Cornbread Cake with Blackberry Compote and Mascarpone Whipped Cream

Inspired by ABC Kitchen in New York City, my new Cornbread Cake is paired with blackberry compote and mascarpone whipped cream. The texture and flavors of this cake will wow you and having you going back for seconds and thirds!

Cornbread Cake on a metal cake stand with berries.

The Most Delicious Cornbread Cake Recipe

I’ve had a cornbread cake on my mind for a while now, but we can thank my friends Rena and Gary for pushing this one to the top of my to-do list. On a recent trip to New York, my friends dined at one of my favorite restaurants – ABC Kitchen. During their meal, I received a text with a picture of their dessert. It was a small round blackberry cornbread cake with homemade vanilla ice cream. It looked divine! Along with the picture, they said, “You have to make a cake like this!”

Having been to ABC Kitchen a few years ago, I knew they weren’t exaggerating when they said it was one of the best desserts they’ve ever had. In fact, my Olive Oil Ricotta Cake was inspired by one of their appetizers! And to this day, that cake is one of my absolute favorites!

Top view of a cornbread cake with berries on it.

Their description of the cornbread cake sounded amazing. I couldn’t help but get started on my own version right away!

Cornbread Cake Recipe

The cornbread cake layers took me a few tries to get right, but it was worth every failed attempt. These cake layers are incredible. They’re moist and tender, but also slightly dense and decadent. I know you’ll love them!

IMPORTANT: this recipe calls for corn meal. Make sure you use corn meal and a NOT cornbread mix.

You’ll also be using:

  • Two 8-inch round cake pans
  • Turbinado sugar (coarse sugar)
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla
  • Buttermilk

The turbinado sugar is optional, but I HIGHLY recommend adding it to the sides of your pans. You are going to love the crunchy texture that crystalized sugar adds to this cake.

Top view of a cake on a cake stand with cake slices.

Blackberry Compote

The blackberry compote is incredibly easy to make. Feel free to make it with fresh or frozen blackberries. You can also sub the blackberries for any other berry you prefer. Just make sure to have some cornstarch on hand to help thicken the compote.

TIP: the blackberry compote is a great element to make ahead of time. It can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container.

A slice of cake on a plate.

Mascarpone Whipped Cream

With the tangy, creamy, light flavors and textures of the mascarpone whipped cream, we’re adding great balance to the denser cornbread cake and tart blackberry compote.

To make the mascarpone whipped cream, you’ll beat the whipped cream, powdered sugar and E-Z Gel to semi-stiff peaks. You’ll then fold in the mascarpone cheese and you’re done! Don’t you love how easy that is!

Overhead view of a cake with cake slices.

I am so excited for you to dig into this cake! Let me know what you think!

Two layered cornbread cake on a cake stand.

Cornbread Cake

5 from 6 votes
Cornbread cake layers with blackberry compote and mascarpone whipped cream.

Ingredients
 

For the Cake

  • 2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (150 g) corn meal
  • 2 teaspoons (8 g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (6 g) salt
  • 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cup (350 g) granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon (4.2 g) vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (225 g) buttermilk, at room temperature

FOR THE COMPOTE

  • 6 ounces (170 g) blackberries
  • 1/3 cup (75 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon (4 g) cornstarch, sifted

For the Mascarpone Whipped Cream

  • 2 cups (460 g) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup (125 g) powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (10 g) vanilla bean paste
  • 8 ounces mascarpone
  • 1 tablespoon EZ gel

Garnish

  • Fresh blackberries
  • Turbinado sugar

Instructions
 

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Spray two 8-inch cake pans with nonstick spray, line the bottom with parchment paper and spray again. Sprinkle turbinado sugar around the sides of the cake pan. Set aside.
  • In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the flour, corn meal, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine and then set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and the sugar. Mix on medium-high speed for about 3 to 5 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure all of the butter and sugar are mixed well with the eggs. Add the vanilla.
  • With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk, starting and ending with the dry mixture. Mix until just combined.
  • Pour the batter into your two 8-inch pans (about 22 ounces in each) and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs on it, about 30 to 35 minutes.
  • Allow the cakes to cool in the pan on wire racks for about 10 to 15 minutes and then invert onto wire racks (TIP: spray the racks with non stick spray) and allow to cool completely.
  • Cakes can be made ahead of time and wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen until ready to use. Be sure to give the cakes about 30 to 60 minutes at room temperature before stacking and decorating.

FOR THE COMPOTE

  • Combine the blackberries and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Using a potato masher, mash some of the blackberries to break them up and release the juices.
  • Stir in the cornstarch.
  • Let simmer for about 10 minutes until the mixture is reduced by half. (We’re trying to reduce the amount of water and thicken the mixture.)
  • Cool completely before using.

For the Mascarpone Whipped Cream

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, vanilla, and E-Z Gel, until stiff peaks form. Transfer to another bowl and set aside.
  • Fold in the mascarpone.

Assembly

  • Place the first cake layer, top side up, on a cake stand. Spread half of the mascarpone filling on top of the cake. Top with half of the compote and some fresh blackberries, if desired. Repeat these steps for the second layer.
  • This cake can be made ahead of time. Be sure to cover it well. Store in the refrigerator, if storing only one day/night, otherwise, store in the freezer.
Cuisine Cake
Course Dessert
Keyword blackberry, Cornbread, Cornbread Cake, Mascarpone, Whipped Cream

Courtney Rich

I’m a self-taught baker, obsessed with cake.

I long ago ditched box mixes in pursuit of melt-in-your-mouth, to-die-for flavor combinations, fillings and textures. I believe cake must be decadent, life-changing and worthy of celebration! And I believe anyone should be able to bake that kind of cake – and I’m here to teach you just that!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I think there’s a typo in the buttermilk! Was pouring 450 grams and realized that’s more than a cup! Pretty sure it just calls for one cup though.

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve made hundreds of cakes and this recipe is one of the best ever! My family, and friends, agree! The texture is amazing and the turbinado sugar on the sides is heavenly. The BlackBerry compote is refreshing and not too sweet. Brilliant recipe!

  3. Hi! I plan to make this cake this week, however no stores near me (Pennsylvania) have Ez-Gel. Anything I can substitute that with in this recipe? If so, is it an equal sub. or different measurement?