Thursday, March 29, 2012

Lemon Cornmeal Breakfast Cake

This is a beautifully simple, delicious breakfast cake. Cake for breakfast??? Oh, yes, oh, yes.

Easter is in exactly one week + 3 days...can you believe it? Time is flying, Lent is flying and my internship is in its final three weeks.

Since Spring has officially sprung, it was time for a citrusy happy breakfast treat. Something easy, no-fuss and semi-healthy. Well, not necessarily healthy, but something not fried-and-artery-clogging.

Joy the Baker had this little breakfast cake. I have made some lemon cakes before, mostly with ganache, but nothing with cornmeal. And cornmeal is quickly becoming my new "flour of choice." I've altered her recipe to make it even more "healthy," as healthy as breakfast cake can be. You can bake it in your grandma's heavy cornbread skillet or a simple 9" round baking pan. My gma's is in storage, so a pan had to do.

Lemon Cornmeal Breakfast Cake
This lovely, easy cake is hearty and filling on grab-it-and-go mornings. It is not too sweet, a little tangy and very moist without falling apart in your hand. Yes, I eat cake with my hands when I'm running out the door. Please don't judge until you taste this cake!
makes one 9-inch cake
recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, April 2009 and Joy the Baker

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk (or regular milk)
2 large eggs
1 tablespoons lemon zest
4 TB butter, melted until browned then cooled slightly

Lemon Glaze:
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
If using a cast iron skillet:  In a 9 or 10-inch cast iron skillet, melt butter over medium heat until browned and fragrant.  Use a potholder to grab onto the cast iron and carefully tilt back and forth so the melted butter greases the sides of the pan.  Remove browned butter from the cast iron to cool, and set the buttery cast iron aside.
If using a 9-inch round cake pan: Melt butter and spoon 1 TB of the butter into the baking pan. Swirl around so it coats the bottom and sides of the pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together flours, cornmeal, sugars, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In a small bowl, carefully whisk together eggs, buttermilk/milk, lemon zest and remaining 3 TB of butter.  Add the wet ingredients, all at once, to the dry ingredients and fold together with a spatula.  Fold until very few lumps remain.  Pour batter into the prepared buttered pan and place in the oven.

While the cake bakes, whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice for the glaze. (I use a little sauce whisk that is mini and fabulous.)  Set aside.

Bake cake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.  Use a skewer or a fork to poke holes in the cake. (This is fun.) Pour over the glaze, spread evenly and let rest for about 30 minutes before serving.  This cake will last for up to 7 days, covered in the fridge.

Dare you to abstain from tasting before breakfast tomorrow morning...dare ya!

Happy eating and happier spring!

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