Recipe of the month: Lemon polenta cake

October 28 2020
Recipe of the month: Lemon polenta cake

With Ann Murray, founder of Cooking4 cookery school in Chipping Sodbury

THIS time of year can seem a little dreary at the best of times.

Warm summer days seem a far distant memory, but this year with all of the Covid restrictions biting we can feel less than bouncy.

My solution? Eat cake!

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting you go mad, because I for one have put on weight over lockdown. But a warm slice of my polenta cake is sure to make you smile.

Just don’t go back for a second slice!

Polenta is ground cornmeal and is usually served with savoury dishes, instead of rice or pasta.

But it has a wonderful crunchy texture and, when mixed with ordinary flour, gives a great nutty flavour, as in this deliciously moist, unusual cake.

You can serve it as a dessert or with a cup of tea as an afternoon treat.

Go on, be kind to yourself.

Subhead: Lemon Polenta Cake


Serves 6-8



  • Butter- 175g (6oz)

  • Light brown sugar-100g (4oz)

  • Eggs, free range, large-2, lightly beaten

  • Plain flour- 115g (about 4oz)

  • Polenta-110g (4 ½ oz)

  • Baking powder -1 ½ tsp

  • Sodium bicarbonate – ½ tsp

  • Ground almonds – 50g (2 ½ oz)

  • Soured cream – 142ml

  • Lemons – 1, large or 2 small, finely grated rind and juice.



To serve

  • Crème fraîche – a small tub, about 200ml

  • Best quality lemon curd – 3 or 4 tbsps, to taste

  • A little caster sugar


Preheat the oven to 180c, 350f, or gas mark 4


  1. Grease and line with greaseproof paper a 23cm (about 8 inches) cake tin.

  2. Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

  3. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating well in between each addition of egg. (If the mixture starts to curdle, add a little flour, and then continue adding the eggs.)

  4. In a separate bowl, mix the flour and polenta with the baking powder and the sodium bicarb.

  5. Gently, in a figure of 8 movement, fold the flour mixture into the creamed butter, using a metal spoon.

  6. Gently fold in the almonds, soured cream and the lemon juice and rind.

  7. Put into the prepared tin, level the top and bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 mins until a rich brown.(Insert a skewer into the middle, it should come out clean if the cake is cooked.  If not, give it another 5mins and check again.)

  8. Allow to cool in the tin in the oven which has now been switched off. Leave to cool for about 5 mins before turning out onto a wire cooling tray.

  9. Sprinkle with caster sugar.

  10. Serve warm with the crème fraîche mixed with the lemon curd.