Lemon Polenta and Almond Cake

lemon-polenta-cakeThere are lots of recipes for polenta cakes but I find this one works every time. Naturally gluten free this makes a sharp but sweet sticky ‘cake’ which is also great as a dessert served with crème fraiche. For a real treat you could add some limoncello to the syrup!

Cuts into 12-16 slices.





For the Cake
200g soft unsalted butter
200g caster sugar
200g ground almonds
100g fine polenta
1½ tsp baking powder (gluten free if necessary)
3 large eggs
Finely grated zest of 2 large lemons

For the Syrup
Juice of 2 large lemons
125g icing sugar
23cm spring-form cake tin greased and lined

Oven 180C/160C fan/gas 4

How to make it

  • Beat the butter and sugar till pale using a hand whisk.
  • Mix together the almonds, polenta and baking powder, and beat some of this into the butter and sugar mixture, followed by 1 egg. Then alternate dry ingredients and eggs, ending with the dry ingredients.
  • Finally, beat in the lemon zest and spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the surface.
  • Bake for about 40 minutes until the cake is just set and the edges of the cake have begun to shrink away from the sides of the tin. This is not like a traditional sponge and the cake would still seem sticky if you inserted a skewer to test. I also find it quite often dips in the middle, but this does not mean it’s not cooked.
  • Meanwhile make the syrup by heating the lemon juice and icing sugar in a small saucepan until the icing sugar is dissolved. Pour the syrup into a jug, as it cools slightly the syrup will thicken.
  • When cooked remove the cake from the oven to a cooling rack and leave in its tin.
  • Allow to cool for about 15 min then carefully prick the top of the cake all over with a cake tester or cocktail stick. Pour the warm syrup over the cake, and leave to cool completely.
  • This cake can be quite fragile so take care when removing from the tin. As this is not a traditional sponge cake it can be refrigerated.

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