3 cups flour (The original author of this recipe recommends using King Arthur’s bread flour)
3/4 cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 and 1/4 cups sugar (the Housetrends baker used Demerara sugar)
1 cup olive oil (the Housetrends baker used an extra light olive oil specified for baking)
1/3 cup apple cider
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup fresh rosemary, finely chopped
Brown butter & honey buttercream frosting
1 and 1/3 cups butter
3 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons honey
Start with the frosting by browning the butter. A large, shallow, stainless steel frying pan works best so you can easily observe the butter as it changes. Melt the butter in the frying pan over medium heat. Swirl the butter in the pan every couple minutes so it cooks evenly. Over a period of several minutes, a foam on top of the butter will form and change from pale yellow to a dark golden brown. Once it reaches the dark golden brown stage and the butter has also darkened some, take a whiff. It should have a nutty, toffee-like aroma.
Remove from heat and let it cool before pouring into a small ceramic bowl lined with plastic wrap. (If you’re concerned that it’s still too hot, wait a bit more, since you don’t want to melt the plastic.) Put in the refrigerator to harden up. Keep the butter in the refrigerator until it’s the consistency of “softened” butter.
While the brown butter is congealing, you can make the cake. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl until well blended. Set aside. Beat together the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer (using the paddle attachment) at medium speed until thick, about 1 minute. Add the olive oil, cider, and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Add the dry ingredients to the batter in thirds until completely incorporated, then stir in the rosemary. Evenly distribute the batter between 3 well-greased, lightly-floured 8-inch cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the tops of the cakes are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool in pans for about 10 minutes, then remove the cakes from the pans and place on a wire rack to finish cooling.
While the cakes are cooling, finish preparing the buttercream frosting. Using an electric mixer, on medium high speed, beat together the softened brown butter, powdered sugar, and honey to a smooth buttercream consistency. The little burnt brown butter bits taste amazing and add a pretty speckling to the frosting. Once blended, set aside. When the cakes are finished cooling, you can layer and frost them with the buttercream and serve.
Recipe courtesy of AdventuresinCooking.com