Lemon Cornmeal Bundt Cake

I love dessert (obviously).  However, that doesn’t always mean I want something super-sweet.  Sometimes – often, actually – I prefer something that is just lightly sweet.  That doesn’t mean I want to skimp on flavor, just that I want less sugar, more flavor.

A lot of times cooking with fruit helps with that – it adds a lot of flavor and often the sweetness in the fruit means you’re adding a lot less sugar.  I think this cake accomplishes exactly that – it’s super flavorful with a touch of sweetness and one of those desserts that can also double as breakfast!


  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • ¼ t salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 ¾ cups sugar, separated (ok, so it’s not exactly sugar-free…)
  • 1 T lemon zest
  • ¼ plus 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice, separated
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk


Butter and flour a bundt pan and set that aside.

In a bowl, add the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Whisk them all together and set that aside.

Put the butter in another bowl and beat that a couple minutes until it’s smooth.  Add in 1 ¾ cups of the sugar, the lemon zest, ¼ cup of the lemon juice and the eggs and beat again until well combined and smooth again.

Pour in half the flour mixture and mix until smooth, then half the buttermilk, and then do that again – the remaining flour, mix, the remaining buttermilk, mix.  The batter will be a little coarse because of the cornmeal, but just make sure there are no lumps.

Pour the batter into your prepared pan and drop the pan on the counter a couple times to settle it.

Bake at 325 for about an hour, until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean and the outside is starting to brown just a little.

Move the pan to a wire rack while you’re making you’re glaze.

Put the remaining 1 cup of sugar and the remaining 1/3 cup of lemon juice into a small bowl and mix until combined.  Be aware that the sugar will not be melted.

Take your still-warm cake out of the bundt pan and put it on a serving plate.  Brush the glaze over the top of the cake and let the cake absorb it.  You’ll still see sugar crystals, and when the cake cools these will provide a really nice crunch.

Oops! Well, this IS “Ugly Desserts”. If you look at the photo above and see the butter/flour job I did on the bundt pan, you can see EXACTLY where it stuck…

Let the cake cool completely before you serve it.  You can actually heat up a piece if you like it warm, but let the flavors rest first and let the glaze really get in there.


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