lemon polenta cake

There is just something magical about lemons…they have such a unique and uplifting flavour and fragrance…and boy are they diverse! They are delicious in both savoury and sweet dishes. And, I think they have to be one of my favourite ingredients…they add freshness and zing to everything…and make dishes moreish! In this lemon polenta cake, that is no different! It is the perfect combination of sweet, sour and stickiness…pure heaven, if you ask me.

This cake can easily be turned into a gluten-free cake, which is great…for me anyway…we have two friends that are gluten intolerant. And it can be difficult to find delicious gluten-free cake recipes that are not super heavy or just tasteless!

This recipe is originally from the queen of all things decadent – Nigella. She develops such fabulous and delectable recipes! I really love her books and have quite a few.

FYI, for those of you who follow my blog religiously, this is another of the cakes that Ange and I made for Candice’s baby shower.

Hints & tips for making this cake :

  • The cake sinks in the middle…this happened everytime I baked it…so don’t worry it is meant to be like that
  • Make sure you put all the syrup on the cake while the cake is hot. As this is what makes it sweet, gooey and moist. Be sure to get the syrup right to the edges as it likes to pool in the middle
  • I advise not making it in a cake tin and tipping it out – I tried that and it broke into pieces due to the weight of the cake and the fact that it sinks in the middle…I used a dish and served it out of there. Or a springform cake tin would work, as you do not need to tip it out
  • To make this cake 100% gluten-free, make sure to use gluten-free baking powder, or omit the baking powder altogether and beat the batter vigorously during step 4
  • I dusted mine with a little icing sugar to make it look pretty…you could easily do the same 🙂
  • I would make this cake the day before, because the longer it sits the more intense the lemon flavour
Lemon Polenta Cake

Lemon Polenta Cake

lemon polenta cake


    for the cake
  • 100 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 200 g ground almonds
  • 100 g polenta
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • zest of 2 lemons (save the juice for the syrup)
  • for the syrup
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 125 g icing sugar


  1. grease a 23cm springform cake tin or cake dish
  2. preheat the oven to 180°C
  3. Beat the butter and sugar until it is pale and fluffy with a hand or stand mixer
  4. mix together the almonds, polenta and baking powder. Beat some of the almond mixture into the butter mixture, followed by 1 egg, then alternate between dry ingredients and eggs, beating all the time
  5. Finally beat in the lemon zest and pour the mixture into your prepared tin or dish. Bake in the oven for approximately 40 minutes.
  6. The cake is cooked if a cake tester comes out cleanish and most importantly if the edges of the cake have come away from the sides of the tin or dish. Now remove from the oven to a cooling rack but leabe the cake in the tin or dish.
  7. Make the syrup by boiling the lemon juice and icing sugar together in a saucepan. When the icing sugar has dissolves, it is ready.
  8. Prick the top of the cake all over with a cake tester, pour the warn syrup over the cake, and leave to cool before removing from the tin (if in a tin).

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