We were quite busy this past weekend and one of the things we did was to head into Providence for the St Pat’s 5k race. Shane and some of his coworkers ran in the race (they all did great!) and afterward we went back to their office to eat lunch and watch the parade. This lemon cornmeal cake was one of the desserts I shared. I threw it together at the last minute to use a lemon that had been sitting on my counter for a few days. It’s a simple cake to make (read: no mixer, food processor, etc. required) and bakes up beautifully. The cake climbed all the way to the top of my pan so I wouldn’t suggest using a pan with sides much lower than 2 inches. I tried a slice of cake after the race and enjoyed it. The cake was deliciously moist with great lemon flavor but the glaze wasn’t my favorite. Next time I’d probably skip the glaze and pair the cake with a fruit sauce (Bon Appetit suggested blueberry sauce – yum!) That said, more than one of Shane’s coworkers raved about this cake and no one else seemed bothered by the glaze at all!

Lemon Cornmeal Cake with Lemon Glaze
from Bon Appetit, April 2009 (as seen on Epicurious)

Glaze
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons (or more) fresh lemon juice

Cake

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup sugar
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon lemon zest
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

To make the glaze: Combine powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons lemon juice in small bowl. Stir with spoon until smooth and paste-like, adding more lemon juice by 1/2 teaspoonfuls if glaze is too thick to spread. Set aside.

To make the cake: Preheat to 350 F. Butter a 9-inch cake pan with 2-inch-high sides; line bottom with parchment. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk buttermilk, eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Pour buttermilk mixture and melted butter into flour mixture. Using rubber spatula, gently fold liquids into flour mixture until just blended (do not stir). Scrape batter into pan; spread evenly.

Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean and cake pulls away from sides of pan, about 30 minutes.

Immediately run knife around sides of cake. Invert cake onto a cooling rack (carefully, since cake pan will be very hot). Turn the cake over again so it is right side up. Stir glaze until blended. While cake is still very hot, drop glaze by tablespoonfuls onto cake; spread to within 1/2 inch of edge (some glaze may drip down sides of cake). Cool completely.