February 1, 2011

Meyer lemon polenta cake

I received a copy of Nigella Kitchen from my husband for my birthday last week. I am a big fan of Nigella Lawson and this book is already looking like it's going to get a lot of use. I had some more Meyer lemons lying around and was looking for a way to use them up. I found Nigella's lemon polenta cake recipe in this book and wanted to give it a try. I had to improvise a little because I had Meyer lemons and not enough almond meal. I substituted some whole wheat flour for some of the almond meal. The recipe below is how I made the cake. 

This cake was dense and sweet and tangy and full of texture. It's like a cross between cornbread and lemon squares. I found this to be a very unique dessert that was even better the next morning for breakfast. The reason is the syrup, which just keeps soaking into the cake with more moist lemony goodness. 

Meyer lemon polenta cake
for the cake:
1-3/4 sticks unsalted butter, plus more to grease cake pan
1 cup unbleached fine cane sugar
1 cup almond meal/flour
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup fine polenta/corn meal 
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
3 large eggs
zest of 2 Meyer (or regular) lemons

for the syrup:
juice of 2 Meyer (or regular) lemons
1 cup confectioners (icing) sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan with butter.

Beat the butter and sugar until it is paled and whipped using a stand mixer or hand mixer.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond meal, flour, polenta, baking powder, and sea salt. Beat some of this mixture into the butter-sugar mixture, followed by one egg. Then, alternate adding the dry ingredients and the eggs while beating.

Beat in the lemon zest. Spoon the mixture into the cake pan making sure it is spread out evenly. Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes, until the outside begins to turn golden and a toothpick can be removed cleanly. Place on a wire rack to cool in the pan.

In a small saucepan, bring the confectioners sugar and lemon juice to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once the sugar has completely dissolved remove from heat. Prick the top of the cake all over with a toothpick or a cake tester. Gently pour or spoon the warm syrup over the cake. Let the cake cool before removing from the pan.

Store any leftovers in an airtight container. Trust me, it's even tastier the next day.

What was I cooking one year ago?: baked egg ramekins

This cake has been submitted to: Sweets for a Saturday at Sweet as Sugar Cookies


  1. I've never had a polenta cake before, but it looks like a delicious treat. That lemon would add a wonderful flavor. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog called "Sweets for a Saturday" and I'd like to invite you to stop by and link your cake up. http://sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com

  2. Thank you, Lisa. I will link up the cake to your event!


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