Orange polenta cake

Orange & Cardamon Polenta Cake

In Blog, Seasonal Recipes, Winter by Luke Stuart1 Comment

A light, flour-free recipe spiked with zesty orange syrup. The spicy sweet hint of cardamon combines nicely with the subtle fruity flavour of the orange. If you’re new to cooking with polenta, this is a good recipe to build your confidence. It makes 12 portions (depending on the size of your slices) and can be frozen for later. Serve as a dessert with double cream, or enjoy with as an “elevenses” with a cup of tea.


For the cake

  • 220g unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 150g polenta
  • 220g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 275g ground almonds
  • 1 orange, zest and juice
  • 3 large eggs
  • 12 green cardamom pods

For the syrup

  • 1 orange, juiced
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 5 tbsp clear honey
  • 1 tbsp orange flower water


 Chef demonstrating how to bake a cake

For the cake

  1. Pre heat oven 180ºc. Line the base of a 20cm non-stick, loose-bottomed or spring form cake tin with baking parchment.
  2. Put the butter and caster sugar into the bowl of a food mixer and beat until light and fluffy, then add the ground almonds.
  3. Break the eggs into a small bowl, beat lightly with a fork, then stir them into the mixture.
  4. Mix the polenta and baking powder together, then fold it into the mixture with the zest and juice.
  5. In a pestle and mortar, crush the cardamom pods and extract the little black seeds, then grind them to a fine powder. Add the spice to the cake mixture.
  6. Transfer the cake mixture to the lined tin, then smooth the top level.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes, then turn the heat down to 160ºc for a further 25-30 minutes, or until the cake is firm to the touch (test it with a metal skewer: it should come out clean).

Making a cake in a glass bowl

For the syrup

  1. Squeeze the orange juice into a stainless-steel saucepan then bring it to the boil and dissolve the honey. Add the cardamom pods, lightly squashed. Keep the liquid boiling until it has formed a thin syrup (4-5 minutes).
  2. Remove from the heat, stir in the orange flower water and leave to cool a little, during which time it will thicken a bit.
  3. Spike holes into the top of the cake (still warm and in it’s tin) with a skewer, then spoon over the warm syrup.
  4. Leave to almost cool and then lift out of the tin.

White Pepper Top Tip:

The syrup must be reduced so that it’s thick enough and leaves a good shine on the top of the cake. It shouldn’t be too watery.

If you’ve tried the recipe, or a similar one, let us know how you got on in the comments below or join in the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.


  1. Yum yum. Such a delicious recipe. Thanks for sharing this.


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