Waitrose and Partners
Polenta cake

Polenta cake

This cake from Martha Collison is beautifully stodgy and sticky, but matched with orange and lemon it’s also light textured and moreish.

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Gluten freeVegetarian
  • Serves10
  • CourseCake
  • Prepare20 mins
  • Cook55 mins
  • Total time1 hr 15 mins
  • Pluscooling


  • 225g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 3 British Blacktail Medium Free Range Eggs
  • 200g ground almonds
  • 100g polenta or cornmeal
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 orange, scrubbed, zest
  • 75g Waitrose Italian Cut Mixed Peel

For the syrup

  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 orange, juice

For the sugared peel

  • 25g Waitrose Italian Cut Mixed Peel
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C, gas mark 3. Grease an 18cm square loose-bottomed tin and line the base and sides with baking parchment.

  2. Cream together the butter and sugar using an electric hand mixer until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well between each addition. Stir in the dry ingredients and beat until smooth, then fold in the orange zest and mixed peel.

  3. Scrape the batter into the prepared tin and level the surface. Place on a baking tray. Bake for 50-55 minutes, until risen and fairly firm (it will have a very slight wobble in the middle). Test the cake using a skewer – it should come out clean when inserted into the centre.

  4. While the cake is baking, make the orange syrup. Place the sugar and orange juice into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Allow to simmer for 1 minute, then remove from the heat. When the cake is done, remove from the oven and, while still hot, brush the warm syrup all over, then leave to cool completely on a wire rack. The cake may sink slightly in the centre, but this is normal for polenta cakes.

  5. To finish, make the sugared peel by tumbling together the mixed peel and granulated sugar until well coated. Sprinkle over the top of the cake, then serve.

Cook’s tip

Cut a generous piece of this cake and serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt on the side, and a scattering of pomegranate seeds or fresh raspberries for an indulgent yet refreshing treat.


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


2,078kJ/ 498kcals



Saturated Fat












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Overall rating (5/5)

5 out of 5 stars1 rating