I’ll be honest with you friends, this cake was born out of my own laziness. A couple weeks ago I desperately wanted a cake, but I only had enough butter in the cupboard for frosting and not for the cake itself. Having no desire to leave my home on the weekend and waltz into the blistering LA heat, I decided to try making an olive oil-based cake. So, I started thinking about the flavors that go well with olive oil and that compliment sweetness, and that’s when I thought of rosemary. And since I’d been daydreaming about making a rosemary cornbread lately (like ya do), I decided to incorporate a bit of corn meal into the cake as well for a nice crumbly texture.
From there I started thinking about things that go well with cornbread, which brought me to honey, and then I started to think about things that go well with all other things, and that brought me to brown butter. So, I decided to make some brown butter with the butter I had left, then pour it into a plastic-wrap lined bowl and refrigerate it until it firmed back up again and use that as the base for the buttercream. I incorporated honey into the buttercream instead of milk, which made for a slightly firmer buttercream but an ever-so-tasty one, too. Especiallllly with the cornbread-y cake.
To me, this cake tastes like the end of summer. Sweet crumbly corn, fresh herbs, rich honey, and brown butter all wrap you up in a very August-like hug. It’s like you’re saying goodbye to all the things you cherished over the past few months in the best tribute possible. So bake it up, take a slice out on the patio, breathe in that soft herbal air, and enjoy the warm summer nights while they last. You may have to share your treat with the bees, though, as I’ve found them to be quite fond of it, too! It truly is the bees’ knees.
Also! A few updates, I did a guest post a couple weeks back for Countlan about the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena. You can take a look at it here, if you’re ever in the Southern California area on the second Sunday of the month, you *need* to go there. The furniture and dinnerware you’ll find is completely unique and the prices are awesome. I, for example, came across a vintage 1940’s style gas oven in pristine condition (still working!!!) and the guy was asking $300 for it including delivery. It was so, so hard for me not to buy it right then and there and store it in my garage until I actually have a real house to put it in. But I didn’t have $300 in cash on me, so it made it easier to abstain. Sooooo yes, a ton of neat things there!! I was also featured in Sister Mag’s July Issue under their popsicles round-up (the magazine is in German and English, so select the tab at the bottom right for your language). I was very excited to be included, and became even more excited as I was flipping through all the other delicious popsicle recipes in the feature.
I have some more collaborations I’ve been working on, as well, and will share those when they’re released out into the world. In the meantime, please, please make this cake. It is entirely unique in its flavor and texture and is a true treat for the palate!
Rosemary Corn Cake
Remove it from the heat and allow it to cool slightly before pouring it into a small bowl lined with plastic wrap. Place it in the refrigerator to harden. Now, you have two options. You could keep poking at the butter while it’s in the fridge until it feels firm but still soft enough to be made into a buttercream, or, rather than continually poking at the butter, just refrigerate it until it’s hard, then take it out and leave it at room temperature until it’s softened a bit.
While the brown butter is in the fridge, you can start making the cake. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix together the flour, corn meal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl until well blended. Set aside. In an electric mixer fit with a paddle attachment, beat together the eggs and sugar at medium speed until thick, about 1 minute. Add the olive oil, cider, and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Add the flour mixture to the batter in thirds until completely incorporated, then stir in the rosemary. Evenly distribute the batter between 3 well-greased and lightly-floured 8-inch cake pans. Place the pans in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the tops of the cakes turn golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the pans and place on a wire rack to cool.
While the cakes are cooling, you can finish preparing the buttercream. Beat together the softened brown butter, powdered sugar, and honey until a smooth buttercream forms. It is okay if there’s little burnt brown butter bits in it, because these little guys taste amazing and add a pretty speckled coloring to the frosting. Once blended, set aside. When the cakes are finished cooling, you can layer and frost them with the buttercream and serve.