeal cake

What are you waiting for? Let’s get started on this best lemon cornmeal cake with blueberries.

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5 from 1 vote

Lemon Cornmeal Cake

This lemon cornmeal cake is a beautiful summery cake. Top it with any in season fruits and edible flowers for a pretty presentation!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cornmeal cake, cornmeal desserts, lemon cornmeal cake, lemon cornmeal cake topped with blueberries
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Author Amy- A Red Spatula

Equipment

  • 2- 8 inch cake pans, medium bowl for mixing

Ingredients

Lemon Cornmeal Cake Batter

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour you can use 100% whole wheat pastry flour if you prefer or even 100% all purpose. Either works and either is really good!
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup sour cream or nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 sticks butter, softened This is 1 cup butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Lemon Buttercream

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • fresh lemon juice I don't have amounts on here, as this will be determined with how thin or thick you want your icing to be.

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    Butter your cake pans with softened butter. I like to use a parchment on the bottoms of the pans as well, it is optional, but it makes it so much easier. If you want to do this, place your cake pan on the parchment paper and trace around the bottom. Cut that circle, making sure to cut off the pen or paper markings so that won't be baked in your cake :). Place the parchment circle in the bottom of your buttered pan and set aside.
    Combine your flours, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Set aside.
    In another small bowl, mix your sugar and lemon zest. I like to do this as I think it helps to evenly distribute the lemon zest through the batter. Set aside.
    Now, add butter and lemon sugar to medium sized bowl and beat with a hand or stand mixer until light and fluffy. You can also do this by hand, just be ready for a good arm workout!
    Next, add in eggs, vanilla, yogurt and lemon juice. Mix to combine.
    Last up is the dry ingredients. Add them in. Don't over mix here, only mix just to combine.
    Divide the batter between your 2 cake pans as evenly as possible. Spread to flatten.
    Place in oven on medium shelf.
    Bake for 20-35 minutes. I give a good variation in time as there are always a few variables. Like, what your actual oven temp is, the thickness of your cake pan, and altitude.
    I like to test with toothpick. Insert carefully in the center of the cake. I check at about 20 minutes, and go from there. You want the toothpick to come out fairly clean, but not perfectly clean. I also use the touch test. Gently, very gently, press the middle of the cake. If it feels almost all the way done, it is good. All baked goods have a certain amount of carry over cooking that happens even once it is removed from the heat source. Cake especially still have plenty of residual heat once removed. This means they will continue to cook even after they are removed.
    So, with whole grain baked goods, make sure it isn't baked all the way through. It should be a touch under done, just a touch. Then as it finished cooking, it will be perfectly baked.
    Now, remove from oven and allow to cool on cooling rack for about 7-10 minutes. Next invert cake pan on cooling rack or into your hands. While it is upside down, remove the parchment paper. Then place on the cooling rack on the bottom to allow it to finish cooling.
    Once it is finished cooling, move to icing.
    I made this a naked cake. What that means is it is barely skimmed with icing on the outside. Ice as shown in post.
    Top the cake with whatever fruits you are into. If you have edible flowers, use those as well as they make such a beautiful presentation.
    Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it!

Lemon Buttercream

  • Add butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest to medium bowl. Add in about 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice to start. Blend on high until the icing is light and fluffy. Add more fresh lemon juice as needed to get the consistency you are looking for.
    Ice cake as desired.

About The Author

Amy