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For Unbeatable Cornmeal Cake, Look For The Finest Grind Possible

cornmeal cake
cornmeal cake - Leonidas Santana/Getty Images

From skillet cornmeal pancakes to Brazlilian-style bundt cake (bolo de fubá), what is it about a cornmeal cake that seems more special than a regular old poundcake? The gorgeous texture and amazing corn taste both make a big difference. Or maybe it's the fact that you can enjoy one from breakfast with your morning coffee to dessert after dinner. Whatever the reasons, when you're making a baked cornmeal cake at home, the best way to ensure it has that perfectly light texture is to use cornmeal with a very fine grind.

Using the finest ground cornmeal will help your cornmeal cake reach the desired texture because the finer the grind, the quicker the moisture absorption. Cornmeal with a fine grind will take on the moisture from the other cake ingredients more quickly than coarsely ground cornmeal, making for a fluffy, moist result. However, you will likely need to use a combination of regular flour and corn flour to avoid the cake coming out too dense, or, if you're going for a gluten-free version, try rice flour with the finely ground corn.

Read more: Cake Hacks Every Baker Will Wish They Knew Sooner

Corn Flour Is A Kind Of Cornmeal

bowl of cornmeal with cobs and kernels
bowl of cornmeal with cobs and kernels - Fcafotodigital/Getty Images

When you head to the store and start scanning the shelves for the best cornmeal brands, keep in mind that the cornmeal cake you're making uses corn flour. Confusing, we know. Corn flour is a type of cornmeal that's ground into an almost powder-like texture. And no, it's not the same as corn starch. If corn flour is not available, search for your ordinary fine cornmeal. A fine cornmeal will still suffice here, but that texture won't be as satisfyingly delicate as it would be with the corn flour. Just avoid medium or coarse-ground cornmeal, which would give you a chewy, gritty, unsatisfying cornmeal cake.

Since corn flour is simply ground, dried corn, all cornmeal is typically gluten-free. But if you have any gluten sensitivities or dietary restrictions, take the extra time to find a cornmeal or corn flour that is specifically labeled as gluten-free to ensure it hasn't been processed in the same facility as other gluten products, avoiding cross-contamination. Swap the regular flour called for in your recipe with gluten-free flour as well to make the whole cornmeal cake gluten-free.

Varieties Of Cornmeal Cake

bolo de fuba, brazilian cornmeal cake
bolo de fuba, brazilian cornmeal cake - estudiofcx/Shutterstock

Bolo de fubá is an iconic cake in Brazilian culture, with the Portuguese word "fubá" translating to "corn meal." This traditional Brazilian food is known for its tenderness, and the fubá is to thank for that. Some variations include making bolo de fubá cremosa, which calls for coconut, and more milk and eggs, producing a creamy, custard-like center.

Or you can try making a cornmeal upside-down cake, served with whipped cream and berries. You can also incorporate walnuts or seeds for a crunchy contrast to your soft cornmeal batter. A bit of lemon zest could brighten up the light cake and would pair well with a cup of tea in the afternoon. Once you have your finely ground cornmeal, feel free to experiment a bit, and create your signature version of cornmeal cake. As long as you use high-quality, super-fine corn flour, you're set up for baking success.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.