Dorie Greenspan's Cornmeal Skillet Cake With Strawberries 8.000

Marvin Joseph for The Washington Post

Everyday Dorie May 17, 2016

This light, mildly tangy cake gets a strawberry-shortcake treatment with ripe, fresh berries and piles of whipped cream. Dorie Greenspan's trick of rubbing lemon zest into the sugar used in the batter makes for a subtle, lovely flavor note.

You can use a 9-inch springform pan instead of a cast-iron skillet; adjust the baking time to about 40 minutes. This cake tastes best just after it's made.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8 servings

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for the skillet
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup sugar, plus more for the berries
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • Sanding sugar, for sprinkling (optional)
  • 1 quart fresh strawberries, hulled, for serving
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, whipped (sweetened or not), for serving


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with butter or baker’s spray.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl, then whisk in the cornmeal.

Put the sugar in a mixing bowl and drop in the lemon zest. Use your clean fingertips to work in the zest until the sugar is fragrant.

One at a time, whisk the eggs into the sugar, beating until well incorporated. Stir in the vanilla extract. Still working with the whisk, or switching to a flexible spatula, blend in half of the flour-cornmeal mixture. Add all the buttermilk, stirring until the batter is homogenous. Add the rest of the flour-cornmeal mixture, stirring until it disappears into the batter, which will be thick.

Stir the melted butter into the batter in three additions, waiting for each new addition to be incorporated before adding the next. Scrape the batter into the skillet and use a spatula to spread it evenly. Sprinkle the batter with sanding sugar, if you’d like.

Bake (middle rack) for 30 to 33 minutes or until golden brown, particularly around the edges; the cake will have begun to pull away from the sides of the skillet; a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean.

Transfer the cake (in the skillet) to a rack to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving. Cut the strawberries in half lengthwise; sprinkle lightly with sugar and toss to coat.

To serve, cut the cake into wedges and slice each wedge in half horizontally. Pile the bottom slice with whipped cream and berries; lean the top slice against the cream and fruit.

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Recipe Source

From cookbook author Dorie Greenspan.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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