Orange Cornmeal Cake

There have been a lot of cakes in my life recently. First, there was fresh fig cake, then there was an apple-cinnamon one, and now there is orange cornmeal cake, crunchy and sweet with bright orange permeating every bite.

Cake-baking sprees are no surprise this time of year. Where summer afternoons are made for picnics in the park, fall afternoons are a time to laze with a book*, a large cup of coffee and a large slice of barely sweetened cake studded with fruit. Bonus: the cooler temperatures mean that it’s acceptable to have the oven on for long periods of time.

This orange cornmeal cake falls somewhere between a plush coffee cake and a sweet cornbread, and would be equally delicious topped with powdered sugar or a quick glaze as it would with creamy butter and a drizzle of honey. There’s a slightly higher-than-normal amount of salt in here and olive oil, which is quickly becoming my new favorite baking ingredient. It adds an extra-fruity undertone to the cake while keeping it moist.** That the whole cake requires one bowl and basically two steps (mix cake, bake cake) means that this definitely won’t be the last time this graces my kitchen.

*I have yet to buy J.K. Rowling’s new book because I’m so immersed in the fifth Game of Thrones book. The only part of the 16-hour schlep to Buenos Aires that I’m looking forward to is reading, now that I’ve got two books lined up.

**I abhor this word. I could not be more grossed out by it, and often refer to it as the “m-word.” Unfortunately, I have yet to find a suitable alternative (other than “not dry”), possibly because its synonyms are equally cringe-inducing.

Orange Cornmeal Cake
Adapted from Martha Stewart

– 1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for pan

– 2 large eggs

– 1 cup sugar, plus 1/3 cup for topping

– 1/2 cup orange juice

– 1 cup all-purpose flour

– 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal

– 2 teaspoons baking powder

– 1 teaspoon salt

– zest of 1 orange

– 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1) Preheat the oven to 375F and grease an 8-inch round cake pan.

2) Fold all of the ingredients together (using only 1 cup of the sugar) in a large bowl until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle the top evenly with the remaining 1/3 cup sugar.

3) Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the cake is golden brown on top and a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Serve with orange segments (optional).

7 thoughts on “Orange Cornmeal Cake

    1. Ishita S. Post author

      Yes, for sure! You may need to bump up the sugar a touch, just because lemons are more sour than oranges.

  1. Rebecka

    Must try this as it looks absolutely delicious and no fuss. I’m not used to making these kinds of cakes (or cornbread for that matter, but it’s on my to do list. Not common at all here in Sweden you see) so I wonder how well it freezes. Seems like these moist (sorry) crumbly cakes might not do so well with that. It’s just that I live alone and should not eat the whole thing, and it’s always nice to have something in the freezer for those days you just don’t have time to bake but need home baked goods!

  2. Andy from New Zealand

    Hi! I just made this for lunch. Followed the recipe and it turned out beautifully! will be making it again :)

  3. Peg

    This turned out great! Tastes just like cornbread. I don’t know if I would call it a cake but it is better served as a side dish with a meal.

  4. Ruby

    Hi Ishita ~ I noticed you changed the amount of flour and cornmeal; did it make a difference in texture?

    I made Martha’s recipe before, but I can’t recall if it was crumbly or not?

    1. Ishita S. Post author

      Hi Ruby, the cake was a little crunchier and closer to a cornbread with the extra cornmeal. The texture is a little crumbly, but slices still held together pretty well.


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