The last time I had polenta cake, it was a lemon flavored cake with a delicious blackberry compote. Sounds incredible, doesn’t it? Well, it was, and I wanted to come up with my own version of a delicious polenta cake. Think my Persian-ness came out in this one… again.
There are many recipes out there for a polenta cake, and they are great for anyone avoiding gluten. With the addition of ground almond meal, polenta and almond together make a great loose crumb cake… even better as a muffin. I was looking for something more cake-like, with a finer crumb, which means I added a bit of wheat flour. So this recipe is definitely not gluten-free. But delicious none the less.
1 1/2 cups ground almond meal/flour
1/2 cup polenta (coarse cornmeal)
1/2 all-purpose flour + extra for dusting chopped apricots
3/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
3 large eggs, room temp
1 pound fresh apricot, halved/stoned and peeled (optional)
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 teaspoon (packed) fresh orange zest
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare a loaf cake pan with baking spray or butter.
- In a mixing bowl add the eggs. With a hand mixer or in a stand mixer beat the eggs for two minutes. Gradually add the sugar and beat until the volume has increased and the mixture I pale yellow. Gradually add the melted butter while mixing, but don’t over mix to prevent breaking. Add the almond extract and mix.
- In a separate bowl combine the ponta, ground almond, flour, baking powder, salt, and orange zest. Stir to combine. Add the dry ingredients to egg-butter-sugar mixture and hand mix in with a wooden spoon. The idea is to keep the volume of the egg mixture and to not over work the flour. Mix until everything in combined evenly and you have a nice tick cake batter.
- Rough chop the apricot and toss with a spoonful or two of flour.
- Pour half of the batter into the loaf pan. Add half the chopped and dusted apricots on top. Pour the remaining batter on top, adding the last half of the chopped and dusted apricots.
- Place the loaf pan into the oven and bake 50-55 minutes, testing for doneness in the center of the cake. Remove the cake and let it cool for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
- Dust the cake generously with powdered sugar. Slice when cooled and dig in!