Lemon Polenta Cake



  • 1 ¾ sticks soft unsalted butter (plus some for greasing)
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 ¾ cup fine polenta (or cornmeal)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder (see note below)
  • 3 large eggs
  • Zest of 2 lemons (save juice for syrup)
  • Toothpick



  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar



  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Butter a 9inch round cake tin.
  • Beat the butter and sugar till pale and whipped, either by hand in a bowl with a wooden spoon, or using a freestanding mixer.
  • Mix together the almond meal, polenta and baking powder, and beat some of this into the butter-sugar mixture, followed by 1 egg, then alternate dry ingredients and eggs, beating all the while.
  • Finally, beat in the lemon zest and pour the mixture into your prepared tin and bake in the oven for about 40 minutes.
  • Test with a toothpick. 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 confectioners’ sugar in a smallish saucepan.
  • Once the confectioners’ sugar’s dissolved into the juice and slightly thickened, you’re done.
  • Prick the top of the cake all over with a toothpick, pour the warm syrup over the cake, and leave to cool before taking it out of its tin.
  • Serve with a sprinkle of powdered sugar, fresh berries, and mint.

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