Food & dining

Seasonal Recipe

Recipe for orange-cornmeal cake

Karoline Boehm Goodnick for The Boston Globe

Serves 8

A crumbly combination of brown sugar and pecans makes a thin bottom crust for this cake, and a small amount of cornmeal adds texture to the batter. If there is any juice left in the plate after slicing the oranges, spoon it over the cake.


3tablespoons flour
tablespoons light brown sugar
2tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3tablespoons pecans, chopped

1. In a bowl, combine the flour and brown sugar.


2. Add the butter and stir with a fork until the mixture resembles crumbs. Add the pecans and toss well.

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Butter (for the pan)
1cup flour
cup yellow cornmeal
teaspoons baking powder
½teaspoon baking soda
¼teaspoon salt
½cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1cup granulated sugar
1teaspoon vanilla extract
Grated rind of 2 navel oranges (reserve the fruit)
½cup buttermilk
1cup heavy cream, whipped with 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar until it holds soft peaks

1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan. Line the bottom with a circle of parchment cut to fit; butter the paper. Sprinkle the crumb mixture into the pan.

2. In a bowl, whisk the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to blend them.

3. In an electric mixer, beat the butter and granulated sugar until well blended. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla and orange rind.


4. With the mixer set on its lowest speed, blend in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Pour the mixture into the pan and smooth the top.

5. Bake the cake for 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan, peel off and discard the parchment paper, and turn the cake right side up; leave to cool completely.

6. Remove the rind and pith from the oranges with a slender serrated knife. Set the oranges on a plate and slice across the sections to make thin slices. Serve the cake with oranges and whipped cream.

Jean Kressy