Strawberry Cornmeal Cake (With How To Video)

This Strawberry Cornmeal Cake has a delicious tartness that shines against the moist, pleasantly coarse texture of cornmeal! The strawberries bake and settle into the top of the cake to create a fresh, sugary topping. Did I mention the heavy dollop of Rosemary & Vanilla Bean-Infused Whipped Cream? To die for!   

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A delicious strawberry skillet cake with whipped cream and fresh berries on top

Holy Moly, how is it Spring already?! With last year being what it was (a hot mess), I started this year with the mindset that I would work hard to appreciate the little things, like changing seasons. And y’all, I’m trying! But dang, it’s hard! Time seems to be speeding by and I’m having a hard time keeping up. 

But, today, I’m pressing the pause button and taking a moment to actually enjoy Spring, radical huh? One of the joys of spring is finding fresh strawberries at the market. lump, vibrant strawberries are intoxicatingly aromatic and, when baked, they turn into pockets of sweet, juicy goodness. Are there two better ingredients to kick off my celebration with? Nope! 

This recipe combines a zippy goat cheese flavored cornmeal cake with fresh strawberries baked in a cast-iron pan. I topped off this light, refreshing cake with a hefty dose of rosemary-infused whipped cream and, WOW, is it tasty! 

Welcome in Spring with me by stirring up this CRAZY GOOD cake, you won’t regret it! 

A delicious strawberry cornmeal cake in a cast iron skillet with slices cut and whipped cream on top

What a Cornmeal Cake?

Think of cornmeal cake as a cross between a buttery, coarse cornbread and a delicate, melt-in-your-mouth vanilla cake. The subtle grainy texture of this cake creates an interestingly textured bite. Cooking this cake in a cast-iron skillet helps to develop browned, slightly crisp edges that you’ll find yourself coming back for over and over! 

A close up of a strawberry cornmeal cake in a cast iron skillet with fresh berries on top


Okay, before we get ahead ourselves, let’s take a minute to take a closer look at our ingredients! 

Unsalted Butter- It’s essential to start with good-quality, room temperature butter. 

Granulated Sugar- This cake isn’t intended to be overly sweet so there isn’t an exuberant amount of sugar in it. Cane sugar works perfectly too. 

Eggs- In baking, eggs are always best when room temperature. If you forget to let them sit out for a bit, just let them hang in a bowl of warm water for about 5 minutes. 

AP Flour- we want the cake to be as airy and light as possible, so try to take a little extra time to sift the flour. 

Yellow Cornmeal- Cornmeal is available on a spectrum of grind sizes. The texture of the corn grain chosen will determine the texture of the resulting bread. I prefer to use a stone-ground variety for a more textured bite but I recommend that you explore and find your own personal preference. 

Salt- Kosher salt is preferred; it will enhance all the other flavors. 

Buttermilk- tangy and tasty, buttermilk not only tenderizes the cake but also adds a gentle zing to the batter. 

Goat Cheese- Goat cheese brings an exciting, delicious flavor to this recipe. Each bite is layered with a rich, smooth texture and a tart, candied taste. So darn good. 

Vanilla Paste- Paste offers a more concentrated flavor than extract, as well as an aesthetically pleasing speckle throughout the cake. 

Strawberries- These ruby-red confections make for a beautiful pop of color as well as a POP of sweet juice when bitten into. 

Turbinado Sugar- Just a sprinkle helps to draw out sugar from the fruit and create a shiny, sugary topping. If you don’t have any on hand, feel free to omit it! 

A slice of strawberry cake on a white plate with whipped cream and fresh strawberries

How to Make Cornmeal Cake with Strawberries

Preheat and Prep:

  • Begin your baking journey by preheating your oven to 350 degrees, a crucial step in achieving that perfect bake. While you’re at it, pop a 9” or 10″ cast iron skillet in there. This will be your secret weapon for a beautifully baked crust.

2. Mix Dry Ingredients:

  • In a small bowl, whisk together your dry comrades: flour, cornmeal, and a dash of salt. This trio will provide the structure and the oh-so-lovely crumbly texture to your cake. Set them aside; they’ll come into play shortly.

3. Creaming Butter and Sugar:

  • Now, in the grand stage of your stand mixer (equipped with a whisk attachment), beat the butter for 2 whole minutes on high speed, until it’s pleading for the sugar. Gradually introduce the sugar and watch the two blend and dance into a fluffy, creamy wonder, about 5 minutes of whirl.

4. Egg-cellent Addition:

  • It’s time to add the eggs, but they’re divas; introduce them one at a time, giving each its moment to shine. Mix well after each and remember, scraping down the sides of the bowl is not just necessary; it’s an art.

5. Goat Cheese for Tang:

  • Crumble in the goat cheese, an unexpected guest, adding a tang that’ll make this cake sing. With your mixer on low, it’s all about that gentle blend.

6. Alternate Dry and Wet:

  • Here’s where patience is key. Slowly, and with purpose, add in your dry ingredient mixture. You’re not just adding ingredients; you’re layering flavors. Next, pour in the buttermilk and vanilla bean paste, ensuring each ingredient is mixed well and welcomed into the batter.

7. Sizzling Skillet Magic:

  • Now, the sizzling magic. Remove the skillet from its fiery haven and drop a tablespoon of salted butter into it. That sizzle isn’t just sound; it’s flavor crying out in joy. As it melts, pour your lovingly prepared cornmeal cake batter into the hot skillet.

8. The Final Touch:

  • With the grace of a baker and the precision of an artist, use a silicone spatula to smooth over the top of your batter. Then, arrange those strawberries (and rhubarb if you’re feeling adventurous) on top of the cake like they were always meant to be there. For a final touch of sparkle, sprinkle with turbinado sugar.

9. Bake to Perfection:

  • Commit your creation to the oven for 45-55 minutes. You’re looking for that golden touch and a toothpick that emerges clean from the cake’s center.

10. Cool and Serve:

  • Resist the temptation to dive right in! Allow your cake to cool for 10-15 minutes. This brief pause lets the flavors settle and the experience to culminate, resulting in a cornmeal cake that’s not just a dessert; it’s a masterpiece.

Top It off!

Just when you thought this recipe couldn’t get any better, it does! I chose to top off this (already delicious) cake with a homemade rosemary and vanilla bean-infused whipped cream. I promise you, it’s much more simple than it sounds. All you need is heavy cream, powdered sugar, vanilla bean paste and a few sprigs of rosemary to make this herbaceous, decadent cream.

The pronounced lemon-pine flavor of rosemary uplifts the rich cream while the vanilla bean paste adds a gorgeous speckled look. Just a dollop of cream brightens up the entire cake! 

TIP: If you’re not a fan of rosemary, it can be completely omitted or replaced with thyme or basil. 

A slice of cornmeal cake on a plate with berries and whipped cream

More Strawberry Recipes

Strawberries are some of the BEST produce that Spring and Summer have to offer. Delightfully bright in color and sweet in flavor, these delectable sprouts are the stars of more than a few of my FAVORITE recipes! 

Check ‘em out:  

A delicious strawberry cornmeal cake in a cast iron skillet with slices cut and whipped cream on top

Strawberry Cornmeal Cake

This Strawberry Cornmeal Cake has a delicious tartness that shines against the moist, pleasantly coarse texture of cornmeal with a a crisp sugary topping.
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Course: Dessert
Servings: 8 servings


For the Cake

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour sifted
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tbsp plain goat cheese
  • 2 tsp vanilla paste
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries halved
  • 1/2 cup fresh rhubarb (optional) halved
  • 2 tbsp turbinado sugar

For the Topping

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tbsp confectioner's sugar
  • 3 fresh rosemary sprigs up to 4


For the Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place a 9” or 10" cast iron skillet in the oven while the batter is prepared.
  • In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, cornmeal and salt. Set aside.
  • Using the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the butter for 2 minutes on high speed. Slowly add the sugar. Cream together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition, remembering to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Crumble in the goat cheese and turn the mixer down to low speed.
  • Slowly add in the dry ingredient mixture, being careful not to over mix. Pour in the buttermilk and vanilla bean paste, mix well to combine all the ingredients.
  • Remove skillet from the oven and drop a tablespoon of salted butter into the hot skillet, it should sizzle and melt pretty quickly. Once the butter has melted, pour cornmeal cake batter into the hot skillet.
  • Using a silicone spatula, smooth over the top of the batter. Evenly place strawberries (and rhubarb if using) on top of the cake, then sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
  • Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Allow the cake to cool for 10-15 minutes.

For the Whipped Cream

  • Pour the heavy whipping cream into a small bowl. Add in vanilla bean paste and rosemary sprigs. Stir to combine.
  • Cover, place in the refrigerator and allow to sit for at least 2 hours. Overnight is best.
  • Remove infused cream from the fridge. Sprinkle in confectioners sugar.
  • Beat cream on medium-high speed until thick, stiff peaks form, about 4-5 minutes.



* If you don’t have vanilla bean paste on hand, replace with pure vanilla extract.
* Fine yellow cornmeal is best for this recipe. Stone-ground will also work, the texture will just be a bit more rustic.


Calories: 572kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 151mg | Sodium: 214mg | Potassium: 159mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 45g | Vitamin A: 1143IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 2mg
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Filed Under:  Cake, Dessert and Baking, Oven, Seasonal Recipes, Spring Recipes


  1. This sounds delicious and I look forward to making it! What do you recommend if I do not typically like goat cheese?

    1. You don’t really taste the goat cheese it just adds a subtle tang. You could use full fat sour cream or Greek yogurt to get that tang without adding too much moisture. I would reduce it to two tablespoons as well.

5 from 9 votes

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