Ask any Southerner, and they'll have an opinion on what makes the perfect cornbread. As most folks can agree, however, sugar doesn't have a place in the traditional skillet recipe. This cornbread cake, which can be found at Angeline New Orleans under Chef Alex Harrell, gives a humorous nod to the classic, titled "Sweet Cornbread Is Cake." Made with leftover dried and crumbled cornbread, this Southern dessert is a fluffy cake ready for company when paired with fresh whipped cream and sliced strawberries. One unexpected ingredient that takes this sweet cornbread cake to the next level is orange blossom water. This scented water is made by infusing fresh orange blossoms in distilled water, which gives a trace of floral to the dessert. Although we don't often have leftover cornbread, this fluffy twist is soft and sweet enough to serve at a ladies luncheon – but we wouldn't blame you if you wanted to crumble it in some milk for breakfast.
1 10" cake of leftover cornbread
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup of the cornbread "flour"
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons orange blossom water
2 tablespoons cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons whipped cream
How to Make It
For the cornbread flour: Preheat oven to 200˚F. Finely crumble the cornbread. Spread across a sheet pan and bake until dry, approximately 45 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
For the cake: Reset oven and preheat to 375˚F. Add dried cornbread crumbs to food processor. Grind into flour.
In a large mixing bowl, add the butter and sugar. Beat until it makes a cream. In another large bowl, add ¼ cup cornbread flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix until evenly distributed. In a third mixing bowl, add orange blossom water, cream, and vanilla.
Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients to the melted butter and sugar, adding slowly and carefully folding until all is incorporated. Add batter to a greased cake pan and cook until golden brown and set in the middle, approximately 40 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Serve with whipped cream and strawberries.