Happy Monday, friends! I’ve got a recipe from my cookbook to share with you today: Cornbread Cake with Maple-Bourbon Frosting! Oh yes. Cornbread, but like a cake. With bourbon. It’s as good as it sounds.
The idea for this cake was born from my southern-self’s love of cornbread paired with sweet things. Like honey or maple syrup. Obviously I went with the latter here and also added a splash of bourbon. For fun! Because why not? I think this cake would be so perfect for Thanksgiving, but also just like…anytime you want it. 😉
the cake layers
So, I know you’re wondering… are the cake layers really cornbread!? Well, they’re not straight up cornbread. We’re using a combination of cornmeal and all-purpose flour here so the cornbread is a little softer and more cake-like. Also, most Southerners will tell you that cornbread does not have sugar in it. This has sugar and maple syrup. (And bourbon brushed over the tops.) So not your average cornbread, but that’s okay. It’s definitely tweaked to be more like a dessert.
Bourbon time! This frosting is flavored with maple extract and some bourbon that’s been reduced. We do this to take away some of the liquid while also maximizing the bourbon flavor. This way we can add the flavor we want without having to add tons of liquid, which would mess up the texture of the frosting. You can reduce the bourbon a day in advance and store it in an air-tight container, just to make things easier the day of assembly.
And that’s the down low on this Cornbread Cake with Maple-Bourbon Frosting, friends! I’ve also got this other one-layer cornbread cake with honey whipped cream and lots of fruits if you’re interested!
Cornbread Cake with Maple Bourbon Frosting
- 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup self-rising cornmeal
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup vegetable or canola oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups milk
- ¼ cup bourbon
- ½ cup bourbon
- 1 cup butter softened
- 1 cup vegetable shortening
- 2 tsp maple extract OR 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 6 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F and spray two 8-inch cake pans with cooking spray. Line the bottoms with parchment paper and spray again.
- Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a separate bowl, combine sugar, maple syrup, eggs, cornmeal, and vanilla. Mix on medium speed with an electric mixer until well blended. Add half of flour mixture and half of milk. Mix well. Repeat with remaining flour mixture and milk.
- Divide batter evenly between cake pans. Bake 25-27 minutes, or until golden brown and set in the center. Let cakes cool in pans 10-15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Brush bourbon over tops of cake layers.
- To make the frosting, heat bourbon in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer. Let bourbon cook until reduced by half and measures ¼ cup. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
- Cream butter on medium-high speed with an electric mixer. Add shortening and mix until well blended. Add maple extract, ¼ cup reduced bourbon, and half of powdered sugar. Mix on low speed until mostly combined, then medium-high speed until completely combined. Repeat with second half of powdered sugar.
- To assemble, spread frosting between cake layers and then all over cake. Decorate with a drizzle of maple syrup if desired.
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