Blueberry Lemon Cornmeal Cakes with Lemon Sauce

Blueberry Lemon Corn Cakes with Lemon Sauce

Blueberry Lemon Corn Cakes with Lemon Sauce

This recipe makes the cutest little individual cakes, with a creamy lemon sauce poured over them.  More cake-like than muffin and not very sweet they are surprisingly sophisticated for your most elegant summer gatherings.  The addition of cornmeal to the batter provides some crunchiness and the zesty lemon flavor combines perfectly with the delicate flavor of blueberries.

Slightly crunchy from cornmeal, and studded with blueberries.

Slightly crunchy from cornmeal, and studded with blueberries.

This is the dessert I mentioned in yesterday’s post that completed the pork tenderloin meal, but I think these would also be great for an outdoor picnic too.  Most people seem to enjoy it when they are served their own perfect little cake, so bake these in small custard cups or ramekins that hold between 5 – 6 ounces.  To serve them, turn upside down on a serving plate or shallow dessert dish, and spoon some of the lemon sauce over the top.  I particularly enjoy them when they are still somewhat warm; or they could be briefly heated in the microwave before serving.


Yield:  makes 8 small cakes


  • 1  1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk or nonfat plain yogurt (not Greek)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon extract
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup blueberries, rinsed and dried

To Make the cakes:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350*F.  Lightly grease eight  5 to 6 -ounce ramekins or baking cups.

2.  Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Whisk together the remaining ingredients except the berries, then stir into the dry mixture until just combined.  Fold in the blueberries.  Divide the batter among the baking dishes/ramekins.

3.   Bake the cakes for 24 – 26 minutes, until the centers are firm to the touch.  Transfer to a rack to cool.


This recipe for lemon sauce can be made with either water or half milk.  The water version has a brighter lemon flavor; when made with milk it’s a little creamier.  That is how I made mine.

YIELD:  Makes  1 1/2 cups or about 10 servingsIMG_4122


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

In a medium saucepan, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, salt and nutmeg.  Gradually stir in the water and milk, then bring to a simmer over low heat until the mixture thickens and becomes translucent.   Remove from the heat.  Stir in the butter, lemon zest and juice and serve.


SOURCES:   For the cakes:   King Arthur Flour Baking Co.

For the sauce:  all


Pumpkin Cake

Using some of the pumpkin I cooked and pureed myself, I made this cake for my husband’s birthday. Although the title of the recipe is  ordinary this cake is anything but.  From the bottom up to the top there is something extraordinary going on.  My recipe card for this cake has a smily face sticker on it and the words, “exceptionally good” to remind me of how much we and others like this cake whenever I make it.  It is tried and true, and always dependable.  One year, several years back, I made it for my husband to take to work for a pot-luck luncheon at Thanksgiving, and ever since I get requests for “that good cake”.  One of his co-workers has since ordered one from me each year for Thanksgiving.  So I am confident when I say “it will come out good, and you will like it”.

The bottom-most layer of the cake is a crumb crust.  The recipe specifies graham cracker crumbs, but we here have an allergic reaction to graham crumbs, so I substituted ginger snap crumbs instead.  Now I always make it that way; ginger snaps just seem to go so much better with pumpkin.  The cake layer is a pumpkin spice cake, and I have played around with changing some of the quantities and ratios, but it always comes out good.  The frosting is a cream cheese frosting.   Who doesn’t like that?

The recipe makes a large cake baked in a 15″ x 11″ pan, in which case pieces are more like squares with a crumb crust;  or you may use two smaller pans, 1 8″ round, and  1  8″ square and the pieces will be taller and cake like. I really like that aspect.  What I usually do is bake the two smaller size cakes, then I have 1 to keep and 1 to give, or 1 to eat and 1 to freeze, you get the idea.  OK, enough said,  here’s how to make it—–


  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs or ginger snap crumbs.  One sleeve of ginger snaps, pulsed in a processor makes about 2 cups.
  • 7 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Mix all these together for the base.  Press into the bottom of baking pan or pans of choice.  Bake 5-6 minutes.  Let cool.


  • 1 2/3 cups sugar,  or I use 1 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 4 eggs,  or 2 eggs and 1/2 cup egg substitute product
  • 1 can pumpkin, or 2 cups homemade pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup vegetable oil.  I use 1/2 cup and it comes out fine.
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon, or 2 teasp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

1.  Mix the first 4 ingredients together with a whisk.

Mix wet ingredients together with a whisk.

2.  Mix the dry ingredients together:  flour through salt

3.  Combine the wet and dry ingredients with a whisk.  Blend them well, but do not over mix.

Combine wet and dry ingredients.

4.  Pour over the crust.

5.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes.  Test for doneness with a toothpick.

6.  Cool completely then frost with cream cheese frosting and decorate as desired.


  • 8 ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 6 Tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Makes about 2 cups

In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Gradually beat in the sugar and mix thoroughly, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  If the consistency is too stiff, thin with a drizzle of milk or cream.  If it is too soft, refrigerate until frosting is spreadable, about 15 minutes.


 This is my husband’s half-eaten piece.  He couldn’t wait for me to photograph it!

Chocolate Fudge Zucchini Cake

This past holiday weekend we had two pot-luck cookouts to go to.  Since I haven’t been baking for Mr. D. and me, I took this as the perfect opportunity to make a baked dessert, and have just one piece.   When I chose this recipe I didn’t foresee  how difficult it would be to have just one piece.   Holy Moly!  Every word in the name of this cake is so true;  it’s definitely chocolate, very fudgey, and there is zucchini (and chocolate chips) in it.  I thought,  I’ll just whip up this easy cake in no time, bake it in a bundt pan, and it will travel well, which it did.

Putting all the ingredients together and making the batter was no problem.  Where I got into difficulty was when I licked some of the batter off my finger.  Ok, Ok, I went a little further and licked the beaters, what can I say, I do that sometimes!  This batter was so thick and creamy,  like chocolate pudding, that I wanted to eat it with a spoon.   I forced myself to scrape it all into the pan, and put it the oven, and was rewarded with a high, beautiful cake.  The recipe suggests an oven temperature of 325 degrees for 40-50 minutes.  My cake took the full 50 minutes before it tested done.   I just know that if you make this cake you will love it.  Besides, it uses up some of that zucchini.



  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix with Pudding in the mix.
  • 1 medium zucchini, shredded  ( about 1 & 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped nuts, optional


1.  Grease and flour a 12 cup bundt pan or 10-inch tube pan.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  ( 350 degrees for light colored pan ).

2  In large mixer bowl, beat butter till light and fluffy, beat in eggs one at a time, then flavorings.  Beat in sour cream and cinnamon, then slowly beat in cake mix.  Remove from mixer.

3.  Stir in zucchini, chocolate chips, and nuts if using.

Ready for the oven.

4.  Spoon into prepared pan.  Bake for 40 – 50 minutes, until tester comes out clean.  Cool on cooling rack for about 15 minutes.  Invert onto serving plate to cool completely.***  Frost or dust with confectionery sugar.

Just out of the oven.

***This cake is likely to break if you try to remove it from the pan while it is still warm.  Ask me how I know!    I made a simple frosting of cream cheese, confectionery  sugar and milk, in a thin consistency to drizzle over the top.  I first used some to glue the cake together where it broke, and then poured the rest over the top and let it run down the sides.

SOURCE:   Duncan Hines website:  Cakes

Makin’ Whoopie—-Pies, that is.

Did you know that June is Dessert for Dudes month?  Yes, the third annual!  What is Dessert for Dudes month you ask?  In honor of Father’s Day a fellow food blogger  (Bake at 350 ), is  highlighting desserts that are especially dude-worthy.  She has invited other bloggers to join in.  I think  this is a marvelous idea and so I too will be honoring the men in my life with desserts that they particularly like.  Last week (June 7) I presented the recipe for Rhubarb Pie which is my husband’s favorite kind of pie.  Today’s recipe is in honor of my dance partner, who loves all kinds of sweets, and chocolate in particular.

Last week we were dancing to the tune “Makin’ Whoopee” when he said “there’s a title for your blog,  what can you do with Whoopee”?  My reply:  “make Whoopie Pies”.  Now, I’m not sure how familiar you all might be with Whoopie Pies.  They began as a regional favorite that has been attributed to the Amish people, and the states of Maine and Pennsylvania, both of which had large populations of Amish, claim to be the birth place of the Whoopie Pie.  Here in the Northeast they can still be found in small convenience stores and country markets, usually located up front near the checkout.  The classic whoopie pie consists of two large discs of chocolate cake enclosing a mega-dollop of cream filling.

The recipe I have for you today is for the classic style whoopie pie, although they can be made in other flavors with complimentary fillings.   Individually packaged, they make a nice take-along for a hike, a picnic, or whenever the need arises for a sweet treat.  OK, enough background information,  let’s get started.  Whoopie Pies here we come!

Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Creme Filling.

This recipe calls for cocoa.  I like to use Dutch Process cocoa for its nice dark color but any cocoa will work.  I would recommend Hershey’s Extra Dark, if you can’t find Dutch Process cocoa.  Also I add a little espresso powder because I feel it deepens the chocolate flavor and adds a special little nuance.

Put all of the following in a large mixer bowl, and beat together, scraping down the bowl several times as you go:

  • Butter, 1/2 cup, softened
  • Brown sugar, 1 cup
  • baking powder, 1 teaspoon
  • baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon
  • salt, 3/4 teaspoon
  • vanilla, 1 teaspoon
  • espresso powder, 1 teaspoon
2.  1 large egg.  Add to above mixture, and beat again, scraping down the bowl well.
3.  1/2 cup  Dutch Process cocoa, whisked together with 2 2/3 cups flour.  Add to the creamed mixture alternately with 1 cup milk.
4.  Prepare 2  baking sheets by lining with parchment paper.  Now you need to decide on cookie size:  Standard pies are about 5 inches in diameter.  To get this size use a muffin scoop to measure batter;  i.e.,about 1/4 cup .  Yield will be 8-9 large pies.  For a smaller pie about 2 3/4 ” diameter, measure batter out with a cookie scoop, about 2 1/2 tablespoons of batter, for a yield of 16 pies.
5.  Drop batter onto prepared baking sheets leaving plenty of space between mounds as they will spread.  Bake 14-16 minutes. (start checking at 14 minutes)  They should look set, dull not shiny, and feel firm to touch.  Cool completely on baking pans.  When they are luke warm lift gently with a spatula if they are stuck.  Wait till completely cooled to fill.
Before baking (left), shiny, moist chocolate blobs.  After baking (right), puffed, dull, set,  firm to touch.
Creme Filling
Aaaaah, the filling!  These are the ingredients:
  • 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 1/3 cup Marshmallow Fluff or Marshmallow creme
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt dissolved in 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1.  Beat shortening, sugar and Fluff till well combined.  I’m anticipating your question:  “Can I substitute butter for shortening”?  Well, if you do you will be making a soft butter creme filling..  “Real” whoopie filling was made of lots of shortening, sugar and raw egg whites.  These days the egg whites are replaced by the Marshmallow Fluff.  This has a stiffer consistency than Marshmallow Creme, so if using Creme, you may need to add a little more sugar.  Remember if you don’t use shortening, you’re not making a true whoopie. Most shortening sold today is free of trans fats, if that’s your worry.

2.  Continuing:  Beat everything till smooth.  Now add the vanilla, and salt dissolved in water.  Beat again till smooth


3.  To fill the pies,  scoop about 1 Tablespoon filling (for smaller pies) and place on flat side of a chocolate cake.  Place another cake on top and gently squeeze together to push the filling to the edges.  To fill the larger size cakes, use 2-3 tablespoons of filling, and do the same thing;  put it on one cake, top with another cake and squeeze.

4.  Do these look like snack cake heaven, or what?

Try one and say,  WHOOPEE!

SOURCE:  adapted from One Girl Cookies