Somehow I’ve gone all summer without making a recipe using fresh sweet corn. And that is a travesty. To be fair, it’s been a strange summer with foot surgery laying me up the last six weeks (and thereby no baking), but my corn-less summer can’t stand. So when I got an email from Bill Clark about his sweet corn cake, I was intrigued.
This recipe was from his A Piece of Cake newsletter #36, but Clark recommends—and in fact it’s the main reason for the recipe, I think—a Crisco and Country Time lemonade powder frosting. I don’t keep Crisco on hand (or lemonade powder), and it didn’t feel up my alley as much.
I’m really not a frosting person in general, and “grease icing” doesn’t make me go MMMM! But I liked the idea of some tart lemon (citric acid) to play a balancing role between the rich, moist, lightly sweet corn flavor, so whipped up a super easy lemon glaze.
I also made one other big change to the original recipe, subbing in oil for half of the butter. I don’t tend to favor butter cakes as much, as they’re denser and drier, and in this case I was really craving a moist, lightly sweet cake that would be an afternoon snack with a cup of tea.
While the recipe already called for a tiny bit of oil, I wanted to up that quite a bit, but still maintain some butter for flavor. The result is a perfect balance of flavorful and moist, with the subtle sweetness of the fresh corn shining through.
I was tempted to add an herbal note to either the batter or a bit to the lemon glaze, such as a little basil, rosemary, thyme, or tarragon. I ended up deciding not to mess with the recipe more in my first time making it, but would definitely play around with that in the glaze the next time.