This golden gluten free Orange Polenta Cake is moist, rich and bursting with zesty orange flavor. Serve with whipped cream or yogurt. Easy and delish!
Eight other women and I organized an in-home cooking class and dinner a few months ago with Chef Michele Lee-Pollack from My Place For Dinner Cooking School (Toronto, Canada). The highlight for me was the dessert we made and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since. It was melt in your mouth and intensely orange which I love.
I finally tried it on my own – twice. The first time I used medium ground cornmeal and found it too gritty. My husband and I managed to polish it off anyway. It got less grainy in the fridge as the days went by. The second time I used finely ground cornmeal – much better. I made the mistake (another one) of adding all the syrup which made it a bit too moist, but still delicious. In other words, this cake it pretty forgiving.
The flavour in both cakes was scrumptious if you love orange. I served it with whipped cream which I strongly recommend. The whipped cream balances the intensity of the orange perfectly. Other options are creme fraiche, yogurt or even lemon ice cream. Or nothing.
Orange Polenta Cake is great for any occasion, but particularly fitting for a shower, tea or brunch I think.
Level of Difficulty: Easy – no layers, no filling, no icing.
- Ideally, you should use a scale to measure the dry ingredients in grams. If you don’t have one, I converted everything to cups in the recipe below.
- I cut back the honey from the original recipe from My Place For Dinner as I found the cake a little sweet for my taste. If you prefer it sweeter, add a bit more honey or pour more syrup onto the cake.
Make Ahead Orange Polenta Cake
- The cake can be made ahead and kept covered in the fridge. I suggest bringing it to room temperature before serving or warming it for a few seconds in the microwave.
- The cake can also be frozen. If freezing, omit the zest and pistachios (if using) and add them before serving.
Orange Polenta Cake (gluten free)
- 2 1/4 cups finely ground almonds or almond flour (225 gm)
- 2/3 cup cornmeal or polenta (100 gm). I use finer grind to avoid grainy texture.
- 1 tsp cardamom
- 1 tsp baking powder gluten free
- 1 cup white sugar (200 gm)
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks) (225 gm)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- zest from 2 medium oranges (plus zest from a 3rd orange for GARNISH)
- chopped pistachios for GARNISH (optional)
- juice from 2 oranges (about 1/2 cup)
- 2 tbsp honey
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8 inch (20 cm) round, square or springform pan with butter or oil spray. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper.
- COMBINE FIRST 4 INGREDIENTS: Mix together ground almonds, cornmeal/polenta, cardamom and baking powder in a bowl.
- PREPARE BATTER: In a separate mixing bowl, beat together sugar and butter until fluffy using an electric beater. Add one egg at a time, beating well after each egg. Add half the dry ingredients and beat just until mixed. Repeat with other half. Fold in vanilla and zest of 2 oranges.
- BAKE: Pour batter (it will be very thick) into prepared pan. Bake for 40 minutes or until cake test/toothpick comes out clean. Remove pan and let cool for 10 minutes.
- MAKE SYRUP: While cake is baking, briskly simmer orange juice and honey in a small saucepan until reduced by about half and slightly thickened - about 8-10 minutes. It will still be quite liquidy. Let it cool.
- FINISH CAKE: Scrape a knife around edges of pan to loosen cake. Invert onto plate, then invert it back to a serving plate so that the top is facing up. Poke holes through top all over with skewer or toothpick. Pour on about HALF of syrup, allowing it to absorb into the cake. Sprinkle orange zest on top to decorate as well as chopped pistachios if using. Serve with whipped cream, yogurt or creme fraiche if desired - and a drizzle of remaining syrup if you like.
Other cakes you might like:
Apple Cake with Caramel-Bourbon Sauce get the recipe
Best Banana Cake With Chocolate Icing get the recipe
Super Moist Carrot and Pineapple Cake get the recipe