(Gluten-Free) Lemon Polenta Cake

April 7, 2017

(Gluten-Free) Lemon Polenta Cake

Now, I know what many of you are thinking.
Has he lost his mind? Polenta goes great with all kinds of meats and sauces what does it have to do in a cake?
Hold on a sec, and hear me out: Polenta makes for an excellent substitute for flour in cakes and in turn makes them naturally gluten-free.
Plus polenta gives an awesome yellow-sunshine color to cakes and also gives a wonderful texture.
Are you on board?
I thought so….

(Gluten-Free) Lemon Polenta Cake

I discovered this polenta cake thanks to Nigella, and I’ve been making it ever since.
This super simple fuss-free cake starts with butter and sugar. You then alternate adding eggs and a dry mix of almond flour and polenta.
The cake batter is finished with lemon zest.
Baked low and slow in the oven until it emerges golden brown and fragrant.
The cake is then topped with a sweet lemon syrup that adds so much moistness, lusciousness, and also a sweet-tart hit that will make your tastebuds sing for joy.

(Gluten-Free) Lemon Polenta Cake

This (Gluten-free) Lemon Polenta Cake has a grown-up bitter edge. It is not a light and fluffy cake. This is a rich, buttery, and intensely lemony cake. Every bite is mouthwatering and a slice goes a long way.
Serve it with creamy mascarpone or a dollop of vanilla ice-cream and it makes for a perfect dessert but, truth to be told, this cake is perfect for any time of day.

(Gluten-Free) Lemon Polenta Cake

(Gluten-free) Lemon Polenta Cake                                                                                                  Print this recipe!
Adapted from Nigella

Serves 16


¾ cup + 2 tablespoons butter
1 cup sugar (I used coconut sugar)
2 cups almond meal (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
¾ cup fine polenta (or cornmeal)
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
3 large eggs, at room temperature
Zest of two lemons


Juice of two lemons
½ cup powdered sugar (use this recipe to make powdered coconut sugar)


Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C) and place a rack in the middle.
Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper and lightly grease the sides.
In a medium bowl beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
In another bowl mix together almond flour, polenta, and baking powder.
Beat about ⅓ of the almond flour mixture into the butter mixture, followed by 1 egg. Then alternate dry ingredients and eggs, beating in between each addition.
Finally, beat in the lemon zest.
Scrape batter into the prepared springform pan and bake for about 40 minutes, or until the edges of the cake have begun to shrink from the sides.
Let cool completely on a wire rack.
In the meantime make the syrup.
Combine lemon juice and powdered sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and whisk until the sugar has dissolved. Lower to a gentle simmer and cook until it starts to reduce, approximately 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Prick the top of the cake with a toothpick (or cake tester) and pour the syrup over the cake.
Let cool before removing from the springform pan.

Nutrition facts

One serving yields 238 calories, 18 grams of fat, 16 grams of carbs, and 5 grams of protein.


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  2. I'll take mine with a dollop (or like, 1/2 cup) of vanilla ice cream :P looks awesome, Mike!

  3. Hello! Can I substitute sugar for honey? Trying to make it healthier as possible!

  4. For this cake to be gluten free you would have to use gluten free baking powder!

  5. Hey, I’m on the low FODMAP diet and would like to reduce the amount of almond flour. Could I mix polenta, almond flour and a THIRD flour so I add less almond. Any suggestions on which flour I can use to reduce the almond flour or even replace it altogether ?

    1. You can use regular flour (all-purpose or whole wheat) in lieu of almond flour. Just keep in mind that you'll end up with a less moist cake.
      Probably the best thing is to use 1 cup almond flour and 1 cup flour.
      Hope this helps!