Strawberry Corn Flake Cake
For the cake:
1 ⅓ c
(166g) all-purpose flour
(35g) medium-grind cornmeal
1 ½ tsp
Diamond Crystal kosher salt
(10 tablespoons, 140g) unsalted butter, room temperature
(200g) granulated sugar
eggs, room temperature
(155g) buttermilk, room temperature
(285g) fresh strawberries, hulled and halved, or quartered if especially large
Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
For the corn flake topping:
1 ½ c
(45g) corn flakes
Large pinch of Diamond Crystal kosher salt
Strawberry Corn Flake Cake
This cake is the perfect way to take advantage of strawberry season, and a crispy, brown-butter corn flake crunchy topping makes it the ultimate breakfast cake. You may find it difficult to save all the upgraded salty-sweet cornflakes for the cake. Pro tip: Make a double batch of the topping, and eat the rest with a splash of milk and a spoon.
- Make the corn flake topping: Add the corn flakes to a medium-size mixing bowl and use your hands to break the cereal down into slightly smaller pieces (but not so much that the corn flakes turn to crumbs). Add the butter to a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, stir it occasionally using a rubber spatula until it is lightly browned. Add the sugar and salt and stir to combine. Let cool slightly before pouring the butter mixture over the corn flakes. Toss with your hands or use a spoon to mix—ensuring that all the corn flakes are lightly coated in the butter mixture. Set aside.
- Make the cake batter: Heat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9-inch round or 8-inch square cake pan and press a large piece of parchment paper into the pan so that the edges of the paper come up the sides. You want enough excess paper to be able to pull the cake out of the pan after baking it.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Whisk briefly to combine. Set aside.
- Add the butter and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer (a large mixing bowl and hand mixer may also be used). Use the paddle attachment and mix on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition.
- Add half the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined. Add all the buttermilk, and mix again on low speed until just combined, followed by the rest of the dry ingredients. Be careful not to overmix the batter! When the remaining dry ingredients are just combined, stop the machine and give the batter a few folds with a spatula to make sure everything is fully incorporated.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Place strawberry halves all over the surface of the cake, but don’t press them into the batter, allowing them to rest on top. Sprinkle the corn flake mixture evenly on top and then place the cake on the center rack of the oven. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the cake is lightly springy and a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Let cool completely before dusting with powdered sugar and serving. Store leftover cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days (the corn flake topping will lose its crunch over time.)
Zola Gregory is a writer and recipe developer based in Seattle. Having previously worked as a pastry chef and baker, she now enjoys helping others find success in their own kitchens through her stories, recipes, and baking classes.