Berry Cornmeal Butter Cake

Vancouver, October 2014

Hey ladies!

I wasn’t sure what to make this time around, especially as I wanted something delicious to bring to Fiesta Friday hosted by The Novice Gardener. Beth and I had talked about maybe a moussaka- but I saved my eggplants for mutabal (by the way Hanin- delicious recipe you posted!). It makes an entire salad bowl of mutabal….I am so happy). My friend Anna was coming over for dinner and was running a bit late. I wanted to try a recipe from Deb Perelman’s amazing cookbook based off her just as incredible blog “The Smitten Kitchen“. Just so happens I had all the ingredients for her Blueberry Cornmeal Butter cake. SO! Here is is!!!




Note: Deb Perelman’s original recipe calls for unsalted butter. I only had salted so I just didn’t add the salt later in the recipe. If you do use unsalted butter, add 1/2 tsp salt to the cake and a pinch to the streusel.


8 tbsp salted butter (room temperature)

1 cup all-purpose flour (I used heirloom wholewheat and it worked great)

½ cup cornmeal

2 tsp baking powder

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

¼ tsp vanilla extract (not the artificial stuff- waste of cash)

¼ tsp fresh lemon zest

⅓ cup thick Greek yogurt (original recipe uses sour cream)

2 cups blueberries (I didn’t have enough blueberries; but I had some frozen strawberries and raspberries that I added in to make 2 cups)



½ cup sugar

6 tbsp all-purpose flour (wholewheat works too!)

2 tbsp cornmeal

¼ tsp cinnamon

2 tbsp salted butter


Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line the bottom of an 8-inch pan with parchment. Now, Deb uses a square pan. I only had a circular one but it worked a treat. Up to you! Then butter and flour the parchment and set aside. Wash and pat dry your berries. I used frozen- I didn’t thaw them- just took them out at the beginning of the cooking session.

Dry ingredients flour, cornmeal, baking powder are whisked together and put in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.

Take out your electric beater (yay! mine is pink 🙂 ) Beat the butter and the sugar together until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time.


Add vanilla, zest and a third of your dry mix. Beat together. Scrape the sides, add the yogurt and beat again. Add another third of the flour mix and beat again.


Add your last third of the dry mix to your berries and mix gently together. FOLD in the floured berries into the wet mix…no more beating!


Spread the cake batter in your lovely cake tin. Now we make the streusel topping! Put all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the cold butter and crumble through through fingers until it resembles bread crumbs. If you want, you can just use a fork and knife. Spread the crumbs over the cake batter and put in the oven!

Deb’s original recipe says to bake until golden and tester inserted comes out clean- which should be around 35 mins of baking time. Mine took nearly an hour to cook- maybe as a result of using a circular pan. Either way- start with 30 mins and go from there.

Once cooked, place the cake still in the pan on a cooling rack for a few minutes. Then take out and serve! Mmmmmmm.


I can say that this also makes a perfect breakfast cake. Enjoy!!!!



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13 thoughts on “Berry Cornmeal Butter Cake

  1. Beth @ Culinary Correspondence October 3, 2014 at 3:54 pm Reply

    Emi that looks ASTOUNDINGLY GOOD!!! Promise me you’ll bring some when you come to visit in a few weeks! Love the pink beater by the way 🙂

  2. ellenfetu October 3, 2014 at 4:05 pm Reply

    You surely are a friendly bunch! I am amazed at the creativity with ingredients and especially with substitutions! Everything sounds –and looks— delicious. Can’t wait to try this coffee cake, Emily. Not gluten-free? I love the banter too…I look forward to these posts! Oh and the pink beater is something!

    • Emily @ October 3, 2014 at 4:19 pm Reply

      Hey Ellen! I’m no longer gluten-free:) However- I know for a fact this can be made with gluten-free flour (there are brands you can buy that you substitute cup for cup like Cloud9) as one of my colleagues has done this already. Glad you like the blog- we have a lot of fun making it. And it keeps us in touch. The pink beater is just plain awesome 🙂

      On Fri, Oct 3, 2014 at 9:05 AM, Meals and miles apart, recipes shared with love. wrote:


  3. Elaine @ foodbod October 3, 2014 at 6:05 pm Reply

    Lovely cake, I love the blueberries 🙂 thank you for sharing it with the party goers at Fiesta Friday 🙂

    • Emily @ October 3, 2014 at 6:13 pm Reply

      Thank you Elaine! I used the last of the summer blueberries I had frozen for this cake. Well worth it. I also added some strawberries and raspberries as I didn’t quite have 2 cups blueberries. Tasted just as good.

      Sent from my iPhone


      • Elaine @ foodbod October 3, 2014 at 6:14 pm

        Interesting! And the frozen fruit doesn’t make the cake soggy?

  4. Emily @ October 3, 2014 at 6:18 pm Reply

    Nope- I took them out with all the ingredients to slowly thaw. I then mixed in in the last third of dry mix before folding into the batter. No sogginess whatsoever. Just goodness. 🙂

  5. […] Emily […]

  6. HostessAtHeart October 4, 2014 at 6:55 pm Reply

    I love the idea of this cake for breakfast! I often use frozen blueberries. We don’t grow them here, but they are great in cooked goods.

  7. Hilda October 5, 2014 at 4:13 am Reply

    I like your idea of mixing different fruits in it. I plan to do the same with this recipe.

  8. Hanin October 7, 2014 at 6:01 pm Reply

    Emiiii, this is wonderful !
    Maybe you can make it for us on January 1st, after the big fiesta we are going to have haha

    Berries in Spain are really difficult to find, I have no clue why. I will look if maybe I can find some frozen ones.
    Stupid question but what happens if I substitute fruits for chocolate chips? :)))) I know, more calories for sure but yummy still !

    In all cases thank you so much for sharing. I will probably try it out on my girl friends with some tea. That’s what we mommy’s enjoy doing now haha !

  9. Emily @ October 8, 2014 at 12:06 am Reply

    Hey Hanin! If you’re going to replace with chocolate chips- I suggest adding some apple chunks or some pear chunks. It will taste lovely. Maybe even add a pinch of cinnamon. Now we’re talking a whole other cake!!! 🙂

  10. Jan October 9, 2014 at 1:19 pm Reply

    How will I ever lose any weight with recipes like this? Not fair Emi, not fair at all.

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