Huckleberry_Fresh Corn Cornbread

Every time we visit our relatives in L.A., Huckleberry Cafe is one of the first places I want to go. Alex describes it as the “ultimate girl food”—salads, soups, pastries—and everything is mouthwateringly delicious. So I was psyched when I saw their new cookbook! Today, Zoe from Huckleberry shares her cornbread recipe, which can be customized any way you like: sweet, savory or bursting with fresh fall corn. Here’s how to bake it…

Fresh Corn Cornbread
by Zoe Nathan of Huckleberry

This is your old-fashioned cornbread made insanely more delicious. It is the opposite of dry, and can really stand on its own without needing to be slathered with butter.

This recipe is wildly versatile. Use fresh corn if you can; if it’s not in season, you don’t need it. For a fun japaleño cheddar version, increase the salt to 2 tsp, omit the honey, add 1/2 cup grated cheddar, 2 japaleños, finely chopped and 2 tsp chopped parsley. Take it any direction you please. The honey glaze is optional; if you go in a more savory direction, I would omit it.

Recipe: Fresh Corn Cornbread

You’ll need:

6 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp sugar
1 3/4 tsp kosher salt
4 eggs
1 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup whole milk
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup canola oil
2 tbsp honey, plus 1/4 cup for glazing (optional)
1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (about two cobs; optional)

Preheat your own to 350F and grease an 8×8 inch pan.

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar and salt on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Incorporate the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl well. Pause mixing and add the cornmeal, all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour and baking powder.

With the mixer on low speed, pour in the milk, buttermilk, canola oil, and 2 tbsp honey and mix. This is a very loose batter. Small lumps of butter are no problem, but avoid any lumps of flour. If you see them, mix a little longer or work them out with your fingers.

Fold in in the corn, if in season; if not, omit.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Do not over bake!

If you are choosing to glaze, slightly warm the 1/4 cup honey in a small saucepan and lightly brush the top of the warm cake.

This is best served the day it’s made but keeps, well wrapped, at room temperature for up to two days.

Thank you so much, Zoe! Your book is beautiful!

P.S. More recipes, including roast chicken and apple crisp.

(Photo by Matt Armendariz. Huckleberry: Stories, Secrets, and Recipes from Our Kitchen, by Zoe Nathan with Josh Loeb and Laurel Almerinda, Chronicle Books 2014. Thanks to Caroline Donofrio for helping with this series)