Orange polenta cake

Orange polenta cake

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(88 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, questions and tips

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Mark Bairstow's picture
Mark Bairstow
24th Jul, 2018
Agree with being dry but have found that by boiling orange and lemon until soft and then blitzing them ( skin and all) and adding to cake mixture it gives more taste and defiantly moisten the cake. May take few minutes longer to bake though.
Julie Morgan's picture
Julie Morgan
19th May, 2018
made today for the first time and was very nice, had with ice cream but next time I would have custard, bought the polenta ready made and as it didn't state how to prepare to put in the cake, I put into a blender until finely blended before adding to the cake, would make again.
8th Mar, 2018
I swapped the polenta for semolina and it worked really well. Love this recipe ❤️
Julia Grant's picture
Julia Grant
11th Feb, 2018
Beautiful beautiful cake! Made it with my 3 year old and I think his only complaint is that it wasn't ready as soon as we put it in the oven!! Lol. It's fluffy,light and DELICIOUS!!!! Wonder how long it'll last for!!
Michelle Hunt's picture
Michelle Hunt
10th Feb, 2018
Made this tonight. It was perfect. Took an additional 10 mins cooking but it’s light, tangy and very tasty. It’s popular and the house smells great. Shame we can’t post pics.
21st Dec, 2017
Just made it with course polenta and it was not right, I think the recipe should specify what type of polenta to use and how much orange juice. As for juice I got about 120 ml out of 3 little oranges topped up with a splash of whiskey that went into the batter, plus additional 100 ml for the glaze. The taste was nice, but the odd crunchy texture here and there not quite right.
18th Nov, 2017
Used orange juice as directed but added extra cranberries. Good result but following most comments I would use some more next time. The glaze does not penetrate quite to the bottom of the cake.
8th Oct, 2017
I made this cake on Friday and it's so delicious! From 2 oranges, I got around 150ml of juice and I decided to put it all in the cake and it tasted it just right, the mixture was quite dry and the extra juice made the consistency better. I used orange juice from a carton for the glaze and it tasted great. I poked holes in the cake while still warm and poured over the glaze. It's now Sunday and I've just had the last slice, still delicious!
26th Apr, 2017
This is so easy to make. I read lots of the other comments and too used 2.5 oranges to make it even more moist and cooked it on 160 for 45 minutes. My sister in law is gluten intolerant so I used ground almonds instead of flour which gave it more depth of flavour and even more delicious ! I used fresh orange juice too for the glaze / syrup as it's a better flavour. Do try it.
Mrs. H's picture
Mrs. H
20th Mar, 2017
I have made this cake a few times now and each time I have made it, it has gone down really well. I have also been asked to make it for family members as they have loved it. I followed the recipe exactly and not had a problem with it all .


28th Nov, 2018
Hi Can anyone tell me if the polenta needs to made up before putting in? As I put it in dry & even though the cake tasted great it was a bit gritty.
goodfoodteam's picture
3rd Dec, 2018
Polenta cakes tend to have a crumblier, grittier texture than cakes made purely with flour. We'd recommend using a fine polenta (cornmeal).
15th Feb, 2018
Does one use fine or coarse polenta? Or does it not matter?
goodfoodteam's picture
22nd Feb, 2018
Thanks for your question. You'll need fine polenta for this recipe.
2nd Jan, 2014
About how much orange juice should be in the cake?
goodfoodteam's picture
7th Nov, 2014
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.
16th Oct, 2014
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
15th May, 2018
I have made this a million times now and it is AMAZING. Definitely poke the cake thoroughly before adding the glaze, I use half plain flour and half ground almonds, and make this the day before it is needed. It is definitely EVEN better the day after.
8th Feb, 2015
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.