Polenta, Almond and Lemon Cake

Rachel Allen's lusciously moist fragrant lemon cake is a delicious teatime treat and also makes a fabulous dessert
By Rachel Allen
Polenta, Almond and Lemon Cake
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8-10
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: medium


For the cake tin

  • butter
  • 2 tsp flour, or polenta (maize meal)

For the cake

  • 225 g soft butter
  • 225 g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 lemon, finely grated zest and juice
  • a few drops almond extract, optional
  • 200 g ground almonds
  • 125 g medium polenta, (maize meal)
  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • a little icing sugar, to serve

Tips and Suggestions

This recipe was inspired by the cake of the same name from The River Café Cookbook. It is wonderful served with a little dollop of Greek yogurt and some fresh berries on the side, or the Compote of Berries or on its own with a cup of coffee! It is so moist, it keeps for ages.


1. Preheat the oven to 170C/gas 3.

2. To prepare the cake tin; place a disc of greaseproof paper in the bottom of a 20cm cake tin, 5cm deep. Butter the sides of the tin and dust with the flour, or polenta.

3. To make the cake; cream the butter, add the sugar and mix well.

4. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then add the lemon zest and juice, and the almond extract if using.

5. Fold in the ground almonds, polenta, and the baking powder.

6. Put the cake mixture into the prepared tin and cook for about 1 hour - 1 hour 10 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

7. Place a piece of foil on top of the cake after about 45 minutes, to prevent it from becoming too brown.

8. Remove the cake from the oven when it is cooked, and let it cool in the tin for about 10 minutes before removing it.

9. To serve; dust the top of the cake with a little sifted icing sugar.

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