Orange & Rosemary Polenta Cake

Cooking time
Serves8 people
Vegetarians Gluten-free diets
Orange & Rosemary Polenta Cake

Made with whole, boiled oranges and lemons, this damp almond and polenta cake has a tangy citrus flavour that's enhanced by a pinch of earthy fresh rosemary and a sticky marmalade glaze.

7 ratings
layout 7 comments


  • 2 oranges
  • 1 lemon
  • A small handful of rosemary leaves, finely chopped
  • 5 medium eggs
  • 220g sugar
  • 200g ground almonds
  • 100g polenta
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • For the glaze:
  • 4 tbsp Seville marmalade
  • A few sprigs of rosemary, leaves only
  • To serve:
  • Toasted almonds, flaked or chopped
  • Greek yogurt or crème fraîche

Prep:15 mins | Cook:1 hr 10 mins + cooling

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1. Put the whole oranges and lemon in a pan. Pour in enough water to cover them (they will bob to the surface, so make sure there is enough water to keep them afloat and not touching the bottom of the pan). Cover with a lid, bring to the boil and simmer for 30 mins or till the fruit are soft when pierced with a knife. Drain and leave to cool.
2. Heat your oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4. Line the base of a 24cm-wide cake tin with baking paper. Cut each cooled fruit in half. Flick out any pips. Finely chop or pulse to a paste in a food processor. Add the rosemary and mix well. Set aside.
3. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl. Add the sugar and whisk till pale and frothy. Pour in the blitzed citrus purée, ground almonds, polenta and baking powder. Fold together to mix well.
4. Scoop the cake mix into the tin. Bake for 45 mins or till the cake is golden and springy to the touch.
5. While the cake cooks, put 4 tbsp Seville marmalade,1 tbsp cold water and a few sprigs of rosemary in a pan. Heat gently for 10 mins, then set aside to infuse. This is your marmalade glaze.
6. When the cake is ready, remove it from the oven and leave to cool in the tin – the cake is delicious served warm or cold. When you want to serve the cake, transfer it to a serving plate and spoon or brush over the marmalade glaze. Scatter over a few chopped or flaked almonds. Slice and serve with a good dollop of rich Greek yogurt or crème fraîche.
7. Eat Me, Keep Me
This cake keeps well wrapped in greaseproof paper (unglazed) for 2-3 days in the fridge or up to a month in the freezer. Defrost and warm gently in the oven, then glaze and serve.
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Agree with the comments that the recipe is not well written and a bit all over the place. I have put in all quoted ingredients but mix is not “liquidy” at all! Have to keep my fingers crossed now in and hope that all those wonderful ingredients are not lost!



This cake looks stunning and, most importantly it is absolutely delicious. I had a Sicilian lemons marmalade laying about and I used that for the glaze... very yummy. This is very good and rich on its own, no need to add cream or yogurt (we didn't and didn't feel like it was missing). It leaves a very pleasant tanginess in the mouth.



I enjoyed cooking, serving and eating it. Serves to all senses and many people.



Love this - it's restored my faith in cake! Didn't bother with the topping and don't feel it needs it. May try that next time. We had it on its own with tea - delicious!



love the taste not too sweet but very zingy and using the whole of the fruit so all that goodness.......the rosemary adds a lovely flavour......nice texture.....slightly pudding like ...lovely with cream....even my husband who isn't a cake man had 2 pieces.



Just made this and would like to see more clarity about the final step, step 6: do you pour over the ,marmalade glaze as soon as you have left the cake to cool, or once it's cool? I think this will affect the extent to which the glaze will sink into the cake and I am not sure what the recipe is aiming for, is it for the marmalade to sit on top or to sink in like it would with a lemon drizzle cake?



This recipe popped up for Easter so I decided to give it a go, having never attempted a polenta cake before - I'm not really a cake sort of person - and because I really can't beat my mother's family favourite lemon drizzle so have given up trying. The recipe doesn't seem clear to me at all, so I had to ask advice, but that might just be because I'm not a regular baker. The fruit is boiled whole (not peeled) and does float to the top so difficult to 'cover', as such. 'Fold together', at the end of stage three, refers to folding the blended fruit/herb mixture into the other bowl of already folded ingredients. The mixture is very liquidy. I found it took a little longer to bake and wasn't entirely sure how to test as the usual skewer test might render it too dry, but it's delicious, particularly with the suggested dollop of creme fraiche. The polenta adds a lovely crunch and the rosemary gives it a savoury feel. Made the mistake of putting the drizzle on the whole cake though, meaning I