Cherry blossom cake

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 1 hr


Cuts into 10 slices
A gluten-free light bake that uses polenta in place of flour and orange blossom to flavour a drizzle syrup

Nutrition and extra info

  • un-iced
  • Gluten-free

Nutrition: per slice

  • kcal591
  • fat29g
  • saturates14g
  • carbs74g
  • sugars55g
  • fibre1g
  • protein8g
  • salt0.9g
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  • 300g cherry, stoned and roughly chopped



    One of the delights of the summer, cherries are much loved for their succulent texture, flavour…

  • 250g polenta



    An Italian storecupboard staple, polenta has its roots in the peasant cuisine of northern Italy…

  • 250g pack butter, softened



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • 4 large egg
  • 100g ground almond
  • 2½ tsp baking powder
    Baking powder

    Baking powder

    bay-king pow-dah

    Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

  • 150ml pot natural yogurt
  • 1 tsp orange blossom water
  • juice ½ orange



    One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

For the syrup

  • juice 1 orange



    One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

  • 3 tbsp golden caster sugar
  • ½ tsp orange blossom water

For the cherry icing

  • 50g cherry, stoned, plus extra cherries on stalks to serve



    One of the delights of the summer, cherries are much loved for their succulent texture, flavour…

  • 175g icing sugar


  1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Use a little of the butter to grease a deep 23cm cake tin and line with baking parchment. Mix the cherries and 50g of the polenta, then set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugar with an electric whisk until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Add the remaining polenta, the almonds, baking powder, yogurt, orange blossom water, orange juice and cherry mix, and stir everything until just combined. Tip into the tin, smooth the top and bake for 45 mins or until a skewer comes out clean.

  3. Meanwhile, make the syrup. Boil the orange juice and sugar for a few mins until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat, add the orange blossom water and let cool. When the cake is done, remove from the oven and pour over the syrup. Leave to cool in the tin for 20 mins, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

  4. To make the cherry icing, put the cherries and icing sugar in a small food processor and blend until smooth. Drizzle all over the cake, then top with whole cherries. Will keep for up to 5 days in a cake tin.

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Comments (8)

Petite Risa's picture

An ok cake, but I had a few issues with it. It hardly tastes of orange, polenta makes it rather gritty and it fell apart quite easily which made removing from the tin and slicing it a little difficult. All in all, I wouldn't make this again as the end result is a bit disappointing.

kaog210683's picture

Made this for my coeliac father-in-law and he seemed to enjoy it. I used mixed berries instead of cherries as that was what I had and didn't use orange blossom water as I didn't have any - just used orange zest instead.The cake was ok but the polenta gave it a slightly gritty texture which in turn made it feel quite dry. Admittedly I did omit the icing and syrup but served it with a berry coulis and was still dry. A quick blast in the microwave to warm it up helped and was nice served with icecream. If you're looking for a gluten-free cake, personally I'd go for the rum, date and banana loaf on this site which was fab.

danjoe89's picture

If I want to use flour instead of polenta for a regular cake which type would I use and how much?

mandinga's picture

Polenta and orange blossom water are hard to come by in our area. Unfortunately the result wasn't really worth the effort to get the ingredients. An easy bake, and nice moist cake, but the flavour isn't as impressive as you'd think, given the ingredients. Disappointing.'s picture

Please note - this is only gluten-free if the polenta used is marked as gluten-free on the packet. Most polentas & cornmeals are contaminated by wheat during milling & packaging & so aren't suitable for use in a gluten-free diet. Sounds lovely though!

mischa81's picture

I tried baking this last night, i have a fan so put it in at the temp suggested it was in the oven for over an hour and it didn't cook. I had to bin it.

irmgard2's picture

What a lovely cake! I had never made a cake from polenta before and was really pleased with how it turned out and how delicious it was. I will definitely make this again!

Questions (1)

mischa81's picture

Is the polenta regular polenta or is it fine. In realtion to cherries can i use a jar of cherries as i have no way of depipping them.

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