Orange polenta cake with rosemary syrup

Polenta cakes can be dry - but not Neven Maguire's, which is soaked in fragrant herb syrup for a luxurious taste of the Mediterranean
By Neven Maguire
Orange polenta cake with rosemary syrup
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8-10
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes plus cooling time
  • Effort: easy


  • 175 g polenta flour
  • 50 g plain flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 5 tbsp plain yogurt
  • 5 tbsp light olive oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 2 oranges, finely grated zest plus 2 tbsp juice
  • 2 eggs, plus 2 egg whites
  • 400 g caster sugar
  • 2 branches rosemary, plus extra sprigs to decorate
  • raspberries, to serve
  • Greek yogurt, to serve


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Lightly oil a 1.2 litre loaf tin and line it with non-stick parchment paper.

2. Sift the polenta, flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. In a jug, combine the yogurt, olive oil, orange zest and juice and mix well.

3. In a separate bowl, place the eggs and egg whites. Add half the sugar and beat for a few minutes until creamy. Beat in the yogurt mixture until smooth. Fold in the dry ingredients until just combined - do not over-mix.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared tin. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.

5. Meanwhile, put the remaining sugar in a saucepan with 200ml water and the rosemary branches. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Leave to cool completely, then strain through a sieve.

6. When the cake is cooked, place on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes, then invert and peel off the parchment paper. Prick the cake all over with a skewer or toothpick and drizzle over half the rosemary syrup so that it completely soaks into the cake. Leave to cool completely. Keep the remaining rosemary syrup in the fridge until ready to serve.

7. To serve, cut the cake into slices and arrange on plates. Scatter around the raspberries and drizzle with some more syrup. Add dollops of yogurt and decorate with rosemary sprigs.

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