Orange polenta cake

Orange polenta cake

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(68 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 45 mins


Serves 8 - 10
Give your dessert an Italian flavour with this moist and fruity polenta cake

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable


  • kcal601
  • fat30g
  • saturates17g
  • carbs80g
  • sugars49g
  • fibre1g
  • protein8g
  • salt0.5g
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  • 250g unsalted butter



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

  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • 140g polenta



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

  • 200g plain flour



    Flour is a powdery ingredient usually made from grinding wheat, maize, rye, barley or rice. As…

  • 2 tsp 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…

  • zest and juice 2 oranges (less 100ml juice for the glaze)



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

For the orange glaze

  • 100ml orange juice
  • 100g golden caster sugar


  1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Line the base and sides of a round 23cm cake tin with baking parchment. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix thoroughly. Once the mixture is combined, add all the dry ingredients and the zest and juice after you have measured off 100ml for the glaze.

  2. Transfer the mixture to the tin, spread evenly, then cook for about 45 mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

  3. To make the glaze, put the juice and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil. Let it simmer for 5 mins, then remove from the heat and allow to cool. Drizzle the orange glaze over the top of the cooled cake. Serve with Lemon ice cream, below.

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Comments (91)

jfoulkey's picture

Delicious cake. Very moreish! Made this into 12 muffins for. Charity event and still had enough to make a small cake for home! Yum

belindacaroline's picture

I too cooked this for 75 minutes, at 60 minutes of cooking it was still visibly soft and damp looking in the centre. Having read that others had trouble with the syrup running straight off the cake; I took out of the tin and left all the paper on the outside when glazing, allowing any 'run off' to soak into the sides of the cake. It would have been nice to have something decorative on the top - if I'd have thought in advance I would have prepared a few pieces of peel to lay in the middle.

lizleicester's picture

Delicious looking cake. Those who ate it gave it 5 stars. (I used butter but as I'm dairy free was saved from the temptation of eating it myself!)

juicylucy666's picture

My favourite cake so far! We have been baking two cakes per weekend since the British bake off programme has been on tv. It's got a nice bite due to the polenta. Will try it lemon or satsuma instead next time. Did take much longer than recipe stated, more like 1hr+!!
Husband loved it so much he ate 4 slices in one sitting!!

katie_besson's picture

so good and so easy to make, went perfect from the first time even though i used only plain flour and put less eggs. lovely!thanks much for the recipe, my bf was speechless.

oliboo31's picture

Oops, I forgot to say that I used semolina as I had no polenta (having read other comments) and my partner is half Italian!

oliboo31's picture

The cake took a bit longer to cook and I used a square tin rather than a round one. The cake was a bit crispy round the edges, and gorgeously moist in the middle. I'm not sure if it was a little undercooked (could that be the choice of tin?) but my partner loves it - he eats the outside with a cup of tea and the inside with ice cream. I'll definitely make it again.

andrealphus's picture

Only had a teaspoon or two of orange juice left after measuring out 100ml, so added about 2tbsp lemon juice to it, plus added about a tbsp of lemon juice to the glaze too, to give it a bit more zing. Our cake cooked in the allotted time (although put the oven on almost gas 4, as cooked on a Sunday afternoon when less gas!). The rest of the fambly liked it, we had it with sour cream and fresh orange segments (skinned), although I was quite unsure about the crunchy texture of the polenta in it which I found quite strange! Really nice orangey taste to it, though. Not sure whether we'll make it again...

marinamaz's picture

I tweaked this recipe for gluten free requirements: I used 100g of gluten free flour and 100g of ground almonds instead of the plain flour and it worked very well. I also poached some slices of unpeeled orange in the glaze to use for decoration. A very delicious cake!

sammarlowuk's picture

My cake did take a little longer to cook, closer to 55 minutes but it turned out terrific! I've made a few cakes with polenta, they always come out great, and this one is no exception. We ate ours cold and the syrup made the top all crunchy and orangey. A big hit with out guests! I didn't make the lemon ice cream, we just wolfed ours down with vanilla ice cream and it was still so yummy. Check it out on my blog

cappuccinomonkey's picture

Delicious cake but does take a little longer than the recipe suggests to bake, it took about an hour (I just kept checking with a wooden skewer and now automatically bake it for an hour). Took it into work and was asked for the recipe by about 6 people, which considering this cake looks pretty unassuming and was competing with beautifully iced cupcakes and gooey brownies (for a birthday), shows just how truly gorgeous this cake is.

ians75's picture

Used 4 lemons instead of oranges, for adults only try adding 30 ml gin to the syrup, very popular!

moominbadger's picture

Took an hour and ten mins to cook....sunk a little in the middle which was a bit disappointing and didn't taste overly orangey! Really not sure what to make of the polenta texture either. Don't think I'll bother making this one again :0/

maryechappell's picture

Great cake, did take longer to cook, poured on the glaze while still quite hot and it soaked in, ate it on its own and with vanilla icecream, will make again soon

hebberd's picture

This is the best ever polenta cake that I have ever made, and I am so pleased with Good Foods Receipe.

prydea's picture

Lovely cake - everyone who had a piece thought so.

For the recipe, though, it would be helpful to indicate the "correct" amount of orange juice to include in the cake rather than 100ml less than you get from juicing two oranges. The fruit I used didn't produce much more than 100ml of juice in total, so I had to use three oranges to get a reasonable consistency. I used the zest from the third orange within the glaze, and that worked well.

halfatacus's picture

just made this cake - it was fine but not as moist on its own as i would have liked. The glaze was lovely but was too sweet to use to moisten cake. I only got about 40mls of juice in the cake itself...could that be it? Others think its great though!

marielavelle's picture

I'm no baker but this recipe is delish! We had it with creme fraiche instead of the ice cream.

marielavelle's picture

I'm no baker but this recipe is delish! We had it with creme fraiche instead of the ice cream.

sargentliz's picture

As I was making this I realised I had 3 different recipes muddled in my head and had the wrong quantities of ingredients mixed up.

I proceeded with replacing the plain flour with 200g ground almonds. I added 2 tablespoons of Amaretto to all the orange juice and reserved 100ml of the juice for the glaze, adding the rest to the cake mixture. The result was an amazing, moist gluten free dessert/cake which was great served with Greek yoghurt. It could cope with more Amaretto and I wondered what it would taste like with Cointreau instead.


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