Lemon Cornmeal Skillet Cake

March 2, 2011

Lemon Cornmeal Skillet Cake

I like the idea of baking in a cast iron skillet.  These heavy frying pans evoke a pioneer, homesteading spirit — don’t you agree? 

I came across this Lemon Cornmeal Skillet Cake recipe on a blog I follow.  (You can link to it here: http://www.joythebaker.com/blog/2011/02/lemon-cornmeal-breakfast-cake/#more-4700).  Joy calls it a “breakfast” cake, but it is much lighter and more delicate than scones or coffee cake, so I think it’s perfect for a lemony dessert.  I’ve copied the recipe here for your convenience:

Melting and browning the butter

Lemon Cornmeal Skillet Cake
from Joy the Baker, who adapted it from Bon Appetit, April 2009

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 tablespoons lemon zest
1/2 cup (1 stick) plus one tablespoons unsalted butter, melted until browned then cooled slightly

Lemon Glaze:
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.

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.  That’s what we’re going to bake the cake in!

If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, simply butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.  Set aside.  Brown the butter in a skillet over the stove top and incorporate into the recipe just the same.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugars, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In a small bowl, carefully whisk together eggs, buttermilk, lemon zest and 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.  Set aside.

Bake 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 the tines of a fork to poke holes in the bake.  Sporadic holes here and there will do.  Pour over the glaze, spread evenly and let rest for about 30 minutes before serving.  This cake will last for up to 4 days, well wrapped, at room temperature.

Lemon Cornmeal Skillet Cake -- Enjoy!

Watercolor sketch of cast iron skillet

One Response to “Lemon Cornmeal Skillet Cake”


  1. Yummy cake Rosemary! I love your skillet painting! Wonderful colors!


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