Nigella’s Lemon Polenta Cake

I must say, I am rather a big fan of Nigella Lawson. I especially enjoyed her Nigella Express series on television, and that cookery book is also one of my favourites. Her food is not fussy at all, and she uses ingredients that we can all get our hands on. She has the ability to make everyone feel that they can cook just like her – she makes it look so easy!


One of my absolute favourite cakes is her Lemon Polenta Cake. We’ve been making it for years as it’s easy and always comes out perfectly. It’s very moist and lemony, and is naturally gluten free. I’ve taken this from her website. Enjoy!



For the cake

200g soft unsalted butter (plus some for greasing)

200g caster sugar

200g ground almonds

100g polenta (or cornmeal)

1 ½ tsp baking powder (gluten free if required)

3 medium eggs

Zest of 2 medium lemons ( save juice for syrup)

For the syrup

Juice of 2 lemons

125g icing sugar


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C

2. Line the base of a 23cm springform cake tin with baking parchment and grease its sides lightly with butter.

3. Beat the butter and sugar ’till pale and whipped, either by hand in a bowl with a wooden spoon, or using a freestanding mixer.

4. Mix together the almonds, polenta and baking powder, and beat some of this into the butter-sugar mixture, followed by 1 egg, then alternate dry ingredients and eggs, beating all the while.

5. Finally, beat in the lemon zest and pour, spoon or scrape the mixture into your prepared tin and bake in the oven for about 40 minutes.

6. It may seem wibbly but, if the cake is cooked, a cake tester should come out cleanish and, most significantly, the edges of the cake will have begun to shrink away from the sides of the tin. remove from the oven to a wire cooling rack, but leave in its tin.

7. Make the syrup by boiling together the lemon juice and icing sugar in a smallish saucepan.

8. Once the icing sugar’s dissolved into the juice, you’re done.

9. Prick the top of the cake all over with a cake tester (a skewer would be too destructive), pour the warm syrup over the cake, and leave to cool before taking it out of its tin.main


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