I make birthday cakes for each person in my Social Work Department at the federal prison where I work. I’ve been doing this for many years and each person requests the cake of their choice or tells me a flavor and I create the cake. One of the social workers just joined Weight Watchers and requested a simple cake with fruit. I decided to make the lemon cornmeal cake with blueberry sauce for him. He usually requests an Italian cream cake consisting of 3 layers of white coconut pecan cake with layers of rich cream cheese frosting. One piece has about 800 calories. In contrast, the cornmeal cake is just one layer, has only one layer of glaze made from just lemon juice and sugar (rather than a pound of cream cheese and stick of butter!). The blueberries are cooked with some brown sugar and a little goes a long way. One piece has about 300 calories or according to Dave, 8 points. It’s not the cheapest cake to make with blueberries costing $4.99 a pint but the end result is well worth it. I also like the fact that this cake could be made with a variety of different fruits in season. I have raspberry bushes in my yard and plan to make it with raspberry sauce (will have to modify the recipe some) or strawberries from my strawberry patch. The lemon cake is intensely lemon thanks to the large amount of zest and the glaze is tangy as well. I made two cakes, one for the office and one for home so we could try it. My husband took the cake to work and received rave reviews. One woman asked if she could buy a whole cake for herself she liked it so much. Dave was happy with it, satisfied with a small piece, and took a piece home for his wife so I consider it a big success. The recipe is adapted from Bon Appetit:




Lemon Cornmeal Cake with Blueberry Sauce


1 ½ cups all purpose flour
½ cup yellow cornmeal
¾ cup sugar
3 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 T finely grated lemon peel
¾ tsp vanilla extract
½ cup melted unsalted butter, cooled

Glaze
1 ½ cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 T fresh lemon juice
Stir together with spoon until smooth and paste-like, adding more lemon juice if needed.

Blueberry Sauce
3 cups fresh blueberries
2/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
½ tsp grated lemon peel
Pinch of salt
Combine 1 ½ cups blueberries and all ingredients in medium saucepan. Simmer 7 minutes. Reduce to low and simmer until berries are soft and liquid is syrupy, 7 more minutes. Remove from heat and add remaining blueberries. Cover and chill.

Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 9 inch cake pan with 2 inch high sides and line bottom with parchment. Combine dry ingredients, whisk to blend. Whisk buttermilk, eggs, lemon peel, and vanilla in a separate bowl. Pour wet mixture into dry and fold until just blended. Do not overmix.Bake approximately 30 minutes or until cake pulls aways from sides of pan and toothpick comes out clean.Immediately run knife around edges of pan. Place rack on top, invert on rack and remove pan. Place another rack on bottom of cake and invert again so top of cake is up. While cake is hot drop glaze by tablespoons onto cake and spread to within ½ inch of edge. (To cut back on sugar feel free to use less glaze.) Cool completely. Serve with sauce.