Gluten-Free Is Me: Summer Squash and Cornmeal Cakes

It’s been a while since I last posted a recipe on FMP, and I hate to leave you hungry.

Especially if you get as cranky as I do…

The plate is still half full in these parts. There’s been lots of excitement behind the scenes – a lot of excitement that I am not yet allowed to tell you about. I’m back from my cross-country travels and been trying to ease back into day-to-day life. My inbox is now a pile, not a mountain. But sitting at the computer has been a chore.

Luckily, I’ve been doing a lot of simple summer cooking as a form of relaxation and procrastination. And I’m returning to my keyboard to bring this recipe for summer squash and cornmeal cakes to you.

I’m always looking for new and interesting spins on this recipe for zucchini and scallion cakes. In this version, using a combination of zucchini and summer squash, I decided to substitute a combination of cornmeal and white rice flour to make them gluten-free. The result is a little bit more akin to a corn cake than a fritter, which makes for a great hardy vegetarian lunch if doubled or tripled in size. I served them in bite-sized form to a few of my parent’s friends topped with a dollop of mayo and a sprinkling of baby arugula and pickled radishes.

I promise a vague update with some images from my adventure in the coming days. But I didn’t want to give you deets on an empty stomach. So…

Eat up!


Summer Squash and Cornmeal Cakes

Serving Size: Makes about 24 cakes

These little cakes make for some fab finger food, or just a light vegetarian lunch. I topped mine with a little baby arugula and pickled radishes to add crunch and color. But they'd also taste great with just a dollop of good homemade aioli. You can substitute regular flour for the rice flour if you aren't eating gluten-free.


  • 1 ½ cups coarsely grated zucchini (about 1 medium)
  • 1 ½ cups coarsely grated yellow squash (about 1 medium)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup ground yellow cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons white rice flour (or regular AP flour)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Vegetable oil


  1. Mix together the grated squashes, tarragon, lemon juice and zest, and egg in a medium bowl. Stir in the cornmeal, flour, and salt until just combined.
  2. Meanwhile heat a thin layer of vegetable oil in a large cast iron skillet over a medium-high flame. When the oil is hot, add the batter in tablespoon-fuls to the pan, making sure not to crowd the cakes. You should be able to fry about 8 at a time, depending on the size of your pan. Press each mound of zucchini down with the back of your spatula to form flat little patties, about 2-inches in diameter. Cook until golden brown on the first side, about 1 to 2 minutes, and then flip and cook until crispy on the second side.
  3. Remove the cooked cakes to a paper towel to drain. Add more oil as necessary, and repeat with the remaining batter.
  4. Serve the cakes with a dollop of aioli and garnish with some fresh herbs, lettuce, or pickled veg - radishes worked great!

instagram  If you make this, share a photo and tag me @PhoebeLapine #feedmephoebe - I would love to see it!

This post is brought to you, along with many other fabulous summer squash recipes, as part of Food Network Summerfest. Check out the recipes from other participating sites below!

Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Quick and Easy Sesame Summer Squash Stir-Fry
Cooking With Elise: Orange Summer Squash Bread
Feed Me Phoebe: Summer Squash and Cornmeal Cakes With Tarragon
Chez Us: Zucchini Pancakes With Minty Dill Crème Fraiche
And Love It, Too: Peter Pan Squash Spiced Oven Fries
Made By Michelle: Pattypan Squash and Tomato Frittata
Cooking Channel: Our  Top 5 Favorite Squash Recipes
Daily*Dishin: Summer Squash Confetti Salad
Delicious Lean: Summer Squash Ribbons With Feta and Pine Nuts
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Summer Squash Chips
Ingredients, Inc.: Summer Squash and Kale Sauté
Thursday Night Dinner: Summer Squash Medley
Sweet Life Bake: Zucchini Fried With Tequila-Spiked Avocado Dip
Dixie Chik Cooks: Fried Summer Squash Parmesan Sliders
Healthy Eats: Summer Squash Any Way You Slice It
FN Dish: Cheesy Summer Squash


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17 Responses to Gluten-Free Is Me: Summer Squash and Cornmeal Cakes

  1. Pingback: Orange Summer Squash Bread

  2. Pingback: Fried Summer Squash Parmesan Sliders | ~Dixie Chik Cooks~ Fried Summer Squash Parmesan Sliders | A Southern Belle who thinks about what's for dinner while eating lunch.

  3. Pingback: Growing Up Isn’t So Bad, Peter Pan Squash Spiced Oven Fries

  4. Phoebe, these look wonderful! Have never used white rice flour in my zucchini cakes before so am looking forward to trying it! These look wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

    • Phoebe says:

      Thanks, Elise! White rice flour is my favorite all-purpose GF flour to have around. Especially with fried food – it makes for a really light, crisp binding. Enjoy!!

  5. Pingback: Ingredients, Inc.Summer Squash and Kale Sauté

  6. Pingback: Quick and Easy Summer Squash Stir-Fry Recipe - Jeanette's Healthy Living

  7. Pingback: Summer Fest | Zucchini Pancakes with Minty Dill Creme Fraiche » Chez Us

  8. Pingback: Pattypan Squash and Tomato Frittata

  9. Jeanette says:

    These little zucchini summer squash cakes look fantastic – love the idea of some crunchy pickled radishes on top (and that these are gluten-free).

    • Phoebe says:

      Thanks, Jeanette! The radishes are a great addition. Hopefully you can find some beauties at the farmer’s market along with the squash! xo

  10. Pingback: Zucchini Fries with Tequila-Spiked Avocado Dip | Sweet Life

  11. Michelle says:

    I am always up for savory cakes. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  12. Denise says:

    Tarragon – I love the addition of this to your recipe. I have been looking high and low for tarragon out in the Bay Area and cannot find. Seems we have a shortage of it … I definitely am a big fan of zucchini pancakes (also made for summer fest) and doesn’t the cornmeal make them even more interesting!

  13. Pingback: Chef Race: The Revolutionary War, Re-Imagined Through Food | Feed Me Phoebe

  14. Pingback: One Year Anniversary! Polenta Cake with Raspberry Rhubarb Compote | Feed Me Phoebe

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