Lemon Cornmeal Cake

Lemon Cornmeal Cake Serving

When it comes to dessert, I love lemon just as much as any chocolate torte or cake. Even though it’s typically a Summer flavor, I think it’s great to end a heavy Winter meal on a light and refreshing note.

Cornmeal is one of my favorite underrated gluten-free flours. It’s made to use polenta and corn tortillas all the time but hardly ever makes it into desserts. The texture is certainly more coarse than your typical flour but it has a charming rusticness to it.

Lemon Cornmeal Cake Sliced

Make sure to find a finely ground cornmeal rather than a coarse one. The cake will bake either way but the coarse cornmeal will have a tougher texture to it once baked.

Lemon Cornmeal Cake

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes


  • 1 1/2 cups finely ground cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup milk, divided
  • 1/2 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon lemon extract, divided
  • 1/2 Tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Lemon Cornmeal Cake Bare


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, sugar, cornstarch and baking soda until mixed.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, 6 1/2 Tablespoons of milk, 1/2 Tablespoon of lemon extract and the lemon zest.
  4. Mix the dry and wet ingredients and whisk well.
  5. Grease an 8-inch cake pan on all sides.
  6. Pour the batter into the cake pan. Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until the top is browning and the center is cooked.
  7. Remove from the oven and let the cake cool.
  8. After the cake is cooled, make the icing by mixing the powdered sugar with the extra milk and lemon extract until it’s smooth and runny. If you need to, add 1/2 – 1 extra Tablespoon of milk to get it to the right consistency.
  9. Drizzle the icing on top of the cake before slicing and serve.

Lemon Cornmeal Cake

An icing is an easy and light way to frost this but you could also make a lemon or vanilla buttercream for something richer.





Print Friendly
8 Responses to Lemon Cornmeal Cake
  1. The Candid RD (Gina)
    January 13, 2013 | 9:22 am

    This sounds fantastic, Evan! The combination of cornmeal and lemon is not one I’ve had before, but it sounds fabulous.

  2. Hannah
    January 13, 2013 | 6:27 pm

    This is the greatest of all the things. Lemon desserts far beat chocolate desserts in my book, and I have always adored cornmeal. I’ll have a slice, please.

  3. Link Love « Hy-vee Health State of Mind
    January 18, 2013 | 3:06 pm

    […] Corn.  Sweet, sweet corn. mmmmm […]

  4. Nora
    January 19, 2015 | 12:47 pm

    Just curious…..why use lemon extract vs fresh lemon juice?

    • Wannabe Chef
      February 9, 2015 | 10:09 pm

      Hey Nora, I just find that the extract has a stronger flavor for the whole cake.

  5. Marcella
    April 6, 2015 | 9:05 am

    I’m gluten free and really looked forward to this cake. But it came out very bitter…maybe because of the tablespoon baking soda in it? No one could eat it 🙁 any suggestions?

    • Wannabe Chef
      April 26, 2015 | 11:02 pm

      So sorry about that. It’s been a couple years since I made this myself but I do imagine that was a typo and supposed to have been 1 teaspoon. My apologies.

  6. marcella
    April 17, 2015 | 1:27 pm

    I’m sure you meant to use one teaspoon of baking soda, not one tablespoon! I made to recipe and it came out looking lovely but with the strong metalic taste of too much baking soda.