Orange polenta cake

Orange polenta cake

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(71 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

    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 (95)

Swampsparrow's picture

I found this recipe too dry. My polenta was fine ground which may be the issue. Also think there should be a specific measure for the juice total. I added extra juice but it still is a bit dry.

jackiebu's picture

A really lovely cake, it took longer than 45 mins to bake though!

iwhit1941's picture

'Zest and juice of two oranges' is too inexact for me to contemplate trying this recipe. Pity. It looks good. Perhaps someone who has tried it could give a clearer idea of what quantity to put into the cake itself?

Jango66's picture

You obviously do not bake without exact measurements cake consistency is always how much ingredients are added you have to have to know what consistency you want for your cake mixture - if you judge all recipes by that you will miss out on many a delicious recipe

SiNZ's picture

Took a little longer to cook than specified but it comes out really well. Loved it. Moist and tangy with a pleasing texture.

FierceKitty's picture

Tried this yesterday; very pleased with the results. I made a few changes, however, using a bit of honey in place of some sugar, and including some chopped walnuts and candied orange slices. I suspect black cardamom, cinnamon, or poppy seed, and prunes or other dense and strongly-flavoured dried fruit, would do well too (not all at once!).
This'll be a very handy breakfast with a killer espresso.

philpott's picture

I love this cake! I made a mistake when I first baked it ,It worked so well I replicate it every time. Instead of orange juice and zest I cook one large orange and when it is cold I blend it and add to the cake mixture. I also put about 20 grams of polenta more and less plain flour and 50 grams less sugar. It will take a bit longer to bake perhaps because of the whole orange and I do it in two rectangular tins. Made a chocolate ganache and covered the cake when cool.It freezes well too(without the ganache!).

kookymooky's picture

A lovely cake. Only slight issue was that it was quite dense and heavy, I'm not sure if that is just the nature of the polenta or if I maybe over-worked the mix a bit. But delicious!!

Frances Claire's picture

This was very tasty and moist, although I think the comments about adding more oranges are right. I halved the mixture, used gluten free flour, and added some mixed peel and it took 40 mins to bake. A very simple recipe!

josephine83739's picture

Followed the recipe exactly, but at 140C in my fan oven it was far from done after 45 mins. Turned up to 160C and baked for another 20 and it was fine.

Alma Conway's picture

I had exactly the same problem, but it took 75 minutes before the skewer came out clean for me. It was worth the wait, though!

Jumeirah's picture

Instead of buying in the orange juice; we just squeezed one and half of the oranges (used the remaining half as sliced on top) ....... its gone down a treat.
Made this in our Food Tech classroom (just under 25 in each class) with both our year 9 groups.... they all loved it, just wish that they were more enthusiastic about the cleaning up!!!

FierceKitty's picture

Thank heavens my wife doesn't trust me to wash up properly! I get to do the fun parts of cooking and eating....

Bramber's picture

This is a lovely, easy recipe. I added an extra orange as well. I split the mixture into 2 tins- it took 30 mins to cook- then put a vanilla marscapone frosting in the middle- delish!

Squeeks Mum's picture

My first attempt ever at polenta cake and it worked beautifully. To make it gluten free, I used Dove Farm's gluten free plain flour with no problems at all. I did use the juice and zest of two and a half oranges (around 250ml) IN the cake and the juice of one and a half (the 100ml in the recipe) for the soaking syrup. Genius that I am, not only did I not have a juicer (quick dash to the shops to get a good old fashioned glass one!) but I also didn't have a 23cm cake tin so used two 19cm sandwich tins which worked perfectly. I whipped some cream with icing sugar, vanilla and the rest of the zest and put this healthy concoction between the two after soaking ....success!! Really lovely, moist, tasty cake and a very happy return to baking for me

andyf20's picture

Cooked this in an Aga - the heat in my oven was way over what the recipe said, but even so it was perfectly baked after 55 mins. I used Polenta Valsugana the only type sold by our Waitrose, and the texture was a little gritty for my liking. I wonder if there is a better type to use for this recipe?

BeccaJThomas's picture

Delicious! I used 3 large oranges, as suggested by others. Very tasty and moist

mellie11's picture

Made this three times now - it's a great as a cake with tea or as a pudding with creme fraiche. I now use zest from two oranges and juice from four. Also following advice on making it gluten free by using 100 gram gluten free flour and 100 gram ground almonds. A good cake to take somewhere as easily transported in the tin.

Yum Yum's picture

This was a real hit! Would be great as a dinner party pud. I used ordinary white caster sugar and served it with the lightly whipped double cream I had in the fridge. Creme fraiche, vanilla ice cream, or the suggested lemon ice cream would be just as good. Mine took 1 hour to cook. I thought the amount of glaze was too much but I took my time and applied it slowly to allow it took sink in- was just right. Will definately do again.


Questions (3)

noni_a's picture

About how much orange juice should be in the cake?

goodfoodteam's picture
Hi there thanks for your question. Juice two oranges then take away 100ml and put whatever is left in the cake. It will depend on how juicy your oranges are.
Jumeirah's picture

in this we squeezed one and a half oranges, put you should only put a little bit in (around 2-3 table spoons) as you already have the zest + the syrup does sink in

Tips (1)

kaz39tyas's picture

If, like me, you are baking in the Aga 3-oven stove, I found that the cake was done 10 minutes sooner than the recipe suggested (in baking oven). So worth checking early. I also used 3 small/medium oranges in the recipe and it came out fine.