Labor Day weekend is upon us, a gracious three-day weekend that’s always welcome, but to most people means little more than just that- A day off from work or school. Heck, I couldn’t tell you its true significance, but I can tell you what it means to me at least: Summer’s last hurrah. One last chance to throw that barbecue, picnic, or party that you never made the time for earlier. One more opportunity to rejoice in the bounty of the season, to celebrate those late tomatoes that are just now finally hitting their peak of perfection. Above all else though, for me, Labor Day means corn. Juicy, sweet as sugar, fresh summer corn right off the cob needs only a pinch of salt to reach unparalleled gastronomic heights. No labor day is complete without a least two or three ears (per person, please!) on hand.
It feels like a crime to do much more than just eat such flawless corn, but I simply couldn’t help exploring other possibilities after stumbling across a particularly sweet batch. Simplicity was key here, so it was practically destined to become something so simple, so homey, and so quintessentially American as a humble pound cake.
It’s absolutely crucial to use the best corn you can possibly get to make this tender cake shine. Don’t wait around before busting out the baking pan and starting your oven, too- The sweetness begins to decrease mere hours after the ears have been plucked from the fields, and that ephemeral flavor will be irretrievably lost.
Though subtle in flavor, the delicate essence of corn is definitely present if you’re looking for it, and if not, you’ve got one stellar basic pound cake anyway. The perfect canvas for toppings like ice cream, vegan whipped cream, jams, ganache, icing, and pretty much anything else sweet, I dare say it’s quite possibly the best pound cake I’ve ever made, bar none. And I’m usually not one for such superlatives, either.
Sweet Corn Pound Cake
1 1/2 Cups Sweet Corn Kernels (From About 3 Ears)
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Cup Margarine, at Room Temperature
3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar, Packed
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 Teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and lightly grease and flour an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan. Set aside.
First, pop your corn kernels into either a food processor or blender, and very thoroughly puree them, until absolutely silky smooth. This isn’t some rustic corn bread; You don’t want any big chunks left over. This could take up to 5 minutes, depending on your machine.
Meanwhile, sift together the flour, baking powder and soda, and salt, mixing well so that all of the ingredients are equally distributed. Set aside.
In you stand mixer, install the paddle attachment, and beat the margarine briefly to soften it. Add in both sugars, and cream thoroughly, until homogeneous. Bring the mixer to a halt before adding half of the dry mixture, and start it again on low speed. Mix until you get fine crumbs, and then pour in all of the corn puree, along with the vanilla and apple cider vinegar. Mix again so that the batter smooths out, and then incorporate the final half of the dry goods. Stir just enough to achieve a smooth mixture, and transfer the batter into your prepared pan.
Bake for 50 – 60 minutes, until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. The top of the cake may develop a fissure right down the center, but don’t worry- I feel that this crack only adds to it’s homespun charm.
39 thoughts on “Lend Me Your Ears”
I am so jealous with your labour day holiday. I have to wait another month for mine to come. The weather will be nice, I hope.
Now, the first photo of the corn is gold I tell ya!
Oh wow, I love the addition of corn to the pound cake! It sounds like just the right amount of sweetness and moist goodness all around
This is quite an unusual pound cake. Can imagine that the corn adds a lovely flavour to the pound cake.
Here in Germany most people do know corn kernels only from cans. Fresh corn is hardly used although grilled corn in the cob has become quite popular. But a cake with corn? People will for sure call me crazy. And I will for sure make this cake! Thank you so much for the recipe.
I’ve not had a pound cake like this before but I have to say, with my love for most all things with sweet corn I am going to have to make this! It looks SO good!!
Hmm…I have exactly 3 ears of corn in the fridge. Coincidence?!
Beautiful photos and great recipe. Just found your blog, so will definitely be coming back.
I LOVE how you took hearty, savory cornbread and turned it into a dessert – holy yum!!
Happy Labor Day weekend!! :)
Looks fantastic. I love the rush you recommend from field to oven. :)
Oh yum! This sounds like a great combination!
Hannah how do you come up with such creative things again and again?? This looks so good! I wish I’d eaten more corn this summer.
This pound cake sounds wonderful. I can’t wait to try it.
This sounds like a perfect combination. Cake – only better…
Corn is the best thing about summer in my opinion, that and watermelon. What an ingenious idea to put corn into a pound cake, I could only imagine the flavor that would deliver. I too have had the luck to have sugar-spun corn this weekend. So amazing! Its awful that its coming to an end soon!
Amazing, you really do think of the most interesting stuff!
Hi Hannah! I have a little surprise for you on my blog: http://singinghorse.vox.com. When it is convenient, please check it out. Thanks for all the lovely recipes and food porn!
SWEET CORN pound cakE! That sounds utterly delectable! I LOVE that, a cross bwn cornbread and cake. It’s awesome!
CORN! I love corn on the cobb. Sooo good, sooo sweet.
Oh how I miss labor day. I am not the biggest fan of corn bread but I have a feeling I would like this pound cake version very very much – perhaps too much!
So traditionally, labour day is may day, and is celebrated the first weekend of may, annually and internationally. this celebration marks International Worker’s day and in it’s humblist form, the origins of the eight hour work day (australia), and also marks the commemoration of the haymarket massacre (usa). what i understand of the alternate celebrations for the day in the USA and why they’re held the first weekend of September is that the Government didn’t want to commemorate the riots and strikes that followed the Haymarket affair…
having never been to america, and coming from the southern hemisphere, this recipe looks like something i’ll have to save for another 2 or so months to enjoy the way you proclaim its merits worthy. for summer and sunshine and lazing about.. daydreaming about class struggle? perhaps, but probably sunbaking. for me the idea of ‘labour day’ is autumn rain and marching and serving pumpkin soup to wobblies and relentless marxists.
I thought it was corn bread at first! You’re so creative :)
Love anything with sweet corn. What a great pound cake recipe!
OOh yum. I bought some fresh corn recently, and believe I have all the other necessary ingredients to make this! Yay!
Corn pound cake sounds wonderful. As soon as I get more flour (we had a weavel infestation) I am going to make this. Wish I had some right now! Delish! You are amazing!!! :o) HUGS
OH yum! I’ve never heard of corn in pound cake! Totally fun :)
I didn’t cook anything special for Labor Day, but I did enjoy the three day weekend! I love fresh corn. I can just imagine your pound cake was so moist and corny – much better than using cornmeal!
WOw! I willd definitely be trying your corn cake recipe! :)
I always like my cornbread a little sweet, so this would be a natural step in the right direction!
this sounds absolutely divine! love the corn addition to a classic :)
Mmm that is one gorgeous looking cake!
Genius! Sweet corn pound cake sounds fabulous.
really suprised by this one, I would expect the sweetcorn would a lot of sugar / sweetness to the cake. I have tried chocolate beetroot cake recently but found that the beetroot still slightly ovepowered the cake with that earthy taste. So I will need to try the sweetcorn pound cake and compare.
Wow this looks delicious!
Oh, I LOVE corn! Corn pound cake sounds like the best EVER!
I was just talking to myself about the need to make some pound cake. Looks like I’ve found what I need! Thanks.
This was really delicious. I have even tried with green peas, it work out well so now I will serve both to morrow.
Would frozen corn work? I won’t be able to get fresh corn for months.
It may not taste quite as vibrant and (needless to say) fresh, but sure, frozen and thawed corn can work too. Enjoy! :)