Weekend Baking: Blueberry Cornmeal Butter Cake

Last Saturday afternoon, when faced with the difficult decision of cleaning the house vs. baking, I opted for the messier alternative - flour up my kitchen and bake!  Inspired by Carly's success with this recipe, I opted to try blueberry cornmeal butter cake, another Smitten Kitchen cookbook recipe.  Despite it being mid-afternoon, and already satiated from lunch, I figured, I'd almost always rather bake than clean house, so why not? 

The final product I would say was a success.  I would agree with Carly's assessment that it's more of a coffee cake, though technically, I have never made a butter cake to speak of, so I have no real basis of comparison.  My husband mentioned that it reminded him of a crumbly (but tasty) blueberry muffin.  Ultimately, if I were to bake again, I would lessen the amount of flour and cornmeal in the streusel topping.  My topping didn't brown as I'd hoped, leaving a sugary/floury layer atop the completed cake.  While still delicious, it didn't the cake the sugary, photogenic oomph displayed in Deb's cookbook photos.  Mental note for next time.  Happy baking!

Blueberry Cornmeal Butter Cake, from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
For the Cake:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for the pan
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for the pan
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest, freshly grated
1/3 cup sour cream
2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and patted dry
For the Streusel:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornmeal
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a 8×8 square pan with parchment paper. Butter and flour the pan or coat with cooking spray.
Whisk the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl and set aside. With an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until pale and fluffy, for at least 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl in between additions, then add the vanilla and zest. Add a third of the flour mixture, all of the sour cream, and another third of the flour, beating until just blended after each addition. Scrape down sides of bowl. Mix the remaining third of the flour mixture with the blueberries. Fold the blueberry-flour mixture gently into the cake batter.
Spread the cake batter in the prepared cake pan. Use your original dry-ingredients bowl to combine the dry topping ingredients with a fork. Mash in the butter with a fork, your fingertips, or a pastry blender. Scatter the topping over the batter.
Bake the cake until the top is golden brown and a tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 minutes (mine took 45 and the middle was still a bit undercooked). Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes. Run the spatula around the edges of the cake to loosen it, then flip out onto the cooling rack.
Yield: 16 2-inch squares


Diana Mieczan said...

I also adore Deb's recipes and I'll be trying this one soon:) Btw: great choice - I'm totally with you on that...always baking instead of cleaning:) Muah

Ashlee Gadd said...

Girl, you have been on a cooking/baking ROLL these days. All I ate while I was pregnancy was cheetos. And more cheetos. Bravo, momma!

Sarah Alway said...

These look super delicious, although I probably would have chosen the other option and cleaned my house... I am just not a baker!

Sarah @ Life As Always

birdie to be said...

This sounds sinfully good!

Jenny said...

Baking is always better than cleaning! This looks great!