Elderflower and polenta cake

Matthew Fort combines polenta with elderberries for a deliciously original cake thats perfect with a cup of tea
By Matthew Fort
Elderflower and polenta cake
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Effort: medium


  • 300 g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 300 g caster sugar
  • 75 g plain flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 225 g fine ground polenta
  • 1 tsp candied lemon zest, (see Cooks note, below)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp elderflower syrup

Tips and Suggestions

Candied lemon zest can be bought or made. To it, peel the zest from 2 lemons and simmer in a syrup of 250ml water and 220g sugar for about 15 minutes or until translucent. Drain well, spread the peel onto a baking-paper-lined baking tray and allow to dry for 4-6 hours. Sprinkle the zest with 50g caster sugar and toss until well coated.


1. Preheat the oven to 170C/gas 3. Butter the inside of a cake tin or a deep-sided metal flan dish.

2. Beat together the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and light.

3. Stir in the flour, a little at a time. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the polenta, lemon zest, baking powder, a pinch of salt and the syrup.

4. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin. Bake for 45 minutes, until cooked. Test by sticking a knife into the centre: if it comes out clean, the cake is cooked; if not, give it a little longer.

5. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

6. To serve, scatter the elderberries over the top.

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