Saturday, April 2, 2011

Orange & Cardamon Polenta cake

I miss smile inducing mediteranean and middle eastern food with simple flavours that pack a punch. Don't get me wrong, Singapore has an amazing variety of food and a diversity of ingredients that isn't always avaliable in the UK but sometimes I just fancy something different. Couple this with a few perfectly ripe oranges soon to be a squashy fuzzy mess and I found myself looking for a orange polenta cake recipe. This cake really does brighten up overcast days with its cheerful golden insides. It is gluten free and makes a moist dense cake that really can be served as warm as a pudding or cold as a cake. Its texture is a little bit different with a crust that has a bit of crunch.

Orange and Cardamon Polenta Cake (Serves 8 )
Vegetarian, Dairy Free, Gluten Free
200g Dairy free margarine (or butter if dairy is fine for you)
150g Sugar (I used golden granulated)
200g Ground almonds
3 Large eggs
10 cardamon pods
130g polenta
1tsp Baking powder
Juice and zest of 2 oranges
For the topping
Juice of one lemon and 2 oranges
2tbsp Honey or sugar
4 Cardamon pods

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees or gas mark 4. 
  • Grease and line a 20cm/8" cake tin. 
  • In a large mixing bowl add the margarine and sugar and mix until light and fluffy. 
  • Slowly add the eggs to the sugar and margarine mixture. Once the eggs have been combined add the ground almonds and stir well. 
  • Take the cardamon pods and split open to reveal the little black seeds. Crush these seeds and add to the mixture.
  • Next add the polenta and baking powder and stir. 
  • Add in the juice and zest of the two oranges to create a wet mixture and give one last stir to ensure it is all well mixed.

  • Pour mixture into the greased and lined cake tin. 
  • Bake in oven for around 1hour 20 mins or until the cake is brown on top and a skewer comes away clean when inserted into the cake's middle. 
  • Remove from the oven and leave to cool and make the topping. 
  • In a small saucepan add the lemon and orange juice, honey or sugar and 4 split cardamon pods. Allow to simmer for a few minutes.
  • Make insertions with a skewer into the top of the cake and pour fruit juice syrup you just made over the top of the cake. Allow to soak in before serving. 

Crisp crust and golden inside


  1. delicious .. but crunchy..! ..? any tips on how to avoid this.
    the polenta i have is slightly granuled, but recepie has not specified a flour ? have i made an error ?

    nice cardamom touch though

    1. Hello,
      When I made the cake there was a slightly crunchy outer and the polenta does give it a bit of a grainy texture.You could try using a slightly finer polenta as they do seem to vary by brand and also quick cook polenta seems finer. You could try a maize flour instead although it might need some changes to the liquid. Let me know if that works. Thanks for the feedback on the cake.