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Spider Cake (New England Skillet Corncake)

[Photograph: Alexandra Penfold]

The outside of the Spider Cake gets golden brown and slightly crisp in the oven while the inside stays tender. One of the unique attributes of the Spider Cake as opposed to your garden-variety cornbread is the thin stripe of creamy custard that forms in the center of the cake as it cooks.

For a more decadent version of Spider Cake try this version that ran in the New York Times and New York Times Cookbook. It adds a cup of heavy cream at the very end for a richer ribbon of cream in the center of the cake. This recipe is adapted from "Susie's Spider Cake" recipe that appears in the 1918 edition of The Boston Cooking-School Book by Fannie Farmer Merritt.

About the author: Alexandra Penfold is mild-mannered children's book editor by day, food ninja by night. Never one to skip dessert she's the Brownie half of Blondie & Brownie and a Midtown Lunch contributor. You can follow her on Twitter at @blondiebrownie.

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