Lemon Polenta Cake (Gluten-Free)


May 17, 2013 by Renee

Lemon Polenta Cake

My husband bought us the most wonderful present the other day. Really it’s for his chameleon, but I like to pretend it’s for me. I just can’t wait until it starts working its magic.

Little Lemon Tree

We now have our very own lemon tree! It’s being protected from the chickens so they don’t try and eat all the leaves off of it before it has a chance to fulfill it’s mission of giving me luscious beautiful fresh lemons. I used to live in a country where lemons were nearly impossible to find, so they’re rather precious to me.

Lemon Polenta Cake

I’m so in love with our baby tree that I absolutely had to share this lemon polenta cake. Can you keep a secret? This cake is gluten free. Whatevs. It’s totally delicious and lemony and heavenly with an amazing texture.

Cornmeal plus lemon syrup equals sweet sticky cake of magnificence.

And it’s all mature and sophisticated with it’s frostingless simplicity, so you can pretend to be an adult when you serve it. It’s stunning even in its lack of decadence.

Lemon Polenta Cake

I can’t wait until we have our first backyard lemons. I’ll probably do a little dance. What else can I make with them?

Lemon Polenta Cake
recipe by Nigella Lawson from Kitchen

for the cake:

200 grams (1-3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
200 grams (1 cup) sugar
200 grams (2 cups) ground almonds
100 grams (3/4 cup) cornmeal
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
zest of 2 lemons

for the syrup:

juice of 2 lemons
125 grams (1 cup) powdered sugar

  • Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment, and grease the sides with butter
  • Preheat your oven to 350.
  • With a mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • Combine the almonds, cornmeal, and baking powder in a separate bowl, then mix a third of the mixture into the butter and sugar. Add an egg and combine. Continue alternating dry ingredients and eggs until everything is combined.
  • Finally mix in the lemon zest.
  • Transfer the batter to your pan and bake for 40 minutes until the edges start to pull away from the pan.
  • Cool in the pan on a wire rack.
  • In a small saucepan, boil the lemon juice and powdered sugar until the sugar is dissolved.
  • With a toothpick, prick tiny holes in your cake, then pour the syrup over the cake and let it sink in.
  • Once cool, remove the collar from your pan. Serve a big wedge with wine and experience pure joy.

Cake images by Monica Szczupider


6 thoughts on “Lemon Polenta Cake (Gluten-Free)

  1. I wish we had a lemon tree! This cake looks wonderful. I love lemon desserts!

    • Renee says:

      I hope it will actually grow and produce. I’m pretty excited about it. I wish I could share them with you.

  2. BruCrew Life says:

    What a cute little lemon tree!! And that lemon cake looks so delicious! I’ll have to share this dessert with my sister who is on a gluten free diet.

  3. Nargess says:

    I have made this cake 3 times and every time the middles has SUNK horribly.. The cake is baked and tastes wonderful, but just can’t be served to guests cause it looks so bad with the big hole in the middle. I’ve researched and tried to find out why it sinks and so tried the advice given, but it sank again! Please help! why does my cake sink?

    • Renee says:

      I’m not sure why your cake is sinking, not being in your kitchen, but there are a few possibilities. First, do you have an oven thermometer? Make sure you are preheating your oven to the proper temperature. This is a flourless cake, so it should be dense, but I haven’t had a problem with it falling. Also, make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature when you mix your batter. This usually doesn’t make a big difference for me, but chemically, it can be a factor. Lastly, check your baking powder and make sure it’s still active. There should be an expiration date on it, but you can also drop a teaspoon in some water and see if it bubbles. I hope this helps. Also, check Nigella’s original recipe. There’s a link in the post.

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