Cornmeal Buttermilk Cake with Chocolate Buttermilk Frosting

I am the kind of person who appreciates texture.

Buttermilk Cornmeal Cake with Chocolate  Buttermilk Frosting

Texture is a make or break for me, particularly in food.  Example – I love the flavor of pears but the grainy, sandy texture is a real turn off.   On the other hand, a plain hamburger bun is fine, but sprinkled with crunchy little poppy seeds I find it hard to resist.  My first experience with a cornmeal cake was one filled with trepidation.  I had it firmly set in my mind that a cake with cornmeal in it would have the texture of cornbread and I was not prepared to like that.  I’m glad I set my preconceptions aside because the cake was a revelation.   Buttery, moist, and with a very pleasant lightly gritty texture I fell in love and was terribly happy to be wrong.

Buttermilk Cornmeal Cake with Chocolate  Buttermilk Frosting

Cornmeal provides a lovely texture to this cake, but it is not the only player we should concern ourselves with.  Buttermilk plays a major role for two reasons.  First, it helps the cake stay light and moist.  Second, the subtle tang rounds out the cakes flavor and keeps it from being cloying on the palate.  Not to say that this cake is terribly refined.  It is a homemade cake int he best possible sense.  Buttermilk also features in the frosting which is almost fudge like once set.  For those who love to decorate cakes I must tell you that it spreads and pipes like an absolute dream.  If you have a summer BBQ or pot-luck I would like to suggest this recipe, but lets be honest … do you really need a reason for good cake?

Cornmeal Buttermilk Cake with Chocolate Buttermilk Frosting    Serves 8 – 10

For the cake:
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 eggs, at room temperature

For the frosting:
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
2 sticks (16 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup cocoa powder
5 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup buttermilk, at room temperature

Heat the oven to 350 F and spray two 8-inch pans with non-stick cooking spray.

Buttermilk Cornmeal Cake with Chocolate  Buttermilk Frosting

In a large bowl sift together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, and brown sugar.  In a medium bowl whisk together the butter, buttermilk, vanilla, and eggs until well combined.

Buttermilk Cornmeal Cake with Chocolate  Buttermilk Frosting

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until there are no large lumps of flour remaining.  A few small lumps are fine.  Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cake pulls away from the side of the pan and springs back when gently pressed in the center.  Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Buttermilk Cornmeal Cake with Chocolate  Buttermilk Frosting Buttermilk Cornmeal Cake with Chocolate  Buttermilk Frosting

While the cake cools prepare the frosting.  In a large bowl cream together the melted chocolate and butter until smooth and creamy.

Buttermilk Cornmeal Cake with Chocolate  Buttermilk Frosting

Add in the vanilla, cocoa powder, and powdered sugar and begin mixing.  Slowly add in the buttermilk until the frosting reaches your desired spreading consistency.  If the frosting is stiff feel free to add a few more drops of buttermilk.

Buttermilk Cornmeal Cake with Chocolate  Buttermilk Frosting

Once the cake is cool frost and decorate as desired.

Buttermilk Cornmeal Cake with Chocolate  Buttermilk Frosting


Buttermilk Cornmeal Cake with Chocolate  Buttermilk Frosting

© 2011, Evil Shenanigans. All rights reserved.

Author: Kelly

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  • Lovely cake!! I want a big fat slice:)

  • I do not need a reason for good cake! This looks SO good. I’ve never had a cornmeal cake, and I’m intrigued.

  • I agree, texture is a huge component if what makes me like food…and cornmeal’s one of my faves!

  • Cornmeal Cake!! What a great idea!! This looks so yummy!

  • Wish I could reach in and grab a bite of this gorgeous cake!

  • RavieNomNoms

    Gorgeous! I am all about texture too…like I like the taste of cantaloupe, but the texture is a complete turn off for me…I just simply can’t do it.

    This cake is so pretty and I love the addition of the cornmeal and I have no doubt that the buttermilk keeps that extremely moist. It looks absolutely divine!

  • I love the texture of corn meal in muffins and cornbread, but I never would have considered it in cake. What an interesting idea!

  • This cake looks absolutely delicious. Chocolate is my favorite.

  • Cornmeal in cake? What a great idea! Great looking cake, you did a wonderful job decorating!

  • I have never heard of cornmeal being using in a cake! Your cake is beautifully frosted and the texture does look wonderful. Who knew?!

  • I’ve never had a cornmeal cake before, so I think that’s reason enough to give this a go! Looks so delicious!

  • Your cake is simply gorgeous and what an interesting idea to add cornmeal to it! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • I’ve never heard of cornmeal in a cake but I’m willing to try it if it turns out this beautiful. I mean BEAUTIFUL Kelly.

  • Aww this looks so elegant! The frosting looks flawless. I’ve recently started baking with cornmeal too – you’re right, it provides a pretty fine texture!

  • This combo sounds really interesting, I’ll have to give it a try!

  • This looks so good its making my tummy growl! I wish we were neighbors 😉

  • Those pictures make it look like the perfect slice of cake! I love yellow cake with chocolate frosting. The texture the cormeal must adds sounds so good!

  • Oh my oh my oh MY!! This looks soo delicious and your pictures are gorgeous!

  • Patti

    This is the first cake I’ve seen that has cornmeal in it. Now thinking about how much I love cornbread, I am wondering why someone hasn’t made this recipe famous?
    Your cake is beautiful.

  • That cake looks AMAZING!
    Love cakes made with butter milk 🙂

  • Yum! This cake looks so tasty — definitely going to try it. I must say it sounds very Southern — buttermilk and cornmeal are some of our favorite ingredients!

  • Everything about this cake looks and sounds amazing!

  • I love the rope look of the piping on the top of the cake. How did you do that? What tip do you use?

  • I’m the same way when it comes to textures… But, this cake sounds fantastic. I’m adding it to my list of must-bakes!

  • PS The frosting is DELICIOUS! (Yes, I just made a quarter-batch to test it out for a wedding shower cake I’m making this weekend!)

  • Great fluffy cake using everyday ingredients. This is my kind of recipe.

  • Jenna Experimental_chef

    This looks so Yum! im making it now!!! In the oven as i type!!!! fingers crossed!

  • The cake looks delicious! Congratulations and all the best wishes for your lovely blog!!

  • Does the frosting “set” or harden after its put on. I like my frosting to be creamy but substantial enough to hold it’s shape when piped and such (as yours is)

  • jenna expeimental – chef

    I made this last night and my previous comment said, SOoooo good. beautiful cake! i didnt have buttermilk on hand so i used cows milk and it turned out beautiful next time ill try it with butter milk!
    Thanks heaps for this!

  • I had been having a huge craving for cornbread and also for a huge slice of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and then I saw your beautiful cake! I couldn’t believe it 🙂 So, I made it right away and it was absolutely perfect! The cake was dense and so mooist and the frosting was perfect! Thanks for another wonderful recipe.

  • oh my. My mouth is now watering!

  • Mmmmm I could eat that entire cake all by myself right now 😉

  • This cake looks wonderful – – awesome pictures! I am a texture person also…. pears, tomatoes, cottage cheese…what I eat and what I avoid is all about texture! I just saw a recipe on television (not sure which show) where they used cornmeal in the batter, and it sounded very interesting.

  • This looks delicious! I would never have considered this combo!

  • Olivia Velasquez

    this cake was deeeeee-lish! My brother confronted me with the recipe and i will admit i wasn’t feeling the cornmeal but when i tried it out it was PERFECT! please email me if you have a reliable vanilla cake recipe, mine havn’t turned out as good as my cornmeal cake did.

  • This cornmeal cake looks so tasty. I make my buttermilk frosting the same way. I love those pictures look great.

  • I’m not one of those ‘texture adverse’ people, but I really appreciate a good texture in something. Like cornmeal in cake, pie crust, biscuits, I’m a complete sucker for cornmeal!!!! I can’t wait to try this!

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  • Made this and it was over the top delicious!

    Thanks for the great recipe!

  • felicia

    So happy to find this here – I’d bookmarked the Tasty Kitchen link a lonnng time ago but the link doesn’t work anymore! Can’t wait to try this next weekend.

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