This started as an orange polenta cake made with yoghurt but somewhere along the line turned into dairy free lemon cake. I used to make it quite often for my old colleagues as it doesn’t really need to be decorated other than a drizzle of icing, making it an easy option for a spot of mid-week baking. It’s a bit too rich anyway if you ice it with buttercream. It works well as a gluten free cake and can also be made without refined sugar – please see the bottom of the page for details.
Start by pre-heating your oven to 150C.
Ingredients: 350ml sugar
175ml lemon juice
150g polenta or cornmeal
260g self-raising flour
175ml vegetable or sunflower oil
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- Mix the oil, sugar, lemon juice and water.
- Add the flour, polenta and baking powder.
- Mix in one direction until smooth and pour into a greased springform tin, with the base lined with baking paper.
- Bake for 1 hour to an 1 hour 30 minutes until baked through – a cocktail stick will come out clean when it’s cooked.
- Ice with lemon juice icing or dust with icing sugar and decorate with fresh fruit.
Please note that cornmeal is not the same as cornflour. Cornmeal can be bought cheaply in Asian, Turkish or Caribbean grocers. There’s really no need to buy the expensive stuff with fancy Italian packaging!
You can vary this recipe by using all replacing the polenta with self-raising flour and adding 2 tablespoons of poppy seeds. You can also add a few sprigs of finely chopped rosemary.