Blueberry Cornmeal Streusel Cake

Image of piece of Blueberry Cornmeal Streusel CakeBerry Corn-ucopia
I like cake. I like dessert in general, but I can definitely assert that I like cake. That being said, I have noticed that my cake tastes have changed in recent years. It used to be that if I went out to eat and a dessert menu was placed in front of me, my eyes would immediately be drawn to whatever was the most decadent, usually chocolate, option.

Not the case anymore. Nowadays if I am out on the town and it is time for dessert, nine times out of ten I will choose the fruity option over the chocolate. Unless it involves coffee or any mention of mocha…that’s a game-changer.

I have also noticed that I prefer less sweet offerings which is probably why a “Death By Chocolate” cake, while potentially fantastic and perfect in the right moment, is skipped over for something with lemon or berries. I find that I only eat what I call the birthday-style cakes for birthdays. (I know…birthday cake for a birthday?? I’m such a rebel.) I don’t make three-layer chocolate devil’s food cakes for a random Sunday night dinner. I will, however, make something like this apricot cake, which was amazing with the apricots from my brother-in-law’s tree.

Fruity cakes are great because it’s easier to justify eating them at all times of the day and not just for dessert. A slice of my Lemon Pound Cake Bliss with some coffee or tea in the afternoon can be just what you need to get you through the rest of your day. During the summer months, making a cake with any of the wide variety of fresh berries in the market can easily fill in as breakfast. I mean a muffin is just a smaller version of a cake, am I right?

A number of my favorite eat-all-day cakes include the use of corn or corn meal. I really like the flavor combination as well as the texture that corn can add to a cake. This is a great one for snacking but I also like cakes where the berries are baked in and not just spooned on top.

One of my favorite flavor combinations is blueberries and cornmeal. My recipe for Blueberry Cornmeal Streusel Cake is an excellent example. The streusel on top suggests that this cake would work well for breakfast…or brunch…or lunch…or tea…or a midnight snack!

Blueberry Cornmeal Streusel Cake Recipe
Adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman
Yields 16 small squares

For the Cake
8 tablespoons butter, room temperature, plus a little more
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and dried
1/3 cup sour cream

For the Streusel
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornmeal
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, cold
Pinch of salt

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan with high sides and dust it lightly with flour, or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Make the batter
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt until combined and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time. Then add the vanilla and the lemon zest and beat the mixture until combined.

Beat in 1/3 of the dry ingredient mixture into the wet, until just combined. Next beat in all the sour cream. Repeat the process by beating in another 1/3 of the flour. Mix well.

Combine the blueberries with the remaining flour mixture and fold this blueberry-flour mixture gently into the batter.

Assemble the cake
Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and spread it out so that it is relatively flat. Prepare the streusel by mixing the flour, cornmeal, sugar, cinnamon, and salt, then mash in the butter in with a pastry blender, fork or your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Sprinkle the cake with the prepared streusel.

Bake the cake
Bake the cake in a heated oven until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out batter-free. (This can take about 35 to 40 minutes and up to 50 minutes. Just keep checking the cake.

Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes. Turn the cake out onto a cooling rack and let cool completely.

Slice the cake into 16 equal-sized squares and enjoy.

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