Blueberry Cornmeal Butter Cake

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Unless you’re living under a rock, I’m sure everyone’s heard of the cronut: croissant meets donut, equalling pure breakfast pastry fantasy. I wish I could say I replicated one but alas, I’m not about to spend 3 days making croissant dough, then plopping it into the deep fryer. No, my point is that the idea of combining a donut and a croissant was a great idea, a great jumping off point. Combing food of any kind is usually a delicious way to try new things. Sometimes experimenting combinations works better than others.

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This recipe comes from one of my current favourite cookbooks. I was looking for a picnic-friendly blueberry dessert and wanted to try something knew. It was tempting to choose an old standby, but I was that much closer to making all the desserts in the cookbook wanted to try something new.

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It reminded slightly of the cronut:  the collaboration of two awesome desserts becoming one ultimate dessert. I only wish I thought of combing sweet and hearty corn bread with rich blueberry dotted butter cake. I’ll admit, I’m new to the butter cake scene, but if a cake has butter in it’s name, I’m game to try it. I also love cornbread. I could seriously eat it any time of the day, I mean it’s versatile enough so why not? As for the fruit addition, I really don’t need to say anything about fresh blueberries. (I already did after all) I don’t need elaborate on the quantity of blueberries my Mom insists on picking each year either. Here’s a hint: we have more storage space in our chest freezer than our fridge. needless to say it was essential to make this cake. No one want all of those blueberries to go to waste now, do they?

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I will admit I was a bit iffy about using cornmeal in a cake. I was afraid the texture would be too dense and dry. HA! Not only is the cake fluffy and flavourful, it was  moist for about 3 days after being made. (That’s how long it lasted.) I would also suggest making this recipe in a round pan for a bigger piece  a casual dinner party dessert. Be sure to make extra if you plan on sharing it however, you’ll be pining the next day at breakfast. Trust me.

Blueberry Cornmeal Butter Cake

From Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

Makes 16 squares of cake

  • 8 tablespoons / 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup all-perpose flour, plus more for dusting the pan
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup sour cream or yogurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon
  • 2 cups blueberries, rinsed and dried

Streusel

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons all-perpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of table salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
  1. Preheat oven to 350˚. Line bottom of 8″ square pan with parchment, butter and flour.  I like to have extra parchment hanging over the edges for easy lifting when the cake is done. I also leave out the parchment all together sometimes and serve the cake from the dish.
  2. Whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, at least 2 minutes. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl between additions. Add vanilla and zest.
  4. Combine blueberries with 1/3 of flour mixture, set aside.
  5. Add remaining flour mixture and all of the sour cream to butter mixture, stirring until just combined. Add blueberries and flour.
  6. Spread cake batter into prepared pan.
  7. Using your dry ingredient bowl, combine streusel ingredients together, working butter in with a fork until crumbly.
  8. Sprinkle streusel over cake batter and bake for about 35 minutes *I’m not sure what happened, but my cake took almost an hour to cook, keep an eye on the clock!
  9. To check doneness, insert a toothpick into the centre of the cake, it will come out clean when the cake is cooked.
  10. Cool the cake in the pan for 5 minutes before removing from pan if desired. Once it has completely cooled (haha, good luck with that!) you may cut into squares for serving.
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