Cornmeal Butter Cake

This super moist and flavorful cornmeal butter cake is absolutely delightful! Made with browned butter and raw pecans, it’s fantastic served with whipped cream or ice cream. Vegetarian.

A slice of Cornmeal Butter Cake on a green plate with whipped cream.

Note: This recipe is NOT dairy free. It was published before Cook Nourish Bliss transitioned to dairy free recipes and remains popular with long time readers. You can try using substitutions to make it dairy free, however I have not tested this myself and can’t say how it will turn out.

I feel like this cake and I were meant to be.  

We’ve been slowly trying some of the local restaurants in our new area and hands down my favorite so far has been Watts Grocery.  With local, seasonal items always on the menu, it’s quite frankly, pretty darn awesome.

I was in the mood for dessert last week and starting browsing recipes online, when I came across this cornmeal butter cake.  

And about died when I saw where the recipe originated.  Watts Grocery.  

Yep, I may have ordered this cake from their dessert menu several times – partly to the dismay of my husband since I constantly refuse to let us try anything else.

Needless to say, this was made almost immediately in my kitchen.

Two slices of Cornmeal Cake on colorful plates.

Let me just say that you’re definitely going to want to try this soon.  

I feel like I can’t even do it justice attempting to describe it.  It’s made with browned butter and pecans, and is so moist.

Word of warning though – there is a 3 hour wait time in the recipe to help the cornmeal soften, so please be sure to plan ahead!

My favorite way to eat this gem of a cake?  With a scoop of caramel ice cream just like at the restaurant.  

Two slices of Cornmeal Butter Cake with whipped cream and strawberries.

Additional Cake Recipes You Might Enjoy:

Did you make this recipe? Rate and review it down below! I’d love to hear from you.

Cornmeal Butter Cake | Cookie Monster Cooking

Cornmeal Butter Cake

Yield: 1 (9-inch) cake
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Additional Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 50 minutes

This super moist and flavorful cornmeal butter cake is absolutely delightful! Made with browned butter and raw pecans, it’s fantastic served with whipped cream or ice cream. Vegetarian. 


For the cake:

  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup raw pecans
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 7 tablespoons white or yellow cornmeal
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Serving ideas:

  • caramel ice cream
  • fresh whipped cream
  • berries or sliced peaches


  1. Set a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the butter to the pan. Let the butter melt and then continue to cook, whisking frequently, until it begins to brown (this takes several minutes). You should see brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Once you see those bits, turn off the heat and continue to whisk constantly for about 30 seconds, until the butter is golden brown. Be careful not to burn the butter - those bits can turn black quickly. Set the pan aside to cool.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, add the pecans, confectioners’ sugar and granulated sugar. Pulse until the mixture is powdery. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cornmeal and salt. Add the pecan mixture to the bowl and whisk to combine.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg whites and vanilla. Add this mixture as well as the browned butter to the bowl with the flour and mix until incorporated.
  4. Cover the bowl loosely and then refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to overnight.
  5. Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Generously butter the sides of a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper (be sure to use parchment paper and not just grease the bottom) and then place the pan on a baking sheet.
  6. Spoon the chilled batter into the prepared pan. Use a spatula to smooth in the pan.
  7. Bake for about 25 to 27 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool for about 15 to 20 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely (be very careful when removing from the pan).
  8. Slice and serve with a scoop of ice cream or fresh whipped cream. Top with berries or sliced peaches if desired.


Please keep in mind that this recipe requires the batter to sit for at least 3 hours before baking. Plan accordingly!

Barely adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 216Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 127mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 1gSugar: 14gProtein: 3g

Nutrition data shown is an estimate provided by an online calculator and is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a substitute for a medical professional’s advice.