Kelly Miller’s Polenta Cake with Berry Sauce [RECIPE]

Author Kelly Miller loves baking up this family favorite, Polenta Cake with Berry Sauce. (Photo courtesy Kelly Miller)

Many years ago, Kelly Miller, author of Accusing Mr. Darcy, attended a family gathering where her husband’s cousin Linda served them Polenta Cake with Berry Sauce. Upon Kelly’s request, Linda generously wrote out the recipe for her, and to this day, it remains one of the novelist’s all-time favorite desserts.

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Rhubarb-Strawberry Crumb Cake

Rhubarb-Strawberry Crumb Cake (Photo by Jathan Fink, Jadeworks Entertainment)

Freshly harvested rhubarb and big, juicy strawberries are a match made in heaven. They meet in this tasty vegetable-fruit crumb cake that is sure to please the most particular crowd. (Photo by Jathan Fink, Jadeworks Entertainment)

Rhubarb is the perfect complement to fresh strawberries in this deliciously moist, subtly fruity and always yummy cake, particularly when you can purchase both items in season. Serve with your favorite coffee for a mid-morning snack or as a light after-dinner dessert.

PREP: 25 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 1/4 hours + cooling time


For The Streusel

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus room-temperature butter for pan
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For The Cake

  • 2 stalks rhubarb, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon light-brown sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar (also called 10-X)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides. Butter and flour parchment and pan, tapping out excess flour.
  2. Make streusel: Whisk together butter, brown sugar and salt. Add flour and mix with a fork until large crumbs form. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Make cake: In a medium bowl, combine rhubarb, strawberries, brown sugar and 1/4 cup flour. In another medium bowl, whisk 3/4 cup flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and confectioners’ sugar until light and fluffy; beat in eggs, one at a time. With mixer on low, beat in vanilla, then flour mixture. Spread batter in prepared pan. Sprinkle with rhubarb and strawberry mixture; top with streusel.
  4. Bake cake until golden and a toothpick iserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool completely in pan. Using paper overhang, lift cake from pan. Cut into 9 pieces.

YIELDS: 9 servings

© 2011 Jadeworks Entertainment.