Spruce Cornmeal Cake with Tangerine Goat Cheese Frosting

Here's another fun creation for the Wild Things Round Up - Spruce Cornmeal Cake with Tangerine Goat Cheese Frosting.  I've always enjoyed making up recipes - taking what I've got on hand, and manipulating it to create something magical.  But now, my partner in crime from Cauldrons and Crockpots has upped my game.  You can't imagine how much fun we have volleying recipe ideas around.

And I've gotta tell ya, Bek and I are having a blast coming up with spruce recipes this month, as we're both inspired by the punchy taste of spruce.  It lends itself so well to savory dishess, but it also has a fruity quality that makes it a natural for sweets.

I don't even like sweet food, but the flavor of spruce has got my imagination running wild.  So, I've been in the kitchen, playing.  And I think my family and neighbors are enjoying the results, if their gasps of delight are any indication.

A day or two before you plan to make the cake, make a spruce syrup.  Combine one cup sugar, one cup water, and 4 tablespoons chopped spruce tips in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and let simmer until big sticky bubbles form on top.  Remove from heat and let stand for at least 24 hours.  Return to a burner, heat until liquid once again, then strain out spruce through a fine sieve.  This should make more than enough spruce syrup to use with this cake and a few other recipes.

Cornmeal Cake

2 Tbsp. melted butter
1/2 c. milk
1 egg
2 Tbsp. honey
1/2 c. cornmeal
1/4 c. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. spruce tips, ground finely in a mortar and pestle

Combine wet ingredients, then stir in dry ingredients.  Pour into a greased and cornstarched (in place of flour) 8" cake pan.  Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees (F), or until a toothpick comes out cleanly.  Let cool completely.

To make frosting, use a hand mixer to combine 2 Tbsp. each butter and goat cheese chevre (room temp).  Add in a big splash of brandy (mmm, splish splash, me likey alcoholic frosting).  Next, mix in powdered sugar 1/2 c. at a time, until you enjoy the taste and consistency.  For me, this was about 1 1/2 c.  Turn the mixer up to high and make the frosting extra fluffy.

To assemble, turn the cake upside down, and pierce with a fork or toothpick repeatedly.  Pour several spoonfuls of warm spruce syrup over the cake, until it looks nicely soaked.  Frost generously with whatever amount of tangerine goat cheese icing you have left, assuming you are like me, and about half of it left the mixing bowl on your finger.  And if you aren't like that, let me suggest you give it a try because that kind of pleasure is what life is all about.  Live a little!


  1. This is so creative! Spruce and tangerine - now THAT is a cake. I'm pretty sure I'd be gasping too.

  2. Wow, now this sounds wild.
    I have absolutly no idea what all those flovors combined together would taste like.
    I will definetly be tring this recipe out some day.
    You really blew my mind with this post Butter...

  3. I have to try cornmeal cakes, this tangerine goat cheese frosting sounds delicious.

  4. Yep yep, that looks amazing. This is good-- if we keep going like this then we'll both have to up our game in the face of each others' brilliant creativity :).

  5. AH - Because of the citrus-y flavor of spruce, this combination of ingredients is a natural. It all came together harmoniously - the fruitiness of the spruce and tangerine, the tang of the goat cheese, the earthy corn flavor.

    Bek - The Wild Things Round Up is turning out to be my ultimate playground.

  6. This cake looks and sounds delightful and I am sure that it tastes the same! Now following you . . . I love your philosophy and I'm doing my best to make small steps in changing my nutrition too.

  7. After using juniper berries in a recipe a few weeks back, I am LOVING the idea of a pine flavor in my baked goods! This sounds delicious!

  8. This cake looks deliciously lovely, well done! Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

  9. Joanne - Be sure to check Cauldrons and Crockpots in a few days because Bek will be sharing her recipe for spruce shortbread.

  10. You always with such creative ideas. I am still waiting for the trees to have some tender leaves.


  11. Ok - I don't know how I missed this one - you ladies are just kicking the spruce recipes out like crazy. I think the cake itself sounds AWESOME but where you have is the tangerine goat cheese frosting - I just made a regular cream cheese frosting yesterday and I am so sad I didn't see this first.

  12. Mexico - Thank you :)

    C- The icing was definitely something to write home about. The goat cheese was just enough to make it tangy.

  13. Where is the tangerine in this recipe?


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