orange honey corn cake

Cake suitable for breakfast.

Or a snack.

Or a simple dessert.

Cake with a little orange zip!

By now, I’m sure you have all caught wind of the romantic feelings I have for cornbread.  I could go on for days about it.  While I realize there are some very strict opinions and methods to making cornbread—no sweetness, a little sweetness, with corn, no corn, etc.—I truly believe the options are endless.  I’ve tried combinations like blueberries + cornbread, bananas + cornbread, and pumpkin + cornbread, just to name a few.  All delicious in their own cornbready way.

But this.  This opens the door to a whole new world of possibilities.

It’s much lighter and fluffier.

It’s corn CAKE!

Thanks to talented Erin, from Naturally Ella, for inspiring this idea. I adapted my go-to cornbread recipe and cornbread doughnut recipe to come up with a gluten-free corn cake studded with orange zest and lightly sweetened with honey. The almond meal is key in the to the soft texture of this cake.

The first trial included a small amount of sweet rice flour but it ended up weighing the cake down.  It was still more than edible, but I was looking for something a bit fluffier.  In the second trial I took out the sweet rice flour, added a bit more almond meal, and increased the applesauce to help lend a more cake-like texture. 

After two trials the recipe was exactly what I hoped for.

Print this!

Orange Honey Corn Cake

gluten-free, dairy-free // yields one 9x9 pan

inspired by naturally ella’s blueberry maple corn cake, adapted from my cornbread doughnuts

  • 1/2 cup masa harina
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free oat flour
  • 6 tablespoons almond meal
  • 1/4 cup medium/fine grain cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/3 cup orange juice [fresh squeezed or no sugar added]
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 + 1 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil, melted
  1. Preheat your oven to 350* F.
  2. Stir the masa harina, oat flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk the eggs then whisk in the milk, orange juice, applesauce, and zest.
  4. In a small bowl whisk the honey and melted coconut oil together until fully combined.
  5. Vigorously whisk the honey mixture into the egg mixture until fully combined.
  6. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir with a large spoon until just combined.  Avoid over stirring.
  7. Let the batter sit for 5 minutes to thicken.
  8. Thoroughly grease all sides of a 9x9 pan with 1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil.  There will be excess left on the bottom, which you want.
  9. Pour the batter into the pan and spread evenly, then place in the oven for 24-28 minutes until a toothpick comes out fairly clean but with a few small bits of cake attached [not gooey/wet].  The center should spring back when lightly touched and the edges will be golden brown.
  10. Let cool for 10 minutes then slice with a knife and serve plain or with a drizzle of coconut oil and/or honey.

notes:  It’s best to let the eggs, milk, juice, and applesauce sit on the counter for about 30 minutes for easier combining of the coconut oil and applesauce.  You want the coconut oil melted and warm but not hot.  Feel free to use an 8x8 pan or a 8-9” circular pan.  The 8” pans will have a slightly longer bake time.  Altitude around 5,000’ set your oven to 370* and decrease baking powder by 1/4-1/2 teaspoon.

Why hello there, favorite new breakfast.  I cannot wait to enjoy you tomorrow morning.


psst! New post over on the photography blog!  Melissa + Jeff, engaged!