This Vanilla Cornbread Cake is the perfect balance between cornbread and cake. A little sweet, a little crumbly, ideal for the dessert table or even brunch. Roasted strawberries and coconut whipped cream take it over the top!
Beautiful. Inspiring. Fresh. Seasonal. Creative. Mouthwatering.
These are just some of the words that come to mind when flipping through Laura Wright’s cookbook, The First Mess, Vibrant Plant Based Recipes to Eat Well Through the Seasons.
It’s truly one of the most beautiful cookbooks I’ve seen. And every recipe makes me want to run to the kitchen and make it right now! Trust me, you’re going to feel the same.
Today, I’m sharing one of the recipes you’ll find in there – this yummy Vanilla Corn Cake w/ Roasted Strawberries.
Ingredients you need
Flour ~ Spelt flour is a type of whole wheat flour that produces a tender, light crumb with soft texture. Whole wheat flour may be used instead.
Spelt is not suitable for those with Celiac’s disease or a gluten allergy. If you need a gluten-free substitute, try certified gluten-free oat flour or a gluten-free baking mix meant to replace wheat flour at a 1:1 ratio.
Cornmeal ~ You can’t have cornbread cake without cornmeal. Use a fine ground cornmeal for best results.
Sweetener ~ Pure maple syrup is the perfect sweetener for this cornbread cake.
Milk ~ Coconut milk lends a richness with its healthy fats that will keep this cake super moist. Use a full-fat coconut milk; you won’t taste any coconut flavor in the finished cake.
A squeeze of lemon juice in the milk will create a vegan buttermilk mixture.
Turmeric ~ This amps up the golden color of the yellow cornmeal, but does not affect the flavor of the cake. It’s optional.
Vanilla ~ Pure vanilla extra or vanilla paste brings warmth and sweetness and the perfect complementary flavor to the sweet corn cake.
Toppings ~ You could absolutely eat this sweet cornbread cake on its own, but topping it off with jammy roasted strawberries and dairy-free coconut whipped cream makes this into a dessert fit for holidays and dinner parties, too.
Not feeling the roasted strawberries? Any fresh berries would work, roasted or not. Sliced peaches would be great, too.
How to make the recipe
Whisk together the milk and lemon juice and set aside.
Add all the dry ingredients to a bowl and whisk well to combine.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients, including the milk/lemon juice mixture.
Whisk the batter until it just comes together and not white flour is visible.
Line a round cake pan with a circle of parchment.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Slice the strawberries in half (or in quarters if they’re on the larger side).
Spread them into one even layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake until they are soft and saucy.
How to serve
This dessert tastes great warm or at room temperature.
Serve up slices of this sweet cornbread cake with a dollop of whipped coconut cream or store-bought dairy-free whipped topping and a spoonful of the roasted strawberries.
This would be the perfect dessert for a vegan Thanksgiving.
Storage and freezing
Fridge: Cool the cake completely and store leftovers separately from the strawberries in air-tight containers in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
Freezer: Let the cake cool completely. Wrap it in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then transfer to a freezer-safe plastic bag. You can freeze individual slices or the entire cake. It should keep well up to 3 months.
Thaw: Thaw from frozen in the fridge overnight.
Reheat: Thaw and then reheat in a 350° oven for a few minutes or reheat slices in a toaster oven or microwave.
Cornbread is a type of quick bread, which is a bread that rises quickly in the oven without the use of yeast. Sweet cornbread recipes more closely resemble cake, but generally still contain more cornmeal than flour. This particular cornbread cake, however, features the same amount of flour and cornmeal and meant to be a dessert, not a side dish.
Johnny cakes, or hoecakes, have similar ingredients as cornbread, but are thin like pancakes and fried up in a skillet. Johnny cakes are neither cornbread, nor cornbread cake.
Don’t forget to pick up your copy of The First Mess Cookbook online or anywhere books are sold.
More vegan recipes featuring cornmeal
- Vegan Pumpkin Cornbread
- Vegan Jalapeño Cornbread
- Savory Vegan Waffles
- Blueberry Lemon Cornmeal Muffins
- Sloppy Joe Cornbread Casserole
- Zucchini Amaranth Patties
- Crispy Vegan Cauliflower Tacos
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you tried it, please use the rating system in the recipe card and leave a comment below with your feedback.
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For even more easy family recipes, be sure to check out my cookbook, The Meatless Monday Family Cookbook!
Vanilla Cornbread Cake with Roasted Strawberries
- ¾ cup (175 mL) full-fat coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon (5mL) fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup (250 mL) cornmeal, not coarse
- 1 cup (250 mL) whole spelt flour
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) aluminum-free baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon (1 mL) baking soda
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon (2 mL) ground turmeric, optional
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons (125 mL + 30 mL) pure maple syrup
- ½ cup (125 mL) sunflower oil, plus extra to grease pan
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) vanilla bean paste, or pure vanilla extract
- 4 cups (1 L) whole strawberries, roughly 1 quart; smaller berries are preferred
- Whipped Coconut Cream, for serving (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly grease a 9-inch (23 cm) round cake pan with sunflower oil. Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit in the bottom of the pan and press it in. Lightly grease the parchment, and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut milk and lemon juice. Let this mixture sit for 5 minutes so that the milk can curdle slightly.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, spelt flour, lemon zest, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, and turmeric, if using.
- Make a well in the center of the cornmeal mixture. Add the maple syrup, sunflower oil, vanilla, and coconut milk mixture. With a spatula, gently mix until you have a smooth and unified batter. Avoid overmixing.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan and slide the pan into the oven. Bake the cake for 25 to 28 minutes or until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely. Raise the oven temperature to 400°F (200°C).
- Cut the strawberries into halves or quarters (depending on size), and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Slide the baking sheet into the oven and roast the strawberries until they become juicy and jammy, about 20 minutes.
- Serve slices of the corn cake with a few roasted strawberries and some Whipped Coconut Cream, if you like.