Monday, October 15, 2012

Lemon Polenta/Cornmeal Cake Random Recipe Challenge #21

For this months Random Recipe Challenge over at Dom's Belleau Kitchen it's store cupboard finds. We're to use or find something in our cupboard/pantry that's been neglected that should've been used or cooked ages ago. What a fun and wonderful challenge this is. What I found lurking in the back of my pantry was a package of cornmeal that I purchased a year ago because I wanted to make my first cornbread for Thanksgiving. That didn't happen I went with a store bought bread rolls instead. So the cornmeal's been sitting there for a year now and fortunately it hasn't expired.

I flipped through my cookbooks and found a nice recipe from Nigella, a Lemon Polenta Cake. You can substitute the polenta with cornmeal which is what I did, Yay!

I had a bit of trouble turning it onto the plate it broke a little....

This cake's so delicious you can have it anytime of day. We were going to have it after dinner for dessert and that didn't happen. We ate it first then dinner, lol. We drizzled lemon syrup over it which made it softer, sticky and tangy-much more lemony. The syrup was another recipe that went along with the cake.


For the cake

1 3/4 sticks (14 tablespoons) soft unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
1 cup superfine sugar
2 cups almond meal/flour
3/4 cup fine polenta/cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 eggs
zest 2 lemons (save the juice for the syrup)

For the syrup

juice 2 lemons
heaping 1 cup confectioner's sugar

1 x 9-inch springform pan


Line the base of your cake tin with baking parchment and grease its sides lightly with butter. Preheat the oven to 350F.

Beat the butter and sugar till pale and whipped, either by hand in a bowl with a wooden spoon, or using a freestanding mixer. My son and I used the wooden spoon method.

Mix together the almonds, polenta and baking powder, and beat some of this into the butter-sugar mixture, followed by 1 egg, then alternate dry ingredients and eggs.

Beat in the lemon zest and pour, spoon or scrape the mixture into your prepared tin and bake in the oven for about 40 minutes. It may seem wibbly but, if the cake is cooked, a cake tester should come out cleanish and, most significantly, the edges of the cake will have begun to shrink away from the sides of the tin. remove from the oven to a wire cooling rack, but leave in its tin.

Make the syrup by boiling together the lemon juice and icing sugar in a small saucepan. Once the icing sugar’s dissolved into the juice, you’re done. Prick the top of the cake all over with a cake tester (a skewer would be too destructive), pour the warm syrup over the cake, and leave to cool before taking it out of its tin.

October Final Round Up


  1. It looks lovely! I like anything with lemons:) Have a great week!

  2. This is a very nice polenta cake. I come from a region in Italy where we grow corn. I love anything made with polenta and pairing it with lemon is just delicious.
    Please can you follow me again. Maybe it will work this time. Take care dear Vanessa X

  3. oooh, this does look good... I cooked a similar cake with Polenta this year and it was the first time i've ever cooked with polenta and it was brilliant, so I know how good this must taste!... A great random pick, very lucky!... thanks so much for taking part this month, a wonderful treat! x

  4. Hi Vanessa,

    This lemon polenta cake recipe sounds good to me. I can imagine that it must a great enjoyment eating this super moist cake.


  5. I do love polenta cakes, especially with lemon and yours looks truly delicious.

  6. Mmmm lemon and polenta is such a good combination - a delicious looking cake!

  7. Hi Vannessa, your lemon polenta cake looks delicious. Is this from Nigella's Kitchen book? x

    1. Hi! Yes it is..I'm still waiting for my Nigellissima! I love her : )

  8. I love the idea of polenta and lemon together! I have Nigella's Domestic Goddess cookbook. I'm going to run and look see if it's in that book! Thank you for coming to visit me at The Spice Garden - so good to make new friends!

  9. Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog, I've added yours to the list of ones I follow :-)

  10. What a lovely cake!! Lemon and polenta work so nicely together! I bet the cake tasted fantastic! I will have to give the recipe a go at some stage :)

    What a great blog you have! New follower here :)

    Have a great day!

    Chloe & Sarah


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