Recent entries in: Desserts

  • Olive Oil Cornmeal Cake with Grapefruit and Fennel

Olive Oil Cornmeal Cake with Grapefruit and Fennel

Posted on January 9, 2017

So…am I being a total jerk for posting a cake recipe during the second week of January?

If I am, you guys can totally tell me. Be honest.

Well…maybe not too honest. I don’t want my feelings to get hurt.

But here’s the thing: I like cake. I like baking it. I like sharing it with friends. And I like eating it. So I’m going to continue to do those things. Maybe with a little less frequency than I was doing in December. But I’m not going to abandon desserts altogether. Deprivation doesn’t jive well with me. Someone always ends up getting hurt in the end.

Olive Oil Cornmeal Cake with Grapefruit and Fennel |

And this Olive Oil Cornmeal Cake with Grapefruit and Fennel is just barely crossing the threshold into the “dessert” category. The cake itself isn’t too terribly sweet. In fact, I’d say it’s definitely leaning more on the cornbread side of the equation than on the cake side of the equation. And if you skip the glaze, it would totally be acceptable to enjoy a slice (or two!) at breakfast or brunch. No one would judge you.

The fennel seeds were a last minute addition, spurred by the all mighty Google machine. When I was researching recipes, I found several sweet cornmeal cake recipes (usually Italian or Brazilian in origin) that used them. And that sounded like a pretty good idea to me. So I gave it a go. And holy moly, it might just be my favorite part of this recipe. So whatever you do, definitely don’t skip the fennel seeds!

Olive Oil Cornmeal Cake with Grapefruit and Fennel |

I’m sharing this Olive Oil Cornmeal Cake with Grapefruit and Fennel as part of our monthly seasonal eating round-up organized by Becky from Vintage Mixer. At the start of each month, Becky posts a guide outlining which fruits and vegetables are currently at their peak, along with recipe suggestions for how to use them. You can find her January produce guide here. And then myself and a few other bloggers make new recipes to further highlight those ingredients. Check out the links below to see what everyone has created for the month of January. And follow along with the hashtag #eatseasonal on social media to see even more inspiring seasonal recipes!



Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

Olive Oil Cornmeal Cake with Grapefruit and Fennel

Yield: Maks one 8- or 9-inch cake

Olive Oil Cornmeal Cake with Grapefruit and Fennel


  • For the Cake
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated grapefruit zest

  • For the Glaze
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1 tsp. finely grated grapefruit zest


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. Cut out a round of parchment paper to fit in the bottom of your cake pan. Coat the bottom and sides of your cake pan with a thin layer of olive oil. Then lay the parchment paper-round down in the bottom of the pan. Brush some olive oil on top of the parchment paper-round. Set your prepared pan aside.
  2. In the bowl of your mixer with the whisk attachment, combine the olive oil, eggs, sugar and grapefruit juice. Add the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt and mix until the flour is just incorporated. Whisk in the fennel seeds and grapefruit zest.
  3. Pour the cake batter into your prepared pan and smooth the surface. Transfer the pan to your pre-heated oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the top is golden. Remove the pan from the oven and set it on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes. Then run a knife around the edge of the cake to help separate it from the sides of the pan and invert the pan onto a plate. Remove and discard the parchment paper from the cake. Then carefully re-invert the cake back onto the wire rack to finish cooling.
  4. While the cake is cooling, combine all of the ingredients for the glaze in a small bowl until smooth.
  5. Pour the glaze over the cooled cake. Slice and serve.
  6. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days.

January Eat Seasonal Recipes


Healthy Tangerine Julius Smoothie by Letty’s Kitchen

Leek and Turnip Soup by Vintage Mixer

Apple Almond Bircher Meusli with Winter Fruits by Simple Bites

Saucy Sweet Potatoes with Coconut Curry and Mint by Healthy Seasonal Recipes

Garlic and Herb Spaghetti Squash Boats by She Likes Food

Peanut Butter Crusted Sweet Potato Fries by JoyFoodSunshine

Raw Brussels Sprouts Salad with Harissa Vinaigrette by Project Domestication

Winter Cauliflower Rice Bowl with Cranberry-Mustard Sauce by Cafe Johnsonia

Meyer Lemon Coconut Panna Cotta by Kitchen Confidante

Maple Orange Teriyaki Salmon Bowls by Flavor the Moments

  • Hazelnut Linzer Cookies with Vanilla-Cranberry Jam

Hazelnut Linzer Cookies with Vanilla-Cranberry Jam

Posted on December 15, 2016

Disclosure: I am participating in the 2016 Cookie Campaign with Rodelle as part of their Brand Ambassador program. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands and companies that support Floating Kitchen!

There are so many Christmas cookie recipes on the internet right now. It’s kind of blowing my mind. And my waistline, too, if I’m being completely honest with myself.

But I’m not really complaining. Because I have a soft spot in my heart for Christmas cookies. And today, I’m even going to contribute one more recipe to the pile. Don’t be mad. We can all go back to exercising restraint (and just straight up exercising) in January.

Hazelnut Linzer Cookies with Vanilla-Cranberry Jam |

There are some cookies that just seem destined to become Christmas cookies. One of which are Linzer cookies. They are a classic that always comes to my mind around the Holidays. There is just something really festive about their heavy dusting of powdered sugar, like a fresh morning snow fall. And that peak-a-boo window of jam in the center reminds me of the old fashioned jewel toned ornaments that used to hang heavy on my Grandmother’s Christmas tree.

Linzer cookies are most traditionally made with almond flour and filled with a raspberry jam. But went rogue and decided to switch things up a bit. I replaced the almond flour with hazelnut flour. And I made a quick and easy stovetop vanilla-scented cranberry jam for the centers. And you know what? I think I actually prefer these Hazelnut Linzer Cookies with Vanilla-Cranberry Jam over the more traditional version. It’s great to be able to use seasonal produce to create a homemade filling. And I think the hazelnut flour (have you tried my Chocolate Hazelnut Madeleines yet?) provides a stronger nutty flavor and aroma than the almond flour does.

Hazelnut Linzer Cookies with Vanilla-Cranberry Jam |

It’s really important to sufficiently chill the dough before you roll it out. And then chill the cutouts before you bake them. This will make the dough easier to handle, and your cookies will bake up with cleaner edges and a more defined shape. I don’t usually have enough room in my refrigerator to fit two baking sheets, so I just place my baking sheets outside on my back patio. If the weather permits, this might be a great option for you too!

Admittedly, Linzer cookies do take a bit more time and care to prepare than some other cookies. But I love making and sharing them with my family and friends this time of year. They are worth every bit of extra effort.

As a Brand Ambassador for Rodelle, I created these Hazelnut Linzer Cookies with Vanilla-Cranberry Jam for their 2016 Holiday Cookie Campaign. Make sure you check out this link to see all the recipes that the other Brand Ambassadors made. Everyone really brought their A-game this year. It’s like cookie heaven!



Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour

Hazelnut Linzer Cookies with Vanilla-Cranberry Jam

Yield: Makes about 2 dozen cookies

Hazelnut Linzer Cookies with Vanilla-Cranberry Jam


  • For the Cookies
  • 3/4 cups (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp. Rodelle Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups hazelnut flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting

  • For the Jam
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cranberry juice (or water)
  • 1 Rodelle Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean


  1. In your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, sugar and lemon zest on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Then beat in the egg yolk and vanilla extract.
  2. With your mixer on low speed, add in the flours and salt and beat until just combined. Remove the dough from the bowl and divide it into two portions. Wrap each portion in plastic wrap, flattening it to form a disk, and then refrigerate the disks until well chilled, at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
  3. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out one of the dough disks to 1/4-inch thickness. The use a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter to cut out cookies. Using a smaller cookie cutter, make a peak-a-boo cutout in the center of half of the rounds. Transfer the cookie cut-outs to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Re-roll the scrapes and continue to cut out cookies until the dough has been used up. Place the baking sheet in your refrigerator (or outside!) for 30 minutes to chill the cookie cut-outs.
  4. Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Repeat the same process with the second dough disk.
  5. Bake the chilled cookie cut-outs in your pre-heat oven for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the cookies rest on the sheet for 5 minutes. Then transfer them to a wire rack to continue cooling.
  6. While the cookies are cooling, making the filling. Add the cranberries, sugar and cranberry juice to a saucepan over medium heat. Slice the vanilla bean in half and scrape out the seeds. Add the scraped seeds and the expended pod to the saucepan. Cook the filling, stirring frequently, until almost all of the cranberries have burst open, about 5-6 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Using the back of a spoon, crush any cranberries that are still intact. Allow the filling to cool to room temperature, then remove and discard the vanilla bean pod.
  7. Place the cookies with the peak-a-boo cutouts on a cookie sheet and dust the tops generously with powdered sugar. Place a small dollop of filling in the center of the flat side of the remaining cookies, spreading it out slightly. Top with the powdered sugar-dusted cookies. Enjoy!
  8. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for 2-3 days.

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