This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
This recipe for cornmeal cake is sweet, simple, and bursting with strawberry flavor. This easy, down-home Southern dessert makes the perfect addition to any rustic or soul-food-based meal. Plus, you only need 15 minutes of prep time!
Today’s cornmeal cake recipe is quick to make, easy to customize, and sure to please. We add creamy sour cream and rich egg yolks to a simple blend of cornmeal and wheat flour to create a cake that is thick, rich, and moist.
I’ve included both freeze-dried and fresh strawberries to infuse this heavenly dessert with everything the berries have to offer. If you are feeling creative, you can follow these same instructions but with different fruits. Some of my top suggestions include peaches or blueberries.
Table of Contents
- Strawberries – Add a tangy-sweetness and delightful color. This recipe uses dehydrated strawberries in the batter and fresh, thinly sliced strawberries on top. I like Trader Joe’s freeze-dried strawberries, but feel free to use another brand if needed.
- Flour – Forms the foundation of the batter, along with the cornmeal. All-purpose flour is the perfect choice.
- Sugar – Adds flavor-enhancing, harmonizing sweetness.
- Cornmeal – Gives the cake a sweet, nutty, and earthy flavor. Choose fine-grind cornmeal at the store.
- Leavening Agents – Both baking powder and baking soda are used to add fluffiness and volume to the batter.
- Eggs – Works as a binding agent while adding moisture and richness.
- Sour Cream – Adds an intense richness, creamy texture, and tangy flavor.
- Lemons – Brightens up the recipe with a blast of sour citrus flavor.
- Vanilla – Harmonizes and enhances the flavor of other ingredients with a sweet, aromatic touch.
It’s produced by freezing fresh fruit and then removing its moisture through a process called sublimation. This method preserves the fruit’s natural flavor, color, and nutrients, while making it lightweight and crispy. I feel it gives this batter an extra punch of strawberry flavor.
- Heat the Oven. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Meanwhile, place the dehydrated strawberries in a ziploc bag, gently crush, and set aside.
- Prepare the Pan. Grease the bottom of a 13×9-inch baking pan. Then, line the pan with enough parchment paper to hang over the sides and grease the parchment as well. Dust the paper with 2-3 tablespoons of sugar, tilting to coat evenly. If you are using a baking stone pan (as pictured), there is no need for parchment paper.
- Mix Dry Ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, 1 cup of sugar, the cornmeal, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
- Blend Wet Ingredients. In a separate, large bowl, combine the eggs, egg yolks, sour cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and zest from both lemons. Whisk together to blend.
- Combine All Ingredients. Now, add the dry mixture to the bowl with the wet ingredients, gently whisking to combine. Use a spatula to slowly fold the oil into the batter until it is fully incorporated and the oil is smooth. If desired, you can use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment for this step. Next fold in the crushed, freeze-dried strawberries.
- Transfer the Batter. Move the cake batter to the prepared pan, using a spatula to scrape, and then smooth the batter out evenly. Arrange the fresh, sliced strawberries on the top of the cake, then sprinkle the top with the remaining tablespoons of sugar.
- Bake the Cake. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes. You want the cake to rise and turn a deep, golden brown. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean with no visible damp spots. Once done, remove the cake from the oven and let it cool before slicing into it.
Share this recipe on Pinterest!
Love this recipe? Share it with the world on Pinterest.
This strawberry cornmeal cake recipe has a couple of safeguards against sogginess.
First of all, the strawberries included in the batter are dehydrated, so all of the excess moisture is already removed.
When it comes to the fresh strawberries on top, be sure that you slice them extra thinly, and don’t forget to dust them with sugar. Sugar works as a natural preservative and will extend the life of the berries by a few days.
Cornmeal cake works beautifully as part of a hearty breakfast, as an after-dinner dessert, or as a sweet snack any time of day. Here are a few ideas to spark your creativity:
– Move over pancakes! Serve strawberry cornmeal cake alongside breakfast favorites like Savory Egg Clouds, Quiche Lorraine, and these Creamy Cheese Grits.
– This recipe makes the perfect dessert for down-home favorites like Southern Fried Chicken or Country Fried Steak.
– As a dessert or snack, enjoy as is or top with powdered sugar, whipped cream, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. If you are feeling ambitious, have it with a scoop of this DIY No Churn Ice Cream.
Let the cornmeal cake cool completely. Then, either wrap tightly with plastic wrap or transfer to an airtight container. The better the seal, the more moisture the cake will retain.
Technically, you can leave the cake on the counter at room temperature for 2-3 days. However, storing it in the refrigerator is best, especially because of the fresh strawberries. In the fridge, your cake will stay fresh about for 4-5 days.
Once you are ready to enjoy it again, take the cake out and let it come to room temperature. Alternatively, you can pop it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds or place it in a 350-degree F oven for 8-10 minutes.
Strawberry Cornmeal Cake
- 1.2 oz Trader Joe's Freeze Dried Strawberries (34g)
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cup sugar divided
- ½ cup fine-grind cornmeal
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 3 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- ½ cup sour cream
- 2 lemons zest and 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 tsp vanilla
- ¾ cup olive oil
- 8 oz strawberries hulled, thinly sliced lengthwise
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Gently crush the dehydrated strawberries in the bag and set aside.
- Grease a 9×13" pan with cooking spray or oil. Line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on both long sides. Grease parchment with oil. Sprinkle with 2-3 tablespoons of sugar, tilting pan to coat in an even layer (I used a baking stone pan as pictured, so I did not use the parchment paper).
- Whisk flour, 1 cup sugar, cornmeal, salt, baking powder, baking soda in a medium bowl. Whisk eggs, egg yolks, sour cream, zest from both lemons, lemon juice, and vanilla in a large bowl until well combined. Add dry ingredients to wet mixture and whisk gently to combine. Using a spatula, gradually fold in oil until batter is smooth and oil is incorporated (or use a mixer with paddle). Fold in the crushed, dehydrated strawberries.
- Scrape batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Arrange sliced, fresh strawberries on top of batter to cover. Sprinkle all over with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.
- Bake cake until risen and deeply golden, 45-50 minutes. Check that tester inserted in center comes out clean, no damp spots. Dust with some powdered sugar if you like, this is optional. Let cool before slicing.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.