Benjamina Ebuehi’s orange and brown butter cornmeal cake recipe | Baking

Amanda M. Rye

Sometimes, cake for breakfast isn’t a completely bad idea. The trick is to go for something that isn’t overly sweet or covered in lots of frosting, and that can hold its own alongside a good, strong coffee. This is one of those cakes: zingy with plenty of citrus zest, yet warm and toasty from the brown butter. A slice of this is enough to brighten even the greyest of mornings.

Orange and brown butter cornmeal cake

Prep 25 min
Cook 35 min
Serves 8

120g unsalted butter
125g caster sugar
Zest of 2 large oranges
2 large eggs
80ml milk
2 tbsp neutral oil
(vegetable or sunflower)
100g plain flour
75g fine cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
¼ tsp salt
Icing sugar
, to dust

Grease and line a 20cm round cake tin. Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan)/350F/gas 4.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a medium heat, then let it cook, stirring occasionally, for three to five minutes, until it starts to smell nutty and the milk solids have turned brown. Remove from the heat and pour into a bowl to cool.

Put the sugar and orange zest in a large bowl, then rub the zest into the sugar with your fingertips, until it resembles wet sand. In a separate bowl or jug, whisk the eggs, milk and oil, pour into the sugar bowl and mix to combine.

Into a separate bowl, sift the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, bicarb and salt. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and mix until smooth. Stir in the cooled brown butter, then pour the batter into the prepared tin.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool completely before dusting with a little icing sugar and serving.

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