Blog Posts

Cornmeal Olive Oil Cake and Rosemary Pears

“This cornmeal olive oil cake is the perfect cake for cornbread lovers.It is also the perfect cake for fall. So simple and rustic and perfect with poached rosemary pears.”

I’m not going to let another fall go by without giving you this recipe. I’ve baked it several times now and each time it has received accolades. Most recently Zoe’s boyfriend informed me he really liked this simple cornmeal cake because it had no frosting and he is not a lover of frosted cakes.  Frankly I’m not sure how he will fit in this family of frosting lovers, but at least he knows one good cake when he sees one. This rustic cake made with olive oil and honey and lemon zest, for those who like lemon, is simply made in one bowl. It is a cake for lovers of cornbread and seriously who isn’t a lover of cornbread? This luscious yellow cake stays moist for a long time and is simply love at first bite.

I served this yellow cake with rosemary pears. Rosemary pairs well with pears or apples or even persimmons and always screams fall to me. This simple honey rosemary infused syrup is the perfect poaching liquid.  You may also choose to roast your fruit and skip the rosemary if you prefer, but I do think the herb gives a subtle and luscious flavor. I’m always hopeful I’ll have some leftover pears and lucky for me I did, as they were spooned heartily over my morning yogurt. Frankly it made my morning feel a bit more special.

 Life has been busy at our house lately. Zoe came home, we had our sip and see which I’ll share next week with some popular cheese and green chile quesadilla crisps. We ventured to the botanic gardens and up to her boyfriend’s father’s brewery. In case you get caught on I 70 near Georgetown during ski season and need a break from traffic, make sure to stop by and have a beer at Guanella Pass Brewery. Steve has some good sips, with the saison being my favorite. And even if you don’t get stuck, this is a fun destination from Denver. Being up in the mountains, even for just a short time always makes me feel like I’m on vacation!

Courtesy of Guanella Pass Brewery

This is a Fast Friday and I still have loads to do; however my guilty conscious overtook me and I knew I needed to get this post done. My recipes are piling up and I need to start getting them out to you. As soon as I finish this I’m off to pick up a painting we won at an online auction and I can’t wait to see it. I’ve never bid on anything before so this was a first! Then it is a matter of trying to get the leaves out of my house and back into the yard where they belong. I hate leaf season because the dogs track them in and they are the teeny tiny leaves that are so hard to pick up. I’d have a much better time eating cake!


A Few More to Devour:

Please Pin and Share:

With just a little bit of cake, pears and whipped cream left over, I decided to make these cornmeal cake “parfait” jars. In my mind it looks a bit more festive than just a slice of cake on a plate. Plus it also packs well. Crumble up some cake, and build your layers with your favorite poached or roasted fruit and some whipped cream. Pour a bit of the fruit liquid over the top and seal the jar for later. These kept really well and it is always fun eating out of a jar. Those silver spoons are meant for cocktails-they are actually straws- and my father bought them before I was born when he was stationed in El Paso during the Korean War. They had belonged to my grandmother and now they are mine. I just love them and use them every chance I can get!

Cornmeal Olive Oil Cake with Rosemary Pears

Prep Time 35 MINS
Cook Time 30 MINS
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Yields Yield: 1 9″ pan

This cornmeal olive oil cake is the perfect cake for cornbread lovers. It is also the perfect cake for fall. So simple and rustic and perfect with poached rosemary pears.


  • 3/4 c flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 3/4 t salt
  • 1 c yellow cornmeal
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 c milk
  • 1/2 c olive oil
  • 1 T finely grated lemon zest (optional)
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 1/4 c honey
  • Chopped Pistachios for garnish or Glazed Pecans (optional)
  • Whipped Cream or Vanilla Ice Cream for Topping (optional)
  • 3 semi-ripe pears, unpeeled and sliced or chopped into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 c water
  • 2 T honey
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary


    1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease and flour a 9″by 2″ round cake pan.
    2. In a large mixing cup, mix flour, baking powder, salt and cornmeal.
    3. In a large bowl using an electric mixer or fork, (I used a fork) beat eggs, egg yolk, milk, olive oil and lemon zest, if using. Beat until frothy and add dry ingredients and beat until all is incorporated. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with few crumbs attached. The sides will also be a bit golden.
    4. Let cake cool in pan, on a rack. Remove from pan and cool. Serve with fruit and ice cream or whipped cream.

    1. In a large saucepan combine sugar, water, honey and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer and simmer until the sugar is dissolved over medium heat. Add rosemary and pears and simmer until pears are tender and syrup has thickened. Remove from heat and let cool. Remove rosemary before serving.


    0.0 rating

    .recipe-inner{text-align:left;max-width:620px;border:6px double #009BFF;padding:20px;background:#f2f2f2;margin: 40px auto;font-family:Lato, sans-serif;}#recipe .recipe-name{font-size: 21px;}#recipe .info{font-size:13px;text-transform:capitalize;border-bottom:2px solid #000;padding-bottom:7px;margin-bottom:20px}.info:after{content:”;display:table;clear:both}#recipe .info span:first-child{margin-right:30px}#printbutton{border:0;margin:0;color:#fff;float:right;background:#555; padding:5px;border-radius:3px;cursor:pointer}#recipe .time{text-transform:uppercase;font-size:12px;text-align:center;background:#fff;padding:15px 0;margin-bottom:20px}#recipe .time span:not(:last-child){margin-right:12px}#recipe .time span:not(:last-child):after{content:”;display:inline-block;height:10px;width:1px;background:#000;vertical-align:middle;margin-left:12px}#recipe .summary{line-height:1.7;font-style:italic}.ingredients{line-height:1.7;clear:both}.ingredients h3,.instructions h3{font-size:20px !important;margin-bottom:0;color:#000}.ingredients ul{margin:0!important;margin-top:5px !important;}.instructions li{margin-bottom:15px !important;line-height:1.6;text-align:left;}.ingredients li{text-align:left}#recipe .instructions{margin-top: 30px;}#recipe .instructions ol,#recipe .instructions ol li {list-style:decimal !important;}#recipe .instructions ol{padding-left:39px;margin:0!important;margin-top:6px !important;}.posturl{border-top:1px solid #ccc;padding-top:10px;}.ing-section{padding-left:20px;margin: 10px 0;}.ing-section > span{font-weight:700}.recipe-credit{display:none;font-size:13px;border-top: 1px solid #ccc;padding:10px;text-align:center;background:#ffffff;margin:-20px;margin-top:15px;}.recipe-credit a{color:blue;text-decoration:none;}.copyright-statement{font-size: 13px;font-style:italic;border-top: 1px solid #ccc;margin-top:15px;padding-top:15px;line-height:1.6;}.notes pre{ font-size: 15px; margin: 10px 0; padding-left: 20px; font-family: inherit; line-height: 1.7; white-space: pre-line; } .notes h3 { color: #000; margin: 0; text-transform: capitalize; font-weight: 700; }#recipe .image{text-align:center;margin-bottom:25px;margin-right:20px;float:left}#recipe .image img{max-width:250px}#recipe .recipe-name{line-height:1.6;text-transform:uppercase;margin-top:0;letter-spacing:1px;text-align:left}#recipe .summary{line-height:1.7;font-style:italic}#recipe .time{background:#fff;clear:both;border:1px solid #d7d7d7}function printDiv(a){var b=document.getElementById(a);”,’printwin’);var c=newWin.document.createElement(‘style’);c.innerHTML=’html{font-family:sans-serif}img{display:none;}#printbutton,.recipe-credit{visibility:hidden;display:none;}.info{text-align:center;text-transform:capitalize}.recipe-name{text-align:center}.info span{margin-right:20px}.time{text-align:center;padding:10px;border-top:1px dashed #000;border-bottom:1px dashed #000;}.time span{margin-right:20px}.adunit,.adunitlabel,.adunitwrapper{display:none!important}’;newWin.document.getElementsByTagName(‘head’)[0].appendChild(c);newWin.document.getElementsByTagName(‘body’)[0].innerHTML = b.innerHTML;newWin.print();}


    You Might Also Like


  1. Reply
    Sippity Sup
    October 27, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    Delicious! I made a pear cake this week too. Must be the season. GREG

  2. Reply
    Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen
    October 28, 2017 at 3:52 am

    I think Zoe’s boyfriend sounds like a perfect fit—you get to eat all the frosting he doesn’t want! It’s win-win :). This cake sounds delicious! As much as I love frosting, sometimes something not too sweet really hits the spot. Have a great weekend, Abbe!

  3. Reply
    Angie Schneider
    October 28, 2017 at 5:14 am

    You have me at those rosemary pears! This is such a beautiful and delicious dessert, Abbe.

  4. Reply
    Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch)
    October 28, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    This looks like such an interesting recipe – and I mean that in a fabulous way. I'm with Zoe's boyfriend, I don't like frosting (unless it's cream cheese frosting on carrot cake). Last week when we drove over Guanella pass, we stopped in Georgetown to walk around a bit. And we parked right in front of that brewery. Wish we would have stopped in.

  5. Reply
    Tricia Buice
    October 28, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    What a lovely fall dessert Abbe – and I adore the presentation. Poached pears are dreamy. You sound like a busy lady! Hope all is well and may all your projects be perfect 🙂

  6. Reply
    Liz Berg
    October 28, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    Such a fabulous, multi-faceted dessert! I'd make extra pears just to have them on my morning yogurt, too!

  7. Reply
    Kitchen Riffs
    October 28, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    I DO like frosting on my cake, but I'd gladly skip it in order to have this beauty of a cake. Wow, this sounds terrific! Great flavor combo, and those little parfaits are cute. Fun read — thanks.

  8. Reply
    Karen (Back Road Journal)
    October 28, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    Yes to cornmeal cake, yes to rosemary pears and yes to the parfait…all delicious sounding.

  9. Reply
    Gerlinde de Broekert
    October 29, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    Isn’t something how all the recipes pile up, I have the same problem. However, I am glad that you posted this one . It looks delicious and so cute on those glasses.

  10. Reply
    October 30, 2017 at 1:46 am

    Well YUM!!! Even though it's obviously a dessert, the olive oil cake and rosemary put it toward the savory as well. This is one of those treats that hits your sense of smell with a punch before you get a chance to taste it. Looks so good!

  11. Reply
    SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    October 30, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    I have to admit, I'm with Zoe's boyfriend regarding frosting. I know I'd love this combination with the poached pears too and love the parfait idea. Wish we would have been able to stop in Georgetown when we stayed in Edwards last month! We did stop at the Blue Moon Bakery in Silverthorne to get a sandwich on the way up though. Great Turkey Avocado sandwich and bakery goodies 😉

  12. Reply
    October 30, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    Wow, I love deserts like this, should get my self some jars like these , not a big frosting fan myself , would love to try this and see how it tastes esp the olive oil cake.

  13. Leave a Reply