Becky Luigart-Stayner
12 servings (serving size: 1 cake wedge and about 2 1/2 tablespoons compote)

This rustic cake has a slight crunch from cornmeal, and a mixture of winter fruits balances the tangy lemon flavor. The compote is best served at room temperature or slightly warm.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°.

Step 2

To prepare cake, coat an 8-inch round cake pan with cooking spray; line bottom of pan with parchment paper. Coat paper with cooking spray. Set aside.

Step 3

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Make a well in center of mixture. Combine buttermilk, oil, eggs, and rind, stirring well with a whisk. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture, stirring until moist. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in the pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

Step 4

To prepare compote, combine apple juice and raisins in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, and cook until reduced to 2/3 cup (about 4 minutes). Add fresh cranberries to pan; cook 3 minutes or until cranberries pop. Add pear to pan; cook 2 minutes or until pears are tender. Remove from heat; stir in lemon juice.

Step 5

Wine note: With a modestly sweet dessert like this, try a classic Madeira like Blandy's 5-Year-Old Verdelho ($21), which echoes the dried fruit with raisin and apricot flavors while adding its own touch of caramel sweetness. Serve it slightly chilled to contrast the warm cake. And don't worry about finishing the bottle; Madeira lasts almost indefinitely, even after it's been opened. -Jeffery Lindenmuth

Ratings & Reviews

4.5 stars

December 14, 2015
Really easy and super delicious.  I didn't have fresh cranberries so used dried.  I also tossed in some dried sour cherries.  Delish.  I can see how this cake could be used as a base for all types of fruit compote, depending upon what is in season.  Will definitely make again.

lauraevers's Review

February 05, 2012
Excellent, sustituted canola oil for olive oil. Served with whipped cream flavored with brown sugar and vanilla

garlicuser's Review

March 24, 2011
light and tasty. served with fresh strawberries and a buttermilk whipped cream. great and super easy to make. Not sure the parchment paper was necessary on the bottom of the cake pan. Cutting out the correct size was the most time consuming part of this recipe.

HousiGirl1's Review

March 18, 2010
We all enjoyed the cake, not too sweet, nice texture. (I used canola oil.) Pear wasn't ripe enough, so the compote wasn't as good as it probably could have been. Next time I'll keep it simple and put raspberries on the cake.

ShelleyB's Review

July 05, 2009
Wonderful light cake and perfect compliment to fruit. Since it was being served in July when berries are at their height I served with a melange of blueberries, raspberries and blackberries, and topped with a dollop of light whipped cream. Loved the addition of lemon to the cake. This is a keeper to be made again.

LouAnn's Review

November 28, 2008
I mostly enjoyed eating this dessert. I don't think spices would add to the compote because the lemon flavor is so delicate to begin with. It was very tart but I didn't mind that. I thought the texture of the cake was absolutely wonderful. It was like eating a corn bread cake. I think maybe olive oil was used to call it polenta but next time I think I will use canola oil and add more lemon rind because I didn't care fore the olive oil flavor with sugar. I used regular fat free milk with some lemon juice instead of buttermilk. My partner loved it and ate two slices so I am giving it four stars.