Every day, Yahoo Food features delectable cakes. They taste good, they look good, and they’re made by good people — talented bakers from around the world. Today, Zoe Nathan, owner of the popular Huckleberry Cafe & Bakery in Santa Monica, Calif., shares the restaurant’s signature cake from her book Huckleberry: Stories, Secrets, and Recipes From our Kitchen.
Photo: Matt Armendariz
Blueberry Cornmeal Cake
Makes one 10-inch cake
This is our signature cake at Huckleberry. I actually made this cake with vanilla-corn ice cream for Josh when I was trying out for the pastry chef position at Rustic Canyon. This recipe was a favorite then and still is after all these years.
You can really play with the fruit on this cake. Instead of blueberries, try fresh huckleberries or thinly sliced strawberries sprinkled with brown sugar instead of white. Or, during the holidays, add the zest of one orange and top with fresh cranberries and both brown and white sugar. And, while I’m giving you all my secrets, these are also killer as muffins.
¾ cup + 1½ tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
¾ cup + 3 tablespoons sugar, plus 2 tablespoons more
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
4½ tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoons vanilla extract
1½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup cornmeal
2¼ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoons baking soda
1 cup + 2 tablespoons whole plain yogurt
½ cup + 1 tablespoons ricotta
1 cup fresh blueberries
Position a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 350°F. Line and grease a 10-inch round cake pan.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, ¾ cup + 3 tablespoons sugar, and salt on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Incorporate the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl well.
With the mixer on low speed, pour in the canola oil, maple syrup, and vanilla. Pause mixing and add the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, yogurt, and ricotta. Mix cautiously, just until incorporated. Do not overmix!
Scoop the batter into the prepared pan, top with the blueberries, and sprinkle with the remaining sugar. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Do not overbake! Allow to cool for about 15 minutes in the pan.
Place a flat plate on top of the cake and pan. Carefully invert the cake onto the plate by flipping both upside down. Then lift the pan off the cake. Gently pull the parchment from every nook and cranny of the cake, being careful not to break the cake. Rest your serving plate on the bottom of the cake and turn the cake right-side up onto the plate.
This cake is best served the day it’s made but keeps, tightly wrapped, at room temperature, for up to 2 days.
Reprinted with permission from Huckleberry by Zoe Nathan (Chronicle Books).
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