A Super Sheet Cake for Summer: Corn and Blueberry Sheet Cake

Tom and I recently enjoyed what my husband and his wine-drinking friends call "Muscaday" -- a gathering centered around eating seafood and drinking Muscadet wines. I asked Tom what dessert I should make to go along with the Muscaday theme and he suggested something that wasn't too sweet. I decided to make Christina Tosi's "Corn and Blueberry Sheet Cake." I thought it would go well with the menu, and the combination of corn and blueberry seemed particularly apt for an outdoor party at the end of summer.

The corn and blueberry cake includes corn cake soaked in milk, filled and topped with sour cream frosting, corn crumbs, and jammy blueberry sauce. Even though the cake has a lot of components, you can make everything in advance. The corn cake requires more than 15 minutes of quality time with your stand mixer, as is typical of Tosi's cakes. It includes softened butter, sugar, eggs, buttermilk, oil, cake flour, corn powder (ground freeze-dried corn), corn flour, baking powder, and salt. The recipe makes two 9-inch by 13-inch cakes, and my cakes baked up perfectly level.

To make the jammy blueberry sauce, you cook blueberries, sugar, salt, lemon juice, and a slurry of water and cornstarch until the blueberries blister but still retain their shape. The corn crumbs are a mixture of milk powder, flour, cornstarch, corn powder, sugar, salt, and melted butter than you bake in the oven and cool before using. Finally, the frosting is a mixture of softened butter, powdered sugar, salt, sour cream, and lemon juice.
To assemble the cake, you brush one of the cakes with whole milk, and spread on half of the sour cream frosting, followed by half of the corn crumbs, and then all of the blueberry jam. I stacked on the second layer of cake, brushed it with milk, and then added the remaining frosting and corn crumbs. I put the assembled cake in the freezer for a day, let it sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before trimming off the edges all the way around, and then kept it in the fridge until I was ready to take it over to the home of our Muscday host.

This cake was so freakin' delicious. The corn cake was dense but moist and the buttered corn flavor was amazing. I love Tosi's Corn Cookies (that are also made with freeze-dried corn powder and corn flour), and this cake is quite similar flavorwise. The sour cream frosting was cold and creamy and the sweetness was restrained by the sour cream. There was a generous amount of blueberry jam (the photo above doesn't accurately convey how much jam was in the filling, because there was substantially more filling in the center of the cake), and the combination of corn and blueberry was perfect. Oh, and I always love the crunch you get from the addition of crumbs to a cake.

Usually when I take a dessert over to someone else's house, I leave whatever is left over for the host or happily let other guests take it home. But I have to admit that I took a few left over slices of cake home because Tom and I wanted to keep them for ourselves. The cake kept well in the fridge and we enjoyed it over the next few days, with no noticeable decline in quality. I love this cake so much that I'm already dreaming about the next time I can eat it. And since you don't need fresh corn to make it and blueberries are basically available year round, you can make it any time.

Recipe: "Corn and Blueberry Sheet Cake" from All About Cake by Christina Tosi.

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