Turn Cornbread Into Sweet, Salty, Streusel-y Cake (in 1 Hour)

November 20, 2017

On the first chilly day of autumn, I start craving cornbread. Buttery and tender, with a crisp crust and golden edges, cornbread tastes like fall to me. I love toasting it and slathering it with butter. We don't always have it on the table at Thanksgiving, but we make it all season, and it's wonderfully evocative of cold weather and warm blankets and cozy nights.

I love the idea of capturing seasonal flavors on the Thanksgiving table. Sure, the Thanksgiving meal is generally planned based on years of tradition. But if there's one place where you can easily get a little creative, it's dessert. Who doesn't like having more dessert options? (Spoiler alert: no one.) By adding this new cake to Thanksgiving dinner, you're expanding traditions without sacrificing any.

Photo by Posie Harwood

There's a lot to love about this cornbread-inspired cake. Using cake flour gives the batter an incredibly tender, moist-yet-light crumb. The cake is buttery and sweet with a hint of vanilla. The streusel technique is truly a stroke of brilliance: Instead of oats for crunch, you pulse freeze-dried corn with flour and butter. The streusel is salty and savory and tastes just like cornbread, but it pairs beautifully with the sweet cake.

Photo by Posie Harwood

Everyone raves about this cake. The sweet-salty combination is a complete hit, and I know I'll be making it for years to come at Thanksgiving. You can easily serve it plain, but it would be wonderful with any sort of fruit compote or a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of loosely whipped cream.

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Note: I can easily find freeze-dried corn in the snack aisle of most grocery stores near me (especially Whole Foods), but you can also buy it online here.

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

I like warm homemade bread slathered with fresh raw milk butter, ice cream in all seasons, the smell of garlic in olive oil, and sugar snap peas fresh off the vine.

1 Comment

judy December 6, 2017
What happened to the corn-meal? I was looking for a sweet corncake with streusel topping. But it gives me a good idea. Hmmmm