Raspberry & lemon polenta cake

Raspberry & lemon polenta cake

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(31 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 30 mins


Serves 8
Give your sponge an Italian twist with Jane Hornby's easy-to-make polenta cake

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal608
  • fat40g
  • saturates23g
  • carbs58g
  • sugars38g
  • fibre2g
  • protein8g
  • salt0.97g
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    For the cake

    • 225g very soft butter



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

    • 225g caster sugar, plus 1 tbsp
    • 4 egg, beaten



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

    • 175g fine polenta



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

    • 50g plain flour
    • 1½ 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…

    • ½ tsp vanilla extract
    • finely grated zest of 1½ lemons



      Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

    • 200g frozen raspberry, left frozen



      A member of the rose family, raspberries have a wonderfully intense, sweet taste, and many…

    • icing sugar, or more to taste (optional)

    For the filling

    • 100g soft cheese at room temperature (we used Philadelphia)
    • 1 tbsp icing sugar, or more to taste
    • finely grated zest of ½ lemon, plus a squeeze of juice



      Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

    • 142ml tub double cream
    • 100g frozen raspberry, defrosted



      A member of the rose family, raspberries have a wonderfully intense, sweet taste, and many…


    1. Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5 and butter two 20cm sandwich tins. Line the bottom of the tins with baking paper. In a large bowl, beat the butter and 225g caster sugar together until creamy and light. Gradually add the egg, little by little, until all the egg is worked in and the mix is pale and fluffy. If the mix looks like it’s starting to split, add 1 tsp of the flour, then carry on.

    2. Put the polenta in another bowl, then stir in the flour and baking powder. Beat the vanilla extract and zest into the eggy mix, then fold in the dry ingredients. Spoon half the batter into each tin and level the top. Scatter all but a handful of the raspberries over the mix and poke in gently. Sprinkle one of the sponges with the 1 tbsp sugar. Bake for 20 mins until risen and golden, but still with a little wobble under the crust.

    3. Open the oven, whip out the sugar-crusted sponge and quickly poke the remaining frozen raspberries into the top. Bake both sponges for 10 more mins or until springy in the middle. If this sounds too tricky, just leave the sponges to bake for 30 mins – the cake won’t look as glam, but will still taste great (you can add the leftover berries to the filling instead). Cool in the tin for 10 mins, then cool completely on a rack. Be careful when turning out the raspberry-topped sponge and slide it off its base rather than turning it upside down.

    4. When the sponges are cold, beat the soft cheese with the icing sugar, lemon zest and a little of the juice to loosen if it needs it. Very lightly whip the cream so that it just holds its shape, then fold into the cheese. Fold in the defrosted raspberries. Use to sandwich the sponges together, sugar-crusted on top, and serve dusted with more icing sugar.

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    Comments (38)

    sarah-t's picture

    Have made this many times as a dessert. It's a winner. I have tried using less polenta and more flour and this results in a slightly lighter texture.

    daisy_et's picture

    delicious and very easy to make. Lovely as a summer birthday cake

    kathynicolson's picture

    Made this for my work collegues for a leaving tea got a big thumbs up from everyone

    smpdit's picture

    very nice.. though I used fresh raspberries. lovely and tangy..

    kittylenore's picture

    I made this with self raising flour rather than polenta, and it was very well received by my work colleagues. Looks amazing!

    hollyberry261's picture

    This recipe is FANTISTIC! I used it on my NVQL3 Catering course as a final assesment in pastry. I changed alot to be honest to make it my own. Instead of the raspberries on top. i sealed a cake tin around the cake, made a raspberry coulis with gelatine and poured it down onto the cake and chilled it until it set. i had a beautiful and unusual design on the top! i then piped 8 little cream swirls to mark out the portions, placed a rasperry on top of each one, then i caramelised eight lemon wedges, and slanted them over the top of the raspberry. i have some wonderful pictures of the cake id love to show you but i cant find a link to upload them onto. i also made the cake for my sisters 11th birthday. she loved it!

    notmum's picture

    Perfect cake light and delicious, exactly how cake should be!

    elenawong's picture

    Very yummy and enjoyed by all. Very easy to make and the crunchy texture on the outside of the cake was deliciously different. Would definitely make it again.

    thegail's picture

    I made this for a birthday at work, didn't use polenta - I was told it was even better than 'the ultimate chocolate cake' (also on this website) which had rave reviews!!! Deffo recommend (mine didn't look quite as good as the picture though as the sugar on top cracked when I pushed in the second lot of raspberrys but it still tasted great)

    hannahmummy's picture

    We really enjoyed this cake as sunday lunch pudding. Then as monday lunch pudding as well! Being cows milk free in our house I used toffuti plain cream cheese (instead of the cream and cream cheese) as the filling which worked really well.

    juliaduckworth's picture

    I made this cake for a birthday party, so moist and it went down very well and I cut it into 16 pieces and it was plenty.

    lizkenny's picture

    I have made this cake several times and each time it tastes better and better a firm family favourite. Very easy to make worth the extra effort.

    shoe2boot's picture

    Superb Cake :o) Tasted absolutely delicious and everybody wanted the recipe.
    I used fresh raspberries as that's what I had in the fridge.
    Perfect for afternoon tea, summer picnic or fete stall, will certainly be making it again soon !!

    dlockhart's picture

    Gorgeous cake with some greedy guests even having a second helping at my Italian themed dinner party!

    Looks VERY professional and the hint of lemon is lovely!

    Hawie's picture

    Really delicious. Quite a dense cake due to the polenta - which makes it go further. But it wont' last long!

    sbagwe's picture

    I make an extra simple version without the frosting or polenta. Just use all flour (no polenta) and put all the raspberries in the cake. I make an optional glaze of icing sugar with lemon juice, but my kids and guests eat it plain also.

    carolesmith's picture

    Enjoyed by all at a family dinner.

    lizkenny's picture

    Best cake I've ever eaten - very easy to make & looks so professional. Give it 5 stars.


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