Cornbread Cake with Honey Butter Frosting


You know those recipes that never fail... the ones that you know by heart because they're quick, easy and always get rave reviews? That's my honey cornbread.  For our latest backyard gathering, I had the crazy idea to step it up and turn the recipe into a layer cake. It's already so moist and dense that I figured it would hold up great when stacked (which it did), but I wasn't sure how to frost it without overpowering the cornbread's subtle honey sweetness.

 My husband actually solved my dilemma when he said skeptically... "A cake??  But I like your usual cornbread with honey butter on the side". Wait, what?  How did I forget about honey butter and why not turn it into a honey butter frosting?  It took a little fussing to work out the flavor, but in the end it was an experiment gone right. And so, I bring you the three layer cornbread cake. You should totally make this for your next party... your friends and skeptical spouses will think you're pretty swell. And they'd be right.

photos + styling © cake. 2013
Honey Cornbread Cake
adapted from a family recipe

1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup fine ground cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup honey

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  **Grease two 6 inch cake pans.
2. Melt butter and pour into mixing bowl. Quickly mix in sugar. Add eggs and beat until well blended.
3. Combine buttermilk with baking soda and stir into mixture.
4. Stir in cornmeal, honey and flour until well blended and batter is smooth.
5. Pour batter into prepared pans.
6. Bake for about 30-40 minutes (until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean).
***Note: For a three layer cake you'll want to double this recipe.

Honey Butter Frosting

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup honey
1.5 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup full-fat sour cream

1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy- at least 5 minutes.
Mix in powdered sugar a little bit at a time until fully combined.
Mix in honey and sour cream until combined (this could take another 5-10 minutes on high speed. if it looks lumpy at first... have faith.)
Tip: If frosting is too runny, add more powdered sugar to bulk it up, just a little at a time.
Spread with a spatula onto fully cooled cakes.

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  1. OMG. I love love love cornbread, and jokingly told my fiance we should get a cornbread cake with honey butter frosting. We already ordered our wedding cake, but I think I'm going to make this for his Bday coming up! So excited to try this!

  2. @mandy: make it! you won't regret it!

  3. Just made mine and it is delicious! I didn't have 6" rounds, so I made 6 jumbo muffins. The only problem I had was with the edges turning a little too hard and chewy.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.I am so excited to bake this cake for a baby shower that I'm hosting later this month. The theme is " Rock-A-Bye Baby" with a country music/House of Blues vibe, so this cornbread cake will be the perfect centerpiece for our dessert buffet.It's super important to me that this cake turn out just right, so there are two things in the recipe that I would like to doulble check on. #1.The list of ingredients calls for 1/2 cup of honey, but it's not mentioned in the recipe. Should I add this after the eggs? #2. The recipe mentions salt, but the amount is not listed in the ingredients. I eagerly await your instructions:) Michele

  5. @Michele: Just updated the recipe. Sorry about that! You don't need to use salt if you're using regular (salted) butter.

  6. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. The baby shower is this Saturday, so I'll let you know how things turn out:)

  7. I mean...cornbread and honey butter is one of my favorite things EVER! What a great idea to stack it! Genius!

  8. I noticed that it said to grease 2 6" rounds, but it is a three layer cake. Am I missing something? ;)

  9. Per the last comment- I had made a note with an asterisk that the recipe should be doubled for a 3 layer cake. I see that it wasn't very clear so I updated the post to make it more obvious. Hope that helps!