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custard cornbread

When the air gets chilly, there is nothing I love more than a big, steamy bowl of my mom's soup.  She makes ratatouille, chili, and minestrone. But my all time favorite is her butternut squash soup.  It is delicious on its own, but it's absolutely perfect with a big wedge of custard-y cornbread on the side.

It's kind of a funny story how I found this recipe.  I was perusing the internet, the usual suspects (i.e. Pinterest and Foodgawker), and saw something strange, almost disgusting, and oh-so intriguing.  It was called spider cake. (perfect for Halloween right?!)
A cake with spiders in it? God I hope not!
A spider shaped cake? A spider shaped cake? Won't that be hard to get out of the pan?
Soon enough, I found out that this cake has absolutely nothing to do with spiders. Whew. Because I am completely arachnophobic.
It's actually a delicious cornbread with a lovely, custard filling.  Crumbly, buttery, and with a super-crisp outside.  Exactly how cornbread should be. I love how it gets baked in a cast iron skillet.  It makes me feel all nice and rustic.

A warm slice of this cake covered in maple syrup is about as good as it gets.

With love, Erica

Custard-Filled Cornbread (The Breakfast Book by Marion Cuningham)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-inch square (or 9-inch round) cake pan that is about 2-inches deep. Put the buttered dish or pan in the oven and let it get hot while you mix the batter.
Put the eggs in a mixing bowl and add the melted butter. Beat until the mixture is well blended. Add the sugar, salt, milk, and vinegar and beat well. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and baking soda. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, mix just until the batter is smooth and no lumps remain.
Pour the batter into the heated dish, then pour the cream into the center of the batter—don’t stir. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until lightly browned. Serve warm with maple syrup.


  1. WHAT a gorgeous cornbread! I've never heard of one with custard in the middle but it looks and sounds divine!

    1. Thank you so much! Often, I find cornbread to be a little bit too dry for my tastes. The custard makes this so super most, that sometimes I like to eat it with a spoon!

  2. How do you always make exactly what I want to eat? Over the weekend I made Christina Tosi's corn bake and a vegan cornbread, but this looks even more awesome. So is the custardy part mostly where the cream is poured on top in the middle, or is it kind of all over? I'm intrigued.

    1. Ohhh that sounds delicious! The custard is mainly in the middle, so it has a nice, perfect, crusty outside like classic cornbread, and an amazing creamy, custardy center!

  3. This sounds ingenious. Thank you for sharing! I wonder why they call it spider cake?

    1. Me too! Kind of a cool/creepy name right??!

    2. So does the middle collapse a bit? Have you ever tried swirling around the cream to disperse it?

    3. Surprisingly the middle does not collapse. I wouldn't swirl the cream around though, because leaving it in one big puddle in the middle makes a divine, creamy center (and you wouldn't want to miss out on that!)

  4. My mom wants to know what you do with all this food..........

    1. Tee hee. WE EAT ALL OF IT! Actually no, we freeze a lot of it and take it out over like a month (this cornbread has lasted like 3 weeks in the freezer). Plus baking club is a good outlet. So freezer and baking club. (unless it's doughnuts or brownies... then my dad just eats it all)

  5. Oh my god! I just made this. It's... awesome. It's so good my darlin said "We should call it "Love Cake"' Amazing. Everyone was freaking out. I want this to forever exist in my kitchen so I can just eat some whenever. How delightful to have it with fresh fruit and maple syrup in the morning as well ^_^
    Thanks so much for posting this recipe! It's surely going to become a staple in my special recipe collection :3

    1. Hahaha "love cake" I love it! I am so touched that you and your family enjoyed the recipe so much! This would be great for breakfast -- I will take your suggestion and serve that sometime in the near future!

  6. I love your blog and can't wait to try this recipe. It looks amazing.

    1. Thank you! It is one of my favorites -- I even made it for Thanksgiving!


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