Corn Cake made from corn muffin mix

I didn’t grow up a Southerner. I grew up in Massachusetts. Up there we only had one kind of cornbread…the sweet kind made from a box mix, usually Jiffy. Now that I’m a chef in the Mid-Atlantic (I have trouble referring to Maryland as “the South”), I often get caught up in the discussion/debate that corn bread isn’t supposed to be sweet. A lot of chefs that I admire will tell you that once you add sugar, its cake. I don’t really want to continue that discussion, so let’s start a new one.

Why don’t we just make Corn Cake? Not the kind like hoecakes, but a true corn cake. I say, go all in. I started with boxed corn muffin mix, and adjusted the liquids. I added Monin’s Orgeat (almond) syrup and vanilla paste. The mix was put into individual rectangle pans and baked like any other cake or muffin. Upon cooling they were frosted with a traditional vanilla buttercream and topped with an apricot/amaretto topping and toasted almonds.

This was a very good start. Ideally, I don’t want to bake them as individual cakes, but as layer cakes. This was more of an off-the-cuff test. Un-iced, they sort of look like the corn bread at Boston Market.

Corn Cake made from corn muffin mix

The combination worked really well. If you noticed, I’ve been working with apricots a lot lately, mostly because we picked up a couple of cases and still have a few kicking around. This could easily be my cake of summer. I also see myself throwing a slice on the grill and topping it with blueberries (and maybe Drambuie). Have you ever had a corn cake?

Corn Cake made from corn muffin mix

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Chris Spear

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