Rachel Portnoy

Anson Mills Cornmeal, Einkorn & Cranberry Cakes

This recipe has very good origins:  Pierre Herme & Dorie Greenspan, two of the world’s greatest bakers.  Dorie says it’s “hip” to use olive oil & cornmeal in a cake; I say it’s even “hipper” to use Einkorn flour instead of all-purpose flour, too.  I’m even taking it a step further these days, and milling the Einkorn in my new, beautiful grain mill.  Then I went beyond and called Anson Mills in North Carolina to get their beautiful, milled-to-order cornflour.  Our photographer, Greg Nesbit, is luckily just as wacky as I am, because I made him take a picture of the flours, I think that they’re so beautiful.  What do you think?

Cormeal, Einkorn & Cranberry Cakes

You don’t have to go and buy a mill or order your cornmeal online (unless you’re crazy, like me).  These cakes are luscious, melt-in-your-mouth fabulous any which way you choose to make them.  Of course, we live for great ingredients, but a great recipe will take you far.  I love Cranberry with orange, but I can’t wait for summer to make these with Blueberry and Lime or Raspberry & Lemon.

1 1/4 c fine cornmeal

2/3 c flour (I used Einkorn flour, but all-purpose is fine)

1/4 c cornstarch

1 1/2 t baking powder

1/2 t salt

1 c sugar

zest & juice 1 orange

4 eggs

1 t vanilla

7 T butter, melted

1/3 c olive oil

1 c cranberries, chopped


1/2 c confections sugar mixed with juice & zest 1 orange

Prepare pans:  this recipe makes either 4 5X3 inchi mini loaf pans or two 8 inch rounds, or 10 individual cakes.  All should be greased and lined with parchment on the bottom.  Heat oven to 350F (325 convection)

In a stand mixer with the whisk, or a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs, sugar and zest until tripled in volume.  The mix will be pale and thick.  Whisk together all dry ingredients. Slow down the mixing and add vanilla and juice, then the dry ingredients.  Add butter and oil in a steady stream while mixing.  Finally, fold in the fruit. Transfer batter to the baking pans and bake until golden and a tester comes out clean (loaves, about 30 mins, small cakes, about 14, and large cakes about 24).  While warm, prick cakes with a toothpick and brush over with the glaze.  Allow to cool slightly, then unmold onto cooling racks and cool completely.


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