April 13, 2012

Grilled Cornmeal Pound Cake

Rick Bayless @IHCC button rounded

When I worked in an office, once a month we'd get a bakery-made cake and celebrate everyone who had birthdays that month. You know the cakes... the ones with tons of too-sweet frosting and big gloppy roses on the corners. There was always somebody who wanted the corners so they could have more frosting. Then there were the people who wanted a middle piece without too much frosting, and even then, they'd end up scraping it off. 

I was in the latter group. Too sweet! Those cakes made my teeth hurt just looking at them. I'd rather have my cake plain - no frosting. And it needs to be homemade. Yes, I'm a cake snob... would rather not eat it at all if it isn't homemade.

Guess you could say I have a not-so-sweet tooth. And that's exactly why this recipe appealed to me.

"Sweet Tooth" is IHCC theme this week and the chef is Rick Bayless. Grilled Cornmeal Pound Cake?? 

You had me at grilled, Rick.
Grilling this cake is what makes it over-the-top scrumptious! There's a nice crunch as you bite into it to get to the warm and soft middle. I think it'd be great for summer with a scoop of ice cream. I hope you'll give it a try!

Grilled Cornmeal Pound Cake from Rick Bayless    PRINT RECIPE

1-1/4 c flour, plus extra to coat pan
3/4 c yellow cornmeal (don't pack)
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 c buttermilk
4 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1 T vanilla extract
12 T butter, softened, plus extra to coat pan
1 c sugar
Finely grated zest of one orange

Prepare the pans and oven: Generously butter a 9x5 of 8x4 loaf pan. Line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper and butter the parchment paper. Dust with flour, then tip the pan, tapping on the side of the counter several times, to evenly distribute the flour over the bottom and sides; shake out any flour that doesn't stick. Turn on the oven to 350 degrees and adjust the rack to the middle level.

Make the batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, salt, and baking powder. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, yolk, and vanilla. In the bowl of your electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar, and beat on medium speed until fluffy and lighter in color (use the flat beater if you have an option). Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients. When incorporated, pour in 1/3 of the wet ingredients. Continue alternating dry and wet ingredients, letting one become incorporated before adding the next. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, then beat on medium high speed for about a minute Stir in the orange zest.

Bake the cake: Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top. Set in the iddle of the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out nearly clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes, then run a knife around the edges, then turn out onto a large flat plate and allo to cool completely. For easiest slicing, refrigerate the cake until completely cold.

Grill the cake: Turn on a gas grill to medium or light a charcoal grill and let the coals burn until medium hot and covered with white ash. Cut the cake into 1/2-inch slices. A couple of pieces at a time, grill the cake on both sides. Serve warm - with ice cream, berries, whipped sour cream, cajeta (goat milk caramel) drizzle, chocolate... whatever's in the cards.

You might also like:
Sour Cream Pound Cake
Lemon-Rosemary Pound Cake
Blueberry Lemon Pound Cake
Ricotta Pound Cake


  1. Oh my, what a great way to serve pound cake! I am loving the grill, especially since it has warmed up here. Great choice!
    ps, I fixed your linky, it was going to your last i♥cc post.

  2. woah....I'm pinning this to make for later. Sounds amazing.

  3. Yup, a no frosting girl right here. Exception is cream cheese frosting on carrot cake...now that stuff is heaven!

  4. I prefer cakes without frosting too! I like them simple and nice! Your cornmeal cakes looks good! And grilling them takes to another level altogether! Yum!

  5. Oh my....yes! This cake looks absolutely delicious and you are so right...perfect with a scoop of ice cream. Your pictures are gorgeous and I'm loving those grill marks on the cake.

  6. Whut. That sounds amazing.

    I also hate that bakery frosting. Didn't help when my buddy who went to culinary school told me it was called "grease cream" and was made from nothing but shortening and sugar. Blech, never ate it again.

  7. Uck..I feel the same way about those store-made cakes. Too freakin' sweet! This, however, looks amazing. I'm loving the look of the grill marks and I can just imagine how amazing it tastes. NOM!

  8. The grill marks are so pretty. I bet it would make a wonderful strawberry shortcake with ice cream and sliced strawberries. Perfect for the warmer weather! ;-)

  9. This cake looks amazing Karen! I love the grill marks; thought at first this was a multi-layered cake.
    I've always preferred homemade cake over those gloppy cakes with the abundance of frosting. Oh, I've eaten my share like anyone, but I want dessert to taste really good, so I'm picky about it.

  10. Same here! Hate store bought cakes but simply adore home-made ones :D.
    Love the grilled pattern on the pound cake. It must have tasted great with a dollop of ice cream.

  11. How original!; love this idea.

  12. So going to try this, I love it, looks great and I bet it tastes great too! I love that you grill it.

  13. I think those cakes are the reason I don'tt like cake. Hate that frosting. I've got to give this a try, I'm a fan of anything Rick Bayless.

  14. Look at your grill marks! Gorgeous, mouth drooling, lip smacking tempting! I have professed many times that I have a not so sweet tooth myself, this is the kind of cake I would enjoy, and enjoy...ok I have to go now before I eat my screen.

  15. Grilling and cornmeal...love this idea!

  16. Give me homemade ANYTIME! And poundcake too. I would love to give this a try---your description of the little crunch when you take a bite has me craving it.
    Everything you make looks so good.

  17. This will have to be on my menu soon!!

  18. I almost made this pound cake this week. After reading about it and seeing your gorgeous photos, I'm sorry I didn't.

    And I agree with you...homemade is always best. :)

  19. Well, I have to say that I'm one of those people for whom NOTHING is too sweet. But I also do appreciate less-sweet desserts! This pound cake looks delicious, especially if topped with a dollop of freshly whipped cream!


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