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Blue Cornmeal Cake

January 17, 2010

~ Mary ~

Oh! doesn’t everyone love cake!? Here we go with another winner from Sky High Cakes.  It can be made with regular yellow cornmeal, but isn’t it prettier with blue?  Well, blue is a tad harder to find.  I searched high and low, in every grocery store, in my hispanic neighborhood.  Not until I asked John to pick some up in New Mexico did I finally find it.  Oh well, at least I know now where to get it next time.

This cake really does not need the white frosting at all.  It should be served/made with just Dulce de Leche between the layers.  And I have it, at my beck and call, thanks to Nestle.

One more interesting thing about the cake is that it has a teaspoon of Chile Arbol – which lends an interesting afterthought to each bite.

Some other triple layer cakes you might enjoy:
Strawberry Butter ~ Mango Mousse Tiramisu
Heaven & Hell ~
Peachy Keen
German Chocolate ~
Chocolate Peanut Butter Salute
Kahlua Mexican Chocolate ~ Lane Cake

Blue Cornmeal Cake

adapted from Sky High Cakes

In food processor combine and process until the pecans are finely chopped:

3/4 Cup Pecans

1 3/4 Cup Cake Flour

2/3 Cup Blue Cornmeal

2 tsp Baking Powder

2 tsp Cinnamon

1 tsp Ground Chile Arbol OR 1/2 tsp cayenne

1 tsp Salt

1 1/2 Cups Sugar

Transfer to a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center and add:


1 1/2 Cups Buttermilk

4 Tbsp Melted Butter

optional to add a couple drops of red and blue food coloring – this gave it a more pronounced blue coloring (blue alone made it green).

Mix all ingredients together well with a whisk.

With an electric mixer in a clean bowl beat until stiff peaks form.


I found it easier to whip these up 4 whites at a time.  You DO NOT want to add any runny extras, from the bottom of the bowl, to your cake! (Read comments down below about dense cakes and you’ll understand my urgency here!).

Fold in a quarter of the stiff egg whites, at a time,  into your batter slowly and gently. Once incorporated pour equal amounts into three greased and floured 8″ cake pans.

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until the center of the cake, when stuck with a toothpick, comes out clean and the edges pull away from the side of the pan.

Cool completely and “frost” Dulce de Leche between each layer.

If you want the white frosting – a simple Buttercream one will do: 1 Cup Butter whipped up with 1 tsp Vanilla and 4-5 Cups Powdered Sugar.  But as I mentioned before, this cake really only needs the Dulce de Leche.

Top with:

Quick Brittle

put 1 Cup Sugar in heavy pan over medium heat

Stir constantly as it starts to melt

Keep stirring!

continue stirring and turn temperature to medium low – you DO NOT want to burn the sugar!  SLOW YOUR ROLL!

Once it’s all melted throw in a handful of Whole Pecans

Dump onto a silpat liner and spread out quickly before it hardens.

Once completely cooled, lift off liner and break into pieces.

If you don’t have a liner be sure to grease or butter your pan WELL!

26 Comments leave one →
  1. January 17, 2010 2:15 pm

    you alway make the best cakes… i was just pondering making brownies, they will be a let down after this~

  2. tastyeatsathome permalink
    January 17, 2010 6:34 pm

    Love the brittle on top! And with dulce de leche? Yum!

  3. January 17, 2010 7:48 pm

    what a fun cake – yes, blue cornmeal is hard to come by down here too .. love the flavors in this cake

  4. January 17, 2010 10:40 pm

    What a pretty cake! 🙂

  5. January 17, 2010 10:40 pm

    Outrageous looking. I’m sure it tastes as good as it looks.

  6. lvegas permalink
    January 17, 2010 10:57 pm

    Fascinating recipe!

  7. January 17, 2010 11:39 pm

    WOW what an unusual cake. Can’t imagine the how flavor combos taste. Would like to try this one however, haven’t found blue cornmeal here as of yet.

  8. January 18, 2010 3:58 am

    And so pretty too! I could never make something so gorgeous looking!

  9. January 18, 2010 8:20 am

    this looks incredible! i love the colors of the cake itself!

  10. January 18, 2010 8:52 am

    This is something different and unique. I can imagine the flavors are just outstanding.

  11. Pat permalink
    January 18, 2010 10:01 am

    Mary, you’re the Queen of Cakes!
    Here you go with another great recipe!
    I like the tutorial on the brittle, too. I never would have thought to make it with just sugar and nuts!

  12. January 18, 2010 11:06 am

    Outstanding – the brittle is grand – I love the idea that each bite has an “after thought.” You do make the grandest cakes!

  13. January 18, 2010 5:39 pm

    so unique! and looks delicious!

  14. January 18, 2010 10:21 pm

    What unusual ingredients for a cake. It’s hard to believe that it works, but your picture speaks for itself. It seems like a perfect cake for here in Texas, both because of the ingredients and because it is BIG. I love using dulce de leche in between the cake layers — delicious!

  15. January 19, 2010 2:16 pm

    This is so unique! I just saw some blue cornmeal at the store, so I will have to give it a try!

  16. January 20, 2010 3:14 am

    WOW!!! that cake looks amazing. I like that I can taste that dulce de leche

  17. January 21, 2010 12:38 pm

    MMMM….I am always wondering about substituting blue cornmeal for yellow. Now I know it can be done with beautiful results. Thanks!

  18. February 5, 2010 5:02 pm

    Wow! Cornmeal, chiles and caramel!?! You have knocked me out once again! Wow Mary!

  19. whitney permalink
    February 12, 2010 9:24 am

    i made the blue cornmeal cake last week and it was the dryest, most dense cake i have ever put together/tasted.

    what could i have done wrong?

    • foododelmundo permalink*
      February 12, 2010 5:56 pm

      Oh Whitney – what a disappointment – I’m so sorry!
      I have a few scenarios that may have played a part.
      The first time I made one of Sky High cakes the batter was very similar in that you had to fold in egg whites – I didn’t put much thought into it and had a lot of runny egg whites at the bottom of the stiff egg whites and poured the whole thing in, folded it in to incorporate – shoved them in the oven and CRAP if they weren’t the most dense cakes on earth! I was pissed – how could this happen – to ME!? I threw them out and blamed the recipe. UNTIL this recipe – I thought to myself “self” here is the same type of cake – follow the directions carefully – I only had a tiny bit of runny egg whites and did the same thing – and had the same results – threw them out and made them again immediately and beat the whites in two separate batches so there was nothing running anywhere – and VOILA – I had success!
      Other possibilities might be you over incorporated the eggs, stirring too much, thus taking the air out of the whites or used regular flour instead of cake or over-baked it. Those are my thoughts – I do so appreciate you coming back here and letting me know! ~Mary

  20. May 17, 2010 7:33 am

    Thanks for sharing this recipe on line!
    Made this last night and also had the dense problem! I was sick about it and started reading all the recipes I could find with cornmeal, and then reread the original recipe agein twice, only to find I skipped over the line which I do not see here in the posted recipe, and is as follows:
    Chop 1/2 cup of the pecans and set aside for decoration. I had used the whole 3/4 of a cup inside my cake last night.
    Also from past experience egg to whites whipped too stiff can cause a poor end result. I added a pinch of cream of tarter help whip mine.

    • foododelmundo permalink
      May 17, 2010 8:02 am

      good morning Elyse – yes, I skipped that part because I love pecans and put them ALL in my cake – both times. I think next time I’ll even throw in a full cup – YUM! I try hard not to copy recipes verbatim, and give the reader what I actually did in the kitchen to get the final product. I think/hope I avoid any copy-right issues that way.
      If I recall, my dense problem was from under-whipping too many whites all at once – the second time was the charm. Which seems to be the case more often than not with her cakes. But as I progress and get to know her style and quirks a little better I’ve had more luck (Sky High Chai).
      Thanks for the Cream of Tartar tip – I’ll use it for the next go-around.

      I do hope you’ll try it again – the flavor was subtle, different and truly one of my favorite Sky High cakes thus far.

  21. May 19, 2010 4:21 pm

    Thanks trying again this weekend!

    • foododelmundo permalink
      May 19, 2010 9:28 pm

      You GO GIRL!
      That’s the spirit!!!!

  22. May 27, 2010 3:45 pm

    So glad I tried again – great flavor and texture!

    • foododelmundo permalink
      May 27, 2010 5:00 pm

      WOO-HOO!!! I am too and even more excited that you came back to let me know!

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