My site has been all about the baby showers this week!  First I celebrated Amanda’s baby girl in real life, and now I’m honored to take part in a virtual shower for my dear, sweet friend Courtney.  Courtney and I met through our love for food and blogging about it, and now I’m proud to call her a friend in real life as well.  Though we live over six hundred miles apart, we don’t let that stand between us.  She hosted my virtual baby shower last year.  Then she came to visit me in Indiana back in the fall.  Last weekend myself along with some other blogging girlfriends surprised her with a mini shower/get together (more on that later).  I can say from firsthand experience that she is undoubtedly one of the most genuinely nice and thoughtful people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.  Her husband Eric is just as kind and friendly as she is, and they are going to be incredible parents.  Of course we wanted an opportunity to celebrate with all her other blogging friends as well, so a virtual shower was in order and Josie graciously offered to host us.  Be sure to check out Josie’s and Courtney’s posts to see everyone’s contributions!

Since so many other participants made desserts for the occasion, I opted to go savory.  Courtney has Southern roots having grown up in Alabama and living in Virginia now, and she has a deep love of Southern cuisine.  I wanted to make something that would be a nice, bite-sized appetizer appropriate for passing at a shower or party that was also inspired by Courtney’s Southern background.  I turned to the latest edition to my cookbook collection, Basic to Brilliant, Y’all (a gift from Josie – thanks dear!)  Since okra was being delivered in our produce bin, these okra cornmeal cakes seemed like a great starting point.  Though certainly optional, I decided to cut them all with a biscuit cutter after cooking to give them a more uniform, finished look.  Then I finished them off with a thin spread of herbed chèvre and a few roasted grape tomatoes to elevate them to party-worthy status.  Whether for a party or get-together or just for a regular ol’ meal, this combination was killer.  I knew these would be good but they definitely exceeded my expectations.  Courtney, I hope you enjoy these and try them at home sometime.  And if not, we’re definitely making them next time we get together!


For the roasted tomatoes:
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
Generous drizzle of olive oil
Pinch of kosher salt
Generous pinch of sugar

For the corn cakes:
2 cups fine yellow cornmeal
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. sea salt or kosher salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1½ cups water, plus more as needed
8 oz. okra, stems trimmed and sliced ¼-inch thick
1 jalapeño, cored, seeded and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely minced
¼ cup canola oil, for frying

To serve:
About 3 oz. herbed goat cheese
Fresh herbs, for garnish (optional)


  • 01

    To make the roasted tomatoes, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Combine the tomatoes, olive oil, salt, and sugar on a rimmed baking sheet and toss well to coat.  Bake for about 40 minutes, tossing once or twice during cooking.  Remove from the oven and let cool.  If not using immediately, refrigerate until needed.

  • 02

    To make the corn cakes, combine the cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; whisk to blend and set aside.  Combine the egg and water in a liquid measuring cup and whisk lightly.  Add the liquid mixture to the bowl with the cornmeal mixture, and stir just until combined.  Fold in the okra, jalapeño, and garlic until incorporated.  The mixture may seem a bit watery at first, but give it a minute for the cornmeal to soak up the liquid.  If the mixture is too dry, add more water a tablespoon at a time.

  • 03

    To cook the corn cakes, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until very warm.  Drop in scoops of the dough mixture, about a scant ¼ cup each, spaced an inch or two apart.  Cook, flipping once during cooking, until both sides are lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes per side.  Transfer the finished cakes to a paper towel-lined rack and repeat with the remaining dough mixture.

  • 04

    To serve, place a small dollop of the herbed chèvre on top of each warmed corn cake.  Let it sit for a minute or two to melt slightly, then spread gently over the top of the corn cake.  Top each cake with a few of the roasted tomatoes and garnish with fresh herbs as desired.  Serve immediately.


  • Been waiting for this all week! Sounds absolutely divine. More than an appetizer, and amuse-bouche really. Glad you gals had a great time, what fun!

  • Now that I’m in the south, I have to make these! They are so cute and dainty, perfect for this girly shower. :)

  • Annie, these look so awesome. I love corncakes in any form, and I’m a huge okra fan. Tom doesn’t like okra as much, but these look like a way to keep it a little less “slimy.” I definitely need to make these!

  • That combo sounds phenomenal and they look perfect! I love okra and love seeing it outside the deep fried box.

  • So lovely, Annie. I was wondering how you got them all to be exactly the same size – you’re so clever! :) I can’t wait to make these, and now there’s no way I can eat these without the goat cheese and roasted tomatoes…

  • Kelsey

    What a gorgeous contribution to Courtney’s shower. Every single component of this dish ranks high on my list of favorites, so I cannot wait to make them. Once again, your kindness, thoughtfulness, and incredible attention to detail are shining through in your food and your words. You’re amazing, Annie!

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    These are absolutely lovely!

  • Annie! I need you to move Atlanta stat! Seriously.. .this looks great!

  • It may be winter time, but a nice batch of roasted tomatoes sound like that would hit the spot right now.

  • Amy

    These look beautiful and knowing how much Courtney loves southern food this was a great addition. Being in love with southern food and loving okra, I can’t wait to make these someday and soon!

  • What a lovely little bite for the baby shower! These look super delicious, Annie.

  • Alicia

    These are lovely, I am definitely adding these to next weeks menu. They look delicious! Love the oven roasted tomatoes.

  • Thank you so much for all the sweet words and for this awesome recipe! I seriously can’t wait to try it. I adore okra, and I’ve never seen it used in such a classy looking recipe. These are perfect. Miss you already and can’t wait for you to meet the baby once she arrives!

  • Catherine Melton

    These are so cute, and perfectly Southern!

  • Wow these sound heavenly! I love all the ingredients in this, great recipe!

  • Delish! I have yet to try working with okra because I am afraid of it slightly. (ok, a lot.) I remember my mom forcing me to try it when I was a kid and I was totally scared. These look super cute and I love the idea of goat cheese. Well, any kind of cheese in general, as we both know. Miss you, too!

  • Anonymous

    This looks like a delicious combo of ingredients! Perfect for a shower.

  • Ryan

    I’m a big okra fan and bet these taste delicious with the roasted tomatoes and chevre! I’m so making these the next time I have a party!!

  • This sounds amazing and I think it is so sweet that you made a good friendship with a fellow blogger, to cute!

  • Suzanne Perazzini

    These cakes could make a great vegetarian dinner by making them a little bigger and throwing a salad on the plate to round it out.

  • What a gorgeous photo of what I’m sure was an awesome meal! I need to find some okra this spring/summer because I need these little guys in my life. Great contribution, Annie!

  • Rebecca McNamara

    Oh my these look lovely– I’ve been wanting to buy ‘Basic to Brilliant Y’all’, and this just motivated me to go for it! Great recipe adaptation. Love your blog, Annie!

  • Dalia

    Annie, can I use frozen chopped orka if I make sure to thaw it well?

  • annieseats

    I’m sure you could, though I’m also sure fresh would be best. It’s really your call.

  • Dalia

    I want to make this for dinner but I do not know what main dish to serve with it. I have been racking my brain and all I can think of is Chili? Any suggestions, please….

  • I have not visited this blog for awhile. I am amazed at how fabulous all of your pictures are now. Not that they bad before but they are amazing now. Wonderful job!

  • annieseats

    Well, thank you very much!

  • Jawanna Roethel

    oo-oo love corn cakes, and all the rest, gonna make these!

  • Anu Bh02

    fab pic…n recipe!!! Annie is it okay to use polenta instead of cornmeal that not quite similar;-) or am i acting dumb :D

  • annieseats

    It should be cornmeal.

  • Wow! A new way to use okra – and it looks like a good way to fool people who say they don’t like it

  • Wow. These look & sound utterly incredible. I can’t wait to try them!

  • Karencavin

    Wow, these are amazing and full of flavor. My daughter and I decided to bake them instead of frying and they turned out so good!

  • guest

    How long did you bake them? At what temp?