I started to dream up the idea for this dessert during our trip to Hawaii. We tried a piece of cornbread from the Diamond Head Market & Grille that was so sweet and delectable that it easily could have been mistaken for a cake. So I thought, well, why can't it actually be a cake? Why can't cornbread be part of a dessert?
Answer: it can, and it is completely amazing.
I live in Tennessee, and around here a typical cornbread is made with very little or no sugar, is nice and crumbly, and is cooked in a hot cast iron skillet to get a dark crunchy crust on the outside. For this dish, though, I knew I wanted more of a cake-like texture on the inside with a softer and lighter crust. Oh, and of course it should be sweet!
Then I started thinking about what to serve with this sinfully sweet cornbread. In my family, as well as many other southern families, it was considered a treat to crumble cornbread into a tall glass of buttermilk and eat it with a spoon. My granddaddy on my mom's side, that I unfortunately never got a chance to meet, loved to use leftover cornbread from the big family Sunday supper for such a treat when he needed a snack later in the evening.
So, how does one dessert-ify a glass of plain buttermilk? Buttermilk ice cream, of course! This homemade ice cream is pretty incredible, you guys. Instead of a custard base it uses cream cheese which adds even more of a creamy tang to the flavor. It's criminally easy to make and is the perfect complement to the sweet cornbread cake.
To send this treat right into the stratosphere of lip-smacking deliciousness, the whole thing gets a generous drizzle of honey. Ohh man, is there anything better than cornbread with honey? Not too many things, that's for sure.
The cake still has the hearty coarseness of a more traditional southern cornbread, but the higher flour to cornmeal ratio keeps it from crumbling so easily. It's the perfect marriage of the best parts of a cake and a bread.
If you're looking for something new and unique to add to your arsenal of dessert recipes, this one might fit the bill. And seeing as how it's so simple to make, the biggest problem you're likely to have is that it will disappear from your kitchen before you can nab a serving for yourself!Print
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