Lemon polenta cake with lemon compote

Introduce an uplifting zing to morning or afternoon tea with a friend, by enjoying this lemony almond and polenta cake. A hint of orange blossom water makes it refreshingly satisfying.

  • 3 hrs 25 mins preparation
  • Serves 8
  • Print


Lemon polenta cake
  • 200 gram butter, softened
  • 1 cup (220g) caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cup (250g) almond meal
  • 1/2 cup (85g) instant polenta
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water
  • thick cream, for serving
Lemon compote
  • 2 medium (280g) lemons
  • 1 cup (220g) sugar
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup (250ml) water


Lemon polenta cake with lemon compote
  • 1
    To make lemon compote, preheat the oven to 150°C (130°C fan-forced). Thinly slice the 2 whole lemons and cut the slices into quarters; remove the seeds. Layer the quarters in a medium ceramic ovenproof dish. Combine the sugar, rosemary and water in a small saucepan; stir over a low heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil. Simmer, uncovered, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat; pour the syrup over the lemon quarters. Cover lemon mixture with baking paper then seal the dish with foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and paper; bake for a further 30 minutes or until the syrup is thick and the lemons are caramelised. Cool.
  • 2
    Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Grease a 20cm round cake pan; line base and side with baking paper.
  • 3
    Beat the butter and sugar in a small bowl with an electric mixer until pale and creamy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating until combined between additions. Stir in the almond meal, polenta and baking powder; then stir in the rind, juice and orange blossom water.
  • 4
    Spread the mixture into prepared pan; smooth the surface. Bake tor about 1 hour or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Cool cake in the pan.
  • 5
    Serve cake with lemon compote and thick cream, if desired.


Cake suitable to freeze. Not suitable to microwave. Orange blossom water, also known as orange flower water, is a concentrated flavouring made from orange blossoms. It is available from Middle Eastern food stores, delicatessens and some supermarkets.

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