Lemon Polenta Cake

In baking, sometimes the simplest things are the tastiest to eat. This polenta cake is just that, simple but absolutely delicious. I first had polenta cake in Italy, the absolute masters of turning a few simple, fresh ingredients into something bloody wonderful.

Polenta is a grain which will be available in most supermarkets, that is made from corn. Paired with the ground almonds and lemon syrup, this cake is nutty and moist and is perfect with a cup of tea.

If you are new to baking, polenta cake is one of the easiest things to master as all it involves is a bit of mixing. No faff, no decoration. Just a bowl and a big old fashioned wooden spoon will produce this marvellous cake. It is also naturally gluten-free. For variations why not swap the ground almonds for ground pistachios or swap lemon for orange. 


  • 300g butter, softened
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 300g ground almonds
  • 150g polenta
  • 5 eggs
  • Zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 180oc and grease and line a 22cm loose bottom cake tin with greaseproof paper
  2. First, rub the zest of both lemons into the sugar. This releases the flavour better
  3. Beat the butter and sugar together until the butter has paled and the mixture is fluffy
  4. Using a large spoon or spatula, fold in the ground almonds and the polenta and then add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition. You should be left with a lovely thick mixture.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the tin and level off. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until golden and a skewer through the middle comes out clean.
  6. Meanwhile, make the lemon syrup by combing the juice and icing sugar in a small saucepan and then heating until it starts to boil. Take off the heat and you should be left with a thick syrup.
  7. Once the cake has baked, poke holes all over the top and drizzle over the thick lemony syrup. Leave to cool completely before serving.