High Altitude Gluten-Free Lemon Cornmeal Cake
Delicious, not too sweet, easy to make, and slightly crunchy (thanks to the cornmeal), this is one of my favorite cakes to make for any occasion. Oh, and the lemon—lemon just might be my pick for the greatest dessert flavor of all time. It’s at least in the top three.
High Altitude Lemon Cornmeal Cake
Adapted from a recipe by Nigella Lawson
Makes one 9" cake
When zesting the lemon, avoid using the bitter white pith.
12 tablespoons butter - 6 ounces—softened—plus more for buttering pan
½ cup + 3 tablespoons granulated sugar - 4.7 ounces
2 cups almond flour - 6.5 ounces
1 cup less 1 tablespoon medium or fine ground cornmeal - 5.2 ounces
¾ teaspoon baking powder
3 large eggs
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice - 1 ounce
Zest of 1 lemon
Lemon Simple Syrup:
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice - 3 ounces
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar - 2.6 ounces
Confectioners’ sugar (optional)
Preheat oven to 375°F . Butter and line a 9" round cake pan with parchment paper.
Beat the softened butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in one egg at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition.
Combine the dry ingredients. Beat approximately ½ of the dry ingredients into the batter followed by 2 tablespoons lemon juice and then the remaining dry ingredients. End by stirring in the lemon zest. Spoon the mixture (it should be thick) into the prepared pan and place it in the middle of a preheated oven for ~40 minutes. A cake tester should come out clean (if using a thermometer, aim for between 190°F and 200°F in the center of the cake).
Begin to prepare the Lemon Simple Syrup as soon as the cake goes into the oven, as it's best for the syrup to cool for 20-30 minutes before pouring it onto the cake. Do this by combining the lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
When the cake is hot out of the oven, poke the top multiple times with a cake tester. Pour the Lemon Simple Syrup all over the cake, spreading it evenly with a silicone baking brush or spatula. Allow time for the syrup to soak in and for the cake to cool completely before removing it from the pan. When I'm ready to plate my cake, I invert it onto a plate topped with parchment paper (dusted with confectioners’ sugar in order to prevent sticking), then invert it again onto a cake plate. The cake is tender and will break easily, so be very careful. Finally, if desired, dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar before serving.