If you like your cornbread sweet, fine but then call it what it is—a cake. This makes an excellent light breakfast with coffee or juice.


  • ¾ cup finely ground cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3½ tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Sift together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together eggs, sugar, and zest. Set over a small pot of hot water, double-boiler style, and whisk until warm to touch, about 2 minutes.
  4. Transfer the bowl to the mixer fitted with whisk attachment, and beat on medium speed until it thickens and lightens in color, and forms ribbons when the whisk is lifted, about 5–6 minutes.
  5. In another bowl, combine oil, milk, and lemon juice. Return mixer to medium speed, and drizzle this into egg mixture. Reduce to low speed, and add the combined cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt. Finally, drizzle in melted butter, and combine.
  6. Line an 8-inch metal loaf pan with parchment paper. Pour batter into the pan, and bake for 40–45 minutes, rotating once. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick or the tip of a sharp knife into the center of the cake—it should come out clean, and the cake should spring back when gently touched.
  7. Remove cake from the oven, and immediately sprinkle the sugar on top. Place pan on a rack to cool for 10 minutes.
  8. Carefully lift the cake out of the pan, and return it to the rack to finish cooling.