Orange Cornmeal Cake


This rustic skillet dessert is our take on the popular upside-down cake. A sprinkle of fresh thyme gives the cake savory flavor.

Orange Cornmeal Cake
Photo: Blaine Moats
Hands On Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 35 mins


  • 2 cup all-purpose flour

  • ½ cup cornmeal

  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder

  • salt

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar

  • 4 eggs

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • 4 teaspoon orange zest

  • 2 teaspoon vanilla

  • ½ cup unsalted butter

  • cup packed brown sugar

  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla

  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

  • 1 large orange or 2 small oranges, sliced 1/8-inch thick


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. For batter: In a medium bowl stir together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and 1 tsp. salt. In a large bowl beat the 3/4 cup butter with a mixer on medium to high for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar. Beat 1 minute or until fluffy, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each until combined. Alternately add the flour mixture and milk, beating on low between each addition until just combined. Stir in the orange zest and the 2 tsp. vanilla; set aside.

  2. Heat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the 1/2 cup butter. Stir the butter around until melted and the bottom of skillet is coated. Whisk in the brown sugar, 11/2 tsp. vanilla, and 1/8 tsp. salt. Bring to boiling; boil 1 to 2 minutes or until thickened and caramelized. Stir in the thyme leaves. Remove from heat. Lay the orange slices in one even layer in the bottom of the skillet. Spoon batter over oranges; spread evenly.

  3. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until top is golden and knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in skillet 5 minutes. Invert onto a serving plate; transfer any fruit stuck in skillet to cake. Cool 20 minutes. Garnish with thyme sprigs.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

629 Calories
33g Fat
76g Carbs
8g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 629
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 33g 42%
Saturated Fat 19g 95%
Cholesterol 172mg 57%
Sodium 463mg 20%
Total Carbohydrate 76g 28%
Total Sugars 45g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 13.5mg 68%
Calcium 133mg 10%
Iron 2.5mg 14%
Potassium 188mg 4%
Fatty acids, total trans 1g
Folate, total 96.6mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.4mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.1mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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