Pan of homemade cornbread
Spider Cake: The New England Dish That Stars Cornbread
By C.A. Pinkham
Spider cake is a deliciously sweet New England dessert that easily turns a cornbread base into something much more cake-like with just a few simple ingredients.
Simply add a bunch of sugar and cream to regular cornbread, then top it with maple syrup. This ups the sweet factor considerably and boosts the meal's texture.
The heavy cream is poured into the batter's center after it's put into the pan, adding textural variation, as some parts will be more custard-like while others are more solid.
The cake's name is thought to have come as a reference to an 18th-century cast iron frying pan with three legs and an oversized handle, commonly referred to as a "spider."
This pan was used over open flames, so raising the pan gave it airflow and a smoother cooking process. Today, a simple flat-bottomed cast iron skillet is used instead.