Lemon Polenta Cake

by | Jul 5, 2010

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This sunny yellow Flourless Lemon Polenta Cake recipe is dense and, dare I say, extremely moist. The secret lies in the almond meal and polenta soaked in butter. Fresh lemon juice and zest add a perfect tangy balance to the buttery richness. If you can’t find a veritable army to feed this cake to, you’ll be pleased to know that it stores extremely well at room temperature for at least one week. In fact, it gets better with each day as the polenta continues to soften. Best of all, it’s another One Bowl Wonder.

This sunny yellow Gluten Free Lemon Polenta Cake recipe is dense and, dare I say, extremely moist. The secret lies in the almond meal and polenta soaked in butter. Fresh lemon juice and zest add a perfect tangy balance to the buttery richness. If you can’t find a veritable army to feed this cake to, you’ll be pleased to know that it stores extremely well at room temperature for at least one week. In fact, it gets better with each day as the polenta continues to soften. Best of all, it’s another One Bowl Wonder. You’re going to need a big bowl!

FLOURLESS LEMON POLENTA CAKE

Makes one 25cm round cake, Serves: 12-14 people

Difficulty: Easy

EQUIPMENT:

25cm (10 in) Springform cake tin
Electric mixer/stand mixer

INGREDIENTS:

500g Unsalted Butter, Softened to room temperature
500g Caster Sugar
3 Lemons, finely grate their zest and keep their juice
6 large Eggs
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
500g Almond Meal
300g quality Polenta (corn meal)
2 teaspoons Baking Powder

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius (150 fan-forced; 340F). Line the bottom of the springform pan with baking paper. Grease the sides with non-stick spray. Set your kitchen timer for 60 minutes.

In the bowl of an electric mixer add the soft butter, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest. Beat with the paddle attachment until the mixture is thick and creamy.

Add in the eggs one at a time. Beat well after each addition.

Stir in the lemon juice, almond meal, polenta and baking powder until all are evenly combined. Give the bowl a sharp tap to remove any air bubbles.

Scoop the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth the top. Check the oven has reached the correct temperature. Place cake in the middle of the oven. Bake for 1 hour. Then drop the temperature of the oven to 160 degrees Celsius (140 fan-forced; 320F). Bake for another 40 minutes approximately. Check the cake regularly as its baking in the last 20 minutes. The top will turn brown before the inside of the cake is cooked. If The top looks like it’s getting too brown, fit some aluminium foil on the top.

Remove cake from the oven. Allow cake to cool fully in the pan. Serve cool.

BAKING TIPS:

  • Cake will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 week
  • The cake texture improves after 1-2 days.
  • If you remove the cake from the oven too early, the polenta might not have softened enough giving the cake a gritty texture. The grittiness should go after 1-2 days as the polenta absorbs more butter with time.

Recipe adapted from Frankie Magazine’s Frankie’s Afternoon Tea

Lemon Polenta Cake
Lemon Polenta Cake
This sunny yellow Lemon Polenta Cake recipe is extremely moist. It's also gluten-free and mixed in just one bowl!
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Servings Prep Time Cook Time Passive Time
16slices 20mins 100mins 40mins
Servings Prep Time
16slices 20mins
Cook Time Passive Time
100mins 40mins
Ingredients
  • 500 g Unsalted Butter softened to room temperature
  • 500 g Caster Sugar
  • 3 Lemons finely grate with zest and keep their juice
  • 6 Eggs
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 500 g Almond Meal
  • 300 g Polenta (also known as Corn Meal)
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • Icing Sugar to dust, optional
Servings: slices
Units:
Ingredients
  • 500 g Unsalted Butter softened to room temperature
  • 500 g Caster Sugar
  • 3 Lemons finely grate with zest and keep their juice
  • 6 Eggs
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 500 g Almond Meal
  • 300 g Polenta (also known as Corn Meal)
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • Icing Sugar to dust, optional
Servings: slices
Units:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius (150 fan-forced; 340F). Line the bottom of a 25cm (10 in) springform cake tin with baking paper. Wrap the outside of the base and part-way up the sides of the tin with aluminium foil. Grease the sides with non-stick spray.
  2. In a large bowl of an electric mixer add the soft butter, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest. Beat with the paddle attachment until the mixture is thick and creamy.
  3. Add in the eggs one at a time. Beat well after each addition. Don’t worry if the batter looks like it has split.
  4. Stir in the lemon juice, almond meal, polenta and baking powder until all are evenly combined. The cake batter is really thick!
  5. Scoop the batter into the prepared pan until it's 3/4 full. You'll probably have some leftover batter. Spread it evenly right to the sides, and smooth the top. Check the oven has reached the correct temperature. Place the cake in the middle of the oven. Bake for 1 hour. Then drop the temperature of the oven to 160 degrees Celsius (140 fan-forced; 320F). Bake for another 40 minutes approximately. Keep an eye on the cake towards the end, as the top could get too brown. If it starts to colour too much, add some foil to the top of the tin.
  6. Remove cake from the oven. Allow cake to cool fully in the pan. Dust with icing sugar to finish. Serve cool.
Recipe Notes
  • Cake will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 week
  • There’s a LOT of batter. Only fill the cake tin almost to the top. The cake won’t rise, but the batter won’t all fit in the one pan either. You could make cupcakes with the spare batter.
  • If you don’t like the slightly grainy texture to the cake, it will improve overnight. If the cake was removed too early from the oven, the polenta might not have softened enough giving the cake a really gritty texture.
  • The last time I baked this I found butter very slowly dripping from the sides of my pan. I might have had a had leaking springform cake tin. I recommend wrapping foil around the outside of the cake tin base to catch any butter. It’s such a moist cake that it won’t miss anything that slowly drips out.
Nutrition Facts
Lemon Polenta Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 625 Calories from Fat 378
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 42g 65%
Saturated Fat 17g 85%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 146mg 49%
Sodium 26mg 1%
Potassium 42mg 1%
Total Carbohydrates 55g 18%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 33g
Protein 10g 20%
Vitamin A 21%
Vitamin C 10%
Calcium 8%
Iron 13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

You might like our other cake recipes like this Flourless Lemon Almond Cake, Orange and Cardamom Cake, or Lemon Drizzle Cake. We’ve got a whole section dedicated to more gluten-free baking recipes, and baking recipes with lemon.

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Rich buttery gluten free lemon cake made with polenta. Made with just one bowl.