Recipe: Lemon Cornmeal Cake From the Kitchen Window column

Lemon Cornmeal Cake

This cake is simple to make and utterly delicious. Light and fluffy from the butter, not too sweet and redolent of lemons, it's the perfect finish to serve at a winter lunch party — with a generous helping of whipped cream and perhaps a spoonful of fruit compote — or with a cup of tea anytime.

Nicole Spiridakis for NPR
 Lemon Cornmeal Cake
Nicole Spiridakis for NPR

Makes 12 servings

1 cup (gluten-free) cornmeal

1/2 cup ground almonds (about 2/3 cup whole almonds ground to a meal in a food processor)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

2 tablespoons finely grated lemon peel

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons coarse sugar, such as turbinado or organic sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter a 9-inch cake pan with 2-inch-high sides (I used a springform cake pan). Dust pan with cornmeal, tapping out excess.

Sift cornmeal, ground almonds, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth and fluffy. Beat in lemon peel. Gradually add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, occasionally scraping sides of bowl. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in sour cream, lemon juice and vanilla. Fold in dry ingredients in three additions until just incorporated.

Transfer batter to pan and smooth top. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pan on rack 10 minutes. Run knife around pan sides to loosen. Turn cake out onto plate, then turn onto a rack, coarse sugar side up. Cool completely.