Orange polenta cake

Orange polenta cake

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(114 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 a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 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 usually made from grinding wheat, maize, rye, barley or rice. As the main…

  • 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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23rd May, 2020
This cake was so tasty. Took a little longer to cook but was worth the wait!
16th Apr, 2020
This cake is amazing. I've made it three times now and each time was a success. I used all the ingredients and measurements mentioned in the recipe. The only slight adjustment I made was to add the zest of three oranges (not two) and also added the juice of these oranges to the batter. Instead of making one large cake, I made two loaf-tin cakes and the amount of batter is absolutely spot on for this method. As others mentioned previously, the cake does take slightly longer to cook (in my electric oven) but it's well worth the wait.
senojbor's picture
21st Sep, 2019
Made this cake a few times now and it's always a favourite at tea time
31st Aug, 2019
Amazing flavour just cook it for an extra 10 minutes (55-60) in total. I also did them in little cupcake wrappers so they would cool quicker. Other than that followed the recipe exactly. Could get addicted to this cake!
29th Aug, 2019
I have made this cake 3 times now and my thermostat must be out because i cook it for over 1 and a half hours!! Having said that its a great success and holds up well for 4/5 days. Did have to make up the juice as others have said in order to have enough.
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.


26th May, 2020
Hi, can I use ground almonds instead of polenta?
lulu_grimes's picture
26th May, 2020
Hello, I'm afraid we haven't tested this cake with almonds instead of polenta so I can't tell you want the outcome would be like. We do have lots of orange cake recipes, one of which is made with almonds, I've posted the link below if you would like to have a look. I hope you like one of them. Lulu
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
16th Apr, 2020
I made this as two loaf-tin cakes instead of one round cake, the amount of batter is just right. I made this with 3 oranges, not 2. I added ALL the juice and the zest of the oranges and used 100ml of supermarket-bought fresh orange juice (NOT from concentrate) for the glaze. Poke the cake while still warm to pour the glaze over. It might take slightly longer to cook in an electric oven.
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.
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