This intensely lemony and perfectly sweet polenta cake is naturally gluten-free because it’s made with almond flour and polenta. A sweet and tart Meyer lemon glaze is poured over the cake just after baking, making it unbelievably moist and flavorful!
I love this making this super-simple, rustic, polenta cake! Mostly because it’s made with ingredients that I always have on hand like almond flour, polenta, eggs, sugar, and butter. I can’t be the only one with a half-empty bag of polenta in the pantry that needs using up!
Meyer lemons make this cake extra special! They have a sweeter, delicate, floral flavor and are much less sharp and acidic than regular lemons. That being said you CAN use regular lemons in this recipe or even oranges will work!
Polenta is the other star of this recipe. It gives the cake a pleasantly gritty texture. See more information below on the types of polenta and cornmeal you can use for this recipe.
What are Meyer lemons?
Meyer lemons are much sweeter and less acidic than regular lemons. They are also smaller and more round than regular lemons, with smooth deep yellow to orange skin.
What type of polenta should you use→
I have made this cake 100 times. You can use any of the following; polenta (corn grits), instant polenta, cornmeal, and even semolina flour. Just keep this in mind, each of these different variations of corn flour will affect the texture of the cake slightly, but in general, this cake is easily adaptable to what you have on hand.
Step One: Brush a 9-inch springform pan with butter or oil on all sides; set aside.
Step Two: Cream the butter and sugar, then add the eggs to the mixer one at a time.
Step Three: Fold in the dry ingredients and lemon zest. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake 35-40 minutes.
Step Four: Make the glaze: Whisk together the powdered sugar and lemon juice.
Step Five: Using a cake tester, prick holes all over the top of the cake; pour Meyer lemon glaze over the cake and let cool completely. Remove from pan and serve.
Meyer Lemon Polenta Cake
- 2 c almond meal
- 3/4 c polenta **see notes
- 3/4 c granulated sugar
- 1 c butter room temperature
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- zest from three Meyer lemons
Meyer Lemon Glaze
- 1 heaping cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 c Meyer lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush a 9-inch springform pan with butter or oil on all sides; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond meal, polenta, and baking powder.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together the butter, and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to medium; beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed. Turn off the mixer and remove the bowl from the mixer. Use a spatula to fold in the dry ingredients and lemon zest. Fold until all of the ingredients are just combined.
- Pour batter into prepared pan. It will be very thick, use a spatula or the back of a spoon to spread the batter to the edges of the pan. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs and the cake begins to pull away from sides of the pan, about 35-40 minutes.
- Using a cake tester or skewer, prick holes all over the top of the warm cake; pour the glaze over the cake and let cool completely. Remove from pan and serve.
Meyer Lemon Glaze
- In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and confectioners' sugar until smooth and pourable and no lumps remain.