Ginger Lemon Cornmeal Cake Recipe with Honey Lavender Glaze
When springtime rolls around, nature’s offerings in terms of food tend to be a little on the meager side. Light, tender greens and alliums like garlic and onions bravely push their way to the surface, their heating nature helping to break through the layers of cold, frozen earth.
Along with whatever’s hanging around from the winter stores of root vegetables, these are exactly what the body needs to help clear out the wet, heavy, and sticky kapha dosha that’s kept us insulated all winter—but to the eye, it looks like slim pickings.
This may feel especially true for those with a kapha constitution, whose preference for more sweet, unctuous foods are part of what makes them so sweet as people.
Forcing a kapha person—or any of us in kapha season—to live off the light, astringent, and bitter foods of the season entirely would be both tortuous for the mind and not so great for the spirit, either.
Whenever we’re making a seasonal transition—or life transition of any kind—it’s good to do so as gradually as possible.
This is especially true when moving between vata and kapha seasons, since vata’s erratic and volatile hold on our nature, inside and out, can create lots of instability as it slowly, inconsistently, reluctantly cedes to the more stable qualities of kapha.
There’s also something to be said for the philosophy of balancing a dosha by giving it a little of what it wants along with what it needs.
It looks, tastes, and smells just like the sweet food that kapha loves—because it is! But it’s loaded with ingredients to balance the dosha as well.
A Look at the Ingredients
Wheat tends to be heavy for kapha and can lead to the development of imbalances in the gut if consumed in excess. To prevent that, we reduce the flour base in this recipe by incorporating more drying and gluten-free grains—corn meal and millet flour—that add a bit of texture to each bite and an internal cleansing effect as they move their way through the body.
Extremely warming, bitter, and just a little sweet, ginger is a beloved Ayurvedic medicine because of its ability to help a number of imbalances. It’s great for vata and kapha both, which makes it a great spice for the winter-spring transition. Fresh ginger retains a little more moisture and potency than ground ginger, which has a bit more of an oily quality, hence its inclusion in the cake itself, but ground ginger works fine as well.
No kapha-balancing recipe would be complete without honey, which is an excellent medicinal food for this dosha. Its warming and astringent qualities help to melt and clear kapha while luring it in with a sweet taste. Honey is a preferred sweetener for kapha in general because of its scraping action in the channels.
Because we never want to cook honey, it’s not the main sweetener in the base of the cake. Instead, we add a honey glaze infused with the herbal support of ginger and lavender. This delivers an extra zing of potent, warming spices in kapha’s favorite anupan, or carrier substance.
This cake is not too sweet and not too spicy, making it a lovely food to have for dessert, breakfast, or a healthy snack. Enjoy it with a cup of turmeric milk, ginger tea, or CCF Detox Digest while you enjoy the warming breezes of spring!
Zesty Lemon Cornmeal Cake Recipe
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Makes: 1 cake (About 8 servings)
For the Cake
- 3 tablespoons flax meal
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- ½ cup ground corn meal
- ½ cup millet flour
- 1 teaspoon Turmeric Milk
- 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon mineral salt
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- ½ cup water
For the Honey Glaze
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon culinary-grade dried lavender flowers (optional)
- 3 tablespoons raw honey
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Drizzle some olive oil along the bottom and edges of a tart pan.
Combine the flax meal with 10 tablespoons warm water. Stir to combine, then let set for about five minutes.
Add the olive oil, sugar, and vanilla. Mix well.
Add the flour, corn meal, and millet flour in half cup increments, stirring after each addition until well incorporated.
Add the Turmeric Milk, grated ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix well.
Add the lemon zest and juice—the batter will bubble slightly. Mix well, then add the water.
Pour the batter into the prepared tart pan and smooth the top to make an even layer. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the top is golden and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely.
As soon as you put the cake in the oven to bake, mix the coconut sugar, ground ginger, lavender, and honey together in a small bowl. Let sit while the cake bakes and cools—this is like a mini-infusion of the herbs into the honey.
When the cake is cool, set the bowl with the honey mixture inside a larger bowl with boiling water. Let the honey warm until it is slightly liquefied and pourable.
Poke some holes along the top of the cake with a fork, then drizzle the honey glaze over the top. Let the honey solidify again before serving. Enjoy!
Note: If you want to make this recipe gluten-free, substitute a measure-for-measure gluten-free flour blend (like Bob’s Red Mill) for the all-purpose flour.