Almond Cornmeal Cake with Whipped Cream Cheese and Strawberries

I was thinking about devouring cornbread the other day and I know that T’s mom stocks her freezer full with jiffy cornbread mix. I’m not a huge fan of box mix cakes and I always feel guilty using them as it makes me feel unoriginal…but hey! they’re easy and pretty decent. So anyway…cornbread...i love the grittiness cornmeal gives…the texture is just awesome! It’s so versatile, and you can make so many variations of cornbreads…sweet and savoury. This time round I decided on making an almond cornmeal cake with a whipped cream cheese topping and fresh strawberries. Almond cakes…pudding…cream...are also a favorite of mine…I love the fragrance and taste almond extract offers…oh and not to mention…T loves almond milk tea with pearls!

This is a great teatime treat… or any time of day really… I love piling a slice with a million quartered strawberries and with a healthy dollop of whipped cream cheese too of course! What’s great about this cake is that it’s light, lemony, and a little tangy…just thinking about it makes me want to walk over to the kitchen and cut another slice! It is VERY good…if you love strawberry shortcake…this is a keeper!

Almond-Cornmeal Cake with Strawberries and Whipped Cream Cheese

3 C almond meal 
1/3 C flour
1 t baking powder
1 t salt
1 stick plus 2 T softened butter
1 C sugar
1 T vanilla 
3 eggs
Zest of 2 lemons (use a microplane)
2 T lemon juice
1 C cornmeal

Whipped Cream Cheese Topping

3/4 C heavy cream
1/2 C cream cheese
1/2 C confectioners sugar
1 quart strawberries, hulled, and sliced into quarters

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Butter and flour a 9 inch round cake pan and set aside.
In a bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a bowl of your stand mixer beat butter, sugar and vanilla till creamy, light, and fluffy (3 minutes on speed 4) Scrape down the bowl and beat in the eggs one at a time incorporating each thoroughly. Continue to beat for a minute or so. Mix in the lemon zest and juice then with a spatula fold the flour mixture, cornmeal and then ground almonds. Batter will be very thick! 
Scrap the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes till a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the topping.
In the bowl of your stand mixer whip the heavy cream to soft peaks, add the cream cheese and confectioners sugar and whip until barely firm peaks form. Prepare your strawberries.

Once the cake is cool, place it on a pretty plate, take a large dollop of topping and place it on the cake, top with fresh strawberries and serve immediately!


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