Vanilla Corn Cake w/ Roasted Strawberries – It’s the perfect balance between cornbread and cake. A little sweet, a little crumbly, ideal for the dessert table or even brunch. The roasted strawberries and coconut whipped cream are the most delicious toppings!
Beautiful. Inspiring. Fresh. Seasonal. Creative. Mouthwatering. These are just some of the words that come to mind when flipping through Laura Wright’s new 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 bringing you a full review of this gorgeous cookbook and sharing one of the recipes you’ll find in there – this yummy Vanilla Corn Cake w/ Roasted Strawberries. I’ll also be giving away one copy of the cookbook to a lucky reader so be sure to read all the way to the bottom and follow the instructions to enter.
Not only does Laura’s photography draw you in, so does her writing. Her style is approachable and cozy. She makes you want to be in her world.
Laura explains how she first connected with food growing up on her family’s farm, picking berries, and selling the produce at the farmer’s market. She studied environmental ethics at a university which led to her decision to go vegan. She later studied culinary arts and went on to work for a farm-to-table chef when that term wasn’t even trendy. At the urging of friends, Laura started her blog, The First Mess.
Her blog highlights healthy plant based food that’s easy, yet creative, and always delicious.
The First Mess Cookbook
The recipes in this cookbook are simple and satisfying, just like the recipes on Laura’s blog. You’ll find over 100 new vegan recipes, all with a seasonal spin. Most of the recipes are easy enough for weekday cooking, but also unique enough for entertaining.
Let’s take a look inside:
Mornings and Breakfasts – Cookies for Breakfast; Fluffiest Multigrain Pancakes; Red Flannel Beet Hash w/ Dill; Toasty French Toast Bake
Soups and Stews – Weeknight Root Vegetable Dal; Creamy Jalapeño Corn Chowder; Tofu Noodle Soup w/ Coconut Lemongrass Broth; Chipotle Pumpkin Chili w/ Tempeh and Beer
Salads and Dressings – Go-To Kale Salad w/ “Master Cleanse” Dressing; Sesame Cucumber Noodles w/ Melon and Avocado; Meyer Lemon Romanesco Glow Salad; Warm Balsamic Mushroom Salad w/ Pine Nut Parmesan
Hearty Mains and Big Plates – Butternut and Pesto Cream Lasagna; Eggplant “Bolognese” Pasta; Creamy Harissa Lentils w/ Cauliflower Rice; Burrito-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes w/ Rustic Salsa
Vegetables and a Couple of Grains – Crispy Salt and Vinegar Potatoes w/ Lemon Garlic “Aioli’; Fennel and Cherry Tomato Gratin; Garlicky Winter Vegetable and White Bean Mash; Roasted Carrots w/ Ginger Maple Cream
Energizing Drinks and Small Bites – Salted Caramel Date Shake; Hot-Pink Protein Smoothie; Seedy Sesame Granola Bars w/ Chocolate; Homemade Popcorn w/ Magic Dust
Desserts and Small Treats – Stone Fruit Pecan Crumble; Fudgy Nut and Seed Butter Brownies; Blueberry Muffin Loaf; Dreamy Lemon Curd
There are also chapters for Stocking your Pantry (which includes sections on Healthy Fats and Oils, Acidity, Natural Sweeteners, Protein, Whole Grains, Baking Necessities, and Flavor Savors) and Kitchen Equipment (which are broken down into categories by Necessary, Nice to Have, and Deluxe Commitment).
Vanilla Corn Cake
It was a hard decision to choose which recipe to share with you guys today. They all look so amazing and I knew you would love any of them. But since I love my cornbread on the sweet side, this Vanilla Corn Cake really stood out to me. It’s just sweet enough and has that wonderful crumbly texture you expect from cornbread. It’s great straight from the pan even with no toppings at all. Perfect for brunch, with tea or coffee, or of course as dessert just as it’s intended.
This sweet corn cake would be delicious with fresh fruit, but you really have to try these roasted strawberries! Roasting them makes them even sweeter (with NO added sugar or sweeteners!) and juicier. Try the roasted strawberries over a little dairy free vanilla ice cream too – so good!
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 Corn Cake w/ Roasted Strawberries from The First Mess Cookbook
- ¾ cup (175 mL) full-fat coconut milk
- 1 tsp (5mL) fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup (250 mL) cornmeal, not coarse
- 1 cup (250 mL) whole spelt flour
- 1 tsp (5 mL) lemon zest
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) aluminum-free baking powder
- ¼ tsp (1 mL) baking soda
- 1 tsp (5 mL) fine sea salt
- ½ tsp (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 tsp (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, (page 271), 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 (page 271) if you like.