I read somewhere that Mark Twain once said, “If God had wanted cornbread to have sugar in it, He would have called it ‘cake’.” I have no proof that he actually did say that. I do have it on good authority that Twain didn't use the term “cornbread,” referring instead to corn pone. Either way, the sentiment expressed is one shared by many in the South. This little cake has just barely more sugar than many recipes for cornbread. I’d call those cornbreads “cake,” too. Brightening this one up with three sources of lemon flavor and a touch of nutmeg, however, moves this squarely into the cake food group. Enjoy!! ;o) —AntoniaJames
108 grams (125 ml, ½ cup) melted butter or neutral oil, plus a bit for greasing the pan150 grams (3/4 cups) sugar
150 grams (3/4 cups) sugar
1 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy) (add 1 tablespoon / 15 ml at 5000 + feet)
1 tablespoon / 15 ml apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons / 30 ml lemon zest (loosely packed)
1 tablespoon / 15 ml lemon juice
2 teaspoons / 10 ml lemon extract
½ teaspoon / 2/5 ml ground nutmeg
1 ½ teaspoons / 7.5 ml baking powder (1 teaspoon / 5 ml at 5,000+ feet)
124 grams (about ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon) medium cornmeal* (or 116 grams at 5,000+ feet)
128 grams all-purpose flour (or 120 grams at 5,000+ feet) (I use King Arthur Baking Measure-for-Measure when gluten-free is required)
*For a bit more texture and color, substitute coarse cornmeal up to 3 parts medium: 1 part coarse
In This Recipe
Heat oven to 360 degrees F (380 at 5,000+ feet). Line an 8” square baking pan with parchment, leaving 2” of overhang on 2 sides. Lightly butter or oil the two open sides.
Using an electric mixer (or a sturdy whisk and a good strong arm), beat together the eggs, butter or oil, and sugar until thick and glossy. Stir the vinegar into the milk; add to the batter and beat until blended. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon extract, and nutmeg and beat again until well blended. Scrape the bowl down well. Sprinkle the baking powder on the batter and beat briefly, to incorporate.
Gently fold in the cornmeal and flour.
Tip the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes (or 25 – 30 minutes at 5,000+ feet) - until the cake springs back when you gently touch the center of the cake with your index finger, and it starts to pull away from the pan at the edges.
Let cool in the pan on a rack for at least 20 minutes. Remove the cake using the parchment sling. Cut into squares and enjoy! ;o)