I found neither Concord grapes or black grapes and my cake suffered for it, I’m sure, but only in appearance. Red seedless grapes in this cake don’t look as striking but this cake was absolutely delicious. I followed the simple recipe in every other regards and have no notes for you except that they should have bragged in a headnote about how this is just as good the next day, out of the fridge and brought up to room temperature to soften it a bit.
Therefore you can make it ahead. Ahem… (See how this recipe fits into a holiday brunch menu!)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly, plus more
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour; more for grapes
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup vegetable oil
6 tablespoons buttermilk
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 pound Concord or black grapes, stemmed, seeds removed, divided
Preheat oven to 350°. Butter an 8x8x2-inch baking dish. Whisk 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Whisk eggs, sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla in a large bowl to combine. Add oil and 2 tablespoons melted butter; whisk to blend. Whisk in flour mixture, then buttermilk. Stir in honey, being careful not to fully incorporate.
Pour batter into prepared dish. Toss half of grapes with a large pinch of flour in a medium bowl until well coated. Scatter over cake batter.
Bake until cake turns light golden brown around the edges and starts to set, 15-17 minutes. Remove from oven and scatter remaining grapes over cake. Continue to bake until top is golden brown and cake springs back when pressed, 20-25 minutes longer. Transfer to a wire rack. Let cool slightly in pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.