Blueberry Maple Corn Cake

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There are so many things I wanted to write about this morning but in reality, every time I started a paragraph, I asked myself why did it matter? The answer was that it didn't and I promptly deleted it. Blogging has become a "thing" and it's hard to ignore it, but I'll keep it brief. Major online publications tout "best blogger" or "best recipe" or "best photo." At first I had the feeling of being pulled into the hype, wishing my photos were just a touch better, my writing consistent, and my recipes more creative.

It's a lot of comparison for not a lot of good.

Then I had a conversation with M about the blog. He's been amazingly supportive of everything and Naturally Ella wouldn't be where it is today without him. But that led to the other realization. I'd be lying if I said that Naturally Ella was just a journal for my recipes (for me). If that were the case, the blog would have never been something I continued (I was never one to have a diary as a teenager). I want it to be an inspiration and a guide.

What good is knowledge and passion if we can't share it with each other?

I'm extremely grateful for everyone who reads, comments, and makes my recipes. Every time (and I do mean every time) I read that someone made a recipe and even their "meat eating husband" loved it or that they couldn't believe that simple ingredients could taste so wonderful- I get a big goofy grin on my face. I also love it when you write back and let me know the adaptions you made to a recipe. There are always so many unique additions/substitutions of things I would have never thought about. It's all about growing and exploring.

Seriously, thank you. Every one of you. I hope you have a wonderful year full of amazing food and happiness.

And now, cake.

Blueberry Maple Corn Cake

Blueberry Maple Corn Cake

Blueberry Maple Corn Cake


Blueberry Maple Corn Cake

I promise this cake isn't too rich or filling, nothing like all those holiday treats. It's a simple cornbread base, sweetened with a bit of extra maple syrup, and blueberries baked in for good measure. This cake whips up fast and is perfect as a snack or an after-dinner light dessert. Don't let the idea of sweet cornbread scare you away- it's delicious!


Blueberry Maple Corn Cake

  • Author: Erin Alderson
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins


  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour (plus 1-2 tablespoons for blueberries)
  • 1/2 cup fine-ground cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup walnut oil
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries


  1. Preheat oven to 350˚ and lightly grease an 8x8 pan with walnut oil.
  2. In a bowl, stir together whole wheat pastry flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and add maple syrup,walnut oil, vanilla extract, and milk. Pour into dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  4. Toss blueberries with 1-2 tablespoons flour and pour half into the batter. Give a couple stirs to incorporate.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle remaining blueberries. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Cake should be slightly golden and spring back when lightly pressed.


*Adapted from Bon Appetit


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35 comments on “Blueberry Maple Corn Cake”

  1. I TOTALLY hear you on the comparison front -- it's tough to ignore sometimes! That said, I highly recommend you keep doing what you do :)... especially when it results in super yummy-looking treats like this corn cake. YUM!

  2. The hype–I so agree. It's hard not to pine for accolades, and I've had really similar feelings lately. And while I'm still struggling a bit, I've taken all the criticism of food blogging lately to be a challenge to be even more myself. I'm glad to have your unique voice, and beautiful foods in the mix; your recipes and approach to food is inspiring. I just made cornbread last night, and am now wishing I'd added a few blueberries–looks like a lovely cake.

    1. Thank you for such a kind comment and I agree, I've really started honing in on "me" more and more instead of focusing on outside pressures. Looking forward to meeting you in a couple weeks at Alt!

  3. Happy new year Erin! I think a lot of people will be able to relate to what you've said - I know I can. But you have an army of loyal fans here who love everything that you do because you're you and you have your own perspective on life and food. Keep up the good work!

  4. Thanks for this post - been feeling all these things, too. And I agree with all the previous comments - your recipes + photos + simple approach to food is so inspiring. {And I love seeing your photos all over Pinterest. It makes me so happy.} Happy New Year, friend! Much love to you. xo

    1. Aww thank you Sarah. I could say the same to you- your post always inspire me to hone in a little more on me. They are always so lovely.

    1. Yes! I happened to have these little guys hiding in my freezer. So perfect!

    1. I had the same thought- I think the next time I'll cut back the maple syrup and up the milk (since cornbread doesn't have a lot of sugar in the first place!)

  5. Hi Erin,
    I've been reading your blog for awhile now, but never comment. Your post made me realize I should chime in and let you know I check your blog everyday. I LOVE your recipes (I have made many of them), and have passed some recipes to my mom and sister. I especially loved some of your older posts when you were cooking for 1...I'm a single gal;) Anyway, keep posting awesome recipes and Happy New Year!

    1. Thank you, Laura! (and I'm still cooking for 1, at least until May 😉

  6. Hi Erin,

    I too have a bad habit of comparison and self-doubt, so I know how you feel. I have been following your blog for just a few months after I landed on a post where you said something along the lines of it being odd that your two photography focuses are food and weddings--mine are, too.

    Just last week I made your roast cauliflower and cheddar soup and it was AMAZING. The only thing I will change next time is to make twice as much because my boyfriend and I ate nearly all of it in one go (there was one measly cup left, which I snagged for lunch the next day before he could). The first recipe of yours I tried was the red lentils and spinach in masala sauce--yummm. I'll make sure to leave a note on the next one I try and let you know how it went 🙂

    1. Glad to know that I'm not the only one that has two wildly different photography passions 😉 Also glad you were able to snatch the soup- leftovers are always a prized possession!

  7. Beautiful post, Erin! One of the major reasons I stopped blogging was because of the reasons you listed. It wasn't fun for me anymore. Which is kind of disappointing, cause I met some really great people in the process. However, I still love keeping up with you and I enjoy trying your recipes. This one is definitely up next! Thanks for continuing each day! 🙂

  8. These are beautiful words, Erin, and I really feel exactly the same! Sharing my passion for cooking is for me the main reason for blogging. I tried several of your recipes, and found inspiration in many of them, adding a nice "american" touch to my traditional french meals! The whole family appreciates! Many thanks again for sharing all these wonderful recipes with us! That blueberry cornbread looks delicious.

  9. OH man. I get wrapped up in ALL OF THAT too. It makes me agonize over the next recipe, the approach, thinking that maybe my writing is too esoteric, maybe I should use my tripod more, I'm probably only making recipes someone like me could enjoy and on and on.

    It's so true that comparison is the thief of joy and it's SO HARD not to compare when you gravitate towards creative pursuits. It helps us all progress, but it's difficult to turn away from the semi-resentful part of it.

    I've always loved your work and approach, Erin. It comes from a place of honesty and realness. And I get so stoked when friends of mine get into your blog because they see me communicating with you on FB or twitter or whatever. That joy and real life enthusiasm = everything. You are great.

    And (obviously!) I love this cake. I have some precious summer blueberries in my freezer that might just come on out for this treat. Kind of want to slice it up and get french-toast-y with it.

    Maybe I should write a novel next time?! xo

  10. I don't blog at all, just enjoy the writing of others. It seems like it might be very difficult to keep it up. I'm glad you do though - my pinterest boards are full of your recipes.

    And my husband (the meat-eater) and I fell upon the sweet-potato mac and cheese like wolves. Wolves, I tell you. It was supposed to be lunches for a few days and lasted about 24 hours. Also all the roasted garlic cheddar cauliflower gratin leftovers vanished mysteriously one evening....

    I'll keep hoping for a book, too. Thank you for sharing your gift.

  11. I don't comment nearly enough, but I love your recipes and always look forward to the new goodies that pop up in my Reader! This looks like another good one to add to the breakfast arsenal - my husband and I would probably devour the pan in one sitting!

  12. This sounds great! I'd like to make it as a birthday cake for a non-sweet-toothed relative but can you suggest a replacement for walnut oil? I just don't have it around and would prefer not to run to the store.

  13. I sometimes feel the same way about blogging. It is filled with lots of conflicting feelings. You love attention but don't want to be doing it just for that. Clearly in your writing and pictures I think we can all tell how much you love the food you make and pictures you take. I love reading your blog and seeing other bloggers writing in a realistic voice and doing what they love. Oh and sweet cornbread is always a good idea!

  14. I love any and all types of cornbread and corn cake! This looks perfect. -- I can definitely relate to your words in this post. About wanting to be an inspiration, wanting to stay true to myself, trying not to compare, etc. I think it's hard at time because the decisions are all on the blogger. It's (typically) not a team effort, so you start to over analyze, second guess, or feel unsure. I go in waves of having those feelings but it has been such a source of growth for me. The blog grows and changes as I do. There is no boss to check in with to see if you're doing something right. It's all what you make it. The decisions are all up to you! I feel like that doesn't happen often in life, where you can make ALL of the decisions without someone saying "you need to fix this, you did that wrong, etc." So I try and take advantage of that opportunity. I feel like fighting the growth and changes would lead to boredom, for both me and the reader. While my old posts make me cringe a bit, I love looking back and seeing where I started. So much change!

    I also feel extremely excited + grateful anytime a reader emails me or comments with recipe feedback. I love the comments about kids loving a recipe, meat eating husbands, or non-gluten free eaters who raved about a GF baked recipe. I still get a silly grin on my face as well. That will never get old. 🙂

    I'm so glad to have connected with you and hope one day we can meet and chat more! Your recipes, photos, and writing are an inspiration! xo

  15. I've heard of your blog before but just now had a chance to spend some time reading and exploring it. I love your creative+ healthy recipes & appreciate your candid thoughts on blogging. I get so mad at myself when I start to have a bad attitude about how I might be wasting my time & need to remember that it is a fun hobby for me. Alas, it would be nice if my " passion & knowledge" for healthy living would reach more people. 😉

    We will enjoy this little cake for sure!

  16. I love the idea of doing a sweeter cornbread as a cake! Sometimes you just need something that's only a tad sweet....Sounds like this totally fits the bill!

  17. Dear Erin, I totally understand you. I have a blog too and every single day I wonder, why am I doing this? But then I think of how much it helps sharing thoughts with people, whoever they are. Even when they don't leave comments, they might find something useful or comforting in our words. That's what I hope! As for me, I love reading your posts, I agree with so many things you say and reading your blog makes me feel less lonely. Besides, I find all the recipes I need to cook something new every day! Thanks for everything you share with us.
    Ilenia (from Italy!)

  18. Erin, I completely understand the frustration and feel it often. As in, almost every time I sit down to write. But I have to tell you: I am so inspired by your photos and recipes, which are as gorgeous as I'd ever want them to be. Amidst the beauty, there's also a realness here, which is increasingly rare and thus all the more precious. Thank you for all you create.

  19. Hi Erin. I'm new to your site, but enjoying it. I'll have to refer my vegetarian daughter to you. In the blueberry maple corn cake, is the 1/4 walnut oil for oiling the pan only or does some go in the batter as well?

  20. I just made a batch of these and the recipe's a keeper. They taste exactly like blueberry pancakes with maple syrup! Thank you! 🙂

  21. We ate this for dessert tonight--very tasty with a smear of mascarpone. I think it will be a good pretty-healthy treat for our little one when she's old enough!


Welcome to my little internet nook. On this site you'll find over a thousand vegetarian recipes, pantry knowledge, and more. I'm ever obsessed with food from gardening, cooking, and preserving. I hope you'll find endless inspiration on these pages and visit often. 

Virtual hugs, Erin (aka: e.l.l.a.)

a few good grain recipes

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